This post originally appeared on the blog Spreading Joy One Giggle At A Time.
Hello Friends! Thanks for stopping by! I have a short little post for you today all about a really fun and inexpensive way that I motivate/celebrate my students and the hard work they do each day! I call them Smart Beads, and they are a HOT COMMODITY in my classroom!
I have to stop here for a moment to share that this is one of the EXACT reasons why I LOVE teaching 1st grade… I can go to the Dollar Store and buy four “cheapo” plastic bead necklaces for $1.00, and rename them Smart Beads, and suddenly they are worth more than The Hope Diamond! #firstiesarethebest #firstieswillchangeyourlife
Anyway, my students know that they can earn Smart Beads in my classroom by using their best Brain Building Behaviors in class and providing SUPER SMART answers during classroom instruction. So Smart Beads become a WIN-WIN for everyone involved! I win, because my students are focused and paying attention (well…most of the students…these aren’t MAGIC beads after all), and they are participating in the lessons. They win, because they get to show off their smarts in front of their classmates, and get to wear VALUABLE, SHINY, BLING around their necks for the rest of the day!
Along with the beads, the student also gets a certificate to take home explaining all about their reason for being celebrated in class. If the beads become a distraction, then I have the student put the beads on my desk so that they can still see the beads, and they still have the certificate to show they received recognition.
If you think this is something you would like to try in your classroom, hit your favorite Dollar Store or Party Store and stock up on some BLING! I have added a link to the Smart Bead Award Certificate below. Just copy onto colored paper.
Click HERE for your SMART BEAD AWARD FREEBIE!
The Brain Building Behaviors I refer to in my classroom are just another way of saying “whole body listening”. I do repeated readings of the social story Smart Students Use Brain Building Behavior and I hang Brain Building Behavior Posters in the classroom for reference. The story explains the importance of paying close attention in class so that your brain can take in all of the important information. You can find this product in my TpT store HERE.
I would love to know what you do in your classroom to motivate/celebrate your students’ hard work each day. Also, if you decide to spring for the BLING and try Smart Beads in your classroom, I would love to hear about it!
My dear friend Emily over at Polka Dots Please uses beads in a slightly different way in her classroom. Hop over to her blog to read all about the fun way she is motivating her students with BLING!
Diane has taught 1st grade for the past 24 years in Sharon, Pennsylvania. Her classroom is a place full of smiles, giggles, and wiggles, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Diane has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, and she enjoys creating fun and engaging resources to get students excited and motivated about learning. You can connect with Diane at her TpT store, on Facebook, on Instagram, on Pinterest, or at her blog Spreading Joy One Giggle At A Time.