Thursday, September 27, 2012

Marbles for Management

I have two VERY talkative classes this year.  They are not bad classes.  They are just very talkative.  As I was walking with my family, two weeks ago, I was thinking of a way to nip the talking.  I came up with a marble jar for each class.

To begin, I used three old cotton candy tubs (I had these under the sink).  I put a piece of duct tape around the top.  I filled it with glass gem marbles from the dollar store.  I introduced the concept to the kids the next day.

Each time they begin talking during a transition time or if the voice level is too loud, I will pull a marble out.  They are able to earn marbles back if they are doing great, etc.  If they go below the line, they will have a punishment.  If they stay above the line, they will earn an incentive.  We will check each Friday.

To give them ownership, I had them brainstorm the punishments and incentives. I adapted a few and numbered them 1 through 8.  I told them that each consecutive week above or below the line will result in the next punishment or incentive.  They were all into this.

This week, I had to have a sub.  I forgot to include the marble system in my sub book.  The kids told her!  She pulled marbles when they were loud, and they would correct the talking.  She even allowed them to earn them back.  Although, they were still talkative, she said they were all good classes, so no bad note!  Of course, I had already warned what would happen to those left on the "naughty" list.

I love coming back from being out and not having any issues to contend with.  The first thing they asked was what the note said.  I told them, "well let's talk about it.  You tell me your side."  Of course, I didn't have a bad note, but they will tell you everything.  They admitted to losing marbles and that they talked.  The also admitted that no one did anything bad, so I was pleased with their honesty.  I gave them a sucker for their behavior.

Even for 8th graders, they love the marble system. Right now, we are above the line in two classes and right at the line in one class.  We will see what tomorrow holds in store for them!  I need to print the list of incentives!  I hope to present them with one on Monday!

Happy Marble Managing!!

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