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How We Implemented The House System Inspired by The Ron Clark Academy at Our School

How We Implemented the House System Inspired by Ron Clark and why you should too. Check out these simple steps to make your class more amazing.

Welcome!

We are so excited to be rolling out the House System, inspired by The Ron Clark Academy, to our entire school! As we posted pictures on Instagram and videos of our students participating in House activities, we were asked by many of you to share how we implemented it at our school. You asked and we are answering!

How to roll out the House System inspired by Ron Clark. Check out these simple steps to add tons of fun to your class. You won't believe how easy it is!

Before we get started…

Before we go any further, we want to make sure that you are familiar with The Ron Clark Academy. If your aren’t, you have just hit THE JACKPOT! You will never be the same! We had the pleasure of going to their two day training in Georgia and it has COMPLETELY changed the teachers that we are today. If you want to read about our Top Takeaways from our visit, check out this blog post BY CLICKING HERE. Just in case you haven’t heard of The Ron Clark Academy or the House System, we are going to share a few links with you to direct you to the right place!

The Ron Clark Academy Home Page

See what we are talking about with this RCA Experience Video!

Link to download their App (If you download their app, you will get a ton of free tools, guides and resources!)

Overview of what The House System is

Now, Let’s Get Started! Welcome to OUR House!

Why you should implement the House System inspired by Ron Clark at your school. Our students love belonging to a house! Click here and learn more about the House System.

After hearing Hope King and Wade King speak about the House System, we just knew that we had to bring this back to our school! It was exactly what our school needed… a positive school culture that focused on lifting each other up! What school doesn’t need that, right?!

Now, where to start?

This is a huge task! How were we going to roll out the House System to a staff that had never even heard of it before? Because we went to the training in December, and half of the school year was already over, we decided that we would pilot it just in our grade level. This was a great decision because we were able to work out the kinks and ease the staff into the idea along the way.

We decided to stick with the names that The Ron Clark Academy uses for their houses… if it isn’t broke, why fix it, right?! The names are Reveur (dreamers), Alturisimo (givers), Isibindi (courage), and Amistad (friendship). Our grade level started by taking our class lists and assigning houses in a random pattern down the list. We believe that assigning houses should be at random. One teacher in our grade level was also assigned a house at random to “lead.” We decided to have our students discover their house at a fun get together. Each student was given an envelope. We got together and everyone opened them at the same time and their houses were revealed inside. Students were then given a t-shirt with their matching house.

House Points

 

House Scoreboard and Points Freebie. Click here and learn how change the way your students behave! You won't believe how easy and effective using House Points is!

Houses earn points for positive behaviors. Each House is a team that works together to collect points. As a grade level, we decided on what behaviors should be rewarded. Check out the FREEBIE for the behaviors that we chose. These behaviors were just a guideline. Points could be given for any reason that the teacher felt was appropriate. Points were collected on a “scoreboard” in each teacher’s classroom. At the end of the week, we submitted how many points each House earned into a Google Sheet and the points were tallied. The points were revealed at our House Meetings.

House Meetings

Our grade level chose to hold House Meetings every Friday. We did these House Meetings the last 30 minutes of the day, and it was an event we all looked forward to attending. Our House Meetings were divided into 2 15 minute blocks of time. Each House met for the first 15 minutes by themselves. During this time, students got together and created a chant/cheer/dance that they would perform for the grade level. Teacher sat back and watched. WARNING: This is hard to do!!!!!! You want to jump in and offer suggestions and give them tips. RESIST! Why? We decided to to this because students gain ownership and learn how to work together this way! Trust us! It gets better with each meeting. By the end of the year, our students ROCKED teamwork and communicating with each other. They also gained so much pride for their House!

For the last 15 minute block of time, we all gathered in one classroom and celebrated and lifted each other up in a variety of ways! Check it out below!

Learn how to engage your students through music. Students love music. Click here and learn the simple steps to add music into your class. Plus grab our FREE music lyrics!!!

Music

We always started our House Meeting with songs and music! Students love music and singing, so why not use that to our advantage? We wrote songs that were to the instrumental versions of songs that our students knew and loved. We had four that we sang at every House Meeting.

Read all about using music students love with messages you love. You will change the whole culture of your class with just a little music. Plus grab our FREE music lyrics.

Each song that we sang had a different message, whether it be teamwork, positive school vibes, or just plain fun! Students were singing these songs all day long. We also found that they made for a great brain break!

Our Little Secret…

Let’s just get this straight right now. FACT. WE CANNOT SING OR DANCE… neither of us. This idea terrified us when we went to the training. Here’s where the beauty of taking a song the kids already know comes into play. All you have to do is write new lyrics, go onto YouTube and find the instrumental version, and then have your students sing the song with your new lyrics. Type those lyrics up, put them on a projector and watch the magic happen!

Let us help you use song and dance in your classroom. Click here and read the simple steps that require no work on your part! Plus grab our FREE music lyrics.
Click here and read why music should be part of your daily routine and grab our FREEBIES.

