I was so honored when my sweet friend Cassandra - aka Mrs. 3rd Grade (is that the BEST blog/store name or what?!?) - invited me to celebrate her birthday by being a part of this blog series!  (Thank you, friend!!!)

My name is Pamela Wendt from Hedgehog Reader, and I teach 4th grade in sunny Phoenix, Arizona.  I met Cassandra almost exactly a year ago - seriously, almost a year to the day!  We already "knew" each other from a Facebook group of Arizona teacher bloggers and then from a spin-off group of us that became Hello Sunshine Teachers - but it was an EdCamp un-conference that actually brought us together in real life.  I would show you a picture of that, but I like this picture of us much better!

Teacher Blogger friends are the best!  I love that we live close enough that I can pop over to Mrs. 3rd Grade's classroom!
This is us one day after school in November.
Cassandra is one of those people who you just LOVE.  Seriously, everything GOOD just sort of radiates out of her in glittery sparkles of positivity and sunshiny smiles!

And in that spirit, I thought I would post today about something I do to encourage that kind of positivity in my classroom:  CARES Compliments.

behavior management system to build a kindness centered classroom community

This is a system that is super easy to prepare and use.  You just print the forms, print the reward format that you choose, and voila!  The kids do all the rest!  Well, ALMOST all the rest.  I like to read the compliments during Community Circle on Fridays, and then send them home with the complimented students.  It is definitely a favorite part of our classroom routines!

I’ve developed this over the years to help me build and nurture a kindness-centered classroom community in which students are celebrating one another’s acts of respect, encouragement, and support.

I will share with you how I use it, but please feel free to use it in a manner that works best for your teaching style and  your students’ needs.

Each student may fill out one form a week.  I've learned to limit the amount, or else some of my purveyors of positivity will overflow the jar every week!  The student names another student that he/she is complimenting, identifies the trait that he/she is complimenting, and then describes the action that prompted this compliment.

The student folds the compliment into quarters and puts it into a candy jar that I keep next to the forms.

During Community Circle on Friday, I read the compliments.  My students just love this!  The student who has been complimented gets a ticket.  I’ve included three types of formats in the download so that you can choose the reward system you like best:
a) Ticket - I use these like raffle tickets.  The complimented student writes his/her name on the ticket and puts it into another jar.  On the last Friday of the month, I draw 5 tickets; each student whose ticket was drawn gets to pick a prize from the treasure chest.
b) Clip Up Card - Alternatively, the student can go “clip up” if you use the clip chart in your classroom.
c) Brag Tag - I recently started doing this instead.  I print and laminate the brag tag and hole-punch the top.  The complimented student earns a tag that goes on his/her brag tag chain or ring.

I send the CARES Compliment form home in the complimented student’s Friday Folder so that the positive behavior can be celebrated at home too!

Here is what a compliment form looks like printed up - and of course I couldn't resist writing one for Cassandra!  (Please excuse my messy handwriting - I was in a hurry to upload this post tonight!)

You can download this system here:
but it will be free for only a short time - on March 1, it goes up to $2.00.  So if you think you might want to use this in your classroom, now's the time to grab it!

I will close this post by wishing Cassandra the happiest of 30th years...  And my wish for all who read this is that they too can be blessed by the type of friend that Cassandra is!

It's crazy to believe that we have already made it through 100 days of school!  To celebrate our 100th day of school we did some fun activities!!

Our 100th day of school falls in the middle of our National Lutheran School's week, and it fell on Field Day this year so we couldn't have them dress up like they were 100, so instead we did many different 100 activities instead!

During math I had four centers set up for my students to work on, and they had 5 minutes to work at each station.  In one center they had to see how tall of a structure they could build, using ALL 100 cups in the 5 minutes.  The groups all did great, and it was interesting to see how they stacked the top to make their structures taller with the same bases!

The second center was working to find 100 ways to make 100.  It was awesome to see the way that they could deconstruct the number, as well as represent it in different ways.  They were able to come up with spelling it, using place value blocks, adding, subtracting, and multiplying.  It was the easiest for the first group because they could write anything, but by the fourth group they had a harder time because we were trying to not have duplicates!  Together, both classes were able to come up with 100 DIFFERENT ways to make 100!!

