Saturday, November 5, 2011

Respect and Brownie Points!

How do you motivate your class towards good behavior? 
I'm not one for a list of class rules. 
I just have one:

At the start of the year my friends and I brainstorm a list of good classroom rules.  I write down everything they say.  By the time we are done, the board is covered in rules.  We take the time to discuss each rule and why it is important.  I then relate that rule to respect.  After discussing each rule, I erase it and replace it with one word.  RESPECT.  It is amazing how respect covers pretty much everything.  Respecting classmates, property, feelings, pretty much anything you can think of.  It's a pretty powerful lesson for my friends because, by going over all the rules they brainstormed we've pretty much covered anything that can or could go wrong.  The best part is that in the end the board is covered with the word respect.  It's a powerful visual.  We finish the lesson by making a small poster of that one word and hang it in the room.

This pretty much gets my friends through the year.  This year, I decided to add a twist with some positive reinforcement.  This year, my friends can earn brownie points.  It's not easy, but they earn brownie points if they get a compliment from another teacher, a substitute, doing something above and beyond, and pretty much anytime I see something I really like. :-)  Here's our Brownie Points tray.
I tweaked a sign I found online to say "Sweet Behavior Earns Us Brownie Points!"  The brownies on the sign are from a box of Little Debbie's brownies.
For the pan, I went to the local dollar store and found the perfect pan.  Perfect because it's small and only cost $1.  Finally, I Googled "brownies" in search of the perfect brownie.  I just copied, pasted, and printed  a bunch of them on card stock. I made them smaller to fit twenty on the pan.  Twenty is a reasonable amount for my friends to earn.  How real looking are these brownies?

As you can see from the top picture, my friends are close to the reward.  I'm just not sure what the reward should be!  I told my friends that when they reach twenty brownie points, we would brainstorm a list of rewards and decide on one together.  So far, they keep telling me they want brownies.  How funny is that? I'm sure the list will get bigger when the actual time comes.

Oh, by the way, my friends can lose brownie points.  We did lose one from this tray for some misbehavior in the hallway.   I try not to take them away, but once in a while you need to practice a little tough love!

For some reason, in my school, the marble jar is very popular as a reward system.  There are a lot of teachers that use it. When the marbles reach a certain level, the class earns a reward.  As for me, it's all about the brownies.  How can brownies not be better than marbles? :-D 

How do you reward your friends?


  1. I use the brownie points system myself. My class earned their brownies on Friday so I am so excited to get to reward them on Monday with their sweet treat!

  2. I haven't used a whole class system in the last year or two but its time. I'm glad you shared this wonderful idea.

  3. Hi Tray and Stacey! Our reward will be on Friday of this week. Turns out ice pops and a movie was the winner. I haven't been using a whole class system for years, but I began this year. I thought it was time too Stacey!

  4. Do you have a copy of the sign that I could print?

  5. Hi Anon!
    Sorry, but I didn't save the sign. It was a kind of quick print thing. I think the post tells you how I made it, but you could really make it anyway you want. Good luck!

  6. The word RESPECT is written on our classroom board everyday. If the class keeps all of their letters throughout the day or earns a star they put tallies up on the board. 10-12 tallies depending on how many starts. However, they can lose tallies and gain tallies throughout the day depending on their respectful or... disrespectful behavior. When they reach 100 tallies they have a whole class reward. We brainstormed ideas they can choose from: slipper day, read with a flashlight morning, bring your favorite board game and play, bonus recess, lunch with the teacher and so on.... It works for me!

  7. I just have a technical question... how did you tweak the sign? I found the original sign on another blog (via Google, of course!) but I can only download it as an image and therefore can't modify it. Thanks!

    1. Hi Anon. I copied and pasted the picture on to a Power Point page. Then I just fooled around with inserting shapes and text boxes to make it look the way I wanted. I used a white rectangel with a white border to block out the text that was there, then put a text box over it to have it say what I wanted. You could do the same think in a Word document. This is probably not the most techy way to do it, but it worked for me.

  8. I use the marbles - when we have 25 we have a student picked clelbration - one thing I disagree with you on is the taking away - once they earn it they own it - no one takes your pay away if you do not earn it - you just do not earn any more - love your blog!!!

  9. Sounds great! Thanks for sharing

  10. LOVE this idea! Am new to 5th and thought about giving up my "sweet" 3rd grade theme but now I see I can still use it :) No worries about the taking away - I hang paper clips from the ceiling (Connected) and when they reach the counter we celebrate - and every once in awhile I have to take one away. It sends a most POWERFUL message: when we are behaving and on-task we are rewearded; when we are not a priviledge is taken away. Plain and simple!

  11. Anyone have suggestions on how this might be adapted for Music class where I only see each class once or twice a week? Thanks!

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