My Happy Face System

My Happy Face System

100th day (2).png

Hello and happy Saturday. I want to take today’s post with a grain of salt, I want you to really think about your situation in terms of the students you currently have and the way they respond to your classroom management strategies.

By the title of this post you maybe thought that I’ll be talking about something I do with kindergarten, but no. Today I will tell you how I applied behaviorism at its finest with my 9th graders. I learned about behaviorism in university and I have to admit that I’ve always been fascinated by it. I think sometimes we have to appeal to the most basic stimulus-response-reward procedures in order to shape or model behavior.

I used a more sophisticated way of behaviorism with my first graders using a Loki pop funko. You can click here to read about that. The system I’l explain is way more basic but strangely, it was super effective.

When I got to the school where I had to teach high school I noticed my students refused to work unless the assignment was graded. They had no motivation other than the grade, and they didn’t even expect to do well, they just expected to pass. I needed them to work, though, I needed them to write stuff in their notebooks, to practice, I didn’t need to grade every single thing. So I started giving happy faces to students who finished their classwork and would show it to me, just like I used to do with first grade.

Now first graders were happy enough with a happy face. That was their reward. Ninth graders weren’t so nice. They even thought the idea of getting a happy face in their notebook was ridiculous, and let me tell you, it was, but it started being something to look forward to when I told them that every time they got five happy faces, I would give them an extra tenth of a point.

Let me explain that better. Our grading system was from zero to five, but you could get tenths, so you could get a 3.5, which actually was the minimum passing grade. For every five happy faces, I’d give my students 0.1 points. That’s nothing, and I was very aware that I was nothing, but I wasn’t going to give them more because I wasn’t going to reward them for doing what they were supposed to. I was giving them the illusion of a reward, though.

What started happening was that students would do their work and show it to me so that I could give them a happy face. After they got the five happy faces, they would approach me and we’d count them together. It became a thing! At the end of the year, when we were counting the final happy faces, some students asked me whether they could transfer their happy faces to someone else because they had only three and couldn’t do anything with them. I said no, obviously, but I thought it was cute.

Would I try this system again? No. I think it was an emergency situation and it required a quick fix. I only taught those students for three months, and I basically needed them to pass English at the end of the year. Something about behaviorism you have to keep in mind is that the strategies used rarely last a prolonged amount of time, so you either have to modify your plan or replace it altogether. My students responded to this strategy because it was a short-term thing, but I doubt that the hype would’ve stayed alive after a semester, even less after a full year.

What are some strategies you’ve tried to get your students to work? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

Advertisements
This Is What I Needed

This Is What I Needed

 

Hello and happy Wednesday. I am a firm believer that books find us when we need them the most, and I could confirm that when I read Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick. This book will change your life, and if you feel like it doesn’t, then you need therapy. Even if it does, therapy is awesome and you should see a mental health professional at least once in your lifetime.

I’d already read The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick, so it’s safe to say that my expectations were super high. He’s got this style, that reminds me of Jonathan Safran Foer and that gets to me every single time. Spoiler alert: this wasn’t the exception.

I love that the author’s style is incredibly simple but captivating, and full of deeper, sadder undertones. I think that you need to have been through some sh*t in life to really get this book. The chapters are short, which I highly appreciate. This is clearly a psychological thing, but when the chapters are short, I can read the book faster.

From the beginning, we know that this is not your regular YA/coming-of-age story. I mean, the main character’s only friend at school seems to be her English teacher, and I think we can anticipate that this friendship might not end up in an ideal way. She reminds me of myself because when I was younger, way younger than the main character but still, I was a loner.

Nanette, the main character, becomes obsessed with this book her teacher gives her, and I can relate because there is this one book I have read four times already and it was like a bible to me. She meets the author of her bible and asks him for answers, which is something I should do too since I know the author of the book I’m obsessed with.

Every Exquisite Thing is definitely a must for me. It has made me question things about my life, and if it has that power for someone who is 25 years old, just imagine the wonders it will do for someone younger. I also love what it has to say about those friendships that kids establish with adults, in which the latter become the guides of the former. There is romance, as well, but it is not the main focus of the plot, and it is not your typical YA romance.

