Sunday, April 27, 2014

Cause and Effect with Camilla Cream

Below is pretty much the script I used which corresponds to my lesson plan.

Today, we are going to read, A Bad Case of Stripes. Based on the title and cover of the book, raise your hand and tell me what you think the book will be about.

1.  Why do you think Camilla Cream was afraid to have people find out that she liked Lima Beans? Was she right?

2.  Do you think the students in the story were bullying Camilla? Why or why not?

3.  What do you think the author is trying to say to the reader? Maybe David Shannon is trying to tell us to be ourselves. Camilla tried very hard to be like everyone else and she wasn’t being true to herself. Imagine what the world would be like if we were all the same.

This is a Cause and Effect Anchor chart. Cause is the reason or why something happened. Effect is the result or what happened. For example, it rained and I had to use an umbrella. It rained is the cause. I had to use an umbrella is the effect. As you read you can be a detective. You can look for key or signal words such as if, then, because, since, so, this is why, consequently, and therefore. Often cause and effect relationships are signaled by these words and phrases.

Everything in life has a cause and an effect. You study for a test you get a good grade. You forget your umbrella when it rains, you get wet. You break a rule you have a consequence.

We are going to take a minute to recall parts of our story. Raise your hand if you can tell me the name of the main character our story? That’s right, her name is Camilla Cream. The problem is something that a character in the story wants to change, fix or figure out. Raise your hand if you can tell me, what is the problem? Good! Solution is the way a problem is solved or fixed. We said the problem was a bad case of stripes. Raise your hand if you can tell me the solution to the problem. Give me a thumbs up if you agree.

I have some cards of events from the story. One card is the cause and one card is the effect. It is your job to raise your hand and tell me which card is which. Cause is the reason or why something happened. Effect is the result of what happened. For example, She is covered in stripes. Camilla screams. She is covered in stripes is the cause. Camilla screams is the effect. (Go through cards)

Cause and effect is a hard concept but 3rd graders, you did a great job!

For our activity, we are going to write a summary. A summary is a short description of the most important events in a story. A summary tells what happens. A summary answers the questions who what, where, when, why, and how. You are going to write a summary of the book A Bad Case of Stripes. Your summary needs to be a minimum of 3 sentences and you need to use at least two signal/key words. If, then, because, since, so, this is why, consequently, and therefore are key or signal words. Can you write more than 3 sentences? Yes and I hope that you do! Can you use more than 2 signal/key words? Yes! Are there any questions about the summary?

When you are done writing, I want you to raise your hand so I can check it. I want this to be your best work. Once I have looked at your writing, you will come to the front of the classroom and pick up three pieces of paper- label, Camilla’s face, hair and bow. I want you to color Camilla. You can have fun and be creative with this. Camilla can be striped, covered in stars, or in camouflage. It’s up to you but it needs to be school appropriate- no blood, no weapons. When you are done coloring, cut all your pieces out. You will need to get a bigger piece of construction paper. You will glue Camilla and your summary onto the construction paper. Are there any questions about our activity?

I need two volunteers to pass out writing paper. Remember, I want you to do your writing first and I want to see what you wrote before you move on to coloring Camilla.

Below are student artifacts, my anchor chart, and matching cards.

This has probably been my favorite anchor chart so far.
Cause and Effect cards.
My example. Thank you, Step Into 2nd Grade for the wonderful templates!
I have a student who is blind in my class and although I cannot read what she typed she told me and I trust her. :-)

We have been practicing our cursive!

We were running short on time so not all kids had the opportunity to color Camilla Cream. I am learning cutting, coloring, and gluing ALWAYS takes at least twice as long as I plan for.
So proud of this kiddo!

Camilla is a Lion- LOVE the creativity!

If I teach this lesson again I am going to have every student circle their two key/signal words. That was incredibly helpful when I was doing assessments.

Her handwriting looks like it could be straight from a handwriting workbook!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Classroom Management Plan

Below you'll find our philosophy, classroom management plan and a couple pictures: 
Philosophical Statement

We believe the purpose of education is to help children develop, grow, and learn. We believe each child is a unique individual who needs a secure, caring, loving, and stimulating environment in which they can grow, mature, and reach their goals. We believe children learn best when they are taught under certain environmental conditions and in certain ways. Some of these are direct guidance, indirect guidance, redirection, limit setting, and encouragement.
All children have certain primary needs that must be met if they are to grow and learn at their best. There are five basic needs: Physical, Intellectual, Language, Emotional, and Social. They can be remembered by the use of the acronym “PILES.”  We will meet these needs by planning appropriate activities, providing appropriate materials, a safe and comfortable environment, and being flexible to children’s learning needs. It is our desires as educators to help children meet their full potential. We will incorporate themes, projects, integrated units, group and individual work, and hands-on learning in order to make children active learners.

