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Positive Reinforcement for Your Kindergarten Classroom

written by: Lynn-nore Chittom • edited by: Laurie Patsalides • updated: 9/11/2012

Here is a great and simple idea for behavior management in a Kindergarten classroom. It's affordable and easy and encourages your children toward exhibiting their best behavior individually and as a class.

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    Kindergarten Behavior

    Kindergarten teachers know that the trick to having a great year is having a great system for classroom management. While many schools are encouraging a stop light-style card system for behavior management, little ones often function best in an environment of positive reinforcement. If you are looking for an innovative and fun way to encourage good behavior in your classroom, here’s a system you definitely want to try.

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    Classroom Management- Yippee Clippies

    The name of the game is Yippee Clippies and you will need the following supplies for this management system.

    • A few boxes of multi-colored paper-clips. You will need enough to have two of the same colored paper clip for each child in your class, plus eight other clips per child.
    • One colored push-pin for each child in the class
    • A dedicated bulletin board area large enough for a single row of push-pins with small name tags above, and enough space below for a chain of up to ten hanging paper-clips.
    • A treasure box
    • Treasure box prizes – candy, small toys, or stickers

    Begin this system at any time during the school year. Begin by dedicating a section of a bulletin board to Yippee Clippies. Place one push-pin for each child onto the bulletin board. The student's name should be above the pin. Hang a colored paper-clip on the pin. It is best to start with the same color for each child to avoid any confusion or resistance from the class. Explain to the students that they will receive another paper-clip for each time you catch them doing a good deed in the classroom. Perhaps this is following a classroom rule, sharing with a friend, being particularly quiet or helpful or whatever behavior you are encouraging from your students. The goal for each child is to earn ten Yippee Clippies and receive a prize from the treasure box. The more mysterious and exciting the treasure box is made, the better. If there is another reward that would work better for your children, for instance extra time outside or a good office visit, consider using it instead.

    It is best to designate a particular color that will always be the tenth paper-clip. This should be the same color for the whole classroom. Red or yellow are great choices as they are bright and easy to see. Using the same color as the tenth clip, will save you time and trouble at the end of the day as it will be easy to see who has earned a trip to the treasure box. Be sure to separate this color from your Yippie Clippie stash and only give it out as the tenth Clippie.

    To get the kids accustomed to using the Yippee Clippie system or as an alternative approach, you could use one strand of paper-clips for the entire class. This encourages the children to work together to earn a treasure box treat and creates a spirit of positive peer pressure.

    Be sure to have fun with the system and encourage your class toward weekly successes!

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    For a Kindergarten Economics Lesson and Token Economy, by Bright Hub author, Laurie Patsalides, please read more.


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