Next, the students worked on counting coins.  All of the coin amounts were less than 1.  A great way to build on this would be to find how much change they would get from $1 if this was the cost of their item!  It is a great resource that can be adapted to fit the needs of your students!

The last center was a place value center where they had to count the base ten blocks. This is a great skill to practice and can once again be added to in order to make it more challenging.  These math centers can all be found in my 100 Days of School activity pack, which also include some fun writing ideas, prompts and lists to make!

During our writing block they worked on writing what they would buy with $100!  It is amazing the things that they think they can buy with only $100!  I am always amazed at how far kids think $100 can stretch!!  This writing from The Creative Classroom is one of our new favorites, and I love that it comes with a self checking checklist so the kids are becoming more an more aware of what they need to be checking for as they are writing!

Follow Mrs 3rd Grade's board 100th Day of School on Pinterest.

I have pinned a bunch of fun ideas on to my Pinterest board and can't wait to start planing for next year!!
This week was a fun week, and I am excited to be linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to bring my highlights from the week!!

This week we worked on our religion unit about God's love!!  It made for some interesting conversations, talking about how we care called to love everyone, even those who may not always treat us kindly.  The kids had a hard time wrapping their heads around the fact that we can LOVE everyone at first, but then it started to make more sense when we talked about what it meant to show people we LOVE them!

One of my favorite things to do with my kids is build relationships!  I had a sweet student ask me to play man on woodchips with them on Thursday during our afternoon recess.  This is a game kind of like tag, but the person who is it can only stay on the wood chips and everyone else is on the play structure.  If they climb up on the structure then they have to close their eyes to try and tag you.  It's a lot of fun to have this opportunity to PLAY with my kids and HAVE FUN!!  They love that I get up and play with them!  I am so thankful for these opportunities where I am able to do these sort of things, and we laugh and enjoy hanging out during their breaks!

We have started our newest science unit and I am so excited to get my kids engaged!  We are working on our final physical science unit, and this week we are talking all about HEAT!!  I created these awesome notebook note dividers to help students focus in on key details, and find the KEY information in the text!  We were able to get up, get engaged and HEAT up as we learned all about what heat is and how we can measure it.

This quote really spoke to me this week.  I am going to continue to hold my head high and not let things bring me down.  I know that God has a plan for my life, and everything that we go through will all be okay in the end.  This week was a trying week, with emails sent out to parents, and questions asked.  I know that things will get easier, I know answers will be found, but until then I seek God and pray.

I've had this song on repeat, and it's been a great way to get me through these times!  I am so thankful to have music like this in my life!

Superhero Day is one of my favorite days of our school year! I  love that we are able to set the stage, bring fun to the classroom, and keep our students engaged all day long with learning!

Setting the stage for a day of learning is a great way to get students excited about your special themed days!

Our superhero day this year was on a Friday, so my coworker and I stayed late on Thursday to set the stage!!  We didn't want the kids to see it before they walked in Friday morning, so we worked hard on pieces after school all week, and then put it all together Thursday after school!

The sign was one of my favorite parts!  We use KG Wake Me Up to cut out the text!  Then we glued it onto the green plates.  We then tied the plates together so that way it would be easier to hang.  Finally, we taped the plates back to back to help make them sturdier.  We then used these hanging clips (amazon affiliate link) to hang the plates!  I LOVE these clips and use them to hang things in my classroom so that way I don't have to put holes in student work.

Array city is a great way to have students practice their multiplication facts and then put them on display!

Another way we decorated the hall was with our array city!!  I had the students in my class draw the arrays on the black paper with yellow crayon.  I did not tell them what it was for.  I just told them it had to be an array, and then when they turned it into me they had to tell me what their array was and the product.  I then took all of their arrays and taped them together!  I LOVE the way it turned out!!