Technology plays a big role in today’s learning and while we will use technology in our classroom, it will not replace hands on teaching.  As a good educator it is our responsibility to teach students how to use technology positively and effectively. We will use every resource in hand such as the Smart Board, computers, digital cameras, Internet, handheld and wireless devices to include technology in our classroom.

Our goal as educators is to make a difference in the world by teaching young children. We will provide the tools needed to help children become successful in life, reach their goals, and to believe in themselves. Children are our future and they need help and guidance to reach their full potential and become productive members in society. They also have needs and those needs must be met in order for them to reach their full educational potential. We, Allison and Liz, as effective educators, hope to meet these needs and help our students reach their full potential.

Room Arrangement 

When entering the classroom, students will find a well-organized classroom. Natural lightning from the windows will illuminate our classroom; the vibrant colors on the walls and decorations will make the children feel welcome and comfortable; there will be a weather book section where students can learn about weather by reading a variety of books; a Water Cycle bulletin board will create curiosity. Students’ desks will be arranged in a semicircle. They will be able to see their classmates as well as their teachers. The carpet on the floor will be comforting to the students and will allow them to be closer to the teachers. The teachers’ desk will be placed in front of the class so the teachers have a better view of the classroom and the students.

We believe that the set-up of a classroom has a big effect on student learning and we hope that our classroom will be an environment that will engage all students in critical thinking, discussion and reflection. Arranging the students’ desks in a semicircle will create an environment rich in discussion. We think that it is very important to engage students in discussion to try to draw out and challenge ideas and let the class learn from each other. No one will sit behind the semicircle or on the sides of the room outside the semicircle. The class will enjoy the eye contact and facial expressions of everyone as they share ideas.  

By arranging the students where they are facing each other, we believe this leads to a more intimate environment as well as a space where we can get to every student easily. We like to walk around the room while teaching, rather than staying in one stationary place in the front. If the desks are arranged as so, we can walk around, engage more students, and hopefully create an environment where students can talk and share ideas freely and comfortably.

We believe that students should be constantly challenged and provoked to think critically. A variety of materials will be provided to students, they can use these materials to study, practice their writing, reading or learn more about weather. Our desk will be in the corner of the room, but will be used mostly for administrative tasks. A computer and Smartboard will be used to make learning fun and interesting. 

Classroom Rules

We believe in keeping a safe environment where put-downs and name calling is not allowed – this also falls under respect. Is we can have respect for our students as well as having them respecting each other, we believe this will lead to a safe environment where learning can take place. We don’t mind if students bring food to the classroom, as long as they eat it during snack or free play. We also don’t mind if students wear hats or necklaces in class, as long as the hat or necklace doesn’t interfere with learning. If it gets out of control and students start eating during a lesson or they start playing with their hats or necklaces, we will let them know that these privileges will be taken away, right from the beginning.

We want to create an environment with positive and numerous student-teacher relationships. Especially in diverse classrooms where many students are from different backgrounds, we want to create an environment where students are not and do not feel that they are being treated unfairly. We do not want to label students or assume their academic ability on the way they look or arc. We do not want the diverse settings to lead to situations where communication is not happening. We feel this is where behavior problems may arise. We will accept students as individuals with unique and cultural difference; to respect, relate and like them; to listen and communicate openly; and understand and honor their family, culture, language, and race. In order to create an environment like this we have created a list of classroom rules and morning meeting rules:

Class Rules

1.     Be nice and kind.

2.     Be honest.

3.     Listen and follow directions.

4.     Take care of our things.

5.     Respect the rights and property of others.

6.     Do your best and have fun learning!

Morning Meeting Rules

1.     Come to morning meeting with empty hands.

2.     Cooperate and participate.

3.     Raise your hand when you want to talk.

4.     Respect others and their thoughts.

5.     Learn from each other and have fun!

We will discuss these rules with the students on the first day of class and have them sign a copy. By signing a copy of the classroom rules and morning meeting rules, the students are accepting the rules and their consequences.

