Monday, November 28, 2011

Finding Marbles

I have a very vivid memory of my most favorite teacher, she was my third grade teacher and her class has given me many memories I still carry with me.

This particular memory involves a, what seemed at the time, huge mason jar and some marbles. As a class we earned marbles for things like actually being silent for silent reading, walking quietly in the hall, not terrorizing the sub, and you know, good things. When the jar was full we earned a whole hour of recess. I remember how she would quietly walk to the jar and drop a marble in while we were doing an activity as asked. The sound of the the glass on glass energized us to keep at it and made us all feel proud.

Why in the heck am I telling you this? Well, because some teachers lessons last a lifetime. I have been having some major battles with my 4yo about TV, full out tantrums. We were lucky to have skipped over the terrible twos and somehow landed in the crazy 4 1/2s. I tried all sorts of thing to no avail, then I remembered the marbles.

It has worked like a dream! We are down to maybe 2 shows a week adding up to a half hour or 45 minutes at most. No crying for more or even asking at all until the jar is filled to just past the pink paper.

Arrow indicated where the marbles need to be. 
Marbles are earned for all sorts of good behaviours  from picking up unprompted to doing things the 1st time I ask. Once full the marbles are turned in for two shows. Simple!

A really full jar.
The thing I like best is that instead of getting punished for "bad" behavior we get to focus on all the good stuff that is going on. It has changed our whole mindset, both his and mine.


If Toys Could Talk said...

What a wonderful idea! Kudos to your teacher for gifting you with a tool you can use with your own children. I found you over in the comments on Made By Rae. I pinned this idea for later:

Anonymous said...

fantastic how it focuses on the positive and not always the negative...we're really trying to have our 3 year old "earn" tv time instead of having it taken how your idea is so visual for them...thanks a bunch..also found you from made by rae :) call me a stalker..haha!

erins said...

That's a wonderful idea. They use this in my son's pre-k class as well. They get to turn a box of marbles into a pizza party for the class. I never thought of using this for media time...duh! Thanks for the idea!

P.S. I also came from Made by Rae's comments list.

Kookababy said...

Thank you all for you nice comments! I hope that if you end up using it that it works as well for you and yours as it has (and still is) worked for mine. Glad to see you all over here from Made by Rae.