Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Classroom Management with Warm Fuzzies

I'm back....yes, I'm back. I am finally feeling good & up to blog again. After getting a ton of messages from new teachers & even seasoned teachers about classroom management I thought it was time for a more detailed post about how I keep my classroom manageable. I have a secret...it's magical & it's NOT too late to start.............2 words.........WARM FUZZIES. I have been using this for at least 6 years & LOVE IT! Here are my fuzzy containers. This was stolen borrowed from a former 1st grade teacher I used to work with...IDK where she got the idea from but I heart it!   
Here are my two containers for big & little warm fuzzies. One  BIG one equals 5 little ones. So to get a big one is kind of a big HUGE deal to a first grader. I will give some examples for earning & losing fuzzies...big & little. 
BIG FUZZIES: 
1. Each student that passes an AR test gets a BIG fuzzy. 
2. If a student gets a "wow" on a spelling test or any random test they get a BIG fuzzy. 
3. I have a line leader...refer to classroom job post...my line leader & I work together to watch the "secret walker" to and from our destination. My line leader picks a stick (I have about 5 cups in various places with each student's name on a popsicle stick) & is sworn to secrecy that they won't tell that person. If they are not caught talking in the hall they get a BIG fuzzy. If they are caught talking in the hall, they OWE me a BIG fuzzy. This pretty much keeps my whole class quiet down the hallway because they don't know if it's them or not. 
4. Today I was reviewing what we have learned about penguins thus far. If they remember a BIG word such as "regurgitate" I will give them a BIG fuzzy. 
5. I give voluntary monthly reading logs, extra spelling homework, etc & if they return it finished they get a BIG fuzzy. 
6. When I blog on my classroom blog, I usually put a little note "If you read this blog tell your child I owe them a BIG fuzzy. We keep this on the down low & they know to whisper it to me. This is how I know who is even bothering to read our blog. 
7. The first 5 who finish their morning work with NO mistakes get a big fuzzy. If they have one mistake then they get a little one. More than one mistake=NADA. 
LITTLE FUZZIES: 
First of all I take these more than give them. 
1. If they don't write their name on a paper...all I say is "fuzzy" & they turn one in. 
2. If they are a "chicken" refer to post HERE...they owe me a fuzzy. 
3. If they hand in homework w/out a name....fuzzy. 
4. If they forget to pick their lunch, turn in their homework, sharpen a pencil, etc by the bell....fuzzy. 
5. One of my classroom jobs is a "Scrap Monster". I will give them a heads up when the scrap monster is coming & if they have a crayon, pencil, glove or whatever on or under their desk...fuzzy. If they are clean & organized they get a fuzzy. 
6. One of my jobs is "Cubbie Inspector". If they leave a book, coat, shoe, whatever they may leave on the floor...fuzzy. 
7. If another teacher pays us a compliment...each of them will get a fuzzy. 
8. If they ignore the principal & don't attack him every time he walks in the room...fuzzy. 
9. If they interrupt me while I'm gossiping taking care of business on the phone...fuzzy. 
10. If they interrupt me and another adult while we're complaining talking about an issue with a parent...fuzzy. 
I think I might just tally myself & keep track of how many times I say "fuzzy". Once this system is in place when I take one away it's like I just ruined their life. There are tears, kicking & screaming...you name it...I've seen it. BUT...it works. If we are ever gifted with a child I will totally do warm fuzzies with them at home. In fact, I just suggested that to a parent today. This was our 4th conference...btw. I think I need to invent ritalin scented candles, what do you think? Don't even try to copy me I have a patent. 


This is what they hold their fuzzies in. I used to use old film containers & even ziploc baggies until I found these. I was at a teacher store about 5 years ago & walked passed these & a light bulb went off. They are supposed to be used for painting. The brush just lays inside. The hole is perfect. This caused problems at first. Basically, if they touch it, I take it. I know I'm a meanie. But you know if I wasn't strict about playing around with it they would have their hands in it or on it ALL. DAY. LONG. On Fridays is when we trade our fuzzies for the following. The lid ONLY comes off on Friday when I say they can count their fuzzies. If I see them trying to count them before, I take them all. Needless to say, this doesn't happen...EVER. Check them out here from Lakeshore Learning. 
This is a view of the shelf with all the trading goodies. 
They can get a pencil, pencil grip, homework pass, or pencil top eraser for the price of 2 big fuzzies (=10) or 10 little fuzzies. 

