November 24, 2014

Bears Victory Freebie

I have to admit, since this has been a rough season for my bears, I haven't been good about having my freebies ready to go in case of a win. I'll keep this one live for at least 24 hours so you have time to pick it up! Please let me know if you have any issues with the download!
This Daily Research Log was such a lifesaver for me. Each year, I do at least one big research project, which requires independent work in our school library. As you all know, it's very easy to get caught up in assisting a handful of needy kids and never quite make it all the way around your class. This has left me with a few issues I needed to address:
  • I wanted to make sure my students were making progress in their research and not just looking busy when they weren't really doing much. It's incredible how skilled some students are in this area!
  • I wanted increased communication with parents about what their children are doing in my classroom. Yes, this gives them accountability because they have to share their findings, but it also gives parents a heads-up that the paper or project is on the horizon. This eliminates the element of surprise and lets them see the daily progress (or lack thereof).
  • I wanted to hold my students accountable for their behavior in the library. There's nothing worse than taking your students out in "public" and watching them forget all your behavior expectations, making you look as if you lack classroom management. I solve this with daily points, which can be removed for off-task behavior. I find that having these points on a paper, where I can physically cross off a number, serves as a great reminder to stay focused.
Using this log puts the responsibility on my students. If they can't tell you what they've done productively for the day, then they aren't using their time wisely (or they need to ask for help). It also gave me a quick way to assure that I am at least checking in with each student (because I have to initial each day). 

I left the file in a Word document in case you need to modify it for your needs. I hope you like it!

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