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Thursday, April 28, 2011

My First Linky Party!

I get to participate in my first Linky Party thanks to Kelley Randall at Mrs. Randall's Learning Library.She's asking us to share classroom management ideas.

 I've tried several different things for classroom management. In the past I had a hard time rewarding kids for doing the right think and being responsible. But I changed my mind and decided that it should pay to do the right thing and be responsible. So that's what I do - I pay the kids. When I first started I gave the kids StarBucks (green paper bills with the denomination and stars on them). Then, after a trip to Alaska and a change in my room theme (to the Great Northwest Woods), I started handing out Bear Bucks. I give Bear Bucks for LOTS of reasons. Some of them are:

1.  My kids sign in each morning with hot or cold lunch. At the end of the week I pay $5 for each day they signed in.
2.  They get paid for bringing back their homework sheet on time with the requirements met. I also have optional homework that earns them Bear Bucks.
3.  For class behavior, we start with $20 on the board each day and then add or subtract from the total as the day goes. If a child is having an off day, they lose $10 for each visit with me.
4.  Compliments from other adults earn Bear Bucks.
5.  If I catch someone being extra good - the kid who throws the paper away that everyone else stepped over, or the kid who cleaned up a table, or helped a friend, etc.
6.  And best of all - I pay them for bringing notes back from home. This week I needed lunch orders in a hurry for a field trip day and offered $100 Bear Bucks if they were brought back the next day.  Well, needless to say, I had all but 4 the next day and 3 of those kids were absent the previous day.  Works like a charm!!!!!

They have envelopes to keep their money. Each kid has a bank book and they make deposits about every other week (well, that's the goal anyway!).

Now you may be asking, what do they do with these Bear Bucks? This is the best part of all! At the beginning I would let them buy things from me, but that got expensive. So now once a month we have Store Day. The kids bring white elephants, baked goods, old books, etc. Actually, it's quite interesting to see what they bring. I had a boy last year who brought something different every month - he designed cards, he made personalized items you could "order" from him, he made stamps.  I have a little girl this year who brings the cutest decorated cupcakes each month. The kids spend their Bear Bucks and the kids who open a store get more Bear Bucks. The kids who open stores also have to pay their friends to work at their store if they want to go shopping. They also do their own marketing. I let them use the Flip Video cameras to film commercials a couple of days before Store Day. They make signs and advertisements. They also learn about supply and demand (my cupcake girl brought 36 cupcakes the first time, but quickly learned there are not enough buyers). My economics standards are totally covered!

For those with money at the end of the year, I have an auction. I pay them to bring in stuff for me to auction off (not with real money, Bear Bucks!) and I auction off stuff I get during the year from book orders and odds and ends I have around my house. One year I auctioned off my rolling chair that I had replaced and this year my kids are begging me to auction of the computer clicker I've already replaced.

It works for me and the kids learn a lot. One of my favorite Store Days was before Christmas a couple of year ago. One of the kids sold an old popcorn tin for $50. The kid who brought it sold it to another student for $100. By the time the Store Day was over, 5 kids had bought the tin and the last selling price was $450. Real life learning!  Gotta love it!


Kelley said...

Yeah! I'm the first follower of your new blog! So glad you linked up. I have struggled all year to keep my treasure box stocked and it does get expensive. I LOVE the idea of having the kids bring in items for a monthly store to spend their bear bucks. Thanks so much for sharing. Looking forward to reading more posts.

Mrs. Randall’s Learning Library

Mrs. Owens said...

I used to do "Bear Bucks" as well! It was too much for me to keep up with, though. I love the idea of having the kids bring in things for the store! This is also a great lesson in supply and demand!

Go Fourth! With Owens

Julie said...

Welcome to blogger land!! I put you on my third grade sqworl list!!

Thoughts of a Third Grade Teacher

Lorena said...

Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I think I might start using "class money" so the students can earn their rewards while learning to be responsible.

Little Treasures

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