fbq('track', 'ViewContent');
Showing posts with label beanie babies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beanie babies. Show all posts

5 Rewards that don't lead to Entitlement

I'm not a big fan of rewards. 

5 Rewards that don't lead to Entitlement - here are 5 ideas that can be used to encourage children to take pride in their work, but not feel entitled to rewards.

I feel rewards teach children to expect a payoff every time they put effort into something. Rewards often lead to a sense of entitlement, which isn't what the real world is about. 

HERE is a blog post I wrote a while ago that goes into details about WHY I don't like rewards.
5 Rewards that don't lead to Entitlement - here are 5 ideas that can be used to encourage children to take pride in their work, but not feel entitled to rewards.

I know what you're thinking... 
but how do we motivate children to complete work?
 

How do we motivate children to learn?


Well, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. 
The idea is to get children to take pride in their accomplishments.
5 Rewards that don't lead to Entitlement - here are 5 ideas that can be used to encourage children to take pride in their work, but not feel entitled to rewards.
It just so happens I've had a gazillion beanies in my basement from when my daughter was younger. She was just at the right age when they became popular, and people kept giving them to her! (If you ask around, I'm sure you could find someone who has a ton of these that they'd love to get rid of!)

No, they don't get to keep the beanies, but they get to keep them on their desk for the day! I'll bet you're thinking...don't the kiddos play with them all day?

Well, no, because I'm pretty strict about that. 
If they play with the beanies, they lose the beanies. 

Every morning the children are invited to put a beanie on their desk to keep them company for the day. They can earn more throughout the day by asking thoughtful questions, showing perseverance, helping classmates, and a variety of "above and beyond" behaviors that I want to emphasize.

Since it's not a thing they get to keep, it's not about greed. 
 

It's about pride. 


5 Rewards that don't lead to Entitlement - here are 5 ideas that can be used to encourage children to take pride in their work, but not feel entitled to rewards.

I also have a collection of flags, including many from different countries. I admit, the American flags are the most popular, but once they figure out the other countries, those become popular, too! The flags are rewards, similar to the beanies, but on a higher level. I'll give flags for effort, success on math facts, handwriting awards, or remembering to show their work in math.  Again, they don't get to keep the flags, but it is a source of pride.
5 Rewards that don't lead to Entitlement - here are 5 ideas that can be used to encourage children to take pride in their work, but not feel entitled to rewards.

Kids do need to play. Personally, I'd love to see them get a whole lot more recess, but that's not something I can control. But if the group gets their work done in a reasonable amount of time, and they put effort into that work, they can earn some play time. One of their favorites is time to play with the math manipulatives! They also enjoy time with clay, painting, and we even spent some time making paper airplanes! These group rewards serve several purposes: they encourage the children to work as a team, and they get along amazingly well at these times! When it's time to pick up, they're good sports because they know they want to earn this "play time" again! Another thing... giving them specific play time with manipulatives helps them NOT play with them when using them as math tools. 
5 Rewards that don't lead to Entitlement - here are 5 ideas that can be used to encourage children to take pride in their work, but not feel entitled to rewards.

Yes, you read that right! When my class brainstormed ideas for things they could earn with good behavior and hard work, science experiments was one of the first things on the list! (Don't tell the kids, most of these science experiments are things I'd do with the children anyway, but when it's used "as  a reward", it's very motivational!)
5 Rewards that don't lead to Entitlement - here are 5 ideas that can be used to encourage children to take pride in their work, but not feel entitled to rewards.
Lego Abe has been an important part of my classroom for several years now. I think he was part of a "Happy Meal" toy or something like that, but he's been a big hit!

Every day, Lego Abe gets to sit on the desk of one of my cherubs. It's announced in my daily morning letter, and he always goes to someone who has been a good role model or showed exceptional effort or perseverance. This is clearly stated in the "morning letter announcement." At the end of the day, Lego Abe takes his "Gettysburg Address" back to his "log cabin" to sleep for the night.

You may not have your own Lego Abe, but I'm sure you've got something the children might cherish as much as mine cherish Lego Abe.

Have you noticed a theme? NONE of these rewards are given for being "smart" or "talented." They are given for effort and hard work! Plus, NONE of these rewards are things the children get to keep. They are simply a recognition for a job well done, and encourage children to take pride in what they do.

These rewards don't encourage entitlement, they encourage children to work. Isn't that what we want?

5 Rewards that don't lead to Entitlement - here are 5 ideas that can be used to encourage children to take pride in their work, but not feel entitled to rewards.

Clip Charts, Yay or Nay?

