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Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday Made-It:Dyed Clothes Pins for Clip Chart

This is my first link up, how exciting! Yes I know it is Tuesday, but hey I'm going to pull the newbie card for as long as I can.
Hop on over and check out the other wonderful projects

As you know I have totally committed to a new classroom theme. OWLs. This means my clip chart (and just about everything else) needed to be updated. I stumbled onto the clip chart scene two years ago and it has simplified my classroom management system. I am a true believer. I am sure most of you know of or use this system already. But if you haven't then here is the run down. All students begin their day in the green "ready to learn" section. As they make good choices they are asked to clip up to the next section on the chart. Students progress from green, to blue, purple and finally pink. If they make poor choices then they are asked to clip down yellow, orange, red. They can move up and down the chart many times throughout the day. For a more detailed explanation visit New Management for a free ebook that lays it all out.

For my students this has been a great motivator. They love to get to pink or " the top of the chart". When this happens they get a jewel to place on their clothes pin. After 5 jewels they upgrade to a different colored clip and earn an extra recess coupon. Our grade level is split into two teams, so I can easily send them out to the other team's recess. We also record the color that each student ends the day on in their student planners. I train parents to look for this each night. If a student ends the day on yellow, orange, or red then there are consequences involved. Usually this means loss of minutes of recess, but it could mean a think sheet, visit with the principal, or phone call home. At the end of the quarter we track how many days we were on each color and create a graph using Create a Graph. This website is very user friendly and kids like to be able to personalize it. We then use this data at parent teacher conferences and later student led conferences. It really puts the data in perspective and opens the door to some great conversations.

Here is a photo of my clip chart complete with my OWL themed titles.
Pink: Pride of the Perch
Purple: Behavior to HOOT about
Blue: Taking off: Leaving the Nest
Green: Perched to Learn
Yellow: Remember to Make Wise Choices
Orange: STOP and think wisely
Red: Confined to the nest (teacher's choice)
Now for the fun part. My students all start with a green colored clip. After they make it to pink 5 times they get to trade in their green clip for an red clip. They keep upgrading their clip until I run out of colors (green, red, orange, yellow, blue, and purple). This usually only happens with about 1-2 students a year. When this happens I have larger white plastic clothes pins that I spray paint GOLD and then they just bedazzle it with their jewels for the rest of the year. This is a BIG DEAL and the kids are so proud when it happens.

The first year we just colored our clothes pins with crayon, but they weren't very bright. Then I stumbled onto some directions on how to dye wood. That was when these beauties were born.
Wood Dyed with RIT Dye
Aren't the colors so vibrant, and it is so easy! I buy the cheap clothes pins from Dollar General, fill a sauce pan with water and add 1/4 cup liquid dye to the water. I heat the water to just boiling then simmer the clothes pins (I do 50 clothes pins at a time) for about 15 min. I do add a little salt (couple handfuls) to the water. I only do this because we used to dye class shirts and it made the dye set better, not really sure if it does anything in this process just made me feel better to add it.
 I use the liquid just because it is easier to manage and store. I am sure the powder would work the same; however, it would be harder to measure and store for longer periods of time. The liquid is a bit more expensive but it will last you for many years to come.

Here is what they look like in the pan
Let them dry for about 24 hours before putting them in some kind of bag. I learned the hard way and my beautiful pins got a little moldy because they weren't dry. Here are some more tips on dying wood from RIT. If you are like me now your thinking what else could I dye. The possibilities are endless.

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