Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Reward Coupons & Brag Tags: Behavior Management Made Effortless, Engaging, & Fun!

Uh-oh, where did the summer go? It’s August ALREADY, and among the other gazillion things on your teacher to-do list, you may be thinking about which behavior management system you’d like to try with your class this year. Well, I can guarantee, that if you try the Rewards Coupon system, you’ll be blown away by the response from your kiddos. In teacher circles, there’s been so much talk lately about Brag Tags and Reward Coupons that I think it’s the perfect time, right before school starts back, to learn more so that you can transform your class this year! Once I implemented these two (nearly-automated) behavior management systems, I’ve never looked back, and NEVER had the need to try anything else!

Reward Coupons for Classroom Management

First, it’s essential to note that Brag Tags and Reward Coupons are very different and are used for different purposes. My last post discussed all the amazing reasons why Brag Tags are such an awesome behavior management system. The Brag Tags post gives you all the WHYs of using it, and more importantly, it gives you a shopping list with links and set-up guide, so take a look at why you should be using Brag Tags in case you haven’t checked them out before!

The Rewards Coupon system is based on the use of these amazing little behavior motivators called Warm Fuzzies. Nobody really knows why the little nuggets are obsessed with them, and will WORK HARD to earn them, but they will, you’ll see! I have gobs of behavior expectations that are tied to the giving (and taking away!) of Warm Fuzzies. You can decide what classroom behaviors and rules that you want to tie the Warm Fuzzies to, but a list to help you get started is here.  For my Rewards Coupon system, Warm Fuzzies serve as the daily (& tangible) classroom currency that’s a reminder to kids of how the Rewards Coupons will be earned. The Rewards Coupons are chosen (shopped for!), by the little nuggets ahead of time, so they know what they’re working toward, and so they know just how many Warm Fuzzies it will take to earn them! And boy do they keep track! It’s amazing how easily the Warm Fuzzies and Rewards Coupons will keep a student’s behavior on the right track toward their goals! HINT: Having a prominently displayed tri-fold board (see below) set up, of the Reward Coupons and a ‘price list’ how many Warm Fuzzies that each Reward Coupon costs, is also a great motivator for positive behavior! 

Reward Coupons

Reward Coupons

Reward Coupons and warm fuzzies

In addition to the sheer joy that the students feel when they earn a Warm Fuzzy, some of the reasons why Reward Coupons, (both the first set and the second set), are so transformational for your class are: 

ü    Students get to ‘shop’ for rewards based on their preferences, who doesn’t love shopping for themselves?!
ü    Reward coupons motivate students to improve their behavior themselves, (& not by constant teacher reminders!)
ü    Variety! So many FUN rewards to choose from, all of which are immensely appealing to kids!
ü    Everyone has a chance to earn a reward, not just the ‘chronically well-behaved’
ü    Universal appeal for boys & girls!
ü    Provides a tangible reward, (not just a verbal “good job!”)
If you teach older students or are in need of more of an "economy system, I am offering these brand new "classroom bucks" to supplement this system! 
Reward Coupons and classroom bucks

The display board of reward coupons provides a visual reminder for kids to make the best behavior choices. The kids can also have the ability to flip through the reward coupon catalog and make their shopping list. 

Reward Coupon Display Board

Reward Coupons

So, if your classroom management has been a caterpillar, and you’re looking for a butterfly, it’s SO WORTH taking the time NOW to set up an amazing new (and POSITIVE!) behavior system that’s based on positive reinforcement while preventing behavior problems from starting. It really is a miracle worker…if you still need more instructions and details check out this helpful e-book that I wrote just for you! Thousands of teachers have been using this system for years! This system perfectly fits with PBIS & Classroom DOJO

Reward Coupons for Classroom Management
 I also have several classroom management Periscopes that I uploaded on my YouTube channel. Check them out HERE! 

Reward Coupon Bundle (COUPONS ONLY) 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

5 Reasons to use Brag Tags for Effective Classroom Management

5  Reasons Why Brag Tags are your
BEST CHOICE for Effective Classroom Management

Summer is here and I’m so happy to have the time to update a few popular resources from my store, do some bargain shopping and catch up on my blog! Thanks so much for sticking with me!  If you follow me on Instagram, I’ve been much better about giving updates there on all the bargains and fun ideas I’ve been finding! So please take a look when you have a chance! Another great thing about summer is that as teachers, we have time to breathe! I like to use summer to think about what’s working and what’s not in my classroom.  Maybe you do too?  One thing I’d like for you to consider for this coming school year is changing up your classroom management system.  A while back I wrote a blog about my Brag Tags system, which was a real miracle worker for my class!  Once I got my (now NEWLY UPDATED!) Brag Tag system up and running, it was so easy to maintain!  I loved seeing the changes in my students, and the atmosphere in my class, which was both remarkable and heart-warming! I urge you to give it some serious consideration and here’s why:   

Brag Tags for Positive Classroom Management

1.     The most important element of any successful classroom management system is that it’s based on being proactive rather than reactive.  Brag tags are right on point with this--as their purpose is to encourage productive and positive behavior, and to reward with positive attention. We know all too well, that ALL kids want attention, and if they don’t get it for positive behaviors, many times they’ll eventually try to get it for negative behaviors. The proactive structure of my Brag Tags set is the basis for its phenomenal success!

2.     Another key element of a great classroom management system is that not only are classroom expectations made clear through its use, but they’re in positive language and are easy for the teacher to implement and maintain. Everything you need to set up my Brag Tag reward system is enclosed in the packet, including how, and when, to use each tag/necklace. At the end of this post, you can take a look at some of the ways that I organized the tags so that they’re easy to set up, maintain and distribute to students.  Take a look!