Part of Your Routine

The key is to have students sing these songs multiple times throughout the day so that when it comes to the House Meetings, they’ve got them down!  Students usually only needed to practice each song for  few days until they had them memorized. We sang them in line walking down the hallways, in between lessons, as a reward at the end of the day, as they were packing up. etc… Break up your day and sing about loving school!

We know what you’re thinking…

Right now, you may be thinking, “Wow, I would love to do this, but do I really have to write a song?” NO! We have got you covered! Here are four songs that you can use in your class starting tomorrow… or better yet, TODAY! We have done the work, so ENJOY!
Calling all teacher who want to add music to their classrooms but don't know where to start!!!! We have just the thing for you....lyrics to 4 songs FREE just for you! Check it out!

Here are videos of the songs so you can get some ideas of what they look like!


(We didn’t get the “Juju on that Beat” song in a stand alone video, but if you watch our assembly performance below, you can see that one too! )

Want to add music to your class but you don't want to write the songs? We've done the work for you. We've taken popular songs and tweaked them to work in the class. Grab them by clicking here.

Rewards

The other way that we lifted each other up in our House Meetings were through rewards, or maybe a better word would be recognition. In each House Meeting, we awarded one students from each House with a certificate. We gave a little speech, such as, “This young lady is getting an award today because she went above and beyond on her book report this week.” The reason can be for ANY positive behavior. The student came up and then earned the opportunity to spin the wheel (that we purchased on Amazon) for bonus points for their House. ALL students cheered EVERY student on!

Read about student recognition at House Meetings and how this will change your classroom culture. You won't believe how easy House Meetings are to implement. Click here and find out how.

Want these certificates for FREE? Click below!

 

 Click here and grab our House Certificates Freebies and read about how to implement the House System inspired by Ron Clark.

The Results:

Read about how the House System changed our school and how you can experience the same thing with a few simple steps.

At the end of the year, we unveiled what we were doing to the rest of our staff. Most of them already knew about it because they had seen the effects. The school was buzzing with excitement! Our grade level held an assembly where we performed our House Meeting so that everyone could see what it was all about. The students sang, cheered, gave awards, and smiled. We had students explain what a House was in their own words. Here is what they said:

“A House, to me, is a group of students that earn points for positive behaviors.” -Amistad

“A House, to me, is a way to have fun and be silly.” -Isibindi

“A House, to me, is a way to connect with students that are in my grade, but not in my class.” -Reveur

“A House, to me, is a group of students who cheer me on and make me feel special.” -Alturisimo

AMAZING, RIGHT????!!!!!

We also asked them why they liked the House System. Here’s what they had to say:

“I like being in a House because we get to make up cheers, sing and even scream and yell!” -Reveur

“I like being in a House because it makes school a fun place to be.” -Alturisimo

“I like being in a House because we get to make up songs, sing and dance.” -Isibindi

“I like being in a House because we get to see friends we don’t normally get to see very often.” -Amistad

We think it is safe to say that they enjoyed the House System! The students and teachers were PUMPED and ready to dive in to implementing the House System the following year!

CHECK OUT OUR ASSEMBLY HERE!

What We Saw that We Never Saw Before…

Before we wrap up this blog post, we have to tell you what we saw in our classrooms that we had NEVER seen before. We have both been teaching fourth grade for quite some time now. We had always thought that our classroom had a positive environment. Here’s what we discovered. Our classrooms had always had a positive environment that was dependent upon US. We were the ones that “made” students behave. We were the ones that told students to use kind words. After using the House System, the shift was that the STUDENTS were the ones in charge now. Scary for a teacher, right? Not really. It is amazing. Students were now cheering each other on without the push or “the look” from the teacher. Students were now using kind words on their own. The House System is STUDENT led. Talk about a powerful tool!

Read how to implement the House System inspired by Ron Clark and experience the joy students have by creating a postive school culture. It is truly life changing.Click here and learn how you can do the same for your school.

You might be asking, “What did the House get for having the most points at the end of the year?” Well, we don’t have an answer for you! We did not give a reward! You heard that right! We did NOT give an award! They never even asked! Not one student (out of 101) ever asked what they got for earning points. The positive experience, the feel good moments and the pride of having your House on top was enough.

Is your teacher heart happy? Ours is.

And our students’ hearts are happy too!

5 Ways to be That “Favorite Teacher” Every Child Begs to Have

Every time we end a school year, we always reflect upon what went well throughout the year and where we need to improve. Between the two of us, we have 26 years of experience teaching fourth grade. That’s a lot of reflection time! As the school year comes to an end, we often have students tell us that we are their “favorite teacher.” Don’t get us wrong… we know that this is a phrase that most students say to every teacher they have. In no way are we trying to say that we think that we are every student’s favorite teacher. We wish, right?! What we are saying is that we do have multiple students coming back to us each year after they leave our school and they still tell us that fourth grade was one of their absolute favorite years. So why is that? This is the question that we found ourselves reflecting upon at the end of this school year.

So What Does It Take To Make A Teacher “The Favorite?”

Here is our “Top 5 List!”  Are ya ready? We will be working our way backwards to the number one way to be that “favorite teacher.”