Logical Consequences

Students are expected to be respectful and responsible throughout the school day. If a student is having difficulty following a rule they are given a warning and reminded of what a good choice would be. If a student continues to misbehave they will have a consequence. We will try to make each child's consequence as logical as possible; therefore, consequences will vary depending on the situation. For instance, if a child continues running and talking in the hallway after a warning is given, they would have to come in during part of their recess to practice safe and respectful ways to walk in the hallways. However, if a child continues to be distracted by a bracelet or necklace, instead of coming in for recess, they would have to keep the bracelet in their locker for the rest of the day.
        Students will be rarely sent to the principal's office in our classroom; however, the safety of all the students is very important to us. If a student hits or pushes another child they are automatically sent to the office. We want all of the students to feel safe and secure in our classroom.

Classroom Procedures

We want to be consistent with our students in terms of Classroom Procedures. To get students attention we will use clapping, counting down from 10, Whole Body Listening, and Show 5. 

Beginning the Day – When entering the classroom, students must put away their coats, backpacks, snacks and lunches. We plan to have the agenda on the board so students can look at it as they walk in. Students should turn in any homework and then start their morning seat-work.

Entering and Leaving the Room – Students should enter and exit the classroom quietly. If they are coming in late or leaving early, they should not disturb the other students. This procedure will be used for all situations throughout the day.

Lunch Count – Students will need to find their name and move it to the right column. If they brought lunch, they need to place their name tag under the “bringing” column. If they are buying lunch, they must place it under the “buying” column.

Using the Restroom – Students need to ask for permission to use the restroom. Only one student at a time can go to the bathroom, unless there is an emergency or the teachers are okay with it. They must return to the classroom after using the restroom, this means they cannot go to other classrooms or any other place in the building.

Fire Drill – When hearing the alarm, students must stop what they are doing, leave everything, and quietly walk directly to the door. One of the teachers can hold the door open for the students and the other teacher can lead the students to the nearest exit. Once outside, everyone is expected to stand quietly and wait for the announcement to come back into the building. 

Lining Up – Students must wait until they hear their name or their row is called, then, quietly stand up, push in their chair, and line up facing forward. They will need to bring all the necessary items they may need with them.

Ending the Day – Students must clear off their desks, place papers to go home in their folder or backpack and wait to be called. Once they are called, they can gather their belongings and quietly sit on their desks or carpet and wait to be dismissed.

Encouraging All Students and Positive Reinforcement

We will praise students in ways big and small. We will recognize work in class, display good work in the classroom and send positive notes home to parents.

We will get to know our students. Getting to know your students is about more than just memorizing their names. Students need to know that their teacher has a genuine interest in them and cares about them and their success. When students feel appreciated it creates a safe learning environment and motivates them to work harder, as they want to get praise and good feedback from someone they feel knows and respects them as individuals.

We will set high, yet realistic expectations. We will make sure to voice those expectations. We will set short-term goals and celebrate when they are achieved.

We will relate lessons to students’ lives. Whether it is budgeting for family Christmas gifts, choosing short stories about your town, rapping about the Water Cycle, or pretending to be Pilgrim’s and Indian’s in the Thanksgiving story, students will care more if the identify themselves or their everyday lives in what they’re learning.

We will create a threat-free environment. While students do need to understand that there are consequences to their actions, far more motivating for students than threats are positive reinforcements. When teachers create a safe, supportive environment for students, affirming their belief in a student’s abilities rather than laying out the consequences of not doing things, students are much more likely to get and stay motivated to do their work. At the end of the day, students will fulfill the expectations that the adults around them communicate.

We will offer varied experiences. We know and recognize that not all students respond to lessons in the same way. For some, hands-on experiences may be the best. Others may love to read books quietly or to work in groups. In order to keep all students motivated, we will mix up our lessons so that students with different preferences will each get time to focus on the things they like best. Doing so will help our students stay engaged and pay attention.

We will give students responsibility. Assigning students classroom jobs is a great way to build a community and to give students a sense of motivation. Most students will see classroom jobs as a privilege rather than a burden and will work hard to ensure that they, and other students, are meeting expectations.

We will allow students to work together. While not all students will jump at the chance to work in groups, many will find it fun to try to solve problems, do experiments, and work on projects with other students. The social interaction can get them excited about things in the classroom and students can motivate one another to reach a goal.

We will provide opportunities for success. We know that students can become frustrated and unmotivated when they feel like they’re struggling or not getting the recognition that other students are. We will make sure that all students get a chance to play to their strengths and feel included and valued. It can make a world of difference in their motivation.

