Two Classroom Management Techniques Worth Trying

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by Kelli Lewis

Looking for some fresh ideas for your classroom discipline plan? Check out these two unique takes on positive reinforcement.

IDEA ONE: Plastic Money Coins

Here’s How It Works:

  1. Students have a strip of Velcro at the top of their desks.
  2. The teacher places coins, all of different worth (pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters) on their Velcro strip if they are caught doing the right thing. (These coins can be found at many school supply stores, such as The School Box.)
  3. The teacher rewards them for doing their homework, for raising their hand to answer a question, walking quietly down the hallway, etc.
  4. Money can also sometimes be taken away when a student isn’t doing the right thing, but this should occur very seldom.
  5. At the end of each day, students count the coins on their Velcro strip and tell the teacher their amount as she records it on her money chart. The students place their money for the day in their “billfold” (can simply be a Ziploc bag) in their desk.
  6. And now here’s the fun part! On Fridays, students cash in their coins at the class store (for trinkets, erasers, stickers, etc.), or they can save them for another Friday. This begins to teach students the meaning of money and saving for a bigger goal.

An Added Bonus? Children become adept at counting and using money (which is a standard for lower elementary grades).

Beginner’s Tip: To get the children used to the concept of money (and the coins’ values), begin with just pennies, then progressively add the bigger coins.

IDEA TWO: Positive Points

Here’s How It Works:

  1. The students’ desks are placed together to make tables (shoot for about three to five tables total, depending on the amount of students).
  2. Each table has a name and a bucket in the middle that contains Popsicle sticks (positive points). During the day, the teacher finds the quietest table, the table that is the quickest to get quiet, etc., and she gives that table a stick/positive point.
  3. Students aren’t allowed to touch the sticks. If someone does, a stick is removed from their table. This is the only way sticks are removed.
  4. The students have to work together as a team to get one, and everyone suffers if one student gets one taken away.
  5. At the end of each day, the teacher counts the sticks aloud as a class. The class discusses greater than and less than. They also determine which table had the most sticks. The teacher then rewards each student at the winning table with a gummy worm (or any other reward the teacher decides).
  6. The teacher collects all of the sticks at the end of the day, and the process starts over for the next day.

Happy planning for your class in the fall!

Kelli Lewis is an Early Childhood Education graduate student at the University of Georgia.



Filed under Behavior Management, Classroom Community, Discipline, Math

7 responses to “Two Classroom Management Techniques Worth Trying

  1. Tonya Beaty

    I really like these ideas as they incorporate AKS objectives along with classroom management. The coin idea is one I like to use as it works well with my small group environment in special ed. I would like to use the popsicle idea in my inclusion classes. Great ideas!

  2. Rachel

    I love the idea bringing positive reinforcements into the classroom and connecting them with learning standards (such as learning to count coins). This is a technique that can be applicable to real world situations once students are able to deal with money on their own. The classroom store allows them to make choices and gain ownership. By placing the coins on the students’ desks and allowing them to keep their money in their ‘walet,’ the teacher is teaching responsibility. I think another idea that could go along with the money strips, is having the students trade in coins for new coins to learn currency equivalency. For example, the teacher could be running out of nickels to pass out to the students, and he/she can ask, “Who has money that they can trade for a dime?” The students would reply by trading 2 nickels for a dime.

    I also like the idea of the positive points. I think it would be a good idea to give the students a goal to work towards everyday. For instance, students could work towards having the tidiest desks, having the least amount of interruptions, or being the most prepared. By doing these things, students could earn positive points, and it would allow for different students to shine!

  3. April Ausburn

    Fabulous ideas! I am going to use them both.
    The coin idea is a great way to keep control and motivate the kids. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Jackie Helm

    These are great ideas. I will use the coin idea! Anytime little ones can learn about the value of money & saving, it’s a good thing. I can’t wait to introduce this method for the new school year. Woo-hoo!

  5. Jennifer Nuss

    I teach 5th grade and I use classroom bucks. They have my picture on them. They are in denominations of 1,5,10,20. Kids get rewarded for random things, clean desks, compliments received, good behavior, homework turned in. Once a month I have a store where I purchase things from dollar spot or book orders and they can “buy” them. I also later on in the year create checks and a checking account. They have to deposit their money, keep their balance and write me checks for activities and punishments if they get money “taken” from them.

  6. Theresa Pinilla

    I love the plastic coins idea- keeps individuals accountable for themselves, and they get preactice in a life skill. I teach middle school, and you wouldn’t beleive how many kids have trouble counting coins. Then again, if you’ve made a cash purchase recently, maybe you know what I mean. My SWD especially struggle with it. I’ll be picking up some coins before school starts and putting this to use in at least one class this year.

  7. ecossick

    What GREAT comments! Thanks to everyone who joined this helpful discussion on classroom management. The winner of the $20 School Box gift card is Rachel! And, there’s a new post up on A Learning Experience…so go comment to win another $20 everyone!