#5: Be a Teacher with Clear Expectations

#5: Be a Teacher With Clear Expectations

We all know that children need clear expectations. It is not a new idea. In order for students to learn they have to feel safe. When students know what is going to happen on a daily basis and what behaviors are acceptable, they feel safe and are ready to learn. To us, clear expectations means three things: routines, behavior expectations, and work expectations.

Routines are a part of having clear expectations. Routines are crucial to a child enjoying your classroom. Some examples of routines are: posting the daily schedule, knowing how to enter or exit the room, attendance and lunch count procedures, etc… This is a lot for a teacher to remember! We can’t tell you how many times we forgot to do something and the class fell apart. Here’s the secret we have learned over the years. Are ya ready? Here it is: YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT ALL! Guess what? There are kids in your class. One more secret… kids love to help! We have found that the easiest way to make sure that your routines happen is to assign jobs for your students to do! How many times have you planned for a sub and found yourself explaining every little detail so that the day can operate smoothly. If you put your students in charge of routines, all you have to write in the sub plans are: “The students run the day. Enjoy!” Sounds a little crazy, right? Nope. We do it. We promise. It works. Your students will thank you.

Clear expectations means that you have set up clear behavior expectations. Students should know what behaviors are acceptable. They will have more time to enjoy their learning in your room if the class knows how to behave. In our classrooms, we only have one rule. RESPECT. This one rule covers everything. In the beginning of the year, we hold frequent classroom meetings to discuss what respect looks like. If there is a frequent problem, hold another classroom meeting and let the students (not you) discuss the behavior and come up with a solution. Put it in their hands! Peer pressure is a wonderful thing! We want you to think about 5 behavior problems you have had this year. Seriously! Write them down or say them out loud! No, but really! Okay, can each one be corrected by asking the child if it was respectful? It’s fool-proof. Keep it simple.

Work habits are another important part of having clear expectations. Students will try to get away with doing as little work as possible! We all know that! Do you want to be that teacher that they know they can trick, or do you want them to respect you? If a child turns something in that doesn’t match your expectations, give it back! If you hold your students accountable for doing their work with excellence (Did you catch that? WITH EXCELLENCE) your students will take pride in their work and learning. There is a difference between just doing an assignment to get it done and turned in  versus spending time on an assignment and being proud of the outcome. Your students will thank you (over time) and bump you up their list to that coveted “favorite teacher” title.

#4: Be a Teacher who Teaches

#4: Be a Teacher Who Teaches

Okay, here’s one that we are a firm believer in. How many of us know of teachers who like to look like their students are busy learning, but really they’re just trying to keep those kids busy and quiet with something… anything until that final, glorious bell rings at the end of the day. Are you guilty of this? Probably not because the fact that you are reading this shows how dedicated you are to your calling! There are teachers that “teach” and teachers that REALLY TEACH! At the end of the year, when students look back at their year with you, what do you want them to say? We know that we want our students to say: “Wow, I never thought I could do everything I did this year!” We want them to be pumped about the academic language that they are now using and the amount of books that they have read. When students grow and reach that “unobtainable” goal, they will have YOU, their “favorite teacher,” to thank for guiding them!

#3: Be a Positive and Happy Teacher

#3: Be a Positive and Happy Teacher

Here’s a biggie! A lot of times, we focus on the way our classroom looks or the lessons that we teach, but how often do we focus on ourselves? YOU are the most important part of your classroom! YOU are what matters to your students! YOU! How much do you smile throughout your day? Do you sprinkle little jokes and bits of humor throughout your day? This is a much needed break for you and your students! Keep it fun! Students need to see the happy side of you! When you’re happy, your students are happy! When you’re positive, they’re positive! We have all seen teachers that grumble about how terrible their class is or how unmotivated or lazy their students are. Don’t be that teacher! Be positive! Be happy! Take care of yourself. Do things that make you happy when you’re not at work so that you can bring the happy and positive teacher your students need and desire to your classroom every day.

#2: Be a Teacher Who Cares

#2: Be a Caring Teacher

Student relationships are EVERYTHING! Take the time to get to know each of your students. We love conferencing with our students about their learning. Conferencing can be a huge and overwhelming idea that turns most teachers off. They might say, “I don’t have time for that,” or “I talk to my students all day long.” Here’s our question to you, “What about that child who doesn’t feel comfortable in whole class discussions, or for that matter, even small group discussions? Is that voice ever heard?” We were both one of those students who would NEVER share anything personal in a group setting. Set up one-on-one conferencing with your students. Here’s how we accomplish this “daunting” task. We conference with every child one-on-one every two weeks. During our 30 min independent reading/ reader’s workshop time, we conference with 3 students, for 10 minutes each.  We have a class size of 30 students, so at the end of two weeks, we have conferenced with each one. We start each conference with a quick little open conversation and then go into our academics. You will be amazed at how much you will learn during these quick little conferences. You will get to know them, and they will get to know you and how much you care about them!

#1: Be a Teacher Who Gives Them What They Want!

#1: Be a Teacher Who Gives Them What They Want!