Here are the infamous reward coupons I made in the beginning of the year. Pin them & then grab yours here!
No, I can't give you editable versions, sorry. I paid for a license for the graphics & with it I have to agree NOT to give an editable version with these graphics on it. 
After the first week of school I knew the treasure box or a piece of candy WAS NOT going to work with this bunch. Let's just say their very active with MAJOR verbal overflow issues.  When we trade they can only pick the same coupon once. I learned this the HARD WAY. I had one student that chose 5 "Teacher's Desk" coupons. That is one of the most popular ones BTW. It has been trial & error with each coupon. For example, the "Teacher's Desk" coupon can only be used in the morning. They must go back to their own desk after lunch. If they are not focusing, which has happened....BUH-BYE. All coupons must be given to me by the bell or they are not "valid" that day...lol. Trust me, they remember this. They don't remember to pick their lunch but they remember to give me the "Stinky Feet" coupon! At first my little nuggets were overwhelmed by the choices but eventually they all have their favorites. 
I was a lot little annoyed when I first started this BUT like anything "new" you have to make adjustments. 
I love when it's trading day & they get all excited....especially my really good students...because they get TONS of coupons that they deserve. On the flip side, if they are not reading, passing tests & not listening they barely have enough fuzzies to get one coupon. It's a very sad day for them BUT it makes them make better choices...for an hour..lol. 
I printed them on card stock, laminated & cut & store them in the plastic container. It's their responsibility to hold onto their coupons in a safe place. If they lose it, not my problem. I think I have had one student lose a coupon & he's lucky he even had one. It's A.M.A.Z.I.N.G how responsible they become with these coupons. It gives them ownership & even more responsibility. It's great to reward the students that deserve all the prizes they get. 
Please leave me some comment love! I have to go to Home Depot with the hubby now. Oh joy. KMN (kill me now). Seriously?!? I can't contain my excitement! 

If you are interested in a more in depth explanation of how I use this system check out my Classroom Management presentation here. 

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50 comments:

  1. LOVE this!! I need some warm fuzzies myself today!! lol
    Jennifer
    First Grade Blue SKies

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  2. Wow, I LOVE this! I'm not a teacher yet but I definitely want to use this in my future classroom. Thanks for sharing!!

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  3. Very cute! I'm sure your students LOVE this!!

    Jodi
    Fun In First

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  4. I actually do a variation of this after seeing it on your blog this summer! I do it has a whole class thing. My kinder kiddos LOVE it and it really does aide in controlling their behavior. Thank you for the great idea!!!!

    Kim
    Growing Up Teaching

    P.S. Love fellow Indiana teachers and you are sooo close to me:) I live in CP.

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    1. Kim, I was just wondering how you adapted it for a whole class thing for kindergartners.

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  5. THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH for this post!!! I LOVE your ideas and am grateful for the freebie cards. I'm a first year teacher, so I have a quick question. Currently I have the clip down/clip up system (earning a jewel and a certificate if they make it to the top). As usual, this works for my good kiddos, but it's lacking for the regulars. So, I want to implement your fuzzy system (along with the reward card) and totally ditch the clips. What do you think (or anyone else posting after me)?

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  6. Oh my stars, I love this idea!!!!! So cute! I'm doing this ASAP! Thanks for sharing.

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  7. This system for management is so fantabulous. I made that word up. Seriously. Cause it is that good.

    I've been using some of your rewards and made some more that work great with my folks. I use a huge game board system (like Bingo) but I think I'm going to move towards the warm fuzzies next year. Love it. Pinning so I will remember :)

    Elizabeth

    Fun in Room 4B

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  8. Mel,

    I love this! I can't wait to get it started. Does your whole grade use it, or just your class? I'm trying to figure out how to do it with my kids switching for math, guided reading, etc. Thanks for sharing your awesomeness!

