Hey teaching friends! I hope your summer is winding down and it hasn’t gotten too crazy yet. For those of you who are already back in the classroom, I want to personally wish you the best year yet!
How about a fun take on a classroom management behavior reward system? I am calling it “Spin a Surprise!”
Pretty much everyone loves surprises, right? This idea can be used with any behavior management system you already have in place in your classroom. When it is time for a student to pick a prize, instead send he or she to the fun spinning wheel to choose a prize!
Here is how to set yours up and a few logistical tidbits to keep the rewards easy to maintain:
1. Get one of these. Now, the box says it is $35, but I scored mine on Hobby Lobby’s website for 50% off. I am guessing you should be able to find them other places as well.
2. Put it together. You will need a hammer. Other than that, everything else is included in the box. I felt pretty accomplished after assembling.
3. Find some cute library card pockets and inserts. These ones were mini sized found at my local craft store. Personally, I think regular sized book pockets would look better, but these are handy for the redemption day (see below). Can’t find any you like or in your classroom theme colors? Make your own.
After assembling (super easy to fold and glue or tape), put a prize on the insert cards, leaving room at the bottom for student names. Make the prizes be something you do not have to pay for. Most students love eating lunch or breakfast with the teacher as much as a sticker. Or getting the chance to work with a friend on a project which may never happen otherwise.
Now, one suggestion that you won’t see in the picture because of the glare (but you SHOULD do): After placing the prizes on the cards, LAMINATE each. There is a reason for this. Keep reading.
4. Last, clip your pockets on the wheel and you have a super fun incentive for students to reach their behavior, homework, or reading goals! This basic idea can work for whatever you wish to hone in on during the year.
Now – after a student earns his or her spin, he or she spins (gently) and gets the closest pocket with a card inside. (If there is no card, go with the next closest pocket with a card inside). The student takes out the card and writes his or her name on the card with a dry erase marker (which is why we laminated them), and hands it to you.
You then place the card on the corner of the board somewhere. On Friday (or whatever “rewards” day you want), ALL students get to redeem their reward during the same day. You can then start over again the following week by erasing the student names, replacing the card in the pockets, and repeat. Makes it easy to keep track of throughout the week and not taking the chance of forgetting anyone’s prize (been there, done that).
How else could you use this spinning tool in your classroom? We would love to hear in the comments below.