Here’s the million dollar answer for being that “Favorite Teacher!” Drum roll, please…. Are you ready? Cue the black drape being pulled from the answer! BAM! GIVE YOUR STUDENTS WHAT THEY WANT! Your students want FUN! They want a fun teacher, they want learning to be fun and they want to do fun activities where they barely know they’re learning! The Rigorous Owl’s saying is, “If you’re bored, they’re bored.” Stop the boredom! If you dread coming to work every day or if you’ve done the same thing year after year, change it up! Try something new! Transform your room for the day! Teach outside! Dress up! Do something you never thought you would do! Sounds like a lot of work, right? Guess what? It is! BUT, it’s also fun! Get your grade level on board with you to lessen the work load! We worked side by side doing our own thing for the first three years of teaching and then slowly started doing classroom events together. After nine years of operating this way, we would both never go back. We are constantly looking for new things to try and new ways to bring content to life for our students. When we work together, it is half the work. Totally worth it. Let them experience learning first hand. Let them get excited! If you are learning about Native Americans, why not have them dress up like Native Americans for the day? Let other students see how much fun your students are having. You will probably get a few eye rolls from other teachers, but slowly, maybe they’ll ask what you’re doing and want to get in on the fun too. Being a child’s “favorite teacher” is contagious!

SO NOW WHAT?

Now that you’ve read about the five ways to be that “favorite teacher,” we want to help get you started! We love spoiling our followers and showering them with freebies and tips! You are a superstar! Our goal is to inspire you and send you off into your classroom with the tools you need to be successful. We have prepared one helpful freebie or link for each of these five ways to be that “favorite teacher!” Enjoy!

#5: Be a Teacher with Clear Expectations

Download these two FREEBIES! Just click on the images below! Enjoy!

#4: Be a Teacher Who Teaches

Check out how we plan our year and make sure that we cover all of our standards every year! We will be posting many more posts just like this one in the 2017-2018 school year. Be sure to follow us to be notified! Click here to see how we plan for the year!

#3: Be a Happy and Positive Teacher

I’m sure you are not the only one who could use a reminder once in a while about being a positive and happy teacher. We need constant reminders! We decided to post these in our staff lounge and workroom! You and your staff will enjoy this FREEBIE! Click on the image below!

#2: Be a Teacher Who Cares

Download this colorful reminder to post by your desk! Click on the image below!

 

#1: Give Them What They Want!

See for yourself what a classroom event looks like! We do many!

Click here to check out our Mystery/ Detective Classroom Event

Click here to see our POETRY SMACKDOWN Classroom Event

Click here to see our Back to School Boot Camp Classroom Event!

Click here to see our Market Day Classroom Event!

Need some resources to get you started?

We’ve got you covered! Click any of the pictures below! We chose some that would help you out with the 5 Ways to be That “Favorite Teacher!”

50 No Prep Classroom Reward Coupons Motivational Quotes Coloring Pages Classroom Jobs Career-Themed (Editable)

Classroom Awards        Back to School Boot Camp Brag Tags and MORE!

Market Day Event Bundle  Detective and Mystery Activities, Decor, and MORE!  Poetry SMACKDOWN Event

Vocabulary Interactive Notebook Common Core Standards YEAR LONG Bundle  5th Grade Grammar and Language Interactive Notebook  4th Grade Grammar and Language Interactive Notebook

End of the Year Blog Hop Giveaway!

Welcome to the END OF THE YEAR!

End of the Year Blog Hop Giveaway

It’s the End of the Year! We are just as excited as you! To celebrate, we are hosting an End of the Year Blog Hop Giveaway! We are working with some amazing bloggers and TPT sellers to raffle off a $100 Gift Card to Target and the chance to win up to 9 End of the Year products to use in your classroom!

Who couldn’t use $100 at Target for some SUMMER GOODIES?

To enter the $100 Target Gift Card GIVEAWAY, complete ALL of the tasks in the Rafflecopter below.

You MUST complete ALL of the tasks in order to win.

Good Luck!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Need Some End of the Year Activities?

ENTER OUR END OF THE YEAR

GIVEAWAY BELOW!

Your End of the Year Experts

We absolutely love the End of the Year with our students! You’ve worked so hard all year and now it’s time to enjoy your students! End of the Year Activities are a great way to reflect on the year, spend time with friends and just to relax and enjoy each other!

lasting memories with your students

Check out some of the fun End of the Year Activities we do with our students!

NO PREP ACTIVITY BUNDLES

    30 No Prep Activities   20 No Prep Technology Themed Activities

Our 30 No Prep End of the Year Activities are our number one top seller in our store! Here is some of our favorite feedback and the reasons why we believe it is our number one seller!

“This just made my life a whole lot easier!”

“Great resources for the end of the year… when my brain is fried!”

“The kids loved the activities and they lessened my STRESS!”

“Thank you for providing such a fun and meaningful resource for the end of last year. I will definitely be using this again this year!”

“I love that this has so much in one product! Thanks!”

“I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this product! It saved my bacon the last two weeks of school. We need to get our grades completed 8 days before the end of the year, and I’m always scrambling to come up with engaging activities for the kids so we all don’t go bonkers. This was just the ticket. Thank you so much!”