We will be excited! We believe one of the best ways to get our students motivated is to share our enthusiasm. When we’re excited about teaching, we know our students will be much more excited about learning. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Fish Art

We made fish art projects on Monday in 2nd grade! I got the idea from but what I did not do is click the link to read how to do the craft. It was cute and looked simple but had I read the blog I would have found out you need SMALL cupcake liners and a variety of eyes. There was no way we were getting 4 fish on a page so we just did two and thankfully, it still turned out okay.

You and the Environment

Today in Social Studies, we are going to learn about You and the Environment. By the end of our lesson, you will be able to identify ways that the environment influences or effects people. 

When we talk about our environment, we mean everything in the World around us, which can affect our lives.

Human beings have 5 basic needs:
-        Oxygen
o   Oxygen is one of the gases found in air and every single cell inside you needs the oxygen you inhale for energy!
-        Water
-        Food
-        Shelter
-        Warmth

These needs are fulfilled from the Planet on which we live. And everybody, what is the name of the planet we live on? That’s right, we live on Earth. Earth is the third planet from the sun and the fifth largest planet in the Solar System. As human beings, we have 5 basic needs. Our first need is Oxygen. We breathe Oxygen from the air. Remember, when we breathe in Oxygen, our body uses it for energy!

We get water from the rain, which fills our lakes, rivers, and creeks. We store the water in reservoirs and water tanks or water towers. A reservoir is a fake or man made lake where water is collected and kept for later use. Here is a picture of rain. Show me a link if you have seen or played in rain before. This here is a water tower. Show me a link if you have ever seen a water tower.

We get food from the plants and animals here on Earth. Some of us eat meat like Bacon and this comes from a Pig. Salmon comes from a Fish. Fruits and vegetables like Strawberries, Tomatoes, and Carrots are grown.

We get shelter from the materials we take out of the Earth and from the trees that grown to make our homes. A hut is house built by Native Americans and it is made from straw. Other houses are made from wood or rocks.

We get warmth from the sun, fire, power (gas, electricity) and our clothing.

As you saw throughout the PowerPoint, the environment has a big affect on our lives. Without oxygen, water, food, shelter or warmth, we would not be able to live. We are going to switch gears a little bit and learn how we can help the environment. I have created a little book I would like to read with you so lets all come down to the floor where you will be able to see better. 

After reading the book I made, we made a class book. Students were to write one sentence and a draw a picture to go with it showing how they will help our environment. 

Title page

This was my example.

 I was observed during this lesson. My observer wrote:
- Social Studies- Environment
- Class book!!! Concrete example of using group work
- Thanks for sharing the PowerPoint with me! So often when speaking about the environment teachers tone it down too much or the material is way over the student's heads but you have it right at their level. 
- I liked the usefulness/application to your lesson.
- Very clear directions as you taught
- Providing feedback and assessing as students worked

Action Research

When I was down in Marshall, we had to present our Action Research. My action research question was, "Does math homework affect student's abilities to gain new math concepts?"

Homework: Schoolwork that a student is required to do at home. It is suggested that any amount of time spent doing homework has benefits such as time management, how to work independently, and how to problem solve. The question is, “Does math homework increase the students ability to gain new math concepts?”

In my review of literature, I came across many intriguing books and articles online.

-In The Battle over Homework (2007), Cooper noted that homework should have different purposes at different grade levels:

            - For students in the earliest grades, it should foster positive attitudes, habits, and character traits; permit appropriate parent involvement; and reinforce learning of simple skills introduced in class.

-Cathy Vatterott wrote, “Homework is a meaningful opportunity to practice or prepare for new learning in a relatively low- stakes way. The best approaches to homework combine clear and engaging design with policies that focus on bringing students closer to their learning objectives.

- Although a small amount of homework may be good for learning, overloading children with hours of homework can actually decrease achievement (Cooper, 2007). So, we need to set reasonable homework time limits.

-The 10-minute rule, endorsed by the National Education Association and the Parent Teacher Association, recommends the maximum amount of nightly homework should not exceed 10 minutes per grade level per night, all subjects combined (Cooper, 2007).                       

            - That is, a 1st grader should have no more than 10 minutes of homework per night, a 6th grader no more than 60 minutes, and a 12th grader no more than 120 minutes per night.

During my research, twelve students were randomly selected in a 1st grade classroom. The twelve students were given a quiz before the math lesson to test their prior knowledge. They were observed during the math lesson. Group 1 was given a quiz right after the math lesson. Group 2 was given the same quiz but the day after they completed their math homework. Their quizzes were corrected and their average quiz scores were found.