Many teachers use a clip chart for behavior management in their classrooms. I know of many parents and teachers who have strong feelings about these clip charts.
 
Clip Charts: Yay or Nay? Here are some reasons for and against using clip charts. The conclusion? It's all in the execution!
 
 
Clip Charts: Yay or Nay? Here are some reasons for and against using clip charts. The conclusion? It's all in the execution!

Here are some of the arguments against the clip charts:

 
1. It's too public.
2. It upsets children when their clip is moved down.
3. They don't change behavior.
4. It's negative.

Clip Charts: Yay or Nay? Here are some reasons for and against using clip charts. The conclusion? It's all in the execution!

Well, despite all these beliefs, I use a clip chart in my classroom, and I love it!  Here's why:

1. It holds the students accountable for their actions.
2. It gives the children a chance to change things around.
3. It motivates the children to want to do well.
4. It's positive and honest.


Does it sound like some of my reasons for using it are conflicting with some of the reasons some have for not using it?


Well, I think the difference lies in the execution. 

I find the clip chart to be a positive experience because I make sure it is a positive experience. 


Most of the time, most of my students end the day well above green, and very rarely does a student end the day below green. 

If they do end below green, then they must have needed that communication. 

Do you know who else needs that communication? 


The other students in the class. 

They see the inappropriate behaviors in the classroom. It makes them feel insecure and sometimes scared if the child isn't held accountable for their actions. When they see that the teacher does something about inappropriate behavior, it makes them feel more secure. 

Clip Charts: Yay or Nay? Here are some reasons for and against using clip charts. The conclusion? It's all in the execution!


When I have to move a clip down, I make it clear that the child made a bad decision and is NOT a bad child. Then I repeat one of my famous phrases: "You have the power to change this!"

Clip Charts: Yay or Nay? Here are some reasons for and against using clip charts. The conclusion? It's all in the execution!

Then I make a point to find them doing something well, and make sure that clip gets moved in the right direction.  

It's all about positive execution! 

The teacher has the power to make it a positive experience or a negative experience. I choose to make it positive.

I have a music theme in my classroom, so I designed this Clip Chart System:
 
Clip Charts: Yay or Nay? Here are some reasons for and against using clip charts. The conclusion? It's all in the execution!


It has music pictures and music themed words like "Rhythmic Day", and the most desired level: "Symphonic Day". It's tough to get to that top level, but I make sure it happens, and I make sure even the most challenging kids find their way to the top level. 

Clip Charts: Yay or Nay? Here are some reasons for and against using clip charts. The conclusion? It's all in the execution!

For children who struggle, there is a more private option.

Clip Charts: Yay or Nay? Here are some reasons for and against using clip charts. The conclusion? It's all in the execution!

Each day, the children record where they end the day. Each week, they do a self evaluation and choose a goal for the week.   Sometimes they do need a little help coming up with appropriate goals, but sometimes I am amazed at how insightful these goals can be!

There is also another incentive built into my clip chart system:



Clip Charts: Yay or Nay? Here are some reasons for and against using clip charts. The conclusion? It's all in the execution!

Beanie Babies!


Clip Charts: Yay or Nay? Here are some reasons for and against using clip charts. The conclusion? It's all in the execution!

Depending on where they end up at the end of the day on the clip chart, they'll get to start the next day with a certain amount of beanies on their desk! It may seem like a little thing, but this is HUGE with my second graders! Those beanie babies are like trophies to those little guys!

Clip Charts: Yay or Nay? Here are some reasons for and against using clip charts. The conclusion? It's all in the execution!

I've been using beanie babies as rewards for years now, and I've never had a class that didn't love them. Yes, they play with them at first, but they don't want to lose the privilege of the beanie, so they learn real fast to leave it alone.

All in all, I love the clip chart system, but it is indeed a lot of work to make it work in a positive manner. 

If you're interested in the Clip Chart System I use, See the image above or see THIS LINK.

I also have a version of the clip chart with a sports theme!

 
Clip Charts: Yay or Nay? Here are some reasons for and against using clip charts. The conclusion? It's all in the execution!
 

Click the image or click HERE to see this resource!

I also use other methods of classroom management such as the scoreboard from Whole Brain Teaching but I believe in the Clip Chart because I make it work!
 
Clip Charts: Yay or Nay? Here are some reasons for and against using clip charts. The conclusion? It's all in the execution!
 

Organization and Management, A Little of Each

As I've been teaching for about 100 years, I've explored many different ways to manage behaviors.

