New 1st Grade Teacher needs Classroom Management Help!!

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by alan1erin, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. alan1erin

    alan1erin Rookie

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    Nov 28, 2007

    Hello!

    I have a question for you all. I am a 1st grade teacher and I taught 5th last year, so it is quite a jump and I am having a hard time with classroom management.

    I am trying to come up with a plan that uses tickets or something that the students can earn for doing their jobs or lose if they are not doing their jobs. I have some ideas, but I am having a hard time finalizing all the details.

    So far I am thinking of giving each student 4 sticks/tickets to start the day and if they are not doing their job they will lose tickets. Then I was going to say if they have 3-4 tickets at the end of the day they will get a sticker and their name put in the helper jar where I will pull names for people to be my helpers the next day. Then if they have 4 stickers by Friday they can participate in our "Fun Friday".

    I was also thinking of using tickets that they can earn throughout the day and that they can lose as well.

    I am just not sure how to organize it. How do I keep the tickets/sticks organized? What other rewards could I use. Any ideas would be helpful. I want them to be held accountable for their actions and work towards a goal, but I am afraid of making it too complicated or too involved or too much "upkeep".

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!!
     
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  3. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Nov 28, 2007

    I would try to keep it as simple as possible. I use the traffic light system. Everyone starts on green. If they break a classroom rule they move their clip to yellow. This means they have to stay in at recess and talk about what they did wrong. If the behavior continues then they move their clip to red. This means they stay in at recess and we talk about the behavior plus they have to write a letter to their parent explaining what they did wrong. The parents need to sign this letter and it must be brought back to me the next day.
     
  4. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Nov 28, 2007

    I use the color wheel and a token economy. My students each have a bag they keep in their desk that holds the money that they earn.
    Every morning each student earns two pennies. I have a student pass it out during morning work. The students may earn or lose pennies throughout the day. They earn extra for positive and kind behaviors. They also as a class earn more if it is an all green day.
    They lose pennies if they forget to make their lunch choice (this year they all forget!), excessive talking and other negative behaviors. They also have to give me money if they have to move their clip on the color wheel.
    green= Great job!
    yellow= verbal warning and lose one penny
    blue= lose recess and private conversation + lose 2 pennies
    red= go to principal and loss of 10 cents

    Most students start crying if they have to move their clip. The parents are very supportive regarding behavior. They each have a calendar that goes home daily. The students have to color in the calendar by what color they were for the day.

    I typically take away money for the first warning for a negative behavior. The second time it happens (in the same day) I have them move their clip and give the one cent.

    At the end of each month I have a giant class store. The students use the money to buy things at the store. They have to count out the money for each item and fill out a receipt.

    Once a week we exchange the pennies for larger coins. The best part of the token economy is that they really learn a lot! The value of money, counting money, and about "saving" their money to buy something larger at the store. During December they use their money to buy a Christmas gift for another student in the class. It is really neat to see how thoughtful they can be with their gift giving!
     
  5. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Nov 28, 2007

    Do you use real money or plastic money?
     
  6. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Nov 28, 2007

    I also know two other variations that other teachers use if you are interrested!
     
  7. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Nov 28, 2007

    Combination.... I would use all plastic if I had it (to help eliminate the few that have tried to bring real money from home) but both work well.
     
  8. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Nov 28, 2007

    That's is what I was afraid of, them bringing it in from home. Maybe I can use real and just a permanent marker, maybe mark it with an X or something so they really can't bring it in from home. I do have an odd colored Sharpie. I would like to use real money. We have a school store so the kids always seem to bring in change from home to go to the store so if I mark my money they can't slip in their money from home. HMMM, I'll have to think about his...
     
  9. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Nov 28, 2007

    What do you "sell" at your class store and for how much? I like your idea and I am trying to see how I can make it work for me.
     
  10. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Nov 28, 2007

    I should mark mine too!!!! I think I will have a volunteer work on that tomorrow!

    I have parents donate some random things. A lot of things are left over from their child's birthday party gift bags.

    I have things ranging from candy, to oriental trading items to stuffed animals to kites. There are tons of things!!!! I also put a lot of extra school supplies that they can buy. Especially pencils!