    Mary Beth
    Run Teacher, Run

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  9. I am sharing the Versatile Blogger Award with you! Hop on over to my blog to pick up the button and get the rules!

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  10. LOVE! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful printables and fantastic ideas. Just out of curiosity, did you buy or make the warm fuzzies?

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  11. Question- how do you make sure no one steals them?

    Jennifer

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  12. I did warm fuzzies when I taught kindergarten but we are no longer allowed to give any kind of rewards.

    2B Honey Bunch
    The Best Endings

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  13. love love love this idea! Thank you so much for the inspiration! Once I get some simple behaviour management going, I will introduce this (new teacher about to start first year). Which coupons do you find the most popular? Are there any that you wish were not there?
    Thank you

    Michelle
    http://bloggingteachingandsecondgradeohmy.blogspot.com/

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  14. I love this idea! Thanks for sharing (:

    Kylie

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  15. Outstanding ideas. Thanks for sharing.

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  16. THIS IS AMAZZZZZZZING MY FRIEND!! QUESTION-FOR THE NECKLACES DO THEY KEEP THEM OR WEAR FOR THE DAY?

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  17. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!

    I use a similar systems. B.U.G.s - Being UnUsually Good. And I reward them with laminated di-cut bugs. I give them out all day long - good behavior at first earns them, then as they "get" it- it is when the Unusually Good things that earn them Bugs. They can lose them too. But there are issues with the system and I love the container you use for your fuzzies! I have become soft with taking them away if they "fall" out of their desk. I think you have breathed life back into my system for the this year and will use yours for next year. As much as I love the acronym - let's face it, fuzzies are more fun.

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  18. I just downloaded your Candy Land cards from the Everything's Kindergarten virtual teaching expo. I just had to leave you a note to tell you how much I LOVE them!!!! My class is really going to enjoy getting to play Candy Land!!! Thank you so much!
    <a href="http://teachertamseducationaladventures.blogspot.com>Teacher Tam's Educational Adventures</a>

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  19. I LOVE these coupons! I am just wondering if you would possibly change the lunch to say "with" a friend instead of "next to" a friend. This would be greatly appreciated!!!!! Thanks so much! Love your resources... Thanks for sharing!

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  20. I love this idea! I am doing this in my class and the kids love it. I found the paint cups on a website for only $.50 each! I was so excited when I gout them! Thanks for such great ideas!

    Michelle Traynum

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  21. Wow!!!! I'm am so going to borrow your ideas!!! I'm implementing a few new jobs TOMORROW and I'm absolutely doing the warm fuzzies next year!! Thank you so much for inspiring me!

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  22. Found your idea on Pinterest and I am planning to use it in my classroom starting on Monday. I made up the coupons and let each one of my third graders pick one to get them started, and I was surprised that the two most popular were "Stinky Feet" and "Fluffy Friend." LOL! Thank you for sharing such a great idea! I have a very tough class this year, and instead of focusing on the negative, I think this is a great way to focus on the positive and reward the kids who do make good choices every day!

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  23. How much do you sell your coupons for?? I love your ideas. I am starting this as soon as I get all the stuff ready. Do you have the homework pass? I didn't see that one when I was printing off all your cute cute things!! Thank you so much for all your hard work!!

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    1. I am also wondering about the amount of fuzzies each coupon is worth. Did you ever find out, Rikki?

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  24. What a great system! I'm sure it would motivate the most reluctant student.
    Michelle
    Teach123

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  25. This is such a cute and inspiring idea! I started it with my class this week and they absolutely love getting "warm fuzzies"! I also printed off your coupons for prizes! love them!! Thank you so much!!

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  26. I actually have a book titled Warm Fuzzies. It is out of print now but a teacher at my school did this after reading the book.

    We talk about warm fuzzies too but more as a feeling your heart gets when you are being helpful and kind.

    Our class does bucket filling. We add helpful hearts to the bucket (heart beads). At the end of the year each child makes a bracelet.

    One of Our School Family jobs is the cheerleader. The cheerleader gets to celebrate friends for the kind acts they see by blowing their celebration horn. The kiddos love this!

