Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Yes, I'm a stalker...

After years of stalking other teacher's classroom websites, I made my own three years ago. ( Now I'm beginning to get hooked on their blogs too! In the short time that school has been out for summer vacation, I've started my own. I love spending time checking out all the creative teachers and their amazing ideas! As the summer continues, I hope I can share some things that others feel are blogworthy, as well. :)

Lovin' the Clip Chart

During the last twelve years of teaching I have tried many things for classroom management--flipping cards, name on board, tickets, beads, cubes, sticker charts, etc. I haven't been too happy or successful until this past year. While searching online last summer, I came across Rick Morris' New Management site and his clip chart. He has a great e-book that explains the clip chart and how it is used. Being that it is a tool for positive reinforcement/behavior, I decided to give it a try.

I made my own chart from construction paper and laminated it. I made an "Our WONDERFUL Class" sign and had each of the students sign their name to it, after I explained how we'd be using it in our classroom for the year. Every student had a clothespin with his/her name on it, which started on the clip chart at "Ready to Learn" each day. During the day students had opportunities to move up the clip chart for demonstrating good behavior choices. If a student was off task, he/she was given a verbal reminder. The next time I talked to the off task student, he/she moved down on the clip chart. What I like about the clip chart is that students have chances to move back up the clip chart if their behavior improves; their day isn't over if they have to move down. If a student makes it to "Outstanding" during the day, he/she gets to put a jewel on their clothespin at the end of the day and receives an "Outstanding" note home. If a student is already on "Outstanding" and I ask him/her to move up, they bring their clothespin to me and I clip it to my shirt. Being clipped to me was a huge incentive to show positive behavior throughout the school day. In my class I also use "Tompkins Bucks". When a student brings me his/her clothespin to get clipped to me, I give the student 2 Tompkins Bucks. They can earn 2 Tompkins Bucks for the rest of the day if I continue to see outstanding behavior.

Here is our clip chart in use

Here are a few clothespins with jewels on them.

When a student's clothespin is full of jewels, then it is moved to our "Sparkling Behavior" wall and he/she is given another clothespin for the clip chart. We had many students who made it to the "Sparkling Behavior" wall more than once!

This is the note I send home with students at the end of the day. (I got this from Christina Bainbridge.)

For this upcoming school year, I purchased the clip chart from Rick Morris' site. It's made from vinyl, so it should last longer than the one I made.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Moving Day

This is what my classroom looked like the day after school got out. Since I am changing grade levels in the fall, that means changing classrooms, as well. It's hard to believe all of the stuff I have accumulated over the past 12 years...and even harder to believe that I had to move it all!!
I won't be able to set up my new classroom until August but it doesn't mean that I won't be thinking of first grade until then! During the summer I plan on getting reacquainted with the first grade curriculum and sharing ideas on my new blog.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


You can contact me at


My name is Marissa Tompkins and I have been teaching for 12 years--6 years in first and 6 years in second. I will be returning to first grade in the fall. I am excited to go back to where it all began for me! I am starting this blog as a way to meet other teachers and share ideas. Thanks for checking it out!