Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Classroom Management Idea ~ Using the 50 States

I like to do incentives/rewards for classroom behavior that are both individual and group.  My team has been doing this method of class incentives for a long time, dating back to when I was on the team in 2005.  I'm returning to the 5th grade team this fall and they are still using this.  So, it must be good. ;)

Our S.S. curriculum is U.S. history and geography, so this ties in very well.  Each time the class receives a top score from their specialists teacher, they may put a state up on the map. They may also receive a state for working quietly and cooperatively during an independent work time or for great behavior at an assembly or in the hall.  When all the states have been placed on the map, the class receives a prize.

My district has a very nice in-house printing facility and I just sent them a standard 8.5x11 states map and they blew it up to poster size and laminated it for me.  I also colored the same map image, sent it in and received a nice colored, laminated poster from them.  So, I didn't have to color in all that large space.  I cut out the colored map.  Then I placed sticky back Velcro on the outline map.  I put the opposing Velcro side on top so the sticky side was out.  Then I lined up the colored piece and pressed it on.  This way, the Velcro pieces line up and the colored piece is in the right spot when it is attached.

Making sure the Velcro is lined up. 

I'm starting my class off with the states I have lived in to give them a head start at the beginning of the year. 

All the pieces are kept in a basket on the desk I have under the B.board.  The picture below shows the map on the board and the desk underneath.  Our class expectations will go on the wall to the right and the prize will be posted above the map. 

For the prizes, I do several things.  I sometimes make it a mystery and don't tell the students what it is until they win it.  This usually works best after students have had a few prizes so they know what types of things might be expected.  Often times, we choose as a class.  Tables work together to come up with one or two ideas, we share them out as a class and then vote on them.  My parameters are that they usually need to be free and something that can be done at school.  Some of the things we've done include:

Bring your own game - Students bring their own board games or cards games and play for about an hour one afternoon.
Bring your electronic device - Students can bring their electronic gaming systems or music devices to play/listen to.
Play Kickball - My students usually love kickball and enjoy having an afternoon out playing it.
Read in the Gym - Bring blankets and pillows and spread out all over the gym to read
Watch a movie - We are able to watch anything with a G rating or our media center also has a good selection of movies.  I usually try to tie this in with content or watching a movie based on a book we have read.
Extra recess - Adding in a morning recess one day.  We usually just have lunch time and a 15 minute afternoon recess.

Food Parties - I usually save the food parties for my mystery incentives:
     Root-beer Float Party
     Hot Chocolate and a Story or Movie Party
     Pizza Party
     Soda Pop or Popsicle Party (each child receives a can of Shasta soda or a Popsicle and consumes it outside)

**For any of the incentives, be sure to set parameters, especially when students are bringing items from home.**

What is your whole-class management/incentive system?

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  1. What a FABULOUS idea! I have a travel-themed classroom and this would fit in PERFECTLY! Thanks for the idea :)

    Joy in the Journey

  2. Such a cool idea! I like that you have incorporated geography into your rewards program.

    Sara :)
    Smiling In Second Grade


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