One of the most important things that every teacher must have in their classroom is a solid classroom management system. Without that, the careful lessons and activities that we spend all night refining and creating, go out the window. In my classroom I use a three tiered behavior system that has rewards and consequences for the whole group, small groups and individuals.
The way that I monitor the whole group is by awarding class minutes. If
the whole class is quiet, on task, has100% homework, or is just all around
awesome, I award the class with minutes which they can use on Fridays
for activities like extended PE, little buddy time, a special craft, Baby Penny
(my daughter) coming to visit etc. This year instead of class minutes I am going to add a piece to the Mr. Potato Head– same concept- when he has his entire face put on, then the class has a celebration. For small groups, I use table points because kids love the thrill of competition! I also have a class trophy that sits on the table point winner’s desks. For monitoring individual behavior, I use a form of Classroom economy but instead of tickets, stickers, punch cards or class money, I use check book registers. In this classroom management system, the students earn or lose ‘money’ according to their behaviors (both academically and socially) in
the classroom. At the beginning of the
year, I award the students $200. They
then have the opportunity to earn money or lose money in a variety of ways.
100% on Test
100% Homework for the week
Off Task Behavior
Salary– holding a Class Job
Met A.R monthly goal
Monthly Desk Rental Fee
Table Points Winner
Did not meet Monthly A.R goal
Pass Math Facts
I have used it every year, no matter what grad level (4th-7th). The goal is that students will learn how to be autonomous, in charge of their own behavior, and make wise decisions. They also learn how to balance a checkbook, to be responsible and it reinforces math skills. Plus, kids LOVE this. Anything to do with them earning or losing money, BAM! They are instantly engaged and back on task!
One of the ways that students can earn money is by holding a classroom job. Many of us use these, they make our lives easier and it fosters an environment of responsibility and builds work ethic. In the beginning of the year I explain the checkbook system as well as the different jobs that I have: secretary, operations manager, treasurer (helps balance checkbooks), classroom librarian, and table captains. After going over the jobs, I have the students apply for these jobs. They tell me why they want to hold a position, examples of them being responsible and why I should choose them for the job.
-a description of the jobs for when you go over it whole group and for them to reference when they are applying for a job
-a classroom job application
-a permission slip for Market Day
-a template to make your own checkbook registers
-an explanation of how much money a student can earn or lose for various reasons.
Where do you get checkbook registers?
If you have ANY questions, I would love to answer them. This has been one of the most important components in my classroom. I loose little instructional time, it is fluid, the kids love it and it WORKS!
Wow – your blog is awesome! Thanks for sharing your classroom management system. I did this same thing when I taught 5th grade. I am loving how you award minutes for Friday for the whole group – I think I may try that. Thanks for following my blog, too! I am now following you.
Teacher's Don't Steal, They Share!
WOW- I LOVE THIS-
especially the "Market Day" !!
I love this!! I am also going to institute a classroom economy system similar to yours this year – I'm new to teaching 4th grade, but so excited to see that my ideas and expectations seem to be on the right track!! I'll be blogging about my economy system when I get back from vacation!!! 🙂
Amanda Madden says
I used the checkbook system for years with my 2nd graders! They absorbed it super quickly! LOVED it! 🙂
Layla Wiedrick Henry says
Thanks for all the comments!
Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. Now I am following YOU!
I am excited to go back and read some of your older posts. It looks like you have great things to share!
Finding JOY in 6th Grade
Miss School Potato says
I want to implement a job application for student jobs this year! How long do your students hold their job? What happens if someone is not fulfilling their job responsibility?
Mary LeMonnier says
Love your blog, and I am definitely planning on visiting much more often! I was wondering a few questions regarding this style of classroom management: 1.) In the area that I teach in, I often have a few students who struggle with dishonesty/cheating. How do you handle the students writing in their own deposits and withdrawals? Do you need to initial them? 2.) What do you do if a student loses all of their money? 3.) Do you only use taking away money as the only consequence? Do kids ever miss recess or anything else? (Obviously, I'm sure you have to refer to the office occasionally.)
Thank you so much!! I love, love this idea!!
Layla Wiedrick Henry says
I have had some very dishonest students in the past, one's that have even stolen from me. What you can do is find 3-5 honest students to be the treasurer, you can call them the bank. They can be in charge of adding and subtracting money to all of the checkbooks. They can put their initals. You can have 2-3 bankers work for 2 weeks and then cycle to the next 2-3 honest students. You can breifly check their work a few times a week by spot checking some random student's checkbooks. I would recommend doing this for the first trimester. After you host your first Market Day, the entire class will LOVE the checkbooks even more. All of their hardwork will have finally paid off. and they will take it even more seriously. Then you can increase the number of students who are bankers. Make it an incentive. My kids LOVED and always wanted to be the treasurer. You can have a class discussion about honesty and dishonesty. Talk about what would happen in real life if money was given or taken away. Talk about how checkbooks are a great responsibility, that teach you a life lesson. They pay rent, they earn money for jobs, this is setting them up for the real world.
I do hold kids in, checkbooks aren't my only thing. You can work one on one with a student to come up with a more individualized behavior plan.
I have had kids lose their checkbooks. I tell them that if I lost my wallet, I would lose my money. I then have the make a new checkbook and they can earn extra money by coming to help me before/after school or at lunch. They can earn money doing "community service".
Hope this helps, I would love to answer anymore questions you have about this. I love this classroom management sysem so much!
Mary LeMonnier says
I love the community service idea!! Such a great solution to that problem. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. It helped so much! 🙂
This is my first year teaching! I have been reading through your blog and loving the things that i'm finding. I'm overwhelmed with ideas. I have no idea where to begin!
BHS Panthers c/o 2002 says
I love you classroom economy management system. It looks like you don't use any form of "classroom cash". I am wondering how you manage letting your students know when they have earned/lost money? I will be teaching a case of 32 fourth graders, and like the simplicity of not having to distribute "cash" but am unsure how to make sure kids know of their credits/debits without taking too much time out of each day. Any advice? Thanks!!
Misty Lowe says
I use a credit/debit sheet on the corner of each students desk. I can just walk by and add a credit or a debit that is "deposited" weekly into their banking account. This also helps when I don't have time to make payday, etc… I also have students write checks for poor behavior so that they know exactly why they are losing money. They must write the check during the first part of recess. I will write checks out to students for outstanding behaviors that they can deposit with their credit debit sheet each week. I keep track on an excel spreadsheet. Students who are negative in their account must do "community service" to get back in the positive.
hayley antoli says
Nice post! Cheque is an important means of payment. Cheque is used for paying a large sum of money. It is the most widely used tool for drawing money from the bank. Thanks for such a nice blog.
A checkbook contains sequentially numbered checks that account holders can use as a bill of exchange. The checks are usually preprinted with the account holder's name, address and other identifying information.