Monday, August 29, 2011

Dealing with Difficult Behavior

I'm linking up with Fun in First Grade, she's having a Linky Party about what to do with a "difficult child"!
 Fun in First
We have all been there.... You say "Ok boys and girls it's time to do some independent reading.." and then it happens... You hear that student... yep THAT student once again. He/She decided they don't want to READ.. nope! Instead they want to sharpen their pencil and dump the sharpenings on the floor because they know you HATE that... What do you do?
Do you... 
A. Cry? 
B. Pretend you didn't see it? 
C. Escort the child out of the room? 
The choices are endless... but the RIGHT choice isn't always what you instinctively go with. It's hard to deal with a difficult child. Especially when you are under a lot of stress trying to pace yourself with the curriculum. There isn't enough time in the day to constantly reprimand students. Here are some tips I've found to be successful in my class:
Be Consistent
If you are using a behavior modification system in your room, you need to be CONSISTENT.. That means stick to your word. It's extremely important to reward students as soon as they show good behavior. The same goes with the consequences. I know it's difficult to remember everything but if a student is expecting a phone call home to parents because of bad behavior...CALL THE SAME DAY. Do not wait until a day or a week later. They need to know you mean BUSINESS! They need to understand that you WILL call their parents when you say it, otherwise they will think you are a joke. Kids pick up on things like that. 

Think Positive
Let the child know you notice when they are doing something right. It's so important to show them you appreciate them trying. So many times students act out at school because of problems they may be having at home. It's possible that hearing a positive remark from you is the only time they hear it. Give compliments, praise them. Show them you care in a positive way. If necessary, use sticker rewards, class money, prizes...etc Get a smile on their face any way you can. Then follow up this compliment with a positive note to their parents. 

Find Behavior Mods That WORK!
This year I plan on implementing a behavior clip chart. I found this on another teacher's website and I am excited to use it. I'm sad to say that my previous chart did NOT work. I had to look for something else because I didn't want to go through what I went through last year. It's important to find what works for you in the classroom. 
This past year, I was also lucky to have a very creative paraprofessional (Mari...You are awesome!) working with me. She helped me create a money system in my class that worked so well. She designed the money and gave it a cute name "Monty Bucks" after my long last name Montalbano! The money was designed to be a reward for students displaying good behavior. They earned money based on filling up a row on their sticker chart. Once a week, the Monty Store was open and students who had Monty Bucks were able to purchase items (pencils, toys, books, candy, No Homework passes). This incentive worked so well for my "difficult child". He really did try to earn money and behave. However, he had organizational issues and often misplaced his money. 
I plan on using the new clip chart with the Monty Bucks this year! I hope this works otherwise it's back to the drawing board once more!! 

Use an Individual Behavior Plan
If necessary, create an individual behavior plan. Work with the parents to see what method would work best for your situation. I used a marble composition notebook. The student would take it home and it needed to be signed every night. My student quickly understood that this book would be my means of communication with his parents. I was able to use this book to anecdote his behavior as well. His parents were hard to contact so this was the best way to keep them informed. When I needed to send positive notes home, I also put it in the communication log. 

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Classroom Crafts.. Pinterest Inspired

Pinterest has inspired me to create such beautiful crafts for my classroom and my own children! Here are a few things that caught my eye...

Pencil Bouquet... Cute and useful

These are chocolate dipped oreos! How clever! Yummmy
A thumbtack sunflower... .Love it

School Supply Cake...
Not sure what I'd do with it but I like the look of it 

teacher cake

Crayon Decorated Box
Bell & Francesco made an adorable one.. 
Check it out at Teaching Fashionista
DARLING back to school gift for the teacher!

Crayon Wreaths
I keep seeing these everywhere.. I NEED to have one lol

This would be a nice teacher gift... hint hint!

The following pictures are great ideas for  
Back to School Treats
To make going back to school "SWEET" for your little ones, why not make something together? Maybe one of my Pinterest finds will inspire you to get creative in the kitchen!
These are packages of Rolos and a Hershey Kiss at the top..adorable!

Sugar cookies! yummyyyy
And look they say "Mrs. Maria".. haha

My son, Louie, already requested these cupcakes! Can't wait to make them together! 

School Cupcakes

Rice Krispie Treats with food coloring

These are such a sweet idea to put in your child's lunchbox...

You can never have enough cookies, cupcakes, or candy

Another wonderful welcome gift for students

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Three For Thursday!

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven't blogged in a while but I was busy laying out in the sun in beautiful Bahamas! Glad to be back home and I am even happier we missed Hurricane Irene!

Well, it's my first time ever linking up! At Blog Hoppin', they are having teacher week. Today's fun linking party is a "three-for"! My favorite fonts/blog/online resource!

My Favorite Font
I really think I have an obsession with fonts. I have downloaded hundreds of free fonts in the past... So it was difficult to pick just one... Here are a few:

Cream and sugar

Love letters

Seasons spring

Tuna and hot dogs
Aren't they so cute?

