Classroom Management Tip...The ONE Thing That Works Every Time

When I was a brand new teacher, I attended one of the best workshops ever.  I learned a classroom management strategy that changed my life.  Seriously!  
It's an approach I've used in my classroom every single year, and it works every single time.  

First things first...You will need a large poster cut-out.  I used a smiley face, but you could choose anything that matches your classroom theme.  Laminate the poster, and cut it into fourths.
Put a sturdy magnet on the back of each piece of the poster.  

The idea behind this system is that the entire class is working together to earn all four pieces of the smiley face during the day.  So at the beginning of the day, all four pieces are separated.  The class can EARN pieces of the smiley face by doing simple things like following directions, lining up quickly & quietly, coming to the carpet silently, cleaning up centers in less than 3 minutes, etc.  When my class receives a compliment in the hallway from another teacher, that is something that earns a piece of the smiley face.  Good cafeteria behavior can earn two pieces!  ;)
Each time they "earn a piece," I put it on the board. (Or have a student add the piece)
The caveat is that ALL STUDENTS must be doing what they are supposed to be doing to earn the smiley face piece!  That's the reason this system works so well.  Students are working TOGETHER, and they know their behavior affects their friends.  

When the class earns all four pieces, they are ecstatic!  Sometimes this happens in the afternoon or right before dismissal.  Other days, they earn all four pieces before lunch.  It just depends.
Now, let's talk rewards... You will want a plethora of easy & cheap rewards since you will **HOPEFULLY** be rewarding ALL of your students often.  
These are some of my kiddos favorite rewards:
-Take your shoes off
-Switch seats with a classmate
-Chew a piece of gum  (Stock up at CostCo!)
-Extra recess
-5-minute dance party
-Play a game of Heads Up, 7 Up
-No homework pass 
-Skittles (I buy a giant bag and give each kiddo a couple.  They will savor them!)

Give it a try.  The poster will only cost you a couple bucks.  It's a super easy and effective system to implement.  Let me know how it goes.  :)  

Check out my blog post on using secret hand signals to eliminate BLURTING OUT!  

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