Teacher Talk

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    Dr. Jennifer "JiJi" Davis

        The school year is now underway.  Expectations have been established, routines have been practiced and student/teacher relationships are blossoming. You are now fully aware of the students in your classroom who need minimal redirection and also the few students who need daily redirection. Your class has progressed greatly since the first day of school. Meaningful learning is taking place, and your classroom is starting to truly feel like a family. This is a great time to implement classroom management strategies that will help motivate your students and encourage them to work together as a team.

        One of my favorite strategies for encouraging whole group motivation is called 100 Squares. I learned about this strategy from CHAMPS: A Proactive and Positive Approach to Classroom Management written by Dr. Randy Sprick. For this strategy, you will need a hundreds chart. It works best if this chart is displayed on a large poster and posted on a wall in your classroom. Next, you will number 100 popsicle sticks numbered one through 100 (yes, a lot of popsicle sticks, but you can reuse them each year). Place the popsicle sticks in a cup and place the cup in an area of your room that is easy for students to access.

        Here is the fun part! Throughout the day or week, as you observe your entire class following a specific rule or expectation that you have asked of them, ask a student to draw a popsicle stick out of your cup. Whatever number they draw, the student can color in the same number on the hundreds chart (you can also use sticky notes to reuse your chart). Do not place the drawn popsicle stick back in the cup. Once your class has pulled enough sticks to make a “bingo” they are rewarded by you in some way. This small reward could be extra minutes of recess, time to draw in your classroom, play a learning game they love on the computer, etc. They are rewarded for following directions/expectations as a class. 

        The 100 Squares is an easy and effective strategy that can be used in any grade level. Based on your grade level, you can also increase or decrease the size of your chart as needed. If your students have earned several rewards using this method, feel free to increase the size of your chart. On the other hand, if you have younger students or a challenging class this year, you can start with a small chart such as a 50’s chart. The combination of both Bingo and Tic-Tac-Toe can be a positive and fun way to manage your classroom.