    I use Conscious Discipline in my classroom and it is the most amazing thing I have ever done or heard of! I would love for you to come read about it! =)

    I am your newest follower and am not sure how I have not run across your wonderful blog before this.

    I have TONS of *freebies* that I would love for you to come check out! There are several Dr. Seuss *freebies*! =)

    Heather
    Heather's Heart

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  27. How many fuzzies do they start with each week? And how much do you sell the coupons for?

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  28. Absolutely LOVE this! I teach first grade also and am definitely going to do this next year! Quick question: I'm picturing giving out and taking back fuzzies throughout the day and I am wondering if you have some type of system you use to keep track without having the students constantly getting up to add/lose a fuzzy. For example, if you are on the carpet and someone remembers a BIG word like 'nocturnal' and you give them a fuzzy, do they hold it in their hand until time to go back to tables, or do they immediately put it away? I thought of maybe keeping a log on a tiny clipboard or something, but maybe I am REALLY over thinking it. What do you do?

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    1. In my 1/2 grade classroom, when I give fuzzies on the carpet the students put them in their "lap desks" (between their criss crossed legs). I tell them if I see them on the carpet, they loose them. Hasn't been a problem yet. If they loose their warm fuzzies on the way to their desk, that is an "oh well" that is life type of situation. My students are TOTALLY responsible for their fuzzies and it makes them more responsible and takes the pressure off of me. Also, that is the way life works!

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  29. I cannot wait to start this in my classroom! It is awesome! How much are the coupons? I wasn't sure if each were worth the same amount of fuzzies and what a good amount would be. Please let me know when you get a chance! Thanks for EVERYTHING!!!

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  30. Do you start the week off with a certain amount of fuzzies for each child? How many fuzzies are the reward coupons worth? Totally implementing this system this year! Thanks for the wonderful idea!

    Kayla

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  31. You are gifted! Do you have the new classroom bucket label where I can print or purchase?
    Thanks!

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  32. I too was wondering if each child starts the day or week with a certain amount of fuzzies and how many fuzzies do you charge for a coupon?

    Thanks,
    Jenny

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  33. This sounds great! I have been considering mixing up my management plan, especially as I move from 6th to 3rd grade. Is this the only thing that you do as far as management goes? What happens if a student doesn't have any fuzzies to take away?

    Love the site and I'm excited to put these ideas into action!
    Thanks!

    Kaylie

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  34. I LOVE your warm fuzzies idea. Possibly because I know if I was a kid, I would have killed for fuzzies!! lol

    ❤ -Stephanie
    Falling Into First

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  35. I am going to give this a go....my group this year....*sigh* Wish me luck!

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  36. How do you do both the warm fuzziness and a clip chart? When the do a behaviour do you do the clip first ir the fuzzy? Thx

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  37. I'm not a teacher but I'm definitely going to work on a system top use this with my 3, soon to be 4, year old. Some days i feel like a failure ad a parent he is so just...grrr. We have a 6 month old so I think part off it is the want for more one on one attention. Maybe I'll make a coupon for special time with me? We'll see. Excellent idea though, excellent!

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  38. I'm not a teacher but I'm definitely going to work on a system top use this with my 3, soon to be 4, year old. Some days i feel like a failure ad a parent he is so just...grrr. We have a 6 month old so I think part off it is the want for more one on one attention. Maybe I'll make a coupon for special time with me? We'll see. Excellent idea though, excellent!

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  39. Quick question, you said they are not allowed to touch the fuzzies except on trading day. How do they get the fuzzies to you if they owe you one? Love the idea, going to incorporate it in my room!

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  40. Going to try this next year. I used a clip system in the past and was able to let the parents know if their child had a red or yellow day. Using the fuzzies, I was wondering how to do this. Also, our school behavior has the child sit out 5 or 10 min. of recess depending on their behavior, how do you correlate this to fuzzies? Any help would be appreciated.

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  41. Do you think this method would work with kindergarten, with some tweaking?? I absolutely love it! and my treasure box is draining my pocket lol

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  42. Thanks designed for sharing such a good thinking, article is pleasant, thats why i have read it completely..

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