Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tippy Tuesday-Candy In The Classroom?!

My first year of teaching, after trying many other ideas, candy became my go to behavior management tool.  The behavior challenges I faced that year were hopefully the most difficult I will ever face in my teaching career.  I know how awful that sounds, but the challenges I faced that year in kindergarten were nothing short of super stressful.  I was a happy first year teacher, happy to go to work everyday, but near the end it was difficult.

This brings me to today's Tippy Tuesday post.  I am challenging myself to use candy as less of a reward when I get back in the classroom, fingers crossed, next year.  I want to choose more positive, healthier rewards for my students.  Plus, if it is not in my room, I won't eat it, and hopefully next time at the dentist, I won't have 10 cavities!  Of course, for those special occasions and  holidays, bring out the candy!  But other than that, I want to limit it! 

So here is today's tip.  Use positive notes to let students know you are proud of them or that they are on the right track.  I know this is nothing new, but it is definitely something I could of done more of that first year I taught.  The example below is test week homework.  It comes from the blog TIPS (Teach, Inspire, and Prepare Students) and I love the message it sends:>!  Head over to Mrs. Jordan's blog to check it out!

What do you think about candy in the classroom?  Leave me a comment with your opinion.



  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog Ashley! In my district, we are NOT ALLOWED AT ALL to use food unless it is written in a lesson - ugh! I use positive behavior awards and notes (it works fabulously!) but seriously, there are some days when a lollipop would do the trick! Ha! I love your ideas! I'm a new follower to you!
    Rowdy in Room 300

  2. Hey Ashley- this is probably not going to earn me many happy faces- but I am NO FOOD room- by choice. My first year, I got sucked in because other teachers that my children saw during the day were rewarding with candy and I wasn't. So against my philosophy, I had candy.
    That was the only year.
    My reasoning- I give my pup a treat when he goes to the bathroom. I lure my pet with food. I don't want to do that to my students.
    Some argue that children are sensory motivated....but they have 4 other senses.
    And I have found that the things that motivate my groups the most are praise and recognition, chances to be helpers, and having the opportunity to do something good for others.
    Stand your ground! If you don't want candy- don't feel pressured :)

    Going Nutty!


  3. Ashley, Thanks so much for mentioning my blog and the "Smartie Homework" note :)

    I am a big supporter of intrinsic motivators and postive behavior supports. The homework treat was for standardized testing week only and that was what made it even more speical for my kiddos. They received one pack of Smarties at the beginning of the week to take home. With a note that reminded them that they are a "Smartie".

    When I first began teaching, I was totally opposed to any sort of external rewards,trinkets, or treats for good behavior other than the verbal praises. As they years have gone by I have realized that some children need external motivators prior to moving to the intrinsic. I personally would prefer a "no treat zone" in my classroom. However, I realized that with some children, after all else is exhausted....do what works.

    Thanks again Ashley! You brought about an interesting topic to discuss.

  4. Thanks for your thoughts on this gals! The more I think about it, the more I would like to work where any food use had to be written in a lesson plan. However, I think my first year would have ended with me being bald had I not been able to use candy. After teaching two more years, I am a big believer in using praise and encouragement as motivators. It is very frustrating to me when students go see the principal for discipline and come back with candy or were rewarded in some way for bad behavior. Students need to learn to be motivated to do work and behave well on their own because it is the right thing to do. Because someday, in the real world, no one will be standing over their shoulder to treat them when they do something they are supposed to do in the first place. A very interesting topic for sure.