Monday, January 19, 2015

Classroom Management

Classroom management is not classroom discipline. Classroom management is the procedures, routines, and expectations that you have in place to keep students organized, orderly, and on task to be successful in your class.

Effective teachers use classroom management strategies to help maintain an educational environment conducive to learning. When teachers implement these classroom strategies in their classroom, classroom behaviors that impede learning are decreased.

“High expectations are the key to everything.” ~ Sam Walton

All classrooms are different, but I have had much success when I provide my students with clear expectations and solid procedures for students to follow. You must day one being firm and consistent. Explain, teach, and model all classroom procedures and routines.  The success of your school year will all depend on how well you provide clear expectations for your students.

Room Setup

I always begin my new semester of teaching with a blueprint of how I want to setup my room. The flow of the room arrangements is very important in keeping order. As students walk into my classroom I have my Student Center set up. My Student Center is where students turn in their assignments (Inbox), pick up absent work (Absentee Folder), Weekly Notes Notebook (where all notes for the week is kept for students who are absent to copy), and sign-in if they are tardy. On the board behind the Student Center, students will find the daily agenda, objectives, important information, homework, etc. This gives students an opportunity to know is expected each day in class. It definitely eliminates the questions such as: What’s the date? What’s for homework? What are we doing next?

Clear expectations are provided to students for turning in assignments and collecting missing work when they are absent. It takes 21 days to form a habit, so I make sure to say and correct mistakes in these procedures for at least the first month of school. Most students get it after the second week, but I give them a month before they are penalized for not following my expectations.

At the back of my classroom I have my Supply Center, which includes a paper, a pencil sharpener, calculators, math manipulatives, scissors, markers, etc. This has worked great for me because it eliminates classroom interruptions while students are learning. Students are free to borrow any supplies to assist them in being successful in my class.

I am always rearranging my student’s seating arrangements base on the assignments we are doing in class. From single rows to grouping, I believe seating arrangements should be an important part of your lesson plans. Seating students base on ability and behavior is key to a successful lesson. To help with the constant change, I create a seating chart using a file folder and post-it notes. This allows me to rearrange the seating arrangements daily, weekly, or whenever. At the beginning of the year, students completes a getting to know you card that is used as name plates for new seating arrangements.

Procedures and Expectations

Teaching and modeling procedures and expectations for students is essential to an effective classroom management system. I define procedures as a list of expectations students should follow to make the classroom conducive to learning. Procedures include, but not limited to, how to enter the class, turning in work, sharpening your pencil, using the restroom. The key to students correctly doing exactly what you need for them to do is modeling, and correcting, until it becomes second nature to them. 

Expectations are a set of rules that creates a safe and orderly environment for students to thrive successfully in. Expectations should be stated as positive statements and be limited to no more 5. In my class I have a class motto, mission, and vision instead of rules. My students are scholars in my classroom and we use the motto, mission, and vision to make wise decisions. When students are not choosing to make good decisions, a quick reminder that the behavior is not what a scholar would do redirects them. I have found this method to be very effective.

Of course their will always be a student who decides not to demonstrate the best behavior or make the best decisions, in this case use a combination of redirecting and refocusing techniques to remind them what scholars do. If you have started the year by developing a relationship with your students, this redirecting and refocusing will be effective. They key is how well you have developed that relationship at the beginning. Base on your class, other consequences (removal from the class, detention, etc.) might be needed. A great guide is using the RESPECT model (page )for defusing classroom behaviors. Just remember to be firm and consistent from day one.

My Classroom Management Resource Pack will be available February 1st. In this pack I have shared will help your create an effective classroom management system that will allow your students to be successful. Get your copy via PayPal or check my Teachers Pay Teachers Store for your copy for $6.99
Now available...only $5.00 for a limited time only

Get our students understanding on topics. You can easily assess students on each topic.

The resource pack has forms, documents, and advice on ways to manage your classroom effectively.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Vine, Memes, Selfies, Oh My!

How amazing is it to integrate your students' world into their classroom activities. You can Vine, Memes, and Selfies to help motivate and inspire your students to learn. All subject areas and grade levels can integrate them into daily classroom activities.

I think we are awesome for quick formative assessments and vocabulary.

Even if you do not have these apps, students can use their cameras on their cell phone, tablets, laptops and or desktops to create these amazing creations.



Doing It For the Vine


Meme for Order of Operations

Students will find a picture to use and create a Meme that shows their understanding of Order of Operations. 

I think the things you can do with these are limitless. In math I will use these for vocabulary, formative assessments, showing steps, and word problems. I will share our creations as we continue into the semester.

To see more ideas and student creations, be sure to 

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Using Google to Flip Room 117

It has been so fun using Google to create my flipped classroom.

I started with unloading and organizing all my files in Google Drive. I created Folders for everything...Student Portfolios, Units, Assessments, Class Forms, Vocabulary, etc. It has really helped me to get everything in one location and throw away by millions of flash drives.

After completing this task, I then created my Google Calendar. I am using Google Calendar as my Paperless Lesson Plan Book and as my students Daily Agenda. I am able to easily share my Lesson Plans to Admins if needed by sharing with them my calendar. On our student blog , students can go to our Calendar Page and view what we are doing each day. Google Calendar also allows me to import attachments. This is the perfect tool to keep students up-to-date on what we doing, especially if they are absent.

Each day, students will go to the calendar on our Google Blog site. They will click on the date and begin their daily activities. All assignments will be completed and downloaded into their personal Google Drive account. I require each student to create a folder to submit required assignments. The folder is shared to me, so that I can easily access it. I can comment on the assignment in Google Drive and students are able to see the outcome.

