Thursday, May 17, 2012

DING: You are now free to start focusing in the classroom

Check out that jeweled bell and Barbie-pink manicure.  

Could I look any more diva-like?

Today I share with you an idea that works like magic.  The only downside is that it has the potential to drive neighboring teachers nuts.  

Take the good with the bad.

In my class we use "tallies."  The students are awarded tallies when they are caught exhibiting role-model behavior.  This would work with any system like that.

As chaos ensues within the classroom (and by chaos I mean anything from "getting a  little chatty" to "full on riots"), I look for someone who is doing the right thing.

And then...


I whack my little bell and the room comes to a screeching halt.

Because: a) They know somebody is about to get awarded a tally and (even if they were the one go-go dancing on a desk they still hold a flicker of) hope that it will be their name called and don't want to miss it and b) They know that the jig is up and that I'm watching them all.  Theyat least want to give the illusion that they were doing what they were supposed to.  

I don't care why they freeze and look. The point is that they do.  And after I quickly announce who has "earned a tally" they instantly get back to what they 'should' have been doing and a calm fills the air.  There is no raising of the voice.  There is no signaling out negative behaviors.  There is no making anyone feel bad...even if they were being naughty ;)

It's pure magic.

(This was reposted from my original blog).


  1. Ooo I really like the idea of giving a tally each time you have to ring the bell. I have a bell I ring that the kids get instantly quiet when I ring it, but I have never thought of rewarding those doing what they were supposed to. Great idea. Thanks for sharing. :)

    My (Not So) Elementary Life

  2. I have a bell and I have NEVER used it! What a great idea!!! I will be adopting this for next year with my new batch of 6th graders. THANKS!!!

  3. I have a bell too and haven't really touched it! This is a great way to use it and I will have to try it our next year! Thanks

    Totally Terrific Teaching Tools

    Lohren Nolan

  4. What a great idea! I must have the bling, too! :)

  5. I have that same bell in turquoise!! Pier 1??? I love this idea Jodi, you are a genius!

    1. Yes...Pier 1...but, now I want turquoise. :)

  6. Love it! The idea, the bedazzled bell, and the mani!! Cute, cute, and oh wait cute... ;)

    Jessica Stanford

  7. This is the most genius idea I've seen for classroom management! I love it! Totally implementing that in my next classroom.

  8. I have been using that bell since the day I started teaching in the computer lab! I love it. It works with Kindergarten all the way through my eighth graders! It IS a wonderful thing!

  9. Great idea! I use tally marks for positive group work, how do you have student tallies set up? On the board? On a clipboard? Thanks!

  10. I love this idea. I've had such a hard time this year. 14 boys and 4 girls (talk about trouble) it's taken all of me this year. I like this idea for next year. i'm taking it forsure ;)

    Thanks for posting

  11. I was thinking last night that I might actually lose my mind over the next few weeks if I didn't do something. This is an amazingly good idea! We give token currency which kids can use to buy things or entrance into special events, the last of which will be the day before school gets out. I'll be getting my bell this afternoon and I may even bedazzle it like yours!

  12. Hello!
    Newbie here and I was curious how your tally system works? Specifically, what does the reward system look like? I have a couple ideas, but I wondered what you do.

    Thank you! :-)

    (PS: What grade do you teach? Again, just curious.)

  13. I LOVE all things GLITZY!!! Thanks for sharing the GLITTER TAPE...I haven't seen that yet!


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