Superhero capes are a cheap and fun way to engage your students in your superhero day, and help bring some fun to your classroom decor!

The final thing we did to set the stage with some big decor was make these superhero capes on our classroom doors!  We left a note for the cleaning crew that they would leave our doors open too, so that way we wouldn't worry about any of them being ruined before morning!  We used a tablecloth from Walmart cut up and then hot glued them to our door!  We covered the door with a black tablecloth and used packing tape to attach it to the door!  Finally we used the amazing Krista Wallden's clipart to color a superhero to add to the door!

Adding a fun morning message will help build the excitement before the day begins!  Of course having a great coffee mug to match is always a plus!

Friday morning before the the day began I snapped this picture!  I found these awesome coffee mugs at Walmart for my teaching partner and I.  I put together this welcome sign for our boards so that way the students would know that we are serious about our superhero day!!

Thankful cards and brag tags are two things that my students always look forward to

The first thing we had our students work on was their thankful card when they walked in!  This is something that we work on EVERY WEEK!  They know that when they come in on Friday mornings this is the first thing they do!  I LOVE doing this because it gives them time to reflect on something that they are thankful for.  By the end of the year they will have a collection of things that they are thankful for too!  We have also been giving our students brag tags so I put together these fun superhero brag tags for them to remember our Superhero Day!!

Superhero graphing is a great way for student to practice recording data and then being able to read it

Bump games are a great way for students to practice their multiplication facts.  Adding a superhero to them makes it even more engaging!

Measuring is a skill that needs to be worked on again and again, this engages the students, and keeps them on task.

During math time we had so much fun!!    We had a few different activities to do!  We were practicing our multiplication by playing bump, solving word problems, measuring our superheroes and graphing!  You can check out all of these activities here!!

Giving students creativity allows them to become engaged in their writing and keeps them on task

In the afternoon we got together with our first grade buddies and worked on writing about our superheroes!  First we decorated our own superhero and then write adjectives to describe them.  This was a fun activity for them to work together and help our first grade buddies with their describing words.

I love having a photo booth wall up all year long that is easy to adjust for the season and activity we are doing

While they were working on these I pulled kids one by one into the hallway so they could take their picture in front of our Photo Booth wall!  We have been using this wall all year to take pictures, so of course we had to give it some superhero flair!!

Keeping all areas of our hallway decorated and in line with what we are working on is a great way to build school excitement for classroom themes or spirit days

Overall the kids had a great day dressing up like superheroes, fighting villains during superhero math, creating their own superhero and learning about superheroes in the bible!  I LOVE superhero day and can't wait to do it again next year!!

Follow Mrs 3rd Grade's board Superhero Day on Pinterest.

For more awesome superhero ideas feel free to check out my Pinterest board!!
Happy Friday!  I still cannot believe how quickly this year is flying by!  I promise it feels like it was just Christmas break, and now Valentine's Day is almost here!!

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to bring you a look back at my week for my Five for Friday!

A box of sunshine is a great way to send a package to those who might need a little inspiration or joy in their life!!

This week I came home to one of the sweetest boxes ever!  My friend Rachel, A Tall Drink of Water, sent me a package!  This girl is AMAZING!  She is so supportive, and an amazing friend!  This box of sunshine is just what I needed this week!  Love ya girl!!

Writing is so fun when you show off your kids' work!  They want to make sure that their writing is great too, because they know others will read it!

Last week we celebrated our 100th day of school and our kids finished writing about what they would do with $100!  I LOVE seeing what they think that they would be able to buy with $100.  To me it's always amazing how far they think that money will go!  We used this amazing writing mini book!  I am so excited to see what else Ashlyn comes out with to get our kids writing!  We already have the Valentine's Day one prepped too!!

Top 5 things I LOVE include a few people, resources and classroom style!

I shared 5 things I love this week!  I shared some of my favorite people and then two of my favorite things that I cannot live with out in 2016!! You can read all about them here!

God is GOOD all the time!  We can help share our futures by not allowing the hurt or anger into our lives!  God is in control!

