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Monday, January 23, 2012

It's NOT Fair! The Frog Desk Fairy forgot to leave me a treat! ( & LINKY PARTY)

How do you encourage your students to keep their desks clean and orderly?  I use the "Frog Desk Fairy"!  She comes by unannounced and at random times when no one is in the room. It is so exciting because she will leave a card with a little prize attached.  I had these cards made  I mean, The Desk Fairy had these cards made at *Vista Print*.  They are just a different use for business cards.

The students love finding these on their desk with a brand new pencil or other party favor type trinket.  Sometimes the  Frog Desk Fairy leaves classroom tickets that students use to "buy" things from the treasure box.

Everyone LOVES the Frog Desk Fairy! Well, I guess not everyone. The unorganized, messy desk keepers hate dislike her!  They try and try to keep their desk clean but they just can't!  (By the way, I fall into this group! LOL!)  All I hear is, "it's not fair! The Desk Fairy never leaves me anything".  I do remind the students that everyone has the same chance to keep their desks neat and orderly so it actually is fair but nonetheless I still hear the complaints.

I think I've come up with a solution. I actually "borrowed" this solution from another teacher who shared the idea during a workshop one day.  Anywho, now all the kids (even the ones who are neat challenged) can keep an orderly desk.   First I had my messy desk keepers empty out their desks completely. Boy, did we find some treasures.... we found many of my books, some snacks, some snack wrappers, love notes, cut up erasers, jewelry, and even sea shells!

Once the students took everything out of their desk I helped them remember what was supposed to be kept in their desk,  what was supposed to be kept in their supply boxes, and what should be kept at home!  Then I handed everyone the cover to a box of  paper reams.    The students were instructed to put their spirals, folders, and binder in their box covers along with any books they were currently reading.

The students were told that nothing could stick out of the box covers but as you might notice in the picture with the binder  some things didn't fit flat in the box cover but I accepted it because it was just a little bit and did not make a difference when we placed the filled box top in the desk.
The box cover becomes a "drawer" for the student desks.  The students are not allowed to put in anything extra unless it fits in the "drawer".  Pencils can be kept on the side of the drawer but that is the only exception.   Every time a student needs something from their desk they have to completely pull out the drawer, pull out the item, and then put the drawer back.  When they put something away, its the same thing.....they have to pull out the drawer and have to put the item away before setting the drawer back.  Yes, it took a short amount of time to get use to but it works!!!!!!!!!!!!  Now when the Frog Desk Fairy comes for a visit she coincidentally leaves prizes for a lot more students.

Join my linky party by sharing your classroom organization tips below.  Don't forget in order to participate you need to create a post and link to that specific post (not just the home page of your blog) and you must mention/link my linky party in your post.  Can't wait to hear from you!

TBA's Ultimate Linky Party

Monday, January 16, 2012

I'm having an APPRECIATION raffle!

I appreciate you!  Yes, you......my FABULOUS followers!  Some new, some old previously experienced followers but all FABULOUS!!!!!

There will be 14 lucky individual winners!  All you have to do is follow my blog and fill out  the form below.  The contest starts today, Monday, January 16th and will end on Friday, January 20th at midnight (central time zone).  Winners will be picked using the random number generator and will be announced on the following Saturday.   One entry per person please. First name drawn will win the first prize on the list, the second name will win the second prize, and so on.

Here are the list of prizes:

I would like to thank all the awesome friends who donated prizes!  I appreciate all of you too! Prizes are in no particular order......they are all FABULOUS prizes!  Scroll down to the glue puddle to enter :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

It's that time again....Report Cards!

In my school district, it is time for report cards again.  Ours were due Friday, January 13th and will go home on Friday, January 20th.  I like to write positive comments but I also don't want to sugarcoat things.  As a parent myself, I like for teachers to be honest and not beat around the bush.   Back in October I blogged about report card comments and provided some suggestions ( click here to read "It's Report Card Time" ).  I've come up some some other suggestions that me or my co-workers needed.  * Click here to find comments about attendance, playground behavior and more *