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Welcome to Dizzy for Kindergarten - a blog for teachers!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Kitchen Makeover

My class LOVES to play in the dramatic play/"kitchen" area during free choice and inside recess.  So many great language opportunities, problem solving skills, and social functioning take place there that it makes me sad when I hear about how some kindergarten classroom are getting rid of these "playthings" because they need to focus more on "academics" and therefore miss out on all the wonderful things that go on here... Anyways, I had been getting really irritated that the kids were just shoving stuff everywhere to clean up - an then realized that the problem wasn't with the kids, but my lack of "organization" in this area.  Everything else in the room is labeled with it's own place, but somehow I overlooked all the dramatic play accessories.  So, I created some signs to put on my baskets, and now everything is neatly sorted.  (Not to mention it looks MUCH better!)  No more chaos!  Yeah! :)  If you have a better way to organize this area of your classroom, I'd love to hear from you!

If you'd like a copy of the signs/labels click HERE.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Class Dojo

I'm discovering that I am more of a tech geek than I realized... while this isn't really a surprise to anyone who knows me...  Anyways, one of my colleagues shared a new website for classroom management with me called Class Dojo (www.classdojo.com) . Basically, each student is given a monster avatar (which tied in beautifully after using Kathleen Pederson's Monster Behavior book!) where you give awards for positive behaviors, as well as take awards away for negative behaviors, and yes, you can customize the awards to fit your class and targeted behaviors.  

Below is a "demo" class, and you can see I have awarded (and taken away) awards from various students.  You can set it to only show students with a positive balance if you want as well.

Here are the "default" awards and how I have changed them to better fit my class.

You can also print out behavior reports to send home to parents, or to keep track of how students are doing.  I send one home at the end of each week, so there are no surprises when report cards go out! :)

If you have a smart phone, you can even use it to enter awards!  Since I am lucky enough to have a Promethean board, I just keep this minimized at the bottom, and use it throughout the day.  The kids LOVE it and once they hear the "ding" indicating someone got an award (or see me pull it up) everyone's behavior immediately improve as they hope they are getting a "good award".  I strive very hard to make sure everyone has a positive balance at the end of the day/each week.

Since this is BRAND NEW, there are still a few things that are being worked out, but in the month or so I have been using it, they have already made a lot of positive changes!

Here are 2 YouTube video that explains it further. http://www.youtube.com/user/classdojo#p/a/u/1/jxFTMmF0a6c and http://www.youtube.com/user/classdojo#p/a/f/0/b5uihmPlbvA
Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!