Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Reflections

It has officially been one full week since the last day of school for my kids. I knew I was going to miss them since the first day of school last year. They were funny, motivated, kind, great readers, talented in and out of school. Oh, I could go on, but I have shed those tears already. I find myself thinking about them now and then. I also find myself thinking about how different systems and procedures in my classroom worked.

One behavior system that I found worked well was the punch card system that I refined and developed with a few of my fabulous teammates. I may have already talked about this, but it is worth revisiting. Last summer as I was scouring my favorite blogs, I came across someone who used the punch card system to reward students for behavior. When we worked on this idea, we expanded it to include homework, great questions, exceptional behavior, rewards for being recognized for behavior with substitutes. Really, anything that we thought the students would appreciate acknowledgement of, we rewarded them. Students would collect these cards and depending on how many they collected, they could turn in a certain number for a different level of reward. We included menus for one to four cards. For the items on the menu, we really tried to think of things that fifth graders would find "cool" and interesting. Not everything on the menus was something tangible. We did include items like: "Donate a punch on two friend's punch cards" or "Positive call home." It surprised me how many students chose these options. It made my heart swell when they chose these menu items. I will try to locate the menus that we created so that you could build your own. If you have any ideas to add, that would be great! Below is the card that I would hand out. Email me if you want more details!