Organization and Management, a little of each. This post gives 2 ideas for classroom management and 3 tips for classroom organization

These are the two things I've settled on lately:

The Scoreboard has been my savior for the last few years!  It is my main tool for management in the classroom. The best part? It's simple to use! It's part of the Whole Brain Teaching strategies, and I absolutely love it! Basically, when the kids do something well, put a tally on the happy side. When something doesn't go well, put a tally on the sad side. If Happy beats Sad at the end of the day, the kids earn 5 minutes toward a privilege, such as extra recess, arts and crafts, or a dance party. Different teachers do different things with the scoreboard, but that's how I use it. It goes all day, every day!

Organization and Management, a little of each. This post gives 2 ideas for classroom management and 3 tips for classroom organization

See more about Whole Brain Teaching HERE (Be sure to watch the videos. That's what hooked me in!)

I also use a Clip Chart. I have one with a sport theme and one with a music theme, and each uses beanie babies for incentive. Yep, there's not much more exciting than getting the privilege of having a beanie baby (or two, or more) live on your desk for the day.

There are some that see clip charts as a negative experience for the children. I believe the success lies in the execution. You can read more about that HERE.

Organization and Management, a little of each. This post gives 2 ideas for classroom management and 3 tips for classroom organization

Organization and Management, a little of each. This post gives 2 ideas for classroom management and 3 tips for classroom organization

Now here are a couple of organizational ideas :

Organizational Tip #1: Organization for base ten blocks! Aren't these caddies great? It's so easy for the kids to get the pieces they need. I used to keep them in one big tub, but all the little cubes would fall to the bottom, and it was tough for the kids to get the ones they needed! These are much easier! (Plus, these base ten blocks are made of foam... much quieter!)
Organization and Management, a little of each. This post gives 2 ideas for classroom management and 3 tips for classroom organization

If you're interested in these caddies, just explore this image~
Organization and Management, a little of each. This post gives 2 ideas for classroom management and 3 tips for classroom organization
Amazon calls them "Art Caddies", but classroom teachers know they're useful for many things other than just Art supplies!

Organization and Management, a little of each. This post gives 2 ideas for classroom management and 3 tips for classroom organization

Organizational Tip #2: Writing Folder Organization! Use 4 different colors, and have even amounts of folders for each color. There's never a question of where a folder would go, or where to put it away. After school, go through the red ones on Monday, yellow on Tuesday, green on Wednesday, and blue on Thursday. Then you get Friday off!  

Organization and Management, a little of each. This post gives 2 ideas for classroom management and 3 tips for classroom organization
I use the drawers of the cart for different kinds of paper.

  Organization and Management, a little of each. This post gives 2 ideas for classroom management and 3 tips for classroom organization

 I put pre-stapled booklets, staplers, tape, and staple removers on an extra desk.

Organizational Tip #3: Letter guide/ number grid! I give every child one of these two sided cards that we use ALL THE TIME! They are good tools for math as well as handwriting. (That's the Handwriting Without Tears alphabet on the back.) They are great for covering work during a test.  They make great bookmarks. They can help kids keep their place while reading. Seriously, these letter guide/ number guides are out several times a day. Plus, if you laminate them, the kids can write on them with dry erase markers! The letter guide is copyrighted, so you'll have to get that through HWT, but you can download the color coded number grid freebie HERE!
Organization and Management, a little of each. This post gives 2 ideas for classroom management and 3 tips for classroom organization


Organization and Management, a little of each. This post gives 2 ideas for classroom management and 3 tips for classroom organization

Hope you appreciate these management and organizational tips!
Organization and Management, a little of each. This post gives 2 ideas for classroom management and 3 tips for classroom organization


Finding the Carrot

I've taught many grades.  I've had a lot of students.  I've had my share of challenging students.  As different as they all are, I've found one thing in common.  They all want something. 

Some children only want to be noticed.  Luckily, there are many students who want to do the right thing.  Some want to have fun.  Some want to do nothing.  Some want to antagonize their teacher.  In many ways teaching is all about finding that thing they want.  It's about finding that thing that will motivate them.  It's about finding the carrot to dangle.

I really learned this lesson many years ago when I was a young teacher who would do anything for some work experience to get me closer to a real job.  Although most of my training and experience was in the early childhood years, I took a job teaching Language Arts in a summer school program with 8th graders.  I was so very much out of my league, but it didn't take me long to figure out what these kids wanted.  They wanted to pass my class so they could move onto High School.