We could keep going, but we think you get the picture! All of the images above are NO PREP and are a LIFESAVER for the end of your year!

No Tired Like End of the Year Teacher Tired

End of the Year for the Reading TeacherEnd of the Year Book Awards   End of the Year Reading Yearbook

Calling all Teachers that LOVE READING!

These End of the Year Activities are for YOU!

End of the Year Book Awards:  Your students have read A LOT of your books over the year… and some of them are worthy of an award! Students vote for which books will win an award. If the book wins, it earns a bookmark and a label that goes inside the cover of the book! The bookmarks are a great way to recommend books to students the next year! The discussions you will hear will amaze you!

End of the Year Reading Yearbook: Your students have met MANY friends over the year in the books they have read in your class! This Yearbook activity takes the characters from students’ books and puts them into a class of their very own. Students draw the character and list their name and book title. Students then complete the Reading Yearbook just like a regular Yearbook! THIS ACTIVITY ROCKS!

Here is some feedback that pretty much sums it up perfectly!

“I cannot say enough about this product…WOW! It was the perfect way to end our year of Reader’s Workshop. The students especially liked “Classroom of Characters” and “Reading Memories”. It gave everyone, including myself, the chance to be reflective and look at how far we have come. It led nicely into our goal setting. The application is incredible. Thanks for creating something that teachers and students can enjoy together!”

“Great way to end the year! The kids loved revisiting all the stories we have read throughout the year! Thank you!”

Love creating READERS in your classroom? You deserve a FREEBIE!

End of the Year FREEBIE

Don’t Forget about Math and Writing!
End of the Year Color by Number     End of the Year Stationary

End of the Year Color By Number: Want your room to feel and look like summer, while students are learning? These Summer Color by Math pages will help your walls POP and have students begging for more math! Here’s why we (and you will) love this product: The best part of this product is the fact that these pages are self-correcting! We had students coming up to us and telling us that we made a mistake in the product… BUT the mistake was on THEIR part!!! Since they couldn’t find the answer or their colors didn’t match their neighbor’s, they IMMEDIATELY caught their mistakes. This is PERFCT for immediate feedback! Best all, I could do all of my grading with a quick glance!

End of the Year Summer Themed Stationary: Want your room to look more like summer? Want your writing wall to POP? This stationary bundle is great for writing with summer in mind! Students love coloring the borders and clip art!

End of the Year is near

LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN!

We are so excited to RAFFLE OFF our End of the Year Countdown to Summer Activities!

We love the end of the year and we know you do too! This Summer Countdown is just what you need to make the end of the year easy for you and fun for your students. Here, you have 26 days of fun, simple, cheap activities that will have your students looking forward to each day!

http://www.thelittleladybugshop.com/2017/04/end-of-year-activities-ideas-and-more.html

a Rafflecopter giveaway

End of the Year Memories    End of the Year Exciting

The way we make this fun and exciting is by hiding the day’s countdown activity card under a student’s chair. Each morning the students come to class and rush to check under their chair to see if the day’s activity card is underneath. The student with the card under their chair has hit the jackpot! Not only does that student get to announce the day’s countdown activity, but they also are in charge and get to hold the Countdown Basket which has the day’s supplies for the activity. So much fun! Everything is right here! We’ve done all the work for you so sit back and enjoy the end of your year!

Keep your students from bouncing off the walls

Send Your Kids Off to Summer with THIS!

End of the Year Send Off Activity Bundle

End of the Year Send Off Bundle: Want to leave a lasting impression on your students and have parents thanking you? This End of the Year Send Off Activity Bundle is just what you need. This is a great gift to give to your students at the End of the Year. They can complete it over the Summer or it can be used as time fillers at the End of the Year. This packet contains 20+ activities that are fun and hands-on while students are still learning.

This is a wonderful way to help prevent summer brain drain and helps keep students entertained! You can even use this packet as an incentive program and have students return it to you at the beginning of the new school year to earn a prize or high five!

http://www.thelittleladybugshop.com/2017/05/end-of-year-activities-end-of-year.html

Click the image or click here to HOP to the next blogger!

 

The Rigorous Owl’s BLOG MAKEOVER!

Wondering why you haven’t heard from The Rigorous Owl lately?

Wonder no longer! We have been MIA due to moving our blog over to Word Press!

Thanks http://abirdinhanddesigns.com/ !

We absolutely love our new design and can’t wait to get back into our blogging routine!

Look for something new from The Rigorous Owl every Tuesday!

You will get a newsletter or a blog post full of goodies!


To CELEBRATE our BLOG MAKEOVER, we are having a GIVEAWAY!

Answer 3 little questions below and enter to win a $25 TPT gift card!

This GIVEAWAY will go from April 18th- April 21st.

Who wouldn’t love some extra cash to buy some FABULOUS End of the Year Activities

(by the way… Check out our End of the Year Activities HERE AND HERE AND HERE AND HERE AND HERE AND HERE AND HERE) 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Resources We Love BLOG HOP GIVEAWAY!

Welcome to our “Resources We LOVE Blog Hop!
Blog Hop Giveaway
We are teaming up with some amazing and talented bloggers for a HUGE GIVEAWAY! There are two parts to this amazing GIVEAWAY, so check it out!