    I always have something that is only 1 cent. That way if they have any money they can always use it all! I have about 20 different prices. The toys fill a different basket that has the corresponding price tag attached. The most expensive items are 80 cents. It doesn't take much time to set up and put away because I always bag the items in zip lock bags with corresponding prices.

    I do have the luxury of a volunteer that comes in all day and is the cashier for the store. That way I only have to set up and put away. I also make sure that the volunteer writes down how much money each student had each month. Last year I had students being dishonest. If their money amount was way off from the previous month, I would pull them aside and talk to them about it. They always admitted it and were not allowed to shop.

    My cooperating teacher for student teaching did the store all herself. She had fewer items and just called students back to the reading table to shop. She got through the students in about two hours. (during centers and writing workshop) This did work well. If I didn't have the luxury of volunteers I might do it this way as well.
     
  11. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Nov 28, 2007

    We start our unit on money right after Christmas break. This might be a good time to start it. Thanks so much for the ideas! I'm starting to plan...........
     
  12. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Nov 28, 2007

    One more question, do you use only pennies? I was thinking about letting them trade 5 pennies for a nickel and so on. Do you do that?
     
  13. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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  14. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Nov 28, 2007

    Yes, we do exchange! At the beginning of the year we do it together as a class. We use cut down egg cartons (make it 2 rows of 5) They each have an empty cup on their desk and an egg carton. In the middle of the table they have a large cup of dimes. They have to put one penny in each slot then take them out and add it to the empty cup. Once they empty the carton they can take a dime from the middle and add it to their money bag. They keep repeating until they cannot exchange any more. This sounds complicated but it actually works well! We repeat later with nickels. Finally we just start exchanging at the end of the day on Friday. It goes fast. They do not have to use the egg carton but some choose to use it. I make them exchange for a partner if I sense dishonesty! It only happened once last year.

    I like exchanging also because if they owe me pennies for behavior and only have dimes they have to receive change. "Billy you owe me 2 cents but only have a dime. How much change do I need to give you?"

    Also, I have them pay me for each item that they decide to buy. I give them change then we count how much money they have left. Then they buy something else, receive change and buy again. It is too difficult to add it together for most students. However, it makes it easy to differentiate. I have two students that only use pennnies to buy because they are working on counting by ones!

    I hope this is helpful! Hopefully it works well!
     
  15. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Nov 28, 2007

    Sound very good! And like you said you really can differentiate this activity! One more question, what do they keep their money in?
     
  16. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Nov 28, 2007

    Just plain freezer quart ziplock baggies. I label their name on the bag. I use freezer bags because the sandwich size is too thin and they break often. Our chairs have a little hook/ handle on the back. I bought the small oriental trading canvas bags and hang them on the chair hook. They keep the money bag and their math manipulative bag only in the pouch. When they kept it in their desk, some would not seal it up and they would find pennies everywhere! In the canvas bag if it isn't sealed up they can still easily find the pennies in the bottom of the bag.

    I have thought about using the hefty one- zip bags since they know when it is closed. I might use them next year. Just an idea!:)
     
  17. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    That's what I was thinking, the zip lock bags. I will be sure to use the freezer ones instead of the sandwich ones.:thanks: I think this will be fun. Maybe I will start before the holidays.
     
  18. KinderMissN

    KinderMissN Companion

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    Nov 28, 2007

    I teach kinder- I gave golden tickets when they were caught doing something good- instead of trying to catch something bad. They wrote their name on the golden ticket and put them in the bucket for a drawing at the end of the day. As time has gone on, we do drawings less and less. My treasure box is filled with cheapie freebie things and dollar store toys. Treasures for a kiddo!
     
  19. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    I think you and the kids will enjoy it! It is a great feeling when your students beg to exchange coins and to count their money! Goodluck!!!!! I hope you love it! :cool:
     
  20. love_reading

    love_reading Comrade

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    Nov 30, 2007

    I do something similar but we use empty film canisters to keep their coins in and they may buy something at the store every friday. Each item is 25 cents.
     

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