A Merry and Bright Classroom: Management Strategies

I know these last couple of weeks before winter break can be a trying time for us, as the students get excited for the break and stir-crazy (especially if you throw indoor recess in the mix too!). I always try to bring something new into my Classroom Management system to make things new and interesting. I've got three easy ideas for you today!

I just recently went to Target and snagged these adorable wooden figures from Bullseye's Playground. They are $3 for this set of 6, and I just love the colors! You can use these into January too.

The idea I had for these comes from Simply Kinder. I absolutely LOVE Jennifer's blog, and got so much from it as a Kindergarten teacher, but this is one idea you can use for all grades. She calls this strategy Passing on the Positive. Basically, whenever you see a student meeting/exceeding your standards, you call them out and give them the figure (I would be using these wood figures from Target!). For example, "I love how James got to work right away on his morning work" and then I would go and put the figure for the day on his desk. Then, maybe 10 minutes later, "Lindsay helped our friend who was absent yesterday find all of his work! Pass the penguin to Lindsay," etc. The figure is passed on all day, and whoever's hands it is in at the end of the day, that person gets a reward! 

Jennifer has all the details on her blog (linked above), but I love this because you're focusing on the positive. Everyone wants the figure, and if they hear that someone else was doing something well, they want to do it too! Depending on the age of your students, the penguin or gingerbread kid could jump from desk to desk, or if your seating is more fluid/flexible, they could keep it next to them or in their hands. 

What reward should they get? Well, my first thought is that you buy enough of these figure sets so you have the same amount of figures as days in December! Whoever ends up with the figure at the end of the day gets to take it home! Another option is Free Choice Time, or anything else that works best for you. 

Idea number two also comes from Target! Well, it can actually come from your home too, if you like to hoard flavored lip balms! Sweet Spots are one of my FAVORITE tools for the littles - PreK through 2nd grade is probably what this is best suited towards. 

I picked up these holiday Lip Smackers (again, anytime you can refresh something that you've done before but with THEMED items, DO IT!) from the beauty section in Target. The candy cane was $3, so $1 per lip balm. Again, very inexpensive but has a big impact. 

If you've never heard of Sweet Spots, all you do is carry around a lip balm as you're going through your day, and whenever you see someone going above and beyond, or transitioning really quickly, etc. they get a little "Sweet Spot" on their hand! It's literally just a stamp or a rub of lip balm! They EAT THIS UP.

Jorge showed perfect line behavior even when his friends didn't? Sweet Spot. 
Julia asked if her friend was okay when he tripped and fell and she helped him up? Sweet Spot.
Max didn't get upset when he made a mistake in his math? Sweet Spot. 
Lily made it the whole morning without tattling? Sweet Spot. 

And these lip balms last FOREVER. Easiest system ever!

As you can probably tell by now, I am a FIRM believer in not reinventing the wheel, and sharing things that have worked for me that I've got from other teachers!! #sharingiscaring #wearebettertogether So this last strategy comes from the Peppy Zesty Teacherista! It is called Code Word of the Day. And you can read about this on her blog, as well as get a FREEBIE to get you started. 

However, my twist on this for December is using a holiday word as your code word. For example, MENORAH, FATHER CHRISTMAS, or POINSETTIA would be great words!! 

I hope this breathed some fresh energy into your Classroom Management strategies and gave you something new to try! I'd love to hear how it works out for you, or see it in action on Instagram! Tag me @alliethegypsyteacher! Thanks for stopping by!! 

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