PART 1

Want to win a $100 Target gift card?
Who doesn’t???? We all LOVE Target!
Enter below!
In order to qualify, you must complete all tasks!
Good Luck!

 

PART 2:

We all have those resources that we could not live without in our classroom, are we right?!! For us, one of our favorite resources are our Sit Spots! We love Flexible Seating and we have found that Sit Spots work extremely well for the Flexible Seating classroom.
Sit Spot GIVEAWAY
If you would like to learn more about Flexible Seating, check out our blog posts by clicking here and here! With Flexible Seating, students choose different seats and sit next to different students every day. Sometimes, we need our students to have certain partners or to be in certain groups for certain activities! Sit Spots are our answer! In our classroom, we use four different colors of Sit Spots. We group our students into four ability based groups. Each color represents a different group. For example, our green colored dots could be our high group, etc… Sit Spots are the perfect way to organize partners, centers, teams, and any other grouping that you need to create. They are also great for dismissing students, or calling on different groups of students to choral read. You could call the purple group first or the color with the most girls. The possibilities are endless! We also use our Sit Spots to bring students together for direct instruction or for class meetings.
To learn more about Sit Spots, CLICK HERE!
Since we could not live without our Sit Spots,
we know you would love them too!
To win a $50 gift card for your own class set of Sit Spots,
enter our raffle below!

Want to find out if Sit Spots work on your flooring?

Get a sample Sit Spot for FREE and test it out!
Just click here!
Ready to see what the next blogger is raffling off?
Click the image below to HOP on over!
http://theanimatedteacher.com/2017/02/11/products-we-love-giveaway/
Each blogger is giving away a resource they
LOVE to use in their classroom!
This Blog Hop has a $100 Target Gift Card
and 12 total resources up for grabs!
Happy Hopping!

 

Top 5 Reasons to Subscribe to Our Newsletter!

 Hello! We are Deserae and Michelle,
also known as The Rigorous Owl!
We are so happy that you are here!
We guide passionate educators who are determined to stand out from the crowd by providing thorough, high quality, no prep lessons that will keep students engaged and begging for more.
Our goal is to help students love their learning
and in turn love you, their teacher.
We are very passionate about our students, the materials that we use in the classroom, making learning fun, and sharing great ideas and strategies with teachers like you!
By subscribing our NEWSLETTER, you will get the
Red Carpet Treatment from DAY 1!
Here are the Top 5 Reason’s to subscribe!

 

The Rigorous Owl

 In every Newsletter, it is our #1 goal to bring you VALUE!
This means that you will not just get product updates.
You will get something of VALUE that you can use!
We have brainstormed a list of ideas to GIVE to you, our subscribers. We will send some new posters to use in your room, a video showing a strategy to use with your students, some cute homework passes that serve as a free gift to your students for holidays, and so much more! We are constantly popping into each other’s room to say, “Hey, we should give this to our subscribers!”
It will always be a Newsletter worth opening!
WE PROMISE!

 

The Rigorous Owl

 Here is the #2 Reason to Subscribe! You will get these colorful Key Idea and Details Posters for your classroom for FREE! These posters cover your basics from RL 1, 2 & 3, HOWEVER, they also dive SO MUCH DEEPER! For example, RL 3 says Characters… Well, we go over your basic Character Traits (that everyone else does…yawn…) AND we also include Character Analysis, Character Change, Character Motivation, and the Types of Characters!
These posters serve as great Anchor Charts to
use throughout the year!

 

The Rigorous Owl

 The #3 Reason is that you get our Literacy Center Toolkit (that’s completely editable) for FREE! Yep, another amazing FREEBIE! Students love using this board to guide their Literacy Center Rotations! Check out our blog posts on Literacy Centers by clicking herehere, and here!
 Are you ready for another FREEBIE?
The #4 reason to subscribe to our newsletter is that you get our 200 Key Idea and Details Sentence Frames for FREE! These are AMAZING and we personally use them every day and all year long in our classrooms! This is how students respond to their independent reading books. The possibilities are endless on how you will use them!
 The #5 reason to subscribe is that you will be the first to know about our new products. Why do you need to know this? Because all of our new products are 50% off for the first 48 hours! You can also follow us on TPT by clicking here to get notified! Just click the green star!

 

The Rigorous Owl

Now, if we weren’t who we are, we would have stopped at 5 reasons, but WE ARE THE RIGOROUS OWL! We aim to go above and beyond for YOU! There are definitely more than 5 reasons to subscribe to our newsletter. Inside of our newsletter, you will also find a schedule of private VIP sales JUST FOR OUR SUBSCRIBERS! We also include Blog Highlights from recent blog posts. We love blogging about themed activities, strategies for teaching a standard, and other ways to help you in your classroom! (By the way, if you aren’t following our blog, please do!)
So, there you have it!
Here are the Top 5 (plus more) reasons to
Subscribe to The Rigorous Owl’s Newsletter!
We hope you will subscribe and share in our adventure in the most rewarding job there is out there! We love what we do and we know you do too! Our goal is to make a difference in your teaching life and add value to your classroom!