It was a shock for the boys.  (Yes, it was a group of 8 boys.)  Everyone was taller than I was, and they were certainly tough kids.  They thought all they had to do was show up for the class.  They were quite shocked to find out that they actually had to do work and participate in class!  But I frequently reminded them that they were expected to do the work I gave them, and reluctantly, they did it.  After a while they softened a little and almost started to enjoy themselves. 

The second graders I've had these past few years have been somewhat easier to please.  The thing that works for most of them:  beanie babies!  I have a huge collection of them, and if someone does something well, they get to keep a beanie on their desk for the rest of the day. 

It all started a few years back in a moment of desperation.  I had several beanies around the room as decorations.  The class was restless that day, and I was searching for someone who was doing things right and a way to reward that student.  Finally I found a kid who was focused and working, so I grabbed one of the beanies and plopped it on the student's desk.  That child was so thrilled, that I managed to find a few others who "got the hint" and started to work, so I put beanies on their desks, too.  It was such a hit that I kept it going and it still goes on today.

Sure, the kids want to play with the beanies.  I often remind them, if they play with it, they lose it.  ("It's not a toy, it's a tool to remind you to be good.")  And I have to take them every so often to the laundromat for their "bath".  But it's been a hit.

Who wouldn't want an adorable little beanie on their desk to keep them company?

What I Learned on my First Day This Year

Well, I survived and made it through the first day.  My classroom is put together, I made it through Open House and 2 days of teacher meetings. 

Here's what I learned about my students:  I've learned they like to talk, except of course, when I ask them to talk. 

I learned they like to repeat my name over and over and over.

I learned they love to listen to stories, and ask lots of questions that show good predicting skills.  (I read Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse.  Who doesn't love that?)

I learned when the story gets long, the children get restless. I learned that some of the children don't follow directions until they have eye contact.

I learned that the children believe me when I tell them they're the best class in the school.  I learned they enjoy each other and care about helping each other. 

I learned they want to do well, and need to be told they're doing well.  I learned they love having a beanie baby on their desk.  They really love trying to earn a second beanie baby for their desk, and even a third.

I learned they get tired by the end of the day, just like their teacher.

In a way, they're like most other kids I've had.  In other ways, they're like no class I've ever met before. 

I learned this is going to be another year that I love my job.

What has your class taught you?

How to Have Them Happy When They Walk Out of the Classroom

It's important to have the children leave happy for so many reasons. For one, you want them to feel good about school so they'll want to come back tomorrow. 

How to have them HAPPY when they walk out of the classroom. Of course we want them happy. Here are some ideas on how to do just that!


Maybe even more important, if they're feeling bad, that's how they're feeling when mom asks, "How did school go today?"  This can lead to bad feelings and/ or bad communication, which we just don't want to happen. 


I start my day on a high energy note (see my previous blog post:  How to Have Them Ready to Learn When They Walk Into the Classroom) I prefer for the kids to leave on a calm, reflective note.

I play soft music as the children are packing up. (They tend to have trouble focusing by the end of the day, and the music calms them down and helps them focus on their responsibilities.) When they are all packed up, we meet in a circle for "High Low". While they are waiting for the others, they reflect on their school day.

When most of the children are ready, I usually start "High Low". I pick up a beanie baby. (Whoever is holding the beanie is allowed to speak.) I tell the class my high of the day and my low of the day. It might sound like this: "My high of the day was how everyone enjoyed the story I read. My low of the day was that someone hurt Susie's feelings at recess." As the children decide their high/low, they raise their hands. I'll pick one child and toss the beanie to them. And so it continues.  

A few procedures I've followed during "High/ Low".  


  • No one can be raising their hand while someone is talking. 
  • Don't raise your hand until you've planned what you're going to say.  
  • Say the person's name BEFORE you toss the beanie.  
  • No one has to have a low, you can do two highs instead. If you want to participate, you have to have at least one high.  
  • No mentioning names if it's not good news, just say "someone". If it's good news, use names!  
  • Don't toss the beanie to the same person every day. 
Often people wonder why I even do a "low" for the day, why focus on the negative? Well, I've found that sometimes things bother the little ones and it's important to let it out.  As long as it's anonymous, letting it out is a good thing. I also find that when I tell my low, it gives the children an idea on how much I care about them. My lows usually have to do with someone who is absent or someone who got hurt. A lot of thought and "modeling" go into my "high/ low".


I do find the children love it, and it's a great motivation for them to finish packing up so they can participate. I also find it's a great way to learn what is important to the children. And, of course, sometimes I find out things I didn't know were going on in the social circles of my classroom. This is all valuable information for me!

How to have them HAPPY when they walk out of the classroom. Of course we want them happy. Here are some ideas on how to do just that!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format