Mr. Potato Head: This fabulous idea came from my amazing colleague Jessica Bolejack. I don't have any kids at home, so I had to buy one of these, but many of you may already have one around the house! Mr. Potato Head sits on a shelf near the front entrance of our classroom. He starts out "naked." Every time we line-up, if everyone gets in line correctly and quietly, without pushing or whining, I choose 1 student to add 1 piece to Mr. Potato Head. When he's complete, we have a potato head party! That's when Mr. Potato Head gets to pick a type of party to have. ;-) He whispers his choice to me, of course.
Backward Character Hats: I throw these on from time-to-time as we walk through the hallway. Goofy and Angry Bird watch the line for me! They whisper in my ear when we reach our destination to choose a student to earn some type of reward for nice hallway behavior.
LipSmacker "Smellies": Another gem from Jessica... No, we don't put these on the students' lips, don't worry. ;-) Carry a smelly with you occasionally as you walk through the hallway. (I always let a kid who is lined-up nicely choose the flavor before we begin the trek.) When you get where you're going, students who walked nicely get a smelly on their hand. They just raise their hands up and you rub a swipe of the LipSmacker on them. The kids FLIP for these!
Clean-Up Song: I cannot live without my clean-up song! I use "We Will Rock You" - the instrumental version. It's about 2 minutes long and a perfect pace. Peppy to get the kids moving, but not too fast that they get revved up and wild. I train the kids the first week of school to start the song independently so all it takes is telling a student to go turn it on.
Fuzzy Jar: If the students clean the entire room by the end of the song, they earn a fuzzy in the jar! When the jar is full, we get a fuzzy party! A fuzzy party can be any type of party we decide on when the jar is empty and we are ready to start earning again (popcorn party, glow-stick party, slipper party). We can also earn fuzzies for other whole-class successes but it is consistently used for clean-up time.
Class Dojo: Such an amazing FREE website! If you haven't heard of it, please go there NOW! [www.classdojo.com] You enter your students' names, they can choose "monster" avatars for themselves, and then start giving them points! I use only the positive points. The built-in categories are Helping Others, On Task, Participating, Teamwork, and Working Hard. You can also add your own. You could also plug in groups (such as table groups) rather than single children. It makes a nice dinging sound when I award a point, so without saying a word, I can excite the kids ("Who just got the point!?!") and subtly remind them to stay on task.
I hope you enjoy these hints! Make sure to hop on over to the linky to see lots more