Monday, July 20, 2015

A Spin On Homework

Homework...can sometimes seem like a four letter word to a student and a teacher. I cannot tell you how many times this year I was scrambling around trying to find or make homework for my students. Many of my students do not have the consistent support at home to assist them with their homework so a fraction of my class does not come to class with their homework. We do not grade homework but it is a factor on the behavior section of their report cards. Our school does Class Dojo so I give them points when they complete their homework and take away points when they don't complete it. Needless to say, homework is frustrating for all parties involved and feels like a waste of time...

I love coffee and drink it every day. There are some days that I stop and get coffee at Dunkin Donuts (yes, I am originally a New England girl so DD is in my blood). The best thing that Dunkin Donuts has come up with is their DD Perks Rewards Program!  
You earn rewards points every time you purchase something and once you get 200 points, you get a free beverage! Each month has different offers and sometimes a purchase can be worth more points. Can I tell you how excited I get about earning my free coffee?!?! I have two free coffees waiting for me to use on a rainy day! (btw, I was not paid to endorse this product, I just really like it!)

So I was drinking my iced coffee a couple of weeks ago and had an idea...what if I used this model with homework??? It was then that my Homework Rewards Club was born! 

Homework Rewards Club is designed to be a positive system that all your students can be apart of, all the time. It's hard to watch a student forget their homework once and then they are automatically out for the reward. With this club, every student has a chance to succeed. Here's how it works...

Each student will receive a Homework Rewards Punch Card, like this one

Every time a student completes their homework, they can get their card punched. In case you are worried about students cheating and punching their own cards, you can use a stamp or bingo marker before you punch it. (Isn't the crab cute?) If you want to save paper, you can laminate them and cross the numbers off with a dry erase marker. If a student did not bring in their homework, they do not get a punch on the card but they can try again tomorrow. Once the students have filled their card, they can get a homework pass or a prize of your choice. 

I created a variety of punch cards with 7, 14, and 21 punches as well as 10, 15, and 20 punches on them. You can increase the time it will take for students to earn their prizes based on how many numbers they have. I made them in color as well as black and white.

Then to continue with the excitement, I am going to create weekly and monthly challenges. This is an opportunity for students to get multiple punches for completing a certain task. Maybe reading logs were a problem last month so this month, for every 5 days of reading you get an extra punch. We do not give out homework over the weekend but as a weekly challenge, a student could complete an extra activity over the weekend and earn an extra punch. I plan to display my weekly and monthly challenges on my homework board, along with students who have completed the challenges. I posted about my homework board last week for my Monday Made It. 

I believe this will be a fun way to motivate students to complete homework and gives everyone a chance to participate. The other students I think it will help will be my self motivated students. I had some students last year that could finish homework in five minutes or if I gave them a weekly packet, they would finish it the first night. I hope the challenges will give them a chance to shine and to be challenged. 

The biggest goal I have for myself now it to plan out homework and make it meaningful. If I don't like making the homework, the students probably don't like doing it. 

I am really excited about starting the Homework Rewards Club in my classroom and I plan on giving updates and tips on how to improve it as the year goes on. If you are interested in using this club in your classroom, my Homework Rewards Club Pack is available in my TPT store!

Monday, July 13, 2015

First Monday Made It!

Today's post is another first for me. I am linking up for

I only have one thing that I made this week but that's steps! 
Last week, I was shopping at Michael's, looking for inspiration and I found it! They had a section that was 70%, which I was completely excited about! I ended up buying a cork board that was originally 20 dollars and I got it for 8! 
I decided I was going to use the board for my Homework Rewards Club. What's that you say? Tune in to my blog tomorrow for more about it!

I went to Target and I got these cute star clothes pins that came in packs of three for one dollar. I glued thumbtacks to the back of the clothes pins so I can put them anywhere on my board. I used hot glue but it didn't stick well to the tack. Crazy glue or tacky glue would be better.

I used cut out letters to make my sign and put tacks on the back of the signs. I like the thought of moving them around whenever I need to. I used a silver sharpie to write on the clothes pins because I figured I wouldn't change what is written on them.  

This is what the board looks like with the Homework Rewards Club information on it. I will go into more detail tomorrow about what my Homework Rewards Clubs Pack includes and how to use it in your classroom!

I hope you enjoyed my Monday Made It and I hope it's the first of many for me!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

My first Currently!

Happy July! I am so excited to link up with Oh Boy Fourth Grade
for the July Currently! I have watched many bloggers participate and I am glad that I am finally joining in! I had entered a contest several months ago with Oh Boy Fourth Grade and won the class version of Currently. I did it a couple of times in class and my students had a good time with it! Anyway, here is mine!
Listening to the new Lifehouse album Out of the Wasteland. I love Lifehouse! It was a band I enjoyed listening to in high school and college. I went to a concert with my sister in college and it was great! It's nice to hear something new because it's been a while since their last album. 

Loving Summer Break! I have been on summer break for 8 days and it feels great! I had a rough group of students this year and I definitely need some time off to regroup and get ready for next year. There are still PD sessions I am going to and working on my blog but I am looking forward to relaxing and spending time with my husband and son!

Thinking about ideas for products. I am loving this TPT Seller Challenge that I am involved in! It's the jump start that I needed to get serious. I have been jotting down ideas left and right and hopefully putting them on the computer soon. 

Wanting to go to the beach. We haven't gone yet but I hope we can soon, maybe for our anniversary. The beach is about 2 or so hours away so it definitely has to be a planned trip. I am not a big beach bum but I do like going at least once during the summer.

Needing motivation to work out more. I want to be smaller but my motivation just isn't there. I would like to get on a routine with working out and eating less sweet things. 

All Star to be bold. I want to be bold with my beliefs and what I know is right even if it's not the popular choice. I would also like to be more bold with people. I tend to be a people pleaser and do what others want. I want to voice my opinions and not be afraid.

Here's to a great July!