Brag tags are a simple and fun way to reward and motivate students to meet academic, character and behavior goals! Brag tags give me the opportunity to help my kids to feel proud rather than rewarding them with junk from a treasure box. I use them to focus on improvement rather than grades in our classroom. My students must earn the tags. They are not just given out (with the exception of the first day of school tag). I started by deciding which tags I wanted to offer. I chose some brag tags that students would know exactly what they must do in order to earn the tag such as math facts, reading hours and sight words. I also like to have some character trait and positive behavior tags on hand. I award these based on observations. There is no one magic way to earn it. Even my strugglers can earn these tags because I base them on improvement.  The first thing that we do on Friday mornings is our brag tag ceremony. Any child who has earned a tag during that week...
Time for my favorite summer linky! I am currently enjoying a weekend getaway in the mountains so you may see some green trees in the background! I am not redoing my entire classroom, but I still wanted to add some new elements to keep it fresh and fun for me and my students! I am not allowed to decorate my classroom door due to fire code restrictions. So instead, I thought it would be nice to have a wreath on my door. I love all the burlap wreathes on Pinterest, but I wanted to add some of my classroom colors- black, white, green. Here are the supplies you will need. (Not pictured: wire, scissors and wire cutter) I got the wreath frame and burlap at Walmart. I got the ribbon, tulle and wooden letter at Jonann's.  I used THIS tutorial for the burlap portion of the wreath. After the burlap was complete, I cut 1 foot pieces of ribbon and tulle. I just pulled them through from the back to the front of the wreath. They are not tied on. So if someone were to walk up t...
I had no idea when I started creating and blogging just how many friends I would make. Some are online friends that I have never REALLY met and others are teachers and bloggers from right here in Arizona. Last week I attended the Arizona Blogger Brunch and Bubbly meet up hosted by Ashlyn from The Creative Classroom . She did an amazing job decorating and planning!  We even got to talk to Amy from TpT on a conference call! She was so bubbly and happy to answer all of our TpT and conference related questions. Ashlyn also did an amazing job of getting sponsors to donate amazing products for swag bags for everyone! Doesn't look awesome?!! Do you want to hear the GOOD news? We have three extra swag bags that we are GIVING AWAY!!! Make sure to sign up for your chance to win! a Rafflecopter giveaway ...
Chapter four of Learn Like a Pirate tackles one of my favorite subjects to preach about. Seriously, I was just telling my husband (who really doesn't care but pretends to when necessary) a week ago, that teachers spend WAY too much time grading! I don't take grading home. EVER. There are far better ways to assess your students' skills and comprehension that grading  stacks of worksheets. And frankly, I have far better things to do with my time than grade those stacks of papers. (Like eat tacos in front of the TV.) I always aim to create a classroom culture where every student is growing and feels successful. They won't all start at the same place and they won't all end at the same place. But as long as they are improving, I am one happy teacher! I think that when teachers focus on grades, there are a couple of negative consequences. First, students (and parents) need the grade to validate the work. Students don't just feel proud because they know th...