Mystery Motivators for Improving Behavior!

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Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas Review of Mystery Motivators for Improving Behavior!
Mystery Motivators for Improving Behavior!
So today, as you read this, I'm entering week five of school. I started my blog to only focus on the positive side of teaching....that's why you haven't seen many posts this school year! 
Yep, it has been bad, we've been over crowded, we've spent every moment working on behavior, calling parents, having parent conferences, you know the drill. But we now have another 3rd grade class and things are perking up. I have 15 in my first group and 14 in my second group. If you are new to my blog, I teach Math and Science twice a day. I love it!! Our entire school 'teams' and our scores show amazing results. I have become very good at teaching 3rd grade Math and although I miss literature and writing, I ♥MATH!
I went to a two day workshop this summer about teaching "Tough Kids" and the best thing I liked was the Mystery Motivator. 
It is very easy to start and would even be something good to use midyear when your behavior plan needs a pick me up!
Everyday you need a prize, something small, a pencil, a sheet of stickers, maybe every once in awhile a biggie to get excitement up and running again. 
If you look at my picture, it is just two gift bags from the store, goes with my new owl theme! :) The bigger bag has the daily prize and in my case, two prizes that are the same since I teach two groups. The smaller bag is where the kids put their tickets. As you are teaching, hand out tickets that the students write their name on and place in the small bag. Focus on the good behavior and reward it instantly, the others will sit up, notice and try to copy the desired behavior. I've seen it now for four weeks with some of the most hard core children works, it really works. 
The tickets are nothing fancy, my co-teacher uses paper cut into squares. I have some reward tickets I downloaded somewhere online and our wonderful Paraprofessional {who we call Nanny Flynn since she takes such great care of us} copied on colored paper and cut for me. Nothing fancy, nothing expensive needed.
Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas Review of Mystery Motivators for Improving Behavior!
At the end of the day, pull out a name....I use the bell as they are packing up to get their attention. The ONLY thing the bell is for is to let them know I'm doing the drawing! I have a silly pattern that I do, and let me tell you, every head in the room spins around to see me! :)
I found that doing it daily like the book suggests didn't work for me personally. I leave their names in for the entire week, so everyone doesn't give up if they don't get their name in that day. I also learned if you have someone who is DRIVING YOU CRAZY and finally has a great day, you can tell the class that it is a special "Two Prize Day!" Pull two names and the second name is the child who has shown great improvement that day! It was worth the second prize!
This system is such an inexpensive way to reward your class, the THRILL comes as you build excitement during the lesson. After I read our Champs expectations for the lesson, I peek in the bag and say something silly like, "No way! That's the prize?" {I just put it in the bag an hour or so ago.....} They LOVE it! These past four weeks I've given away camo pencils with cap erasers, sheets of stickers, gel pens, markers, roll-up crayons, rulers, most everything is school supply related! Then once a week I put a bigger item in, nothing expensive, a stuffed manatee that someone donated to the school, one of my daughter's old beanie babies that was in new condition, a fancy pencil case.....the possibilities are endless.
Later I'm going to get on Facebook and ask my friends who have "real jobs" as realtors, accountants, etc. for pens and key chains, etc. from their office....You never know what's out there for free until you ask!

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1 comment

  1. I used to use a treasure box every Friday, but behavior got too bad I quit. I love the idea of a mystery prize a day for only one student! I may start tomorrow!


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