Third time's a charm and a little Q&A

I have an update!  After several emails and comments about having trouble printing the clock numbers, I made a few changes with the word art that I used.  I also had to change the font because I don't have that font on the computer I am working on... BUMMER!  If you prefer the clock numbers I previously posted HERE, try printing them on "grayscale"- that worked for me!  Just to warn you, I haven't tried printing these clock numbers yet, so I'm not positive the problem is fixed!  Also, the reason I left them black/white is to conserve ink... let's face it, it's just stinkin' expensive!  So, print them on colored paper of your choice and you are good to go!

Now, it's time for some Q&A!  I am taking the most common questions I have received and am answering them here!

What programs do you use to make your classroom creations?
For the most part I use Microsoft Word and Power Point with DJ Inkers Clip Art and Fonts.  Power Point is the easiest program to use, but many of my old files are in Word, so I still use that also!  Here are some of my favorite DJ Inkers Products that I can recommend after purchasing:

DJ Inkers Font to purchase:
DJ Inkers Clipart to purchase:

How do you track your AR points?
Each student has an "AR ribbon."  Once, they earn 5, 10, 15, 20, etc points, they receive a card to add to their ribbon.  They have to meet that goal before they can add a card.  I check the points every Friday and add to the ribbons if needed.  You'll notice in my picture from last year that some students have several cards while some have none.  My students take AR tests during their free time, computer station, or during library, so they have to choose to take a test on their own.  I do not force them to take AR tests, because it is just an incentive program.

Also, I put the cards up myself with tape or hot glue.  At the end of the year the students take their ribbon home with it all filled up- their little faces light up with pride!

How do you use the rewards cards that you posted- HERE?
Can I just be real honest for a second?  I have not used them in my classroom yet haha!  After a year of unsuccessful stocking of the treasure box, I decided that I needed a change.  Not to mention the frowny face I get from the Mr. when I am loading up the Wal Mart cart with cheap toys and gadgets!  So, a change was in fact, necessary! Here is my plan for the upcoming year- I am going to have several of the rewards printed and ready to use at any given moment.  I might hand them out as I see good student behavior, but I'll also have them in a "treasure chest" type of box where the students can pick from them (for completing their reading logs, having good behavior for the week, etc.).  Some of the reward cards that I made came from suggestions from my followers, so I will not use EVERY card that I made.  For example, I will probably not use the lunch with the teacher, candy jar, stuffed animal, and a few others because it would not work for my campus or classroom expectations.  Does that make sense?!

How do you assign and rotate classroom jobs?
About every 2 to 3 weeks my students rotate jobs.  I like them to have their job long enough to do it well, but also not too long to where they just stop doing it at all!!!  Normally, I change jobs after hearing several times, "Mrs. Lemons, are we getting new jobs today?" haha!  I just take the popsicle sticks with the student names written on them, put them in a container, and draw a stick from the jar.  Each student chooses a job when their name is called.  If they decide not to have a job, that is fine too.  

Just a few things:
  • I buy most of my decorations from Mardel because it is pretty much the only teacher store within 40 miles of my house!
  • Because I make most of my things, I do use a lot of printer ink!  BUT... I try to print at school whenever possible.  The only bad thing is that I don't have a printer in my room (apparently the district is trying to weed out classroom printers :(  I told my campus secretary that I was going to have a heart attack when I first heard the news!)  Good news is that my classroom is literally next door to the teacher workroom so I can run and get papers very quickly!
  • I work very fast, and I'm not saying this to brag at all!!!  I just get comments like this a lot "Wow, that was fast!  How did you do it so fast?  How did you get it all done?  I wish I could work as fast as you!"  Let me just tell you, it's not always a positive thing!  I am one of those people that when I get an idea, I have to attack it right away.  I can't put things off because it drives me crazy.  I will literally stay up all night with my "to-do" list running through my head.  So, be thankful if you don't have this brain problem like me!
  • I do not speak Spanish haha!  I have a fabulous teaching partner that is a fluent Spanish speaker, and I adore her!  Here's how our relationship works- I offer to make anything as long as she will translate it for me.  Because our classroom labels, newsletters, notes home, word walls, etc have to be in both languages, I have to ask for help a lot (which is completely out of my comfort zone!)  She is very gracious and translates with a smile :)
  • I really like to use exclamation marks!!!! AND dot dot dots....
  • I literally live 1 minute from my school.  As soon as we moved into a new house I applied for a transfer, and I love it!  I don't even have time to listen to a full song on my way to work!
I think that's it!  If you have any other questions, just let me know!


Cyndy said...

I am also the English component of a dual team. I am not a Spanish speaker and my partner also translates EVERYTHING as long as I make it! LOL! I WISH I worked quickly! But I also don't sleep when my to-do list is long. That's the tyoe A in me, but then there is the perfectionist... I think that's why I don't work fast enough. I hope I get faster but this will be my 10th year of teaching so I won't hold my breath! LOL!
Counting with Coffee

Angela said...

Thanks for the new clock numbers. The other ones worked well for me, but these are cute as well! I like your reward cards. A few years ago, I bought a lot of those small toys and cheesy (cheap) items for my class store. I think I'm going to continue the store with my 1st/2nd graders this year, but I'm trying to wean the toys out and only offer cute school stuff... fun pens, colorful pencils, etc.

Mrs. Lopac Teaches...

LaKeta said...

Thank you for the clock numbers!!! I appreciate you sharing them:)

I am your newest follower!!!

Come check out my teaching blog


Lauren Morse said...

I new there was something I liked about you- ha! I like to work fast too. When I have an idea it has to be done right away, even if that means putting other things on hold. My teacher friends don't always understand my "obsession" with getting things done. But, I also can't sleep until it's done.
You have so many cute ideas. I really want to print off your alphabet cards to hang in my room but my ink is running low and I figured my old ones would have to do for now. I'm loving the "important times" display in my room. It was just perfect to fill up a wall that needed a little change. Thanks for sharing!
Just Add Clipart

Lauren Morse said...

TYPO!! "knew" not "new". I hate when that happens!

Rebecca Rojas said...

Love the AR Ribbons! I pinned it!!! I'm thinking of doing something similar with number of books read!


Lisette said...

I love the idea of AR ribbons too!! By any chance, do you have those safari animal point cards available for sale? I'm doing a safari theme this year, and they're just perfect. Thanks!

amy.lemons said...

Lisette- Here they are:

Lisette said...

Thank you Amy!! <3

Ashley R said...

You are AMAZING! I am so thrilled I found your blog! I am starting the school year with a long term sub job (I have been certified for 5 years and haven't had any luck in the job hunt)and I am downloading all your freebies to use in my (temporary) room! I am so excited! Thank you so much for all of your wonderful ideas!

Becca said...

Thank you for the clock numbers. I added them to my classroom clock, I can't wait until we teach time now!

hwalker said...

I finally got my clock up and running. Thanks for sharing!

Patty Rutenbar said...

Our school has some AR awards that you might want to think about. We give a free book for every 10 point award. We value books and have parent organization help to cover that cost. Simple other 10 point awards are putting a book plate in their favorite book in the library, getting their picture taken while reading inside or on top of their locker, then posted on a hallway bulletin board, reading the morning announcements, eating with the teachers, making a book mark, and their name in a drawing for a larger prize.

The Teachaholic said...

Love the AR goal ribbons!

Just became a follower.


Christina Marie said...

I love the AR ribbons! We do a similar Scholastic program at school called Reading Counts or RC. I want to make this for my class!

My question is this, what do you put on the cards attached to the ribbon. Is that the book title?