Submitted by Carole Drury, Wiscasset, Maine

Idea posted January 7, 2002

I'd like to tell you about my B# Awards. This seems to work pretty well for me.

At the beginning of the year, I tell the children that they have a chance to earn a B# Award every month. Five classes will earn one each month and the class that has earned the most awards at the end of the year will get a party in music class. (For the party, I bring in a video and goodies - small price to pay for good behavior!) Here's how they earn it...

I have a chart posted in my room listing four categories:

  1. Entering/Leaving: Did the class enter the room appropriately? (with hands to self, singing my "coming in the room" song) Did the class line up appropriately at the end of class? (quietly, with hands to self)
  2. Sitting: Did everyone sit up today? (I can't stand it when kids lay down on the floor in my class!) Did everyone stay in their assigned places with hands to themselves? (I don't have chairs, but the classes sit in assigned rows on the floor.)
  3. Listening: Did everyone listen to and follow directions? Was their talking at inappropriate times? (when the teacher or a classmate was talking or during a song) Did everyone remember to raise hands instead of calling out?
  4. Effort: Did everyone try their best to do the activities of the lesson? Did everyone try their best to participate cooperatively?

(I think we have to really outline what is expected... Some kids today honestly don't know that it is inappropriate to roll on the floor etc.)

Next, I have a dry erase board by the door with the four categories listed. At the end of each class, the class can earn a quarter note for a category if they did well in that area. If not, I tell them what was wrong and then they don't get a note for that category. Then we add up the notes. They can earn a whole note, dotted half, half, quarter, or no note. On a separate chart, I record their final note for the day.

At the end of the month, I average out the scores of each class (using the numerical note values) and the top five classes get the award. I announce these classes on the announcements and make a BIG deal about how great it is to be a "B # Class." Also, I make an award out of construction paper and give it to those classes to hang outside their door. (I also list the B# classes on our school web site.) By the end of the year, some classes have several of these awards collected.

This works very well for me. The other teachers at my school are very supportive and always tell the kids to get a whole note when they drop them off.

I also really like this because EVERYONE at my school knows the values of the notes - even kindergartners!

Well, I've rambled on. Hope this idea helps.