Friday, August 1, 2014

Let's Brag about it!

      Have you ever had one of those years?  You know the one I'm talking about- where the kids are not actually misbehaving but they are soooo loud. I did the songs, the clapping patterns, the chimes, the lights off, and stood in front of the room with my hand in the air for hours way too long.  Nothing seemed to quiet the kiddos I had this past year year down.  Until I tried "quiet critters."  I found the idea on Pinterest, rushed to Michael's to use my 15% teacher discount and set to work.

These were super easy to make and the kids love them! Cut out a heart shape out of colored foam for the feet, glue a large pom-pom to the feet, add wiggle eyes (I like the colored ones) and a pipe cleaner for the antennae.  That's it!  Whenever I see a student working quietly I give them a "quiet critter."  They try to keep collecting them throughout the day.  I'm lazy and don't want to keep making more so I collect them at the end of the day.  They love to line their workspace with them! 

For years I have used a classroom management system that has worked wonders for me. We formulate our classroom rules together, I write them on chart paper and the students sign it.  Each student gets a pocket with 4 cards (pink, orange, yellow, and green.)  I purchased this one from Lakeshore Learning but you could easily use any type of pocket chart or even a calendar chart.  I have also seen teachers use a large tri-fold piece of poster board and hot glue library pockets on for each student.

 Each student starts each day with their card on pink since I am "tickled pink" with their behavior. If they break a classroom rule, they turn their card to orange and in the process of doing so, they tell me (usually privately) what mistake they made and how they can make a better choice the next time.  If they break a classroom rule again, or need another reminder, they turn their card to yellow, have a 5 minute break and tell me how they could make a better choice.  If their card goes to green, they know that results in an email, note, or phone call home.  I also log behavior each day for my own records.  If their card stays on pink for the day they get a hole punch on it.  Nothing fancy, just an ordinary hole lunch.  After 15 hole punches, they may either choose a prize from our classroom prize box or they may choose a reward coupon.  I don't know what it is about them but the kiddos love reward coupons.  I store them in the same pocket chart as their cards for bribery easy reference. I have also seen some teachers store them in slotted clear bins. Without fail, someone chooses "have lunch with the teacher" all the time.  Although I miss eating with my colleagues on those days, nothing beats how thrilled they are to have a little one on one time with their teacher.  The truth is, I learn a lot about them too!  It's our special time.  I have the reward coupons for sale in my store if you are interested.

Because the reward coupons have been so popular, I made "Brag tags" to go along with them.  Brag tags are a powerful classroom management tool.  Students proudly wear them to show others how their their positive behavior and academic acheivements make us, as well as themselves so proud!  They love being stopped by our principals, teachers, and even older students to ask why they are wearing one!

Brag tags are available in my store. I have Brag Tags for birthdays, losing a tooth, general achievements, for all of the reward coupons, and more.

To stay organized and to make the tags easily accessible, I store them  and some extra reward coupons, in clear plastic sleeves.  They are actually intended for scrapbookingThey are by Becky Higgins and they are part of her Project Life album refill kits. They are pretty inexpensive and you can buy them individually or in a pack.

What behavior management system works for you?  I love hearing from you!  

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