I also love the fact that we get inserts of poems in this story, as well as pages from the book Nanette reads and is obsessed with. I am a sucker for books that include different formats within the narration. I’m also a fan of plots that involve a quest, and this story has that. If you liked The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting by Holly Bourne, then you’ll love this book.

What is the book that has changed your life and why? Let me know in the comments.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

Five Minute Makeup

Five Minute Makeup

Hello and happy Monday. I recently watched a video by Five Foot One Teacher in which she does her makeup in exactly five minutes. Doing my makeup in the morning is something I struggle with because I like to take my time and go full in, but obviously during the week I have to hurry for work, so the glam can’t be achieved. I made a list of the steps she followed so that I could try and challenge myself. Yes, I had time to add some eyeliner that wasn’t in the plan and then some more, but I’ll tell you this: even if it just takes you five minutes to apply your makeup you have to consider the time needed to get your products and tools ready beforehand, and then the time to clean up afterwards. These are the steps I followed:

 

 

  1. Primer
  2. Foundation
  3. Concealer
  4. Powder
  5. Eyebrows
  6. Bronzer
  7. Blush
  8. Light gold eyeshadow
  9. Mascara
  10. Tinted lip balm
  11. Setting spray

How long does it normally take you to do your makeup? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Monday!

Love, Miss Camila

Colour Pop Try-On Haul

Colour Pop Try-On Haul

Hello and happy Sunday. A few months ago was my sister’s birthday, so I bought her two Colour Pop palettes, and I obviously got some goodies for myself. In this post, I’ll show you two looks I created with what I bought. Let’s get started, shall we?

 

This look was created with Hooked and Trophies from the Good Sport palette. On my lips I’m wearing  Ultra Matte Lip in Class Pet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For this look, I used Licious and High Hopes from the Good Sport palette on the eyes and the Ultra Matte Lip in Dr. M for lipstick.

I additionally bought a Lippie Pencil in Contempo, which is a pinky mauve, and a gorgeous hot pink Matte Lux Lipstick in Maxed Out.

What’s your favorite Colour Pop product? Let me know and maybe I’ll buy it next.

Happy Sunday!

Love, Miss Camila

How to Make Grammar Engaging

How to Make Grammar Engaging

100th day (1).pngHello and happy Saturday. I don’t know what a good introduction to today’s post might be because I know what the general public thinks about teaching grammar. Take a wild guess at what my ninth-graders thought about it.  I saw them struggling with the passive voice, though, and I felt that they only used “said” or “told” as introductory verbs and I knew they could do better than that, so I prepared for them the ultimate lesson on passive voice.

I used the kid’s workbook as a guide because usually language books have a grammar section at the end. Now this was a very complete chart on the different special introductory verbs they are and how to structure a sentence in the passive voice using them, but it was too much for my students. I don’t mean that they weren’t smart enough to get that, I mean that sometimes information is put for teachers to modify it in the way that best suits the students, and that’s what I did.

I’m going to go back and forth between the passive voice lesson and how that translates in general to what you can do. So, like I said, step number one is to gather the information and adapt it. Adapting can be removing some stuff you consider unnecessary, it can mean to make something more accessible to students by simplifying the language or providing examples, and it can even mean to add to what you have from other sources. I took that chart, which had three rules and about twenty special introductory verbs and I divided it into four. There was a rule that had ten verbs as an example, so two groups would work on that one.

Step two for me is to have students activate their previous knowledge so that they can make connections and come up with their own conclusions. I did this by having my students make four groups and giving each groups a chart, each with one rule for the passive voice. But the chart wasn’t complete: it only had the list of verbs and next to each verb an example of a sentence in the active voice. My students had two tasks: number one, to transform the sentences to the passive voice, and number two, to try and think what the general rule for that group of verbs was.

