Saturday, August 3, 2013

Classroom Management Ideas

When it comes to classroom management, I try to employ a variety of positive reinforcement with my students.  My main system that I use is a classroom economy.  In the beginning of the year, students apply for classroom jobs (which they keep the ENTIRE year.) We discuss things such as online job applications (get your copy here for free), resumes, and interviews and talk about what to do and what not to do.  Students each interview with me for the job they would like and I hire them based upon what students I think would be best for each job. (I always try to give them one of their top three choices.)  Once jobs are in place, students are put on payroll. I actually have a spreadsheet and mailmerge that allows me to print out paychecks for each student.  These paychecks reflect what a real check would look like.  I take out taxes to help run the "city" and we discuss what each of those taxes are, etc.  These checks are deposited into their bank accounts, which give them online banking access at So again, students learn all about checking accounts and even have checks of their own that they can use to pay for fines or things they purchase. - IT'S FREE!
Sample Paycheck

In addition to the checks, students can earn class cash, which in my classroom is called Kenzie Kash (named after my daughter, Kenzie).  Students can deposit their cash into their checking accounts or keep a small bit on hand. They use the money to pay for things that they win in the quarterly class auction, the classroom video store where they can rent VHS and DVD tapes to bring home, or pay for fines if they aren’t following the rules in the classroom.  I often hear very positive reviews of my economy system from not only the students but the parents as well. 

Character Certificates
However, the classroom economy is just one of the methods I use to help with my management. Other things that I do are the character certificates.  You can read more about them here but the main idea is that the students recognize each other for their good character.  (Download the freebie here.) 

Puff Ball Payout
Another idea that I do is my puff ball machine. It correlates with the classroom economy in which students who don’t receive points in behavior and work habits the previous week get to take a spin on the puff ball machine.  I did a blog post on that too where you can read all about it.  Depending on what color puff ball the student gets, they get a certain amount of class cash to go with it.  (Read the blog post here.)

Desk Messages

One of my favorite ideas that I do is a weekly thing. Each Friday, I choose 5-6 students and I write a positive message on their desk with a dry-erase marker.  The students really look forward to this each week. I rotate to make sure that each student gets one every few weeks. (Read the blog post here.)

Along with all of these methods, I also use Classroom Scratch and Win cards.  These cards are reserved for birthdays and days that I see kids doing something fabulous.  They LOVE them!  They are super easy to make too.  Basically, I take my certificates and cover the box with a piece of packing tape.  I then mix 1 part dish soap with 2 parts black paint (silver is preferable but all I have is black right now). I then paint over the packing tape with a couple coats of the paint.  When students get a card, they scratch off the paint to see what they won.  They really get a kick out of this! (See my scratch and win printable here.)

Sample scratch & wins (available in my store)

What are some classroom management tips and systems that you have in place? Comment below!


  1. Fantastic post Katie! You put so much time into positive reinforcement- amazing! I've been thinking about switching things up in my room a bit this year. I do "class cash" and a few other things- but I'd like to try something different! Thanks for all of the ideas!

  2. I am always looking for new classroom management ideas. At the end of the year last year I added in Class Dojo to my system but mainly I use "discipline cards" for behavior management. (Probably best for use in intermediate and middle school classes.) It combines consequences with positives and a neat scale. I just recently posted this on my blog:

    1. Great post! Thanks for sharing. I tried Class Dojo last year too but never got into it. I may have to try again. :-)

  3. Oh wow! We could be teaching twins! I do a classroom economy, use, and use the scratch off cards. I even wrote messages on desks last year like that! :) Would you share your mail merge file with me? That looks super professional!

    Simply 2nd Resources

  4. I am also interested to know if you would share your mail merge file for printing the checks? I have been doing a "checkbook" system in my 5th grade classroom for several years, but your checks look great! And so much easier than what I have been doing!

  5. I totally agree with the all questions you raised. Has anyone ever wondered how to fill out forms online? I have, and found a simple service. I mostly use to edit my PDFs. I think it also allows you to to create fillable pdfs and esign them.

  6. teaches financial literacy through experience.
    We are currently letting a few more teachers pilot the software for the next few months. Email me if interested


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