Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Classroom Management: What Works for Me

Hi there! I have found a great new linky party hosted by Mrs. D's Corner that I am linking up with today, all about behavior management.  A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about one of the behavior management systems that I use in my classroom.  I'm going to revisit this post here, and add some more specifics for you!

If you are like me, you have spent countless hours searching to find a classroom management tool to reward your kiddos who are on task.  I have been very against giving out prizes for students who are doing what they should be doing.  But, after sounding like a broken record giving reminders in my classroom, I decided that my kinders really perform for extrinsic rewards, and that the intrinsic reward of doing the right thing because they should be doing it, is just not cutting it at this age.  So, I got off my high horse, and tweaked a reward system into both an intrinsic and extrinsic motivator and guess what!? IT WORKED! At first I still dreaded the days that I brought out the prizes, but after seeing how it motivated even some of my toughest students, I decided that I was not a terrible teacher for giving these small rewards so infrequently.

Here's the basic premise: When my kinders are on task (without a reminder from me), I give them a Busy Bee ticket.  I personally keep track of how many tickets each student has by using the recording sheet and giving them a tally mark.  However, if you want to put the responsibility more on your students, I have included an option for that as well.

^This is the recording sheet that I use to keep track of how many tickets each student earns. If you want the students to keep track for themselves, here are some labels that you can attach to a bucket, cup, or whatever your heart desires.  Your students can store their tickets in there and let you know when they have reached goal:



When I first introduced Busy Bee, I made my students set a goal of 5 tickets.  So, when they earned 5 Busy Bee tickets from me as indicated on my recording sheet, they got to choose a prize.  They chose the prize at the end of the day, and it had to go straight into their backpack.  They would then start back at 0.

As time went on, I raised the benchmark form 5 to 8, and then finally settled on 10 tickets at the end of the year.  I was SHOCKED with how hard my kinders worked to get these tickets, and how PROUD they were of themselves when they received them and brought them home to show their families!  I even had some who kept them in their pencil boxes and would count them each day to see how many more they needed.  My finest hour was when students did not receive a ticket during one guided reading rotation, and then I saw them really turn it around during the next rotation so they could get one.  I felt like a proud momma! Here's a glimpse at what the tickets look like:


Are you wondering if I spend the whole day running around and handing out these tickets? The answer is no.  I have included the sign I use in my product, which I post on my white board when I am on the search for Busy Bees.  I mostly hang the sign up during guided reading and guided math where there is always a group of students working independently.  But, I tweak it as I see that reinforcement is necessary.



The best part is, I include all that you need for a mini lesson to introduce Busy Bee! This pack comes with pieces to build your own anchor chart so that your students can help brainstorm what the expectations for receiving a ticket are.  There is also a pre-created sheet that lists the expectations that I use with my students.  All you have to do is print and post!

 Head on over to my TPT store to check it out- I'd love some feedback!

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2 comments:

  1. Thank you for linking up with Stephanie and me for our B2S linky! We're happy to have you.

    But, I've got to say - LOVE the busy bee theme ;) I tried my best not to give out any sort of little trinkets/rewards to my 3rd graders for behaviors that were EXPECTED of them, but to know that they'd work that much harder when I did, I continued to do so. I was heavily against it, just like you, but my students thrived that much more when small, little rewards were given in return for good behavior.

    I hope to see you next week when we discuss our assessment strategies!

    Sara
    Miss V's Busy Bees
    ventrellasara@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for co-hosting, Sara! I love finding new linky parties, they are great ways to meet new teacher friends! I will follow you both so that I can be sure to hop on your next linky as well!

      Gina

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