Next is.... 
My Favorite Blog
This is so hard! I love so many blogs... but I do have to credit Melissa at Teaching Fashionista for getting me addicted to blogging. Her blog is fantastic and she offers so many great ideas about teaching and FaShiOn! And how could I forget.....Teaching Blog Addict!

And finally...
  My Favorite Online Source
As I've mentioned in previous posts, I'm fairly new to Pinterest but I have probably pinned well over 100 things already! I love it!
When I'm in the classroom, I love to use "dadsworksheets". Great worksheets for math practice and I loveee that there is a timer on the site! - Thousands of printable free math worksheets for teachers, home schooling or general study!
click here for the link

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Free Online Puzzle Maker!

Crossword/Word Search Puzzles!
I love this site:! As an introduction lesson, I like to get the students to learn each other's names with a cute word search. This site lets you enter the student's first names and then it creates a word search puzzle. And the best part... IT'S FREE! I also love to use this with word study homework.
Once you create your puzzle, just copy and paste to a word document and then format it how you would like... 

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Back To School Poem

I found the cutest poem at It's perfect for back to school. I was thinking to use a Venn Diagram with students and comparing and contrasting real school and the poet's dream school as a cute first day activity with my 3rd graders! Any other ideas or suggestions are welcome!

Welcome Back To School
By Kenn Nesbitt

“Dear students, the summer has ended. 
The school year at last has begun.
But this year is totally different.
I promise we’ll only have fun.

“We won’t study any mathematics,
and recess will last all day long.
Instead of the Pledge of Allegiance,
we’ll belt out a rock ’n’ roll song.

“We’ll only play games in the classroom.
You’re welcome to bring in your toys.
It’s okay to run in the hallways.
It’s great if you make lots of noise.

“For homework, you’ll play your Nintendo.
You’ll have to watch lots of TV.
For field trips we’ll go to the movies
and get lots of candy for free.

“The lunchroom will only serve chocolate
and Triple-Fudge Sundaes Supreme.”
Yes, that’s what I heard from my teacher
before I woke up from my dream.
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Monday, August 8, 2011

The Teacher Song

While stalking other blogs, I found "The Teacher Song" by Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits... I thought this was cute and she gave me the OK to post on my blog. It reminds us all of why we teach!
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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Great Resources

I found the most amazingggg site: So many great resources for teachers!!
There are excellent graphic organizers, SMARTboard tips and downloads, full lesson plans, webinars..etc.. Basically, it's a teacher's dream come true! Just thought I'd share :)...

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lollipop Incentive Bouquet

I saw this on pinterest and I LOVED it! It was so easy to make. I bought the big bag of dum dum lollipops at BJs for $7 and the pot and styrofoam ball were about $10 (got those at Michael's).

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Classroom Management

Behavior Clip Chart
I have been using a basic behavior chart for 3 years now. This past year, the behavior chart did not make much of a difference with my class and their behavior. For the most part, it was my fault because I didn't follow through with most of the consequences. My students quickly understood that turning their cards to red really didn't ruin their day so much. So I have decided to change things up a bit. 
I came across this website one night while I was searching for ideas. This teacher uses a clip chart method which requires some construction paper, glue, and wooden clothespins. Once you have it together, it should be laminated and then it's done! When the students reach the outstanding section, they add a gem to their clothespin. (This will go with my under the sea theme! I'll put a treasure box at the top of the chart but I'll need a cute title!) I know my students will be excited to fill up their clothespins with jewels. What I love the most about this method is that students do it all on their own. They move their clips up or down when they are caught doing something good... or bad! If their clip reaches the "outstanding"box, they  receive a "happy postcard" to send home to their parents. Click on this link to see her great postcard. 
The students who get to red receive a behavior reflection form for their parents to sign and return. Here's the link for that.

Can't wait to make mine! I'll post pics when I do.

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For The Classroom

I absolutely love shopping for my classroom. I've made a few trips to Walmart, Michaels, and Lakeshore. These are a few things I got at Lakeshore. One of my goals this year is to be able to organize student work and center materials in a more organized manner. I still haven't found what works for me.. Hopefully these items will help me do that.

Welcome to Charmed In Third Grade!

Welcome to my first ever blog--- Charmed In Third Grade! After a few short weeks of stalking blogs and becoming a blog addict, I've decided to venture out and create a blog about my passion, teaching 3rd grade! I hope to network, continue to learn about the art of teaching, and of course collaborate and share ideas with other teachers!

I have been teaching for 6 years. I have taught Kindergarten, 3rd and 4th grade. Most of my 6 years has been in third grade. I LOVE teaching! It truly is my passion. I often look for teachable moments all day with my own children. I knew I wanted to teach as a child. I would torture my little brother in front of my easel pretending to be his teacher day in and day out! Needless to say, playing school was his least favorite thing to do... 

I went to Queens College CUNY and graduated with my Bachelors & Masters degree in Education. I've completed my 30 credits through online courses as well. I enjoy cooking, shopping, vacationing, and being with my family and friends... 

I hope you enjoy my blog and ideas!