We're a week away from celebrating St. Patrick's Day, so I thought it would be the perfect time to
First, let's talk behavior. I always get a lot of questions about behavior management. You will never hear me say I have it all figured out. Nor will I declare that all of my ducks are always in their rows. However, I do know that sometimes the novelty of what we're doing wears off and when it does our kids become less engaged in learning and more apt to act unfavorably. I've found that changing up behavior incentives at different points during the year really seems to curb undesired behavior. I don't incentivize all behavior, but there are special times of the year I love to recognize positive behavior and reinforce that by working together as a team to reach a particular goal. Here's a little something I love doing during the days/weeks leading up to St. Patrick's Day.
This behavior management incentive is all about positive reinforcement and compliments and the objective is to get the leprechaun to the pot of gold.
I personally like the idea of using this class-wide, but dependig on the dynamics of your classroom, this could absolutely be used by groups/tables/etc.
Print out the rainbow graphic, cut out, and adhere to a posterboard or butcher paper. If you want to make this available year-to-year, be sure to laminate! Otherwise, just adhere velcro sticky dots to the arc of the rainbow and the pot. You can add as many....or few...as you wish. One sticky dot needs to be adhered to the back of the leprechaun as well.
Each time your class gets a compliment, move the leprechaun to the next sticky dot getting closer and closer to the pot of gold. Once the leprechaun reaches the pot, it's time to celebrate!
In the past, I've used this incentive about 3-5 days leading up to St. Patrick's Day. My kids can receive compliments from other adults as we're walking down the halls, from their specials teachers, or from teachers who pop-in the classroom & comment on how awesome the kids are being. I've often asked teammates to pop-in and compliment my class on something specific.
Once the leprechaun reaches the pot, we celebrate with a special snack. Depending on the class...and the amount of time you have...the special snack can vary. Lucky Charms. My personal favorite is a Taste of the Rainbow.
You'll need small clear plastic cups, a variety of fruit (your choice) to represent the colors of the rainbow, whipped cream, and golden raisins (to represent gold coins!!!)
You could turn this into a great little writing project as well..."How-to taste the rainbow". Bring the fruit to school (pre-cut/sliced) and prompt kids to assemble their own rainbows. Help them top it off with whipped cream and then let them add their own "gold coins". A delicious (and healthy!) celebratory snack!!!
In the past, we usually enjoy this snack ON St. Patrick's Day. This is always a class favorite!!!
You can grab the printable rainbow & leprechaun by clicking the pic below.
Speaking of praise, here are some "luck notes" to give to your kids....or team...on St. Patrick's Day and/or the week leading up to it. Our kids LOVE tangible pieces of praise and these fit the bill.
They can be left out on their desks/tables before they get to school (add some glitter or green confetti for an extra little touch), added to treat bags, or given as they leave for the day. I like to treat my team to a little baggie of green Jolly Ranchers and attach the note to that :)
Grab your luck notes HERE:
And here's an extra little treat just for you! Race to the Rainbow...a class favorite!!! This little game board can be used in small groups or in pairs and pretty much with any skill you want to reinforce! For the sake of explanation, I'll share with you how we incorporate this for math.
Before starting the game, just cut out the leprechaun counters, fold along the dotted lines, and glue to keep them upright.
In a small group setting, I love using this game board to reinforce odd & even addition. Player 1 rolls the dice, writes an equation, and identifies whether the sum is odd or even. If the sum is even, Player 1 moves his counter up one space toward the rainbow on the game board. If the sum is odd, he stays put. Play continues until one player reaches the rainbow first!
Of course, this can be implemented to use with a variety of skills. Identifying long and short vowels using picture cards (long vowels move forward, short vowels stay put, or vice versa); sight word identification (move ahead if you can read the word correctly, stay put if not); etc. Really, the sky is the limit!!
You can grab your free game board by clicking the pic below.
Some of my favorite activities to incorporate this time of the year are thematic science experiments. While we're talking about rainbows, here's a fun science experiment to incorporate into your plans...
Here's another fun experiment involving candy. And what kid doesn't love candy?!
Speaking of experiments, Abby & I have LOTS of amazing rainbow themed experiments and activities in our Science of March resource. It's super comprehensive....lesson plans, book suggestions, and cross curricular activities, too! Here's a little peek at Rainbow Week...
via Science of March - 4 weeks full of cross curricular lesson plans (rainbows, clouds, weather, sun/moon/stars)
And for some more St. Patrick's Day fun, check out these activities!!!
Shamrock Similes is first on the list. In a whole group setting, brainstorm a list of things that are green and follow-up with a little simile writing craftivity...
And here's a little related facts craftivity, too!
And no holiday is complete without a little hide & seek fun!! I included sight words and numbers as well as editable cards for you to create your own!! My kids always LOVE hide & seek activities!! Great for whole group and reinforcing key concepts and skills!!
You can grab all three of these activities in my St. Patrick's Day Fun file....only $3.50!