I tend to run all my ideas, rules, and procedures past my 3rd and 7th grade boys as they are close to my targeted audience and having been in school know what their teachers have done in the past. They also tell me what they do and do not like, no sparing of Mama's feelings are involved in these conversations.
When creating a management plan, my oldest child, aka the teacher's nightmare or the principal's best friend (at least he should be with the amount of time he spends there!), had to sit through countless hours of "what about this..." To which he says "I would...." and I would become frustrated. Finally, we came up with a compromise and he had an idea that I found simply brilliant.
Introducing... the mystery box! Isn't it cute? I made the box myself with some black spray paint and my Cricut. In the picture is also one of my shoe boxes with the pretty red lid (I warned ya about the matching!) filled with red raffle-tickets and my kitchen counters.
Most of the rewards I came up with my son decided would be boring after awhile as you always get the same thing. He wanted something new and exciting. If it was a mystery prize, he would have to try for it as it might be something really good. He suggested I do things like no homework passes, a candy bar or soda, treasure box toy, extra time on the computer, extra points pass, lunch with the teacher, and then he said to throw in a few big prizes to keep the kids guessing... a free book from scholastic, a Lego set, or a football. Depending upon the amount of entries, I would draw 1-2 students that week to win the grand prize.
I use a clip chart for classroom management; there is an opportunity every day to win 1-2 raffle tickets depending upon the students behavior. At the beginning of the school year, I would bring in a bunch of different prizes to show the students some of the things they could win but not everything. I would check Dollar Tree often for items to include. I know I have seen lots of puzzles, crayola sets, and some other "bigger items" that could be used for my big prizes. At the most, it will cost me $1-$2 a week.
After seeing the box, my son also suggested hiding things inside it and allowing the students to guess what it was. This might be a fun way to introduce new units. What would you use the mystery box for?
YOUR SHOPPING LIST:
~ Cardboard box ($3 at Hobby Lobby)
~ Black Spray Paint
~ White Vinyl Paper for Cricut
~ Clear Lacquer
~ Plastic Shoe Box (Dollar Tree)
~ Raffle Tickets (Dollar Tree)