Friday, October 5, 2012

Class, Clips, and Coupons!

I have such an incredible class this year! They are just what I needed to enjoy teaching again! With that said, I thought I'd share what I'm doing for classroom management this year.

For years, I went with the usual "Treasure Box." That was fine, but it does get to be expensive if you don't have parents to donate prizes for it. Besides that, as a parent I always cringe when I see my son bringing home yet another piece of junk that he will soon tire of, and will end up in the endless piles of junk on his bedroom floor.

Then, over the summer when I was looking for all kinds of 2nd Grade ideas, I came upon this idea of using coupons from Mel D. at Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations:

The coupons were made by Mel D., and you can find them here. I purchased the drawers and put one in front to display them so the children can easily find and return the coupons. 

Before I explain about the coupons, I should tell you how they are earned! :) I use this lovely chart created by Sandy Fiorini:

The children start each day on "Ready to Learn." Then, they can either move their clip up or down throughout the day according to behavior. If they reach the top, they get a "jewel" to stick on their clip. If they reach the bottom, their parents are notified. The color each child is on at the end of the day is indicated to parents in the daily folder, which includes the color code and what each one means (oops, I'll post a picture of that soon).

By the end of the week, if they are on "Ready to Learn" or higher everyday (one "slip up" day is allowed), they get to choose a coupon to use next week. How do they keep track of coupons without losing them? I'm glad you asked! :)

This is a regular behavior pocket chart that I had used years ago. It had layers of labels from years of use. I wanted to use it, but it looked horrible. Then, the idea came to me! I took some ribbon I had left over from another classroom decor project (I had to be color coordinated!) and stapled it across the pockets. I printed the children's names on clear labels, and put them on. Add a couple of cut-outs to go with my theme, and there is a perfect place for coupon storage! It is easily accessible to the children for when they earn or cash  in coupons, and it looks nice!

So far with my class this year, everyone has earned a coupon each week! I'm so proud of them! Also, they absolutely love the coupons! Their favorites are "Stinky Feet" - wear no shoes in the classroom, "Dibs on the Computer" - 20 minutes of computer time on Friday, "Feeling Sleepy?" - wear your pajamas to school, "Furry Friend" - bring a stuffed animal to school (it gets put away if there are problems), and "Friendly Lunch" - choose 1 friend and sit with that person at the end of the cafeteria table by yourselves.

As a whole class, I reinforce positive behavior by giving pom poms in our class bucket. Our children are familiar with the "fill your bucket" concept, so this fits perfectly. I choose certain times throughout the day (ex: lining up and walking to lunch) or sometimes give them out randomly when the class is making good choices. When the bucket is full, they will earn one of various parties (popcorn, cupcake, ice cream). 

This is the label I put on the small bucket I found for $1 at Target. If you like it, you can get the label here.

Feel free to share your ideas for classroom management! I'd love to hear about them!

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