Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Classroom Management: The Stars

This is an idea I got from my supervising teacher during my internship.  On my board there are 10 stars. Throughout a lesson a class has to earn all 10 stars in order to receive some sort of reward.  I love this system because students have to work as a group in order to earn the stars.  I may push a star up for students entering the room properly and getting right to work or maybe for someone asking an awesome question, there are lots of ways to earn them.

The reward has varied over the six years I've taught.  Here are a few:

1.  Sticker on the chart, earn so many stickers receive a music party.
2.  Earn a paw (our school-wide behavior system at the time)
3.  Earn end of the year centers

While all of these have worked in the past, this year I'm ready for a change.  We are doing away with our school wide behavior management system, so Paws are out this year.  I think I'm going to do some sort of ticket system.  Earn 10 stars, your class gets to place a ticket in the jar with your teachers name on it.  At the end of each month, Mrs. Quezada draws a name and that group will be the Spotlight Performers for the month.

I like that this idea revolves solely around music.  If your class is selected as the Spotlight Performers, you have the chance to share the skills you have been working so hard to learn.

Here is a post about how I've done Spotlight Performers in the past.  Once I have my tickets and jar together, I'll post a picture!


  1. I like it! What are your rewards? Like a song game they like? I usually take one day a nine weeks and go outside with the classes who haven't had a "bad" day.

    My kiddoes are really good, so they all get to go out. Last year I only had about 5 kids school-wide that consistently made bad choices in music. They had to sit out while their friends played outside.

    I like this idea! I am just bad at making up rewards! :)

    1. I've done a dance party type of thing before using movement activities we've done. I've also done instrument centers, where they can experiment with how to play certain melodies/rhythms (this one was loud!). The 3rd was a board game (music games)/dance party day.

      While all of those had their pluses, I think I'm going to like this new system better because it won't take any of my instructional time away and I don't have to do it with all of my classes each 9 weeks. We keep growing! Construction has resumed and we are looking at 80 new houses and who knows how many new apartments. We are bracing for the expansion!

      I think this system will be a good way to reward great classes and everyone will have a fair chance at the reward. I'm toying with the idea of possibly having 2 spotlight performers a month. Maybe a primary and an intermediate. I'll post my definite plan soon.

  2. Thanks for this post, Emily! I currently use a star-reward-system, as well. Each class has a chance to earn a start for a good music class (1/2 if it's an okay class, 0 if not so good). When a class earns 10 stars they get a music party for their next music class & get to choose music games/activities they like. Some examples include: freeze dance, limbo, music wings (like musical chairs), musical 4 corners, pass the ball, or other music games we've learned, etc. But I like your spotlight idea and also the visual of seeing the earned stars on the board.

    I think I'm going to try modifying my current system when I return to school this fall:
    1. Each class can earn up to 2 stars per class - we'll check in twice during the 45-min. block to decide (about half-way through and again at the end of class), and if so, I'll then place a star on the board;
    2. If they earn 2 stars, they get a sticker on their chart (same as I usually do - and when they get 10 stickers they earn a music party) - but they'll also get to put a ticket with their teacher's name in a jar and at the end of the month, like you, I'll pull a class to be the spotlight performers (I'm thinking that since I'll have 17 total classes, maybe I'll select 2 or 3 per month)
    3. If they only earn 1 star they can get entered into the raffle but no sticker for their chart
    4. No stars earns no rewards

    Hopefully this added incentive will help motivate students to stay on task better!

    Thanks for the ideas!!!

    Roxanne Rene

    1. Thanks for sharing what you will be doing in your classroom this year. Oh 17 classes sounds fantastic!!! If I'm lucky I will only have 48 this year. :) I would love to be able to pick more classes for Spotlight Performer but it's hard for me to fit it in more than two. The kids are good about it. If they aren't a part of a spotlight performer group this year, its something they look forward to the following year. By the time they reach 5th grade, there will be very few kids who have never been featured as a part of one of these groups. And, if they haven't been celebrated this way, they are through something else I do like Maestro of the Month, Section Leaders, Chorus, Orff, etc. It all seems to work out over time.


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