What I Wore Wednesday

Five am wake up call. 
Ten or so hours of pure:
 never sit down, never shut up craziness.
Eat dinner.

The life of a teacher is not glamours the first few weeks of school. Let's be real, getting up at 5 am is no better the first week of school than it is week forty. Anyone who tells you that you will get used to waking up early is a liar and should be shot on the spot. 
Perhaps I am cranky.

You know what makes waking up at the crack dawn easier, new outfits. If it were completely acceptable I would have a new outfit for each day of the year, but then I would probably no longer have a place to live. The mister does not support my shopping habits addiction, silly boy.

Disclaimer I am not a fashion blogger, I am constantly amazed by all of the amazing fashion bloggers out there who have remarkable style and beautiful pictures, my pictures are in no way on their caliber  But I find sharing my outfits pushes me to draw inspiration from other bloggers and make new and more creative combinations so alas I share.

First Day of School
Shirt - Marshalls - Ella Moss
Skirt - Target
Shoes - Dr. Scholls
Silver Bangles - Charming Charlie

Day Two
Shirt - Gap
Multi-way Skirt - Gap
Shoes - Reefs Flats in Gold
Jewelry - Charming Charlie

Day Three
Headband - Charming Charlie
Shirt - T.J. Maxx - Max Studio
Carpri's - Marshalls - Express
Shoes - Reefs Flats

There you have it my first three days of school outfits, my silly goal is that I will not repeat an outfit the first six weeks and I will not purchase anything new the first six weeks. I shouldn't say that budget goals are silly but really, it's me, I hear the word sale, coupon or shopping and I am all over that.

Two more days then a lovely three day weekend filled with staying up past ten o'clock and sleeping until the crack of noon, sounds heavenly.

- The Babbling Box!

Ready or Not

Friday I tackled the most annoying project ever in my classroom, despite me saying here that my classroom was done.

Open mouth, insert foot.

Let me back peddle and say this, I HATE MY WORD WALL. Hatred might not even cover the annoyance I have for this section in my room. 

One, its really only there to cover a check on the administrators check list. Let's be real we don't use it that often and only about four students can actually see the words. Two, I can never find a space big enough to hold all three subjects ongoing vocabulary words.  Three, my room is not considered ready for the first day of school without a word wall (big focus on my campus) so even though I will only be reading a script all day it had to be completed by Monday.

Last summer I finally made something I was mildly happy about. 

And I even had a few fellow bloggers tell me not to change it this summer and I really wasn't going to, I promise!

But I went to change out the poster and my word wall ripped right down the middle.


So I pulled back out the hot glue gun, risked my finger tips and sanity and redid my word wall. Side note because my AC goes in and out so much, I have learned that in order to have things not melt off my walls I hot glue the table cloth on the wall and then seal the edges with duct tape.

I was left with this, which I wasn't over joyful about but it would serve the purpose. 

I went to NYC without a care in the world because my classroom was done. RIGHT?!?

I walked in the door Tuesday morning for a fun filled day of eight hours of PD and low and behold my word wall is hanging off the wall. It appears the tape melted off the wall and literally fell off taking the table cloth off the wall as well.

And I handled the problem like any mature adult.

But alas Friday morning rolled around and the word wall was still half hanging/ripped off the wall so I bit the bullet, pulled the hot glue gun back out and tried to keep the curse words to a minimum.

After such a long introduction I am sure you were expecting an amazing word wall, but lets be real I was tired and cranky. Word wall number three passed the principal walk through Friday so that is good enough for me. I plan to try and make more letters to cover up the old table cloth remains, FYI hot glued table clothes don't come off cement walls easily.

Here are a few additional snapshots of projects around my room that I wrapped up Friday

one. The final view of my room before the first day of school.
two and three. My assess yourself cards hanging on each of my computers, along with the posters hung on my wall. Love!
four. My new reflection or pigeon desk, I love that I now have a reflection and a tardy desk. My janitor rocks.
five. You can never be too prepared. I purchased my very first purchase from TPT! A suggestion from my friend Alison. They are mustache question cards that can be used as get to know you activities with the kiddo's, I printed them, laminated and cut the cards out.  It is a relief to know that if one class has too much time next week I have some fun mustache cards to fill the downtime.

The rest of my weekend was spent relaxing and preparing myself for this crazy upcoming week. I won't bore you with pictures of me cleaning and washing clothes but I will leave you with a final few snapshots of the weekend.

one. salad in a mason jar: so easy but so brilliant!
two. neighborly love is not felt in my neighborhood, idiots always block my driveway.
three. No Bake Energy Bites, my sneaky classroom snack.
four. Salmon stuffed with crab, enough said.
five. Needed a change, dyed my hair.
six. Nordstrom Rack might become my kryptonite.

