30 Amazing Teachers ~ Pam

I was so honored when my sweet friend Cassandra - aka Mrs. 3rd Grade (is that the BEST blog/store name or what?!?) - invited me to celebrate her birthday by being a part of this blog series!  (Thank you, friend!!!)

My name is Pamela Wendt from Hedgehog Reader, and I teach 4th grade in sunny Phoenix, Arizona.  I met Cassandra almost exactly a year ago - seriously, almost a year to the day!  We already "knew" each other from a Facebook group of Arizona teacher bloggers and then from a spin-off group of us that became Hello Sunshine Teachers - but it was an EdCamp un-conference that actually brought us together in real life.  I would show you a picture of that, but I like this picture of us much better!

Teacher Blogger friends are the best!  I love that we live close enough that I can pop over to Mrs. 3rd Grade's classroom!
This is us one day after school in November.
Cassandra is one of those people who you just LOVE.  Seriously, everything GOOD just sort of radiates out of her in glittery sparkles of positivity and sunshiny smiles!

And in that spirit, I thought I would post today about something I do to encourage that kind of positivity in my classroom:  CARES Compliments.

behavior management system to build a kindness centered classroom community

This is a system that is super easy to prepare and use.  You just print the forms, print the reward format that you choose, and voila!  The kids do all the rest!  Well, ALMOST all the rest.  I like to read the compliments during Community Circle on Fridays, and then send them home with the complimented students.  It is definitely a favorite part of our classroom routines!

I’ve developed this over the years to help me build and nurture a kindness-centered classroom community in which students are celebrating one another’s acts of respect, encouragement, and support.

I will share with you how I use it, but please feel free to use it in a manner that works best for your teaching style and  your students’ needs.

Each student may fill out one form a week.  I've learned to limit the amount, or else some of my purveyors of positivity will overflow the jar every week!  The student names another student that he/she is complimenting, identifies the trait that he/she is complimenting, and then describes the action that prompted this compliment.

The student folds the compliment into quarters and puts it into a candy jar that I keep next to the forms.

During Community Circle on Friday, I read the compliments.  My students just love this!  The student who has been complimented gets a ticket.  I’ve included three types of formats in the download so that you can choose the reward system you like best:
a) Ticket - I use these like raffle tickets.  The complimented student writes his/her name on the ticket and puts it into another jar.  On the last Friday of the month, I draw 5 tickets; each student whose ticket was drawn gets to pick a prize from the treasure chest.
b) Clip Up Card - Alternatively, the student can go “clip up” if you use the clip chart in your classroom.
c) Brag Tag - I recently started doing this instead.  I print and laminate the brag tag and hole-punch the top.  The complimented student earns a tag that goes on his/her brag tag chain or ring.

I send the CARES Compliment form home in the complimented student’s Friday Folder so that the positive behavior can be celebrated at home too!

Here is what a compliment form looks like printed up - and of course I couldn't resist writing one for Cassandra!  (Please excuse my messy handwriting - I was in a hurry to upload this post tonight!)

You can download this system here:
but it will be free for only a short time - on March 1, it goes up to $2.00.  So if you think you might want to use this in your classroom, now's the time to grab it!

I will close this post by wishing Cassandra the happiest of 30th years...  And my wish for all who read this is that they too can be blessed by the type of friend that Cassandra is!

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