Some of the student's projects will be placed in their digital portfolio which will be using Google Sites.  Writing assignments and blogging activities will also be completed on their Google Site.

Google has provided me with a one-spot tool that can provide me with everything I need to Go Paperless in our Flip Classroom. More tools will be added as we move into the semester. I will update this post often as we experience our Google Flip Classroom model.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Preparing A New School Year with the 4c's of 21s Century Learning

It' less than 2 weeks away...we are about to embark on another educational journey. I always get excited to begin a new school year. This year is extra exciting because we are going 1:1. Each of our students will have a MacBook Air to learn 21st century skills in each of their classes.

In my classroom, students will embrace the 4c's of Century Learning.

The foundation of the 4c's will begin with the understanding of each mathematical topic in Math 1.

With 1:1 I can continue with my Flipped Classroom. It will be much easier to hold gets accountable because each of them will have technology. I've saved all my videos as a file in the event students do not have Wifi. I like YouTube videos better to teach concepts to my students. Each video was saved as a MP4 file using Clip Converter.

Google Drive is my storage hive. I created a shared student folder for each unit that have all videos, homework, and lap book (we will discuss soon) worksheets. Students can save each file for later use.

Google will play a large role in my Flipped Classroom. Google Sites Announcement will be use to provide students with their Math Workshop Assignment and Resources. Students will also use it in combination with Google Drive for their Digital Portfolio (I will post this soon. Still working out details. )

When students have an understanding of the topic and have practiced the concepts learned, we will enter into the 4c's Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, and Communication.


Working together to solve critical thinking problems is the core of Math 1. Students will be completing Math Workshops for each unit. Each Math Workshop will consist of a Problem Base Learning Activity. Students will work together in Groups to complete their MathWorkshop. Math Workshops will be posted using Google Sites Announcement.

Collaboration tools we will use includes....


Today's Meet is a BackChannel website that will be used for quick communication during class. You only have 140 characters for your response.


Critical Thinking

Math Workshops ~ This site will have all information and links for our Math Workshops.

Socrative ~ ROOM: SHSRoom117 ~ Socrative will be used as an assessment tool throughout our unit.

Kahoot ~ Video trivia game to assess your level of understanding throughout the unit.

Blogging ~ Students will blog with their digital portfolio using Google Sites. Each student will create their own page. Blog of the week will be posted and shared via Twitter and Facebook.

ThingLink ~ Make images interactive with words, music, and video.


The key to any successful relationship! I will be communicating with my students and parents with
Remind 101, Google Voice, Google Blog, Facebook, and Twitter (Follow us @4Room117). Parents will be able to have a full look into our classroom each day. With the digital communication tools, students will be able to get help after school hours.
Twitter ~ @4Room117

Google Voice ~ Our Text to Learn number is 704-856-9076. You can text me or screen shot me a picture of your problem and I will text you through it. Text to Learn is Monday - Friday 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm. If you have questions or issues about any class related concerns you can also use the Text to Learn number.

Facebook ~ Come look into Room 117 as we share with you what we are learning.

Email ~ or are ways to reach me.


Students will create innovation presentations and projects throughout the semester. Projects such as Vocabulary, Math Workshop presentations, and  Word Problems will allow students to think outside the box and get creative in the math classroom.


Powtoon ~ A web 2.0 tool to create animated presentations and animated videos.

Glogster ~ Glogster allows students to combine videos, music, sounds, pictures, text, data, etc. in a digital poster format.

Go Animate ~ An animated video creation program.

Voki ~ A tool that all students to create their own talking character.

ThingLink ~ Make images interactive with words, music, and video.


The key to any successful relationship! I will be communicating with my students and parents with
Remind 101, Google Voice, Google Blog, Facebook, and Twitter (Follow us @4Room117). Parents will be able to have a full look into our classroom each day. With the digital communication tools, students will be able to get help after school hours.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Digital Storytelling with Word Problems

My students always groan when I give them a textbook assignment or worksheet with word problems. 

After the 3rd groan, moan, and sad looks, I decided to use digital media to help me. 

Students were given a list of word problems to choose from to create and solve an equation. 

For this assignment I choose Sonic Pic for their digital tool. I was so amazed at the excitement and engagement they showed. 

I will continue to use digital storytelling as a means to solve word problems. Some tools I will integrate into the assignments will be:
-Sock Puppet

Students can use digital storytelling to create and solve word problems, explain a vocabulary, show their understanding of a specific topic. 

The key is motivating and inspiring them to be creative and innovative learners. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Digital Storytelling

Digital storytelling is a great way for students to share their knowledge in a fun and creative way. 

Their are many Web 2.0 tools and Apps students can use to have a fun digital storytelling experience. 

In honor of Dr. Seuss Birthday and Read Across America Day, students in my Math 1 class are creating digital stories about fractions. We have partnered with 2 elementary 5th grade classes to share our stories with. 

Although Fractions are not part of our curriculum, this project will provide my students with the opportunity to give back. It's allowing them to be creative and learn problem solving strategies. 

Students will use Keynote to create their digital stories and then save it as a PDF. From a PDF, they can they have it opened in iBooks. 

I'll share stories and pictures as we complete them! 

More to come....

Monday, February 3, 2014

Flipping 4 Room 117

It has been such a long time since I've posted on my FIT blog! Recently I've been so busy.

And...I finally started my flip classroom. Teacher tested, kids approved. Check out what we are doing at:

Beginning February 3, we will have Tech Tuesday where I'll share a tech tool, activity, or project for you to use. If you have any suggestions, email me at Be sure to put Tech Tuesday help in the subject line.