Since spring break, I've discovered a cheap and effective behavior incentive--BUBBLE WRAP!
It happened by accident. I had opened a box of supplies but didn't have time to put them all away before my first class came in. The 5th graders immediately spotted the bubble wrap and begged to pop it. I told them they would have to earn the deserved the bubble wrap. They were angels!!! So, I cut off some squares and let them pop! I tried this with the next class and they, too, were fascinated with the bubble wrap. So, here's my system:
I cut the bubble wrap into squares roughly measuring 3" by 3". I had a jar with a hinged lid that was a gift from a student from Christmas. I store the bubble wrap in the jar. I have a plastic basket in the closet with a bubble wrap stash ready to refill my jar.
At the end of class, I pick some "Pop Stars" who get to pop some bubble wrap. I wait until they are standing in line and pass some out. They must pop it in line and dispose of the spent bubble wrap in my trashcan on their way out the door.
I have even offered therapeutic bubble wrap to teachers who looked extra stressed when they came to pick up their classes. No one has refused!
During the last 2 weeks of school, I got a package in the mail that included these giant pillow bubbles. I have now called them "Super Bubbles" and I have chosen one person in each class to stomp on a super bubble.
Students and teachers have learned of my bubble wrap rewards and have been bringing me their bubble wrap to replenish my stash. I'm sure between donations and my own habit of online shopping, I will not have to spend a dime on more bubble wrap.
The bubble wrap was such a hit, I'm sure it will return in the fall to start the school year. How are you surviving the end of the school year? Do you have any incentives to encourage good behavior? I'd love to hear your comments.