Fall Blog Hop


I know, I know.  It's like I disappeared into the void.  Well, when I went back to work, I went back with a lot of focus this year.  And I've been spending a lot of extra time preparing for my students, and I'm really happy with how things are going.  PLUS, I've been putting TONS of effort into my store.  I've almost finished redoing all of my cover pages and product descriptions to give my store a more cohesive look, AND I've created a few new great products - like the BATS unit of my last post.

So it took Rachel over at the Classroom Game Nook, to get me back in the saddle *um, I mean, blogger seat that is.  So I'm finally taking some serious time and sitting down to write you a fun post with some great FREEBIES and a GIVEAWAY to boot!


So how about a TRICK to get this party started?  Well, I have to let you in on my classroom management secret.  I've seen all sorts of posts about behaviour charts and to tell you the truth, I've never used one, and when I first heard about them I had no idea what they were or how they worked.  For years I've been using a simple process called TABLE POINTS.    You need a cup for each table group, and a whole lot of Poker Chips.  

Here's how it works and here's how it's different from other point systems.  Firstly, I don't let my students choose their seating arrangement - EVER.  I used to let them choose when I taught Kindergarten, and they would choose a variety of places to sit as the day went on.  But with Grades One and Two, I've found it much simpler to pick for them, seeing as they have to sit and work for much longer periods of time than those Kindies ever did, and they don't always make the best choices of who they sit next to.  So I assign seats at large tables.  I have 4 in my classroom which sit 6 kids each.  Where I work the maximum number of student I can have is 24, so this works perfectly.

The first activity for each table group is to choose a mascot.  I have a huge bin of stuffies that I have collected over the years.  They are pretty small.  When I started teaching, one of our local Gas station companies gave you a stuffie  of an endangered animal, when you filled your car with gas.  Every week it changed.  So in a few months I had a huge collection of realistic looking stuffies.  I've been pretty careful whenever I add to it.  The stuffies are cleaned at the end of each of their 'terms'.  I usually change table groups once per term which means 3 times a year.  Once a mascot has been used, it is retired until the next year.

Choosing a mascot is a team building activity in itself.   I pull out 8 - 10 different stuffies and explain what they are to the kids.  Then the kids have to come to a unanimous decision as to what stuffie they want.  Sometimes it can take a while, but they always come to a consensus.  We use table groups for all sorts of activities in the class to further their identity in the group.

On each table is a little cup and over the week they can earn table points for doing what they are supposed to be already doing.  It's like "catching them being good".  I never give points for the same reason very often.  Sometimes they get a point for doing their homework, sometimes they get a point for working as a class so quietly.  If I catch them doing something kind or polite they might earn one too.  Sometimes I will challenge them, (or bribe them).  Like if I need to run down to the office for 1 minute, I tell them that if they are doing what they are supposed to be already doing when I return (and not goofing off) then they will all earn a table point

The team that earns the most points every week gets a chance to pick from my prize box.  And it's full of non-candy treats from the dollar store.  They LOVE this.

TABLE points can also be taken away.  I usually spend the first week really pumping them up about  points and giving out LOTS of points.  After a week or two, I explain to them that they can actually LOSE table points for misbehaviour.   It's amazing how quickly some of those little kids who love to shout and interrupt will actually change their behaviour because they lost a table point.  Sometimes they have to lose a LOT of points before it sinks in, but the other kids at the table will put pressure on the child as well.   Of course I use discretion.  Children with special needs or special circumstances are given extra leeway on poor behaviour.  

I found that it took me a few years to really master this technique of focussing on all the GOOD things kids do instead of punishing the BAD.  So although I do take away table points for poor behaviour, I'm not actively looking for it.  Instead, I am actually looking for GOOD behaviour and this puts me in a more positive frame of mind too.  I also make a point of fudging the results so that every table wins an equal amount of the time, even those tables that have kids who just never seem to get their homework done, or sit quietly etc.

So how about a TREAT???

I've got a great new Freebie, just posted up at my store for Halloween.
Pop back here next week and I'll blog the step-by-step way I use this resource in my own classroom.

There's a full color cover.

There's a brainstorming page 

There's a page for a rough draft. 

And a page for a good copy to insert in the class book. 

to get your own free copy.


I'm having a giveaway.

Enter here to win my latest Science Unit on Bats which is selling like hotcakes!

to check out my unit, and see the Rafflecopter below to enter!


Now, hop on over to Two Nutty Teachers to check out what they have up for grabs.
Click the photo below to go there...

Once again, I'm so glad you stopped by today!


  1. My favorite product from your store is the Color Words for Kindergarten and First!

  2. Love your Bat unit! Such a great product!

  3. I wanted to start your bats unit last week, but I was sick and missed most of the week of school! I lost my voice -- impossible to teach grade 1-2 with no voice :) . Now I've used up half of my sick days for the year. Yikes!

  4. I like your mapping and community units, but am hoping to win the bat one!

  5. I like the Bat unit as well as the ones about Communities.