3.     Anytime you have a classroom management system that encourages cooperation you know you’re onto something good! The actions and character traits that Brag Tags recognizes definitely impress upon the kiddos how important it is to be helpful and cooperative.   Creating that kind of climate in your classroom carries over into small group learning, whole group learning, and many other types of interactions in which cooperative learning is essential.

4.     As teachers, we’re often, forced to spend so much of our time dealing with negative behavior that we don’t have the time, energy, or means to celebrate positive behavior! Here’s a vivid and sad example:  At the beginning of the year we always learn the squirrely kids’ names first because we’re dealing with them so much right away, that we don’t learn the “quiet one’s” names until later! Sad, but true, eh?  Brag Tags fixes that problem! When I first created this system a few years ago, I kept an ongoing list of all the positive behaviors that needed rewarding and that’s how I came up with many of the brag tags! For example: Giving extra effort, identifying many different (and wonderful!) character traits, and rule followers, just to name a few.

5.     POSITIVITY! If a classroom management system is fun for both teacher and students it will automatically be successful!  The psychology of ‘rewards over punishments’ will always win over strict rules and authoritarian management.  The brag tags system creates so many opportunities to build your students self-esteem and raise their self-confidence level, all while making your classroom run much smoother! All of this equals LESS STRESS for YOU!

Brag Tags for Positive Classroom Management

Here’s everything you’ll need to set up the Brag Tags system!:

And FYI...your little nuggets aren’t the only ones who’ll appreciate being recognized—check out what happened at the end of this year at my school!:  Teachers and staff absolutely love being called out for their traits and successes too! In fact, here’s a REALLY FUN SET of staff brag tags for you!

So, this school year, consider saving your sanity and check out my brag tag system for managing your class with ease and FUN!
Here are some pics of  how I use it!

Brag Tags for Positive Classroom Management

 Samples of each necklace that is included! 250+ options!

 In this $1.99 container I found at Hobby Lobby, I store the key rings & binder clips + all the "future" tags. I organized each container with a purpose.

I used rubber band loom storage containers I found at Meier. You can find containers like these at any craft store such as Michael's, Joann Fabrics & even Walmart.

I included this organizing sheets plus a ton of tech tips! I ended up highlighting where I put each tag with different colors. I am planning on making a "BRAG TAG" cover sheet using that same color I used to highlight. All of the "I am" and "I can" tags are in pink so I will use pink paper for the cover for that particular container.

Click here or below to grab your set!

The first five to comment with your email & your favorite part of this blog post will win a set of these brag tags!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Back to School Decor Ideas

I collaborated with Lakeshore Learning, the ultimate teacher store, on a back to school decor project. Of course, I could NOT pass this up! Several years ago, I started getting into bright neon and chalkboard and the Chevron & Dots Starter Pack they sent me is the motivation I needed! Without further ado, I'm hoping you will find some inspiration here!

The original inspiration for this bulletin board idea came from my sweet friend, Jodi from Fun in First. 

I call this "Restroom Review" because that is just what it is. This is in our hallway right outside our first grade bathrooms. I believe in utilizing every educational opportunity while I have my students and that includes in the hallway. 

Restroom Review Hallway Bulletin Board
The posters and math vocab were made by me but are not finished.

This hallway display is changed every Monday morning based on what unit we are on in Journey's. I also change the math vocabulary based on what lesson/topic we are on that week. I take the time in the hallway, while my "Hallway Monitor" is jotting down talking or behavior issues, I am reviewing our skills of the week with the students that are either waiting to use the restroom or the ones that are finished. I usually focus on one skill per day (2x/day restroom breaks). I never knew how valuable this would end up being. 
It's visually appealing and completely interactive with our entire grade level! Win-Win! 

Restroom Review Hallway Bulletin Board

I used the three different dot borders on this display. It really makes it pop and makes it very unique. Anytime we get visitors at school, they always comment on this board. 
When you layer border be sure to work slow and use just a few staples or even push pins to mark your first layer. Slowly add your second layer with limited staples and/or pins and then your third layer. After you have all of the borders placed perfectly, then add all of the staples you need to keep that baby up for the year. 

Restroom Review Hallway Bulletin Board

In case you were wondering, I used Astrobrights lined paper as a background for the black circle bulletin board letters by Teacher Created Resources

On the sides, I also used two different borders to match the rest of the board. Both can be purchased at Lakeshore Learning and are made by Teacher Created Resources. 

Restroom Review Hallway Bulletin Board

First Grade Burlap Pencil Bulletin Board
This board is several years old but I needed a trim update. I also used the chalkboard brights trim by Teacher Created Resources for this as well. I decided to mix up the dot trim on each side of the bulletin board to match the burlap letters. 

I get asked all.the.time for a tutorial for these letters and I didn't even to think to take pictures. I provided a TON of different digital versions of the word "Write" in my Ultimate Writing Station Bundle for those that were interested. 

Materials used: 
Neon Acrylic Paint 
Black Acrylic Paint
Paint Brushes
Sharpie Marker

I basically had a vision and it went from there. I cut a piece of cardboard into a pencil shape & used that for my pattern. Burlap is not the easiest to cut so make sure you have super sharp scissors. 
I used a sharpie to sketch the jagged pencil edges & then painted it hand. 
Next, I painted the burlap with the colors I wanted. I believe it was only one coat for each. 
I printed out a font I wanted and outlined it with a sharpie & then painted the inside with black acrylic paint. 
Fold the top over twine and use adhesive spray to hold the fold & you are done
This was one of the cheapest projects I have ever created!  

I hope you are inspired and got some new decor ideas!