There were some interesting field notes and observations:

- One student noticed the labels on the first quiz were in the same order as the pictures. The student blurted this out and the majority of students ended up with 100% on the initial quiz. When they came back to do the second quiz, I saw a true reflection of who had a firm grasp on the concept when the answers were not right in front of them.

- Students wanted to be taught the information before they took the quiz.

- Students worked independently and quietly during the quizzes.

-Students took their time on the quizzes and did not seem to rush.

- Girls seemed to be more excited to be out in the hallway doing extra work than the boys.

- Students were excited during the math lesson because they had all ready seen the material when they were out in the hallway with me.

- Students were not too thrilled about having to take a second quiz because they had already done it.

- I wanted to keep student quizzes anonymous but some students were adamant about getting their quizzes back so, a number of quizzes have names on them.

I observed 12 students in a first grade classroom to see if homework increases the student’s ability to gain new math concepts. From the data I collected I was able to conclude that homework does not have a significant affect on the students ability to gain new math concepts.

Like any research project though, there were factors that affected my findings:

- The majority of my class is high achieving so I was unable to do a true random selection because when I did, each student got 100% the first time they attempted the quiz.

- During the first quiz, group 2 discovered that the labels were in the same order as the pictures below. When they took the quiz after homework, the pictures were in a different order. Some students were unable to match the shape with its name. This affected their score and brought them down from 97% during the first quiz to an average of 87% on the second quiz.

If I were to do this research over again, my recommendation would be not to put labels on a quiz or if you do triple check to make sure their order is not the exact same as the pictures. Another recommendation would be to conduct research over an extended period of time so that students can be exposed to more difficult concepts where homework would be of greater benefit to their understanding.

This study has yielded interesting and pertinent (relevant) results based on the first grade classroom studied. It has revealed that math homework does not have a significant increase on student’s ability to gain new math concepts.

I plan to use math homework within my own 1st grade classroom, but student’s scores will not be recorded in the grade book. I will review student’s homework and provide them feedback but the unit test is the score that will go in the grade book. Homework is a great re-enforcer for math concepts and it offers students some extra practice. I will set the expectation that homework should be done nightly and it needs to be turned in weekly.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Clinical Experience (In No Particular Order)

This has been the most stressful school year of my life! I don't sleep and I have no social life but these past two days, I have seen all my hard work pay off. On Sunday, I traveled three hours from home to spend two days in a 2nd grade classroom.  Below, you will find journal entries about my first and second day at school.

Day 1

I got to school around 7:30 and got set up for our day. I met a boy in the hallway who told me he was in my classroom so I introduced myself and talked to him a little bit. 

Kids came in they were super quiet. I invited them to the carpet with me. I introduced my partner and I as their guest teachers for the next two days. I went through rules and expectations. I also talked about our classroom management activities and how we are going to get students attention. We modeled whole body listening, show 5, clapping, and counting down. The kids caught on real quick!

I led morning meeting. We did an adjective greeting, whip share, and for our activity, I had students line up by height without talking. Reagan was the leader on this, she was helping everybody out and all 15 were lined up correctly from shortest to tallest. I taught a lesson on standard and non-standard measurement. I used the book Measuring Penny and as a class, we filled out a T-chart of the standard and non-standard units of measurement that Lisa, the main character of the book used. I had mini booklets and a Penny (dog from the story) ruler for students. I paired the students up and they went around the room measuring items. They measured length, height, width and around. I looked at some of their mini-books and was blown away by how far they got and how well they worked together.

Art took longer than expected so instead of teaching my whole science lesson in 15 minutes, I introduced the Water Cycle vocabulary. Students had a chance to practice saying the words out loud and I defined the words for them. I then taught them the Water cycle song with motions and I so wish I could have recorded it. They did a phenomenal job and I was SO proud of them. I actually ran out of the room to catch a professor and invite her into our classroom.

I had students tell me they enjoyed my lessons. 

One girl came up to me as she was working through her mini book and said my math lesson was fun. 

When I pulled out the penny rulers there was lots of excitement! 

At recess all the teachers were standing around but I had kids ask me to play with them or watch with they were doing. I had kids yelling my name from across the playground and running over to me to show me things they found. 

At the end of the day, I asked for a high five on the way out. I said things like have a good night, see you tomorrow and Adios Amigo. To one girl I said, "See ya later Alligator" she walked a few steps, turned around, smiled and said, "in a while crocodile!"