 

NEW YEAR’S GIVEAWAY

Check it out on Instagram! 
Simply search: The Rigorous Owl
We are so excited to be participating in a New Year’s Giveaway with such amazing TPT sellers! 
Start your New Year off right by going on a shopping spree on us!
Giveaway ends Jan. 1 @ 11:59pm PST. 
Good Luck!

Top Takeaways from The Ron Clark Academy

Welcome!
We are so excited to share our top takeaways from our visit to the Ron Clark Academy. I’m sure you’ve heard of the Ron Clark Academy, and yes, the rumors are true.The Ron Clark Academy is absolutely amazing!
If we were to sum up our trip in one word, our word would be “ELECTRIC.”
Our experience at The Ron Clark Academy was ELECTRIC.
The vibe, the passion, the learning, the feeling,,, everything was ELECTRIC.
If you have not heard of the Ron Clark Academy,
Click here to learn more.
So, what is it like visiting The Ron Clark Academy?

Click here to Get the Feel!

With all of that being said, we can’t wait to share our top takeaways from our visit! Here it goes…

1. Student Relationships
We all know that student relationships are important, but have you ever considered that student relationships are EVERYTHING? When is the last time you looked at your students in their eyes? We mean REALLY looked into their eyes when you were delivering a lesson? It’s that connection that inspires students to rise up and achieve what you are asking from them. The next time you deliver a lesson, notice how many eyes you are looking into. Find out your students’ interests, hobbies, likes and dislikes. Have you eaten lunch with them? Do you have conversations that do not involve academics? Setting this positive personal relationship with students is the foundation for everything else.

2. Engagement
Throughout the entire training, there were three words that were mentioned over and over again. MUSIC. MOVEMENT. MAGIC. These three components are crucial for student engagement.
MUSIC
Mrs. Bearden said, “Music is the heart beat of life.” Wow, right?! How often do you have music playing in your classroom? According to our training, it should be ALL THE TIME. Music should be playing as your students enter and exit your classroom. Loud, upbeat, relevant music that your students enjoy listening to! Music should be playing in the background while you are teaching, music should be played while students are independently working. Go to You Tube and type in: Pop Instrumental Music and the year. You will have a plethora of options to choose from! Students can also create music by doing short chants or cheers. Music brings spirit, excitement and enthusiasm.
MOVEMENT
How much do your students move around the room? They should! How often do you move around the room? Your answer should be ALWAYS! Movement is another way to build a connection with your students. When you deliver a lesson, talk with your hands. We learned that your hands should be moving in an invisible box close to your body for normal speech. When something is of great importance, your hands should break through this invisible box to let students know that they should be listening! If you are walking around the room, STOP when you get to an important point to draw attention. It’s all about these  “opposites” that students will quickly pick up on. Students learn when they are moving! Gestures are a great way to reach your students.
MAGIC
Magic is that little something extra that YOU bring to a lesson. A scenario was presented… Imagine that there are six classrooms… three on each side that have their doors open. Each of them has the same materials, the same classroom decor, the same lesson, the same lesson plans, etc… You walk through the hallway and are asked to pick what classroom you would like to be a part of. You pick. What made you pick that classroom? Was it the smile on the teacher’s face? Was it the smile on her students’ faces? Was it the quick joke? Was it the way she moved? Whatever it was, it was her MAGIC. The teacher makes the difference.

3. Teach High
At the Ron Clark Academy, Ron encouraged us to keep teaching to the high students of your class. Don’t stop because a few do not understand. Keep going! He advises that this is what will motivate the others to improve! This is a great reminder! Too often, we may hold the higher students back. We need to provide the enrichment they need, while providing intervention to those that need it also. We should always move forward!

4. Consistency
No matter what goals you set for yourself and your students, we need to remember that consistency is key. You can have the best plans, but wonder in the end why they didn’t pay off? You may find yourself blaming your students or complaining to others about how nothing you do seems to work. The problem, as hard as it is to admit, is YOU! You are the number one reason your plans do not work out. You are in charge of how successful you and your students are. The faster you realize this, the further you will get reaching your goals. Start small. Set achievable goals that you can follow through with and build onto them!

5. Parents
Here was one of our BIGGEST take-away from the Ron Clark Academy. If we are being honest, it’s where we struggle the most. Parents. Am I speaking to ya? We can love on our students day after day, but until we love our students’ parents and get their buy-in and involvement, we will keep wondering where we are going wrong.
Have you ever gone above and beyond for a student and then find out that it’s their parent who filed a complaint on you or went to the principal because they questioned something you did? EVERY TIME… are we right?! Ron encourages us to keep two separate compartments. He tells us to separate our heads from our heart. Who’s in your heart? Your personal life and your students. Who’s in your head? The parents. Never let your head affect your heart. Don’t take it too personal and let it affect your heart! You are not going to be able to please everyone all of the time. Someone will hear a story wrong or view something in a different light from what you intended it to be.
With that being said, how should we deal with parents? According to Ron, we should give them the red carpet treatment. Take the extra time to build rapport with them. Get to know their names and their entire family. Build relationships! Have you ever done a home visit? If not, maybe consider going to “that student’s” home to grasp a full picture of who they are. Get that parent’s support and buy-in. Another thought is to consider the way you dress. If there are a group of teachers and you are dressed the nicest, how do you think that you are perceived? Ron stated, “Perception is reality.” The way that parents see you is the reality that they have painted in their heads. When a parent has respect for you, they will be more willing to work with you in a positive way!

