Sunday, September 18, 2016

How to Use Smart Beads for Classroom Management

A few years ago, I saw this wonderful idea on pinterest, and had to try it.  It's called Smart Beads, and what a smart idea it is!  I'd love to give the person whom I got the idea from credit, but nearly 20K pins later...I can't locate it.  Whomever you are....thank you for your genius creativity!!!

Smart Beads are a magical tool to give affirmation for, and motivate others towards, positive behaviors.  Ok, magical...not so much, but when I reach for them, you would swear I'd just spread the magic "everyone be kind, focus, and complete your task" dust all over the room. :) 

When a kiddo is working extra hard, paying attention, participating, helping others, following directions quickly, etc, I give them a Smart Bead necklace.  I'm not sure who likes them more; the kids or myself.  Because, let's be real...we all know the ultimate goal when rewarding good behaviors in the classroom is to motivate the others to follow :)
A special thanks to my coworker for grabbing this pic of her kiddos showing off their Smart Beads!
If the student decides to act out, or the necklace becomes a distraction, I ask him/her to return the smart beads, and remind them of the behaviors expected to them back.  For safety, I ask the kiddos to leave their Smart Beads in their cubbies or at their seat during recess. 

I like to keep them in multiple locations around the room, so I can quickly grab one when needed.  Use a command hook to hang some by the guided reading table, a container at the carpet/large group meeting area, and a few by your desk.  You can get a pack of 8 for $1.00 at the Dollar Tree!

The first year I implemented this strategy, I allowed the students to keep them and wear them home. The following years, I decided to collect them at the end of the day.  Although I prepared for meltdowns, I was pleasantly surprised to see smiles on their faces while returning the Smart Beads. They knew returning the beads meant they would get another chance tomorrow.   Food for thought: sometimes the things we don't GIVE our kids (to take home and never get played with again), are the things that become most treasured when given the opportunity to use. 

If you're looking to try new behavioral strategies in the classroom, or with your little ones at home, I suggest trying Smart Beads; an inexpensive, motivating, and special treasure to kids of all ages. 

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