After that, step three is to socialize findings but also to clarify information that might not be correct. What I did with my class was draw a chart on the whiteboard and have each group of students share an example of one verb, how they used it in a sentence in the passive voice, and the rule they found. Now students had two other tasks. The first one was to make a small poster illustrating their rule, so they wrote the “formula” for the sentence in the passive voice, and an example of said sentence. Some of my students color-coded the parts of speech, which I thought was very smart. I displayed the posters on the wall. Task number two was to copy the chart I’d made in their notebook.

Now my favorite part is application, and that means that students get to use what they just learned. I have to clarify something because I think these many activities are confusing in terms of timing. I used to have blocks with my students, that means that sometimes we had one hour and a half instead of forty-five minutes of class, which is why I was able to do so many things.

For application, I searched for special introductory verbs, wrote them in slips of paper, put them in a bag. Each student had to draw a verb, write a sentence in the passive voice using it, and then switch verbs with a partner. For this I used new verbs, which means they were unknown to the students because I wanted to know how they used them. To finish the class, some kids shared their sentences and I wrote them on the board for everyone to see.

I think this is a simple way to teach grammar and keep students engaged while challenging them a bit. What would you do to teach a not-so-fun topic? Let me know in the comments.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

Organizing My Bookshelves

Organizing My Bookshelves

Hello and happy Wednesday. I’m excited about today’s post because I love everything related to organization, and I think rearranging my bookshelves was long overdue.

This is how my main bookshelf looked before. You’ll notice that there aren’t any criteria behind the arrangement, besides size, probably, but I say “probably” because if you look closely, you’ll notice some books here and there that clearly are not where they’re supposed to be.

There’s even a hardcover, which should have been in the other shelf, but spoiler alert, I only noticed I didn’t return it to its original home until after I was done organizing.

This little cutie is where I have my hardcovers. I’m not a fan of hardcovers because I find them unpractical to read, but they are pretty, and I have gotten most of these titles either in subscription boxes or for very cheap online, cheaper even than the paperback edition.

Like its mother shelf, there was no real rationale behind the organization of this baby, but I still wanted to change the order of the books a bit, make it seem like I did something.

Also, I’m sure you noticed that stray copy of An Abundance of Katherines. It is waiting in the pile with other books I will be reselling or giving away when I’m done with them, which is why it isn’t on the bookshelf.

This is the final product. I put all the books down, cleaned the inside of the shelves, and then arranged the books by color. I’m thinking about doing a haul series, in which I haul the books by color in each post, so I’m not going to go in detail today about the titles I own.

The top row has my books from Alfaguara, one of my favorite publishing houses in Spanish. Then we move on to the purple and pink books. The next shelf is for the black and gray titles. The bottom row is comprised of white books, then yellow, then red and orange, and finally green. My previously unoccupied bottom shelf now holds the blue books and the teal/aqua ones.

This is the new version of my hardcover shelf. I don’t know if it’s just me, or if it looks as if there are more books now. I wanted to go with the rainbow theme too but gave up on it because this is a very small shelf and there are many big bulky titles I have to fit in. I finally decided to be practical instead of creative.

I do feel that this organization is more aesthetically pleasing, more inviting, although I guess you’d have to be the judge of that.

How do you organize your books at home? Let me know in the comments below, and if you can, link me to your shelfie, I’d love to see it.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

Classy Smoky Look

Classy Smoky Look

Hello and happy Monday. I’ve been noticing that lately my makeup looks have gone back to neutral tones, nothing too crazy or colorful, and I don’t know why that is, but I’m fine with it. I used to go crazy with color, even for special occasions, but now I think I’m going back to the classic  styles and I’m just going to own that. Today I present you the most classic of them all: a smoky eye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Primer
  2. Matte brown (crease)
  3. Shimmery black (top lash line)
  4. Shimmery brown (blend with black and smudge upwards)
  5. Foundation
  6. Stick contour
  7. Powder
  8. (I didn’t do concealer, for some reason, but I totally should have)
  9. Bronzer
  10. Blush
  11. Highlighter
  12. Mascara
  13. Eyebrows
  14. Nude liquid lipstick
  15. Mauve lipstick (center of the lid)
  16. Nude lipgloss

What trends or techniques should I try next? Let me know in the comments.

Happy Monday!

Love, Miss Camila