Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fact Families and Classroom Management

First up, our last Math activity. We have been working on fact families, and I found some students struggling with the concept. I decided, with some inspiration from a turkey craft (here: and from my friend Danyell's grade one "family members" frames, to make "Fact Family Photos." This is a pic of her super cute grade one work: 

Since our school is up for accreditation this year (and the team just spent a weekend viewing the school and our curriculum implementation documents), I knew I HAD to do something about the state of my front door. It was, well, let's just say "not very welcoming." I thought of a catchy slogan ("It's a fact - we are family!") and threw the student's work up and it is just aaahhhhh - much better. Here is the final product  and a quick close-up of some student work for the fact family 10, 2 and 8. For some reason, she drew a 3-person instead of a 10-person. Ah, well! At least the number sentences are correct. (Though I see now that is hard to tell.)

Moving on.

One big thank you to the blogging world for leading me to the clip chart behaviour system at I was thinking, I don't want my students to quiver every time I reach for the white board marker because they think someone is about to get a warning. Instead, I want my students to feel responsible for any inappropriate behaviour.

After spending yet another Saturday morning at school this weekend, I did make my very own clip chart, and am VERY excited to introduce it to my class. I am tired of reserving a portion of my board for student names and check marks, and I am extra tired of this not actually working. It may work for one period, but afterwards, nuh-uh. A super colourful visual HAS GOT to be the cure for this! Right? I will see this week. Yes, there are only two weeks before vacation (I can almost feel the Sri Lankan heat! It is surprising just how cold a desert winter can be), but I figure I can get them used to it now and after the break there can be a simple reminder and then bring on the warnings. Muwah ah ah. Just kidding. But I really LOVE how this chart can be a huge focus on positive behaviour. It's one of my teaching goals - to always focus on the positive.

Woah, that picture is blurry. Everyone starts on "Ready to Learn" and can move up to "Always Listening," "Role Model," and "Amazing," or down to "Warning," "Time Out, "Recess Minutes," and "Office and/or Phone Call Home." I also made small charts that the students will colour and glue into their communication books to teach their parents about the system as homework. For those students that end the day on "Amazing," a tally chart to track amazingness and small notes to put in communication books. I am quite proud of the notes I made (OH! And I published them as PDFs so I don't have to worry about getting the IT password to have any new fonts installed on my school computer. Yay me!), but since I do not have the image rights, it is perhaps not the best idea to post these... At any rate, these are the files I made last night: Mini Clip Charts and Labels

I LOVE LOVE LOVE new fonts. I had no idea that I loved them so much. Many thanks to for all the free fonts. They're so great that even my teacher man is using them in his Art and English classes!


  1. LOVE IT :) your students are super lucky to have you :) I might have to borrow your fact family idea... you're awesome!

  2. What does it mean that my comment is awaiting moderation? Are you censoring comments?

  3. So let me get this DON'T want to be able to make your students quiver. Wow, we have very different classroom management strategies. My goals is to make a kids wet his pants! Just kidding.....or am I? Probably. Probably?

  4. It's probably a setting that I just haven't changed (read: don't know how to), but you shouldn't be censored any more. I'm a little glad it does that, though, because another teacher blogger at my school had to shut her site down after someone called her racist and completely insensitive to Kuwaiti culture in his/her comment on a post. Ouch!