One of my favorite things right now are these amazing quotes that I find on Toby Mac's Facebook page!  I LOVE them!  They always seem to be just what I need at that moment too!  This one really spoke to me this week.  I know that God has a plan for me, and He is going to prepare the perfect opportunity for me next year!

I am LOVING this video this week!  I hope that it speaks to you too!!

Top 5 things that I LOVE!  Including my family, friends, TPT and my favorite new tool to keep me organized and meeting my goals!!

I am so excited to be linking up with Ashley and Angie again this month to be linking up for #2getherwearebetter to share all about things that we LOVE!!  In no specific order I am going to share with you five of my favorite things that I LOVE!!

#2getherwearebetter all about LOVE!!  A great link up of amazing things people LOVE!!

There are many things I LOVE!  It's amazing how many things you say that you LOVE and it's hard to break it down to just five, but I picked my favorite 5 to share with each of you!  I hope that you enjoy finding out more about each of these!

I LOVE my flair pen and washi party I have every time I open my bullet journal to begin my planning for the day, week or month!!

I started bullet journaling this year, and you can read more about my plans for my bullet journal here. I am LOVING it!  One of my favorite things about it just might be my flair pen and washi party I have every time it is time to write in my journal.  I love that I am able to reflect on my day, plan out my future, and see my growth.  I love that all of my ideas are in one place, and that I am able to see how they are changing, evolving and helping me become the teacher, mom and wife I want to be!!

Ashley and Angie are two amazing teachers and friends who continue to inspire me on a daily basis!

I know you know who these two women are!!  They are AMAZING!!  These two talented ladies are some of the first teachers I was able to meet thanks to the fantastic TPT world!!  Ashley is one of the most organized teachers I know, and has amazing energy!!  She always fuels my dreams, and helps me know that I can do all that I set out to achieve!!  Angie has a heart of gold, cares deeply for her family, and is so thoughtful! I LOVE watching Angie's weekly scopes because she continues to inspire my math block!!  Both of these ladies are so inspiring and continue to inspire me daily!  If you do not follow them yet, I cannot share enough how much you need to!  Both of them give me so much to be excited about and I can't wait until the next time I can see them and hug them!!

Interactive lessons are a must in my classroom, and a great way to get students moving and engaged in what they are learning

I have been LOVING my interactive lessons!  We have been engaged in lessons, working away in our interactive notebooks and working with hands on activities.  My students love their notebooks, and know exactly what to do to make sure that they are learning their new skills, practicing what they ache learned, and showing me what they know!  I am so happy that we don't have days full of worksheets, but are able to get up, move around the room, and have fun while we learn.

My teaching friends are some of my favorite people in the world!  They support me in all that I do and I know that I'm better because of them!

My bloggy besties are some of my favorite people!  These three ladies are AMAZING!!  I talk with these ladies DAILY!!  They inspire me, keep me motivated, encourage me, pray for me, and LOVE me!  I am so thankful for TPT that they brought these ladies into my life!  Jennifer, Ashlyn and Caitlin are amazing teachers that I know would do anything for me if I asked!  Ladies, I am forever in debt to you, and couldn't imagine my life without you!  Can you believe that we live so close, and without TPT we might never have met!?!

My family supports me and loves me!  I know I am better because of them!

The final thing I love and one of the most important in my life is my family!!  I have some of the most supportive parents IN THE WORLD!  They love and support me in every venture I go on!  They are willing to do anything to help me, including taking extra trips to the Dollar Tree, Target, Walmart, Michaels, Hobby Lobby or anywhere else we might find amazing teaching supplies!  Plus, my parents, and my in-laws, take care of my sweet babies!  My precious Bubs and Princess are the light of my life, and I am so thankful that I am their mama!  My biggest fan, even if I forget it sometimes, is my husband!!  He is so supportive of my TPT venture, and I couldn't be more happy with where we are.  We are continuing to improve our marriage every day!  Who said that just because you were married you don't have to date any more!?  I am so thankful that he continues to support me, love me and date me!

A monthly link up with Ashley and Angie where we can share about different things every second of the month

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