Manic Monday Freebie and I’m “Mysterious”!!

It’s another Manic Monday and that means a freebie or two!  More on those later!

Today I received an email from a fellow blogger friend and she said she enjoyed reading my posts and how funny I am.  Me? Funny?  I don’t think so.    Then she said that I was very “mysterious!”  Really?  Me?  Nah.  I’m an open book.  What would you like to know??  Ask me anything.  Seriously.  Anything.    My blogger friend also said I should put a picture on my blog.  Well, here you go.  This is me.  See, I am not all that mysterious.  Really…I didn’t think people would too interested in knowing a lot about me, I just thought they’d want to know my ideas about teaching.  

Here I am with the worlds MOST AWESOME teacher cart.  Ever.  Period.  It’s OK to be jealous of my cart!

And here is more of me!  

And now for an educational related post!  And your freebies!

I am very fortunate to teach in an inner city school here in Music City.  My school is located in the largest public housing project in our city.  99% of our students come from the housing projects.  85% of our students have no father or father figure.  99% of them receive free lunch.  The annual household income is $5,000.  The dropout rate for our neighborhood is 26%.  It’s a tough neighborhood with great promise.  The promise is the 300 students that walk through our doors everyday with smiles and an enthusiasm for learning that is unwavering and unmatched.  As in any school, we have our fair share of behavior issues.  Somedays it’s a challenge to keep all of the fires out.  Somedays I am pretty sure I lose the battle.  We use clip charts with great success and School Wide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBIS) with success.  

However, one of my biggest concerns and frustrations with myself has always been that we tend to neglect the students who consistently do the right things, who work hard and make the right choices. I am so guilty of knowing names of kids because they are the ones who are in trouble.  The students who I see that I don’t know are the ones who aren’t in trouble.  This seems so backwards to me.  Why shouldn’t I know the names of the students who are doing the right things? This affected me so much last year that I made an effort each day to recognize as many kids doing good as I could.  I even pushed our school leadership team to do more to recognize these kids.  And they did!  We had several catered luncheons for our students who were consistently role models, leaders and good citizens!

This year I am going to work even harder to recognize even more students.  I created monster recognition cards that I will use to recognize kids who are doing the right things.  Last year, I used Star Notes in my classroom to great effect!  Each day during our afternoon meeting, we sang, went over our goals for the day, said our goodbyes and announced our STARS for the day.  Each STAR got a star note to take home.  These worked so well that the kids would ask all day if they were the star! It’s a simple, quick and effective way to recognize the good behaviors and motivate the kids to become stars!    This year I am going to modify my star notes just a bit to become MonSTAR notes to go with my monster theme!    

How do you recognize good behavior, leadership and role models?

I hope you can use these freebies in your classroom and your school to recognize leaders, role models and good citizens every day!  Click on the pictures for your freebies!

And a question…hopefully someone can tell me where to go.  I have seen a blog that is focused just on lesson plans.  The blogger has various templates for sell and that’s all she does.  Does this sound familiar?  Thanks for your help!

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