How To...Be On Brand 100% Of The Time

In my own personal effort to #ExpandMTBoS, I'm continuing a category of blog posts called 'How To' so I can share the strategies behind the resource. I hope new and veteran teachers alike can find something useful. Click on the tag to the right for more posts!

First off, you should know by now that I love chevron. I have chevron in every room of my house, all over my classroom, my teacher bags, even my clothes. Because I love chevron so much, students will let me know when they see something chevron that I should get. Sometimes they even buy me stuff. They think of places for me to put chevron in places I don't even think of putting it. My favorite colors are ocean colors: teal, mint, aqua, seafoam. They are also part of my classroom. Students associate those two things with me and that's part of my brand.

Now as a perfect transition:

Powerpoint Templates- I make chevron borders for the top and bottom of my powerpoint templates from a chevron background on google. I save this to my 2018-2019 school year folder names as "Chevron Template". 

Anytime I make a new powerpoint, I start with this template and duplicate the slides. If I need more room, I just delete the bottom border and keep the top. My SMART board won't let me write on my powerpoints so I print them to the SMART Notebook Writer and it coverts them all to notebook files. I spent a RIDICULOUS amount of time this summer changing ALL of my powerpoints for ALL four preps and printing them all to Notebook. I doubt anyone will even notice that I changed from teal and green chevron to teal and gray chevron but...it makes me happy. And matches my classroom. Somehow I slowly phased out the lime green from my classroom without even realizing it?

Worksheet headers and footers- I call my worksheets 'handouts' instead and I don't know why but somehow it helps. My goal every year is to use less handouts than the previous year. How would you even know that, you ask? Because I label them! At the bottom of worksheets and study guides I put a footer that says Handout #. I just number them throughout the year and this is also how the students keep them organized correctly.

For handout headers, I put the skill number and the title of the skill underneath the course title.

Quizzes and tests have separate sections in their binder. I put quiz or test in the header with the matching skill number instead of the Handout footer.

Binders- Students have three sections in their binders: handouts, quizzes, and tests. All papers go in their binder and stay there all year. Interactive notebooks (composition notebooks) go in the left binder pocket. I pass out zip pencil bags with binder ring holes in them. I also give them a dry erase marker and mechanical pencil to store inside. All of these materials stay on a bookshelf in my room. Rarely, students will take these home to 'study' and they always ask me for permission, very seriously.

Bell Ringers- From day one, there is something on the SMART board screen for them to do. The first couple days are actual instructions, then we jump right into daily Bell Ringers. I have a giant powerpoint (that I update annually) for the entire year for every prep. I save it to my desktop and it stays open basically everyday. When class ends I just open it up for the next period and freeze the screen.

VRG- I use http://flippity.net to change seating charts every two weeks. Every other Monday, instead of the bell ringer, they will see their seating chart. My chairs are in groups of 2-3 and labeled with numbers. I use the team option. This year I am working on using whiteboarding more often and I will use this to send students to the board in partners. All of this switching helps students get comfortable working and sitting with anyone since it's only for a short period of time.

What Did You Do This Weekend?- Every Monday I ask this question. Every. Sometimes I get no answer and sometimes I can't get everyone to stop answering. If I forget for even a few minutes, they remind me. This is my #2 recommended strategy for building classroom culture (#1 is the two nice things rule). Some people individually ask every student; I've done that some but mostly just a free for all.

Supplies- I am also the keeper of all the random supplies. Students have come to me to borrow plastic silverware, tinfoil, fingernail clippers, lint rollers, tweezers, air freshener, scissors, glitter, markers. I have clorox wipes and baby wipes. plates, cups, paper, walmart bags, etc. Why do I have all this? I don't know, somehow it just happened...but if you need something random, my classroom is the place to be.

I do the same routines with every course so they are pretty well trained after ninth grade with me.

I feel like anything that you do consistently becomes your 'brand'. Other things that students 'expect' from my 'brand':

  • Dry erase everything
  • Using technology somehow
  • Everything is organized
  • Bright colored paper will be involved
  • No free days, finishing something means there's something else to start
  • Probably going to color code something
  • I never sit down
  • I'm never absent
  • I'm always overdressed
  • I never forget two nice things
  • I make a big deal out of birthdays
  • I decorate for holidays
To sum it up,

I'm extra.

I do too much.

100% of the time.

And that's my brand.

No comments:

Post a Comment