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A Positive Approach to Classroom Discipline and a Freebie

Please welcome Michele from Miss Nelson's Got the Camera.  Her blog is so cute, with many helpful posts.  Be sure to check her out!

Hi! I'm Michele from Miss Nelson's Got the Camera. I’m glad to be guest blogging here today. Thank you Jen for having me.Today I’m going to share some tips for motivating students and using incentives to increase a desired behavior. I've taught for 10 years so over the years, I've had a chance to add tools and tricks to my teaching bag. I use many different tricks and tools and some years I change it up depending on my students. If you don’t agree with candy or treasure box items you could always use stickers, stamps, extra recess, free reading time, etc.

Brownie Points- This is a sweet way to get kids motivated to walking quietly on campus, being polite in the lunchroom and being on their best behavior at specials. This system is used whole group for positive behaviors. The kids love trying to earn brownie points. Each time the class earns a compliment from another teacher or faculty member, they receive a brownie on the cookie sheet. When the cookie sheet is full, the students receive a brownie party to celebrate their great behavior. Click here for a free brownie point header.

Secret Star-Anytime we exit the classroom, I tell my students that I am looking for a secret star to make it to our destination without talking. I pick a card out of my secret star container. I tell my students that I am watching to see if my “secret star” is walking nicely and quietly. My kids love this little task and my line is always silent. When we get back to the classroom, the secret start gets a starburst. If you can’t do candy you could do a sticker, stamp, etc. Since nobody knows who the "Secret Star" is, everybody is usually very quiet in case it might be him or her. If the "Secret Star" is not quiet then I simply state that "My Secret Star did not make it this time." I don't tell who it was. This works wonders for getting the students to walk quietly in the hallways and it's also fun.

Mystery Trash- To keep my floors clean and room tidy, I get my students motivated by playing the game of Mystery Trash. To play, I pick a mystery piece of trash or mystery object out of place. It could even be a chair that needs pushed in or book that needs put in its proper place. As soon as I announce that there is mystery trash, the students race to pick up as much trash as they can find. If they find the mystery object, they get to go to the treasure box or pick from the lollipop tree.

Smarties/Lollipop Tree- When my students make a 100 on an AR test of 100 on a computer program, I allow them to ring a bell and wave around the Smartypants flag. After they parade around the room, they can choose some smarties or a lollipop.  The best part about the lollipop tree is there are some lollipops with a mark at the end. If they are extra lucky and draw with a mark, they visit the treasure box. Need lollipops? Click here to view Original Dum-Dum-Pops - 360 pcs on Amazon. {affiliate link}

Handwriting Hero/ Printing Princess- I don’t get to spend as much time on handwriting practice as I wish. To motivate my students, I use this little incentive. Before writing, I tell my students I am looking for a Printing Princess and Handwriting Hero. I then pick one girl and one boy who had fabulous handwriting for the day. You will be amazed at my student’s handwriting just because they are trying to earn this award. Their work is then displayed for the week on a special wall.

Lucky Ducks- I use lucky ducks for running errands or calling on students to answer questions. I have Popsicle sticks with a picture of a duck and their class number. If their number is drawn then they are the lucky duck.

Magic Necklace- During stations my student know that I’m looking for a friend to earn the magic necklace. My magic necklace happens to be a solar bead necklace. When they wear it in the sun, it changes colors. I choose one person a day.

Care Bears- This is great if you don’t like giving out candy. Sometimes I pass out teddy grahams to students who are “caring” for others or “caring” about their work. It’s also great for my student who is allergic to eggs, nuts, milk, etc.

I'd love for you to come visit my blog at Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera!


  1. I have a lollipop tree too, but I love your idea of marking the ends of some of the sticks! The secret star is a great idea too! Thanks for sharing!


    Third Grade's A Charm

  2. Thanks for having me!

  3. I love the handwriting hero/printing princess idea. I think that will be one I'm adding this year :)
    Stories by Storie

  4. Thank you for all of these great ideas! I've done some of them in the past, but I like your variations of them better!

  5. So cute. I love the brownie points. What great ideas. I want to use lots of these next year.
    The Hive

  6. Love all of these!! I'm always looking for fun new incentives... I'll be using secret star with the starburst for sure!! :)
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

  7. What great ideas! I use the secret star, but call it my mystery students. I love the mystery trash. Definitely doing that next year.

    Across the Hall in 2nd

  8. Those are FABULOUS ideas!! I'm definitely going to try the Secret Star for next year!!

    Thanks for sharing!!


  9. I have heard about an idea similar to Secret Star. I like it! Brownie Points is also awesome! I definitely want to do something next year especially for something as exciting as getting compliments in the hall! :) Thanks for sharing these great ideas!

    Reaching for the TOP!

  10. Love all of those ideas! Our new evaluation system wants teachers to reward students for effort and I am always looking for new ideas!

    Every New Beginning

  11. You have some great ideas here. Thanks for sharing them!
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers

  12. Okay, I must ask.....why didn't I think of this??? Great ideas and so simple! Thank you! Thank you!

  13. Love the Handwriting Hero and Printing Princess idea! And the Secret Star! - We play the "Magic Scrap" game and the kids just love it - although I totally cheat and make sure it's the last think I see picked up because sometimes the first object I think of is the first thing put away and the classroom still isn't clean lol! I also try to make sure the Magic Scrap is put away by a child who deserves the reward. Thanks for sharing these ideas!

    Jennifer @ Herdiing Kats In Kindergarten

  14. Wow, thanks for the awesome ideas! I've been needing some fresh ideas to use with my 3rd graders... thanks!!


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