Oh The Weather Outside Is Frightful; Are Your Students' Actions Delightful?
Are your students a bit hyper after Thanksgiving? Mine were always a little more energetic and excited. I think it was because they were caught up in all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
I’ designed this packet a few years ago, before I had all of the awesome software I now have available, but because these ideas really work, I decided to post this article again today.
The activities are quick and easy to implement. Hopefully they will help you, help your students, put their best foot forward, so you can get down to the business of teaching instead of preaching.
All of the following are in a 36-page packet entitled: Modifying Behavior In December. Use them as a whole-group TEAM challenge (Together Everyone Achieves More) or for individuals who need that extra little boost.
At one point or another, I've used all of these techniques. They were extremely successful with my kiddo's.
Thanks to the Polar Express. everyone knows that if you truly believe in Christmas, you can hear Santa’s bells, so I passed out a few, to everyone from the janitor to the principal. They'd deliberately pass by our door and jingle.
It really cracked me up when my students actually froze when they heard the bells through out our day, and explained to each other that they heard Santa’s helpers spying on us!
The List: As I caught children being good, I added them to our “Santa’s Watching!” good girls and boys list.
Use the poster as a topper on your white board. Remind children that just because their name was on the list, didn't mean that it couldn't be removed, and you expected them to continue to behave appropriately.
Letter From Santa: To get the good-behavior ball rolling, I sent a letter to each of my students from Santa. I printed them on Christmas paper that you can buy at The Dollar Store and tuck them in a Christmas card.
I added an address label (from the North Pole of course) and a sticker that said: "A letter from Santa" . My school has everyone's address in a database, so our secretary was kind enough to print out a sheet of labels; because this was a student activity, my school provided the postage.
I also bought those ultra tiny Ziploc Baggies and put a teaspoon of oatmeal mixed with glitter in them. The child sprinkles it on the lawn on Christmas Eve. Rudolph smells the oats and sees the glitter sparkling on the snow and knows just where they live!
This all added to the fun. My students were always so excited to tell me they had received a letter from Santa! It's amazing how their behavior improved as well!
I Need A Little Incentive Today! I’ve also made some incentive charts for you to use. Use this incentive plan to get children to transition quickly, line up and stay quiet in line, get things cleaned up and put away etc. They are also a great way for your students to learn the days of the week.
Use them for individuals too. There are several to choose from, so you can use one each week. How they work: Put up the Christmas tree poster. If everyone behaves, gets their work done (whatever you have as a goal) then they get the Monday ornament put on the tree or colored in, the same thing for Tuesday etc.
When they have earned all of the ornaments they receive whatever prize you decided upon. (Free recess, new center to play at, trip to the treasure box, candy treat, game time etc.) I also have stripe a candy cane, (I buy non-peppermint-flavored canes for this one, and at the end of the week each child gets a candy cane.
A wreath that you put berries on, is another alternative. Run the master off on green paper as well as red then cut the pieces out. The 4th one is a gingerbread man where you color in the buttons.
Tree-mendous Behavior! Save an empty spool of thread or buy one at The Dollar Store and stamp your way into some tree-mendous behavior. Run off a class set of trees on green construction paper. Have your students cut them out. Add a brown rectangle for a trunk and a yellow star at the top where they write their name.
Now wait 'til you catch them being good, or accomplishing a task and reward them by allowing them to stamp their tree. You could also use a variety of stickers as "ornaments."
Santa's Beard Needs Some Fluff! This is the same concept as above only using a Santa. There are a specific number of circles on Santa's beard and they need a "good-behavior-cotton ball" glued to them to help fill it up.
Whose Santa has the fullest beard? You can send a note about the Santa's in your newsletter asking parents to ask their child how their Santa is doing, and how many cotton balls they received that day. That should be a nice motivator!
Punch Me Please: I don’t know about your students, but mine love using my paper punch + it’s a great fine motor skill that strengthens their hand muscles. I thought how can I incorporate this more; and designed this activity.
Run off the trees on green construction paper and have your class cut them out and add a brown construction paper trunk and write their name on it. Hang the trees on a classroom bulletin board or wall.
Keep strips of various colored “garland” handy in an envelope. Each child gets to choose their first one and keeps it taped to the side of their desk or at their table by their name card.
Each time the teacher catches them being good, or they accomplish their Table Top lessons, or hand in their homework (whatever you decide on) they get to use the paper punch and punch a hole in their garland. When they get 10 punches they glue the garland on their tree.
Shall I Freeze Or Should I Melt? To help get the wiggles out so that I don’t have behavior problems, I allow my students to FREEZE and MELT!
I have them dance and prance around the carpet area as quickly as they can, watching me out of the corner of their eye, to see if I’ll hold up a snowflake or sun.
If they see Mr. Snowflake they quickly FREEZE in whatever position they are in. If they see Mr. Sunshine they slowly plop to the floor melting as they go; falling like the Wicked Witch of the West!
I made my Freeze and Melt signs from a huge snowflake cut out that I purchased at a party store. The sun I made from a piece of yellow tag board. I laminated both pieces. I made a set of clip art posters for you, if you don't want to start from scratch.
Click here to print all of the patterns, including the article which explains the directions. December Behavior Modification Packet
Feel free to PIN anything you think might be helpful to others.
"Remember that teaching is more than high test scores; it is also enriching lives and having fun while doing so."