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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spark Student Motivation Linky (behavior management)!!

Happy Saturday!!  I have been on a relaxing "staycation" the past two weeks and am almost ready to go back to work (at least I am telling myself that!).  
I do miss those little stinkers though!  
I got quite a bit accomplished but still have a lot left that I didn't get to!  
Does anyone else feel that way after a long vacation?  
Sometimes I have to remind myself of all the things I DID get to 
instead of all the things I DIDN'T get to:)

I am so excited to link up with my sweet friend, Joanne, from Head Over Heels for Teaching for her first linky, Spark Student Motivation Saturdays!!  Isn't her linky button by Michelle at The 3am Teacher gorgeous?  It is so sparkly and just captures the style of her blog!  

Have you heard of The Tough Kid Tool Box?  I love this book and its companion, The Tough Kid Book.  Even though I would say I don't really have that many "tough kids," there are always a few that really test the limits.  
Inspired by this book, one management strategy I have used for many years 
is my 20 stars incentive.
Here are the 20 stars posted on my wall once both my ELA (green stars) 
and homeroom (blue stars) reached 20. 

How does the class earn a star?
I place a spot on the board to make tally marks when the class as whole is noisy or wasting time during transitions or if I am talking to another student or adult, etc.  Also, they may get a tally if they are walking in the hallway to specials in a line that is not straight and quiet.  Basically, anytime they are not up to my standard of behavior, I put a tally on the board.  If the homeroom earns 3 or less tallies during the entire day, they get a star on the wall (ELA is 2 tallies or less because I see them for less time).  We are now at 2 or less tallies for homeroom and 1 or less tallies for ELA at this point in the year.

What happens when the class earns 20 stars?
We draw a card from the reward options and have about 20 minutes of free time (I know it doesn't seem like much time, but for the 4th graders, it is a HUGE reward!).  The options are music and dance party, whole class games (they love charades!), individual games with computer time and small group games, movie clips time (funny videos or youtube browsing!), or outside free time (weather permitting)!

Does it work?
You bet!  All I have to do is place a tally on the board and it is like magic I tell ya!!  My lines in the hallway are beautiful and we get where we need to go quickly!  I pass out papers and can continue talking and giving instructions (I don't like to waste any time if possible!).  I tell the class that the free time they earn when they get 20 stars is worth it because they are so well behaved that more than 20 minutes of class time has been saved by less wasted time:)

What do you do for the few kids that are still reluctant to follow the rules?
I do have a strategy for those students that goes along with the 20 stars plan.  It has something to do with what happens when the free time day (well, 20 minutes of free time) comes!  
Check back next Saturday for more on that topic:)

Be sure to check back each Saturday for this great linky!  
What do you do to motivate your students?

I wanted to leave you with a couple pictures of my kiddos:)  My family had a two-day getaway at a local water park.  My own kids LOVED the water slides and, of course, staying in the hotel!  It was a fun time and my sister was able to go with her two boys too.  

Have a great weekend everyone!  
I am off to soak in all I can of the rest of my break:)


  1. It looks like you had a great spring break. I can't believe you put a teaser in
    your post!!! I'm putting that book on my summer list, thanks!

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  2. I love the visual of the 20 stars-great to get kids motivated, especially when they're getting close to 20!!! I agree with you about the great return for 20 minutes, all those minutes wasted can add up to be way more than 20 minutes of free time!
    Kids are beautiful!
    Thank you so much for linking up!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  3. Great Ideas! Thanks for finding my linky! I am pleased that it brought me to your site! I love it!

  4. I needed this at the beginning of the year! I am definitely trying this in the fall!

  5. I like the stars- great visual for students. You have so many incentives for them to choose from- no wonder they are motivated!

    Everyone deServes to Learn

  6. Hi Holly, Just found your cute blog through Laura's giveaway - I'm your newest follower!

    Science for Kids Blog