After sitting for a really long time for my partner's lesson, I needed students to sit and listen to mine so I had them stand up jump around, run in place and then we reached to the sky, moved all our wiggles to our fingers and slid down into criss cross applesauce. Students sat very well after that! 

Day 2

It is April 1st today and I wanted to pull an April Fool's joke on the kids but did not have time to make "Brownies" or brown E's so instead, I wrote today's date as March 32nd. It took students maybe five seconds to yell "No" and "That's not right." They're a smart bunch and there was no fooling them however, I was fooled. One girl come in and first thing she said to me was, "My dog died last night." As a person who put their dog down back in November, my heart sank when I she said that. I wasn't 100% sure I heard her right so I asked, "Last night?" She nodded and I said, "I am so sorry!" and I pulled her closer for a hug then she looks up at me, smiles, and exclaims, "April Fools!" She got me and she got me good!

After Morning Meeting, I taught a reading lesson on sequencing. This went really well. We put events from our school day in order, events from the 3 little pigs in order and then we read Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. As a class, we put 8 events from the story in order. On their own, students completed a sequencing worksheet. They chose any four events from the story, wrote a sentence about it and then drew a sketch. They were able to look back at the book and sequence cards but most students recalled the events from memory. They did a fantastic job and everyone was able to recall four events. We also played an Alexander board game. We had one winner in every group and they were crowned King of Australia. One boy asked where his crown was so I took my hands and placed an invisible crown on him. He then made a text to self-connection when he realized Alexander drew a picture of an invisible sandcastle in the book and I just placed an invisible crown on his head.

We read Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs after recess to calm our bodies down and they were super excited about the book and found it hilarious! I had a cute writing prompt to go with this book we did not get around to it.

In social studies, I went more in depth with the environment lesson my partner taught yesterday. I showed students a book I made about ways we can help the environment. After reading that, I explained we were going to make our own class book. Student's worked hard on their page of the book.

In Science, we went more in depth in the Water Cycle because we only had 15 minutes yesterday. We did a full hour of Science today. I had a PowerPoint and one-minute video, then we labeled a Water Cycle poster as a class and after that we reviewed our Water Cycle song. Students were so excited to sing it again. After my science lesson, they reviewed the Water Cycle with my partner and they had to define the words: Evaporation, Condensation, and Precipitation. Those are big words and this is a hard concept, but they were able to tell us all about the stages of the Water Cycle.

At the end of the day, we did a fun dance on Go Noodle. There are characters on the screen and we had to mimic their dance moves. We danced to the hit song, (at least it was back when Madagascar first came out years ago :-)) I Like to Move It!

A girl at recess made me a Rainbow Loom bracelet. I've always wanted one of these so I was very excited.

When I told students today was our last day they booed, sighed, and said, "No, I don't want you to go." It sure made me feel good!

For clinical, we had partners. I felt bad like I should have said sorry because my partner’s lessons were not as clear so the kids were always confused and could not complete the tasks. I was constantly interrupting. Today, I tried to keep my mouth shut during science and I didn't even make it 5 minutes without opening my mouth to say something. I really hope she doesn't feel like I stepped on her toes.

The kids were constantly coming to me with questions, comments, etc which showed me that I had a strong presence in the classroom. I also know I am loud and my voice carries. Maybe it was all my interruptions, or my lessons, or how I presented myself from the second students walked into the school but they knew who was in charge, what I expect, and that I want them to succeed and I am here to help them do that.

Gym started off really well but then one boy had a complete meltdown and started yelling and would not calm down. I raised my voice after I saw a kid slide off the gym floor and said, "Gym is a privilege. I know you are excited to be in here and I know you are full of energy. That is great, but we need to follow the rules and play the games correctly so no one gets hurt." I went on and on and stated expectations again because when my partner did it, it clearly did not stick. I also said, "If we cannot get along or follow the rules we'll go back to the classroom. I have plenty of things for us to do." When I was done talking, students walked silently to where I asked them to be and played the games well the rest of the time.

When we walked back to class I said, "Just like always, in the hallway, our voices are at zero, we are in a straight line and we are keeping our hands and body to ourselves. Let's walk quietly as a mouse back to class." When we got back to class I said I did not hear a peep from them and I was very impressed. A student asked, "Since we walked quietly as a mouse do we get a piece of cheese?"

It has been a great two days and I was sad that we couldn't stay longer!