So, what we are going to implement at our school? We believe that the above takeaways are more of a mindset than anything else. They are great reminders and philosophies to use in your classroom on a daily basis.

Below, you will find different strategies that we plan to implement. Again, we are going to start small and take it one step at a time so that we can have consistency and success. Here are some amazing strategies that we saw at the Ron Clark Academy.

  • Taking the Floor: Taking the floor is all about students answering questions posed by you and moving into a classroom discussion. This strategy puts students in control and gives them a voice. If they have an answer PREPARED and are ready to speak, they simply stand up and address the class (not you). If two students stand up at the same time, they work out who will speak first. For example, if Bob and Mary stand up at the same time and start speaking, Bob can say, “Go ahead Mary. If there is something else I want to add, I will.” Mary can then speak and ask Bob if there was anything else.
  • Chants: Chants are short little cheers or attention grabbers. Chants redirect student behavior. For example, if you’re moving around the room and students are not looking at you, you could say, “Track me now!” Students can reply, “Zoom Zoom Pow!” Students would use gestures while doing this. After students respond, you should wait to make sure that everyone is actually looking before moving on.
  • Ways to Celebrate: Students should celebrate each other’s accomplishments! Teachers should encourage students to whisper, “Great Job,” if a student “rocks” an answer. That act should get praise too! Students should not be timid to give praise to students that deserve it!
  • Essential 55: Ron Clark’s Essential 55 is critical for students to be able to do any of the above tasks. Students need to know how to behave and how to consider students and teachers around them. Ron Clark says that he values the role playing of the Essential 55.
  • House System: This is what we are MOST excited about implementing at our school. We believe that the House System provides the sense of family that is critical for a school. If you haven’t heard of a House System or if you haven’t checked it out, be sure to! They have made it so easy for us! The Ron Clark Academy has a FREE app available in your app store. Once you download it, click on Resources and scroll down to Hope King’s House System. She has a whole article titled, “Houses for Dummies.” It is awesome. It takes you through the idea step-by-step! We plan to roll out this House System in upper grades first, work out the kinks, and then go school wide.
Well, we hope that you have had some takeaways from reading about our trip! 
If you are every able to go to the Ron Clark Academy,
we would strongly encourage you to do so! 
It is seriously a Disneyland for teachers! 
Our trip will forever be ingrained in
our minds and in our classrooms. 
Questions? 
Please leave them in the comments below!

Instagram Photo Challenge


Instagram Photo Challenge for April #dailyteacherlife 

Hey guys! We had such a great time checking out your #dailyteacherlife photos from March that we decided to continue in April. We simplified it to taking 3 photos a week and posting on any day of that week. Remember to use #dailyteacherlife when posting and invite teacher friends to join in on the fun!

MARCH “A HOOT AND A HOLLER” LINKY PARTY

It’s a new month, so we are so excited to post our new LINKY PARTY Blog Post…
A HOOT AND A HOLLER!
We loved seeing the responses last month!
Our goal is to bring positivity to the classroom!
There are so many moments in our day that should be celebrated and there are so many people who make us better at our craft. Let’s recognize them!
For your “HOOT,” share an awesome moment that you have shared with your students. It can be ANYTHING that made you smile!
For your “HOLLER,” shout out to someone who made you a better teacher. It can be another teacher, a TPT author, Blogger, etc…
Help us share some awesome moments!!!
Our “HOOT”
We have enjoyed this idea so much that we decided to bring it to our classrooms! Each week, we have decided to feature a student who made our day. We use an award coupon from our “Hoot and a Holler” product that is available in our store and put their picture up. We acknowledge them in front of the class on Monday and give the reason they are getting the award. Then, we leave their award and picture up all week. They get to take home their award on Friday and we start over again the next week. This month, I decided to feature a boy who NEVER did his homework. For the past 4 weeks, we have been working sooooooo hard and I am proud to say that he has completed his homework every day for 4 weeks in a row. His award read, “Homework Hero.” You should have seen his face. His smile was one that I will never forget!!!! It made my month!
Our “HOLLER”
We watched a Periscope by Kelli Alaina and were truly inspired. It changed the way we think about and create TPT products. We enjoy watching her and look forward to her Scopes! Thanks!
Want to participate???? Please do!!
Simply copy this image and add a text box over it to share your experiences!
We look forward to seeing your responses!
Interested in starting “A Hoot and A Holler” in your room?
Here is an example of how we display it in our room! We got the circle board from the Dollar Spot at Target and decorated it with Neon Sharpie Paint Pens. Then we hot glued the clips to the board. Target also had some magnetic boards for another idea! The awards are available in our store, JUST CLICK HERE!
Student Awards A HOOT & A HOLLER Student Recognition