To all my fellow teachers starting tomorrow:
may the force be with you,
break a leg, 

As long as this isn't you, I am sure it will be smooth sailing.

Linking up with: SamiBreCarly and Logan.

- The Babbling Box!

Slim Fast Strawberries 'N' Cream Shake

Here are some recent truths from around here:

one. my house isn't as clean as it normally is, or clean enough in my way too high standards.
two. I have been to the gym ONLY twice this entire month.
three. My eating healthy plan has entirely gone out the window. 
four. My beauty routine has gone down the toilet and you are lucky if my hair was been washed or I bothered with any makeup
five. I have been horribly neglectful of any and all social media.

Before you start forming some intervention, don't worry I haven't gone off the deep end. At least I hope I haven't.

I enjoyed this summer more than I can ever imagine. I have never been the type of person who can just sit still and relax. There is always a to do list. There is always something that should be cleaned. There is always something that can be done. My brain never shuts up. EVER!!! 

But this summer instead of constantly worrying and planning I just started picking the important things to focus on. So if the Mister was off and wanted to go grab brunch or randomly drive to Houston for a baseball game, I just said YES. Screw the to do list. If I would rather lay in the hammock and read then cook dinner or clean the house, I just did. Screw the to do list. And after a wonderful vacation to NYC if I would rather lay around the house all day and catch up on blogs then grocery shop, I just did. Screw the fact that I only
had pickles and milk in my fridge. 

I will say that all this saying yes to things has certainly made it difficult to make smart eating choices. Surprisingly enough this is where Slim Fast comes in.

Changing directions, have you ever heard of Influenster

It's basically a free community where people go and give feedback on products they already use. There are different 'surveys' you can take so Influenster determines your interests. I should add that I only joined back in Jan/Feb and since then have been sent two free boxes worth of samples. And I can promise I have spent very little time actually on the Influenster site.

My first box this spring.

I received my second box back in late July before my travel schedule got crazy. 

I wasn't exactly sure what to think about the box. If I am honest, and I always try to be, I have never tried Slim Fast and I am always on the fence about processed products like this. So like any mature adult I put the box aside until I had more time to deal with it.

Fast forward to my first day back from vacation, I was sitting around my house blogging all day, avoiding grocery shopping with nothing to eat in my fridge. I normally make a protein shake in the mornings but I just didn't think the combo of milk and pickles was going to hit the mark.

Since I was missing eggs, the protein to my protein shake, and had 1/2 a glass of milk I was trying to figure out how to make this concoction work. The Slim Fast bottle that had been pushed aside clearly said on the bottle 10 grams of protein, not my normally amount but I figured it would work.

My Slim Fast Shake Recipe
One Slim Fast Strawberries-n-Cream Shake
Coconut Milk
Coconut Oil
Handful of frozen spinach
Handful of frozen blueberries
Dash of cinnamon for good luck

Blend until smooth!

I was actually really impressed with my protein shake, sometimes its hard to hide the taste of spinach or perhaps its just my brain tricking me, but the strawberries and cream Slim Fast added a creamy sweet flavor that made me completely ignore the extra pack of veggies I added. Plus considering my other option was a Jack In A Box breakfast, I think I made the right choice.

Don't like my recipe, don't worry Slim Fast has tons of recipes of different shakes you can make, I was just working with a limited pantry. Also they even have some shakes that include booze if you are looking to go that route. Not sure my boss would appreciate a shot of the goodness in my morning breakfast...a girl can dream.

Would I buy Slim Fast? 
Honestly, probably not on the regular as I already have a pretty good shake routine I use daily. But it would be nice to keep a few bottles of Slim Fast Shakes around for those days when you have depleted all of the resources in your fridge and pantry and your only options are fast food or grocery shopping.

 Also I think these would be great for traveling because honestly I would prefer to pack a few extra pair of shoes rather than bring a blender in order to get a healthy start to the day.

All in all I was impressed with the Slim Fast products and their shake options which I think go a long way in showing consumers that they are following the healthy lifestyle trend and looking to provide the busy person with a reason not to skip breakfast but keep it healthy.

As this weekend flies by and I prepare myself for the start of school I am trying to remind myself to KISS (keep it simple stupid) in terms of my cooking habits and crazy to do lists and just spend more time saying YES to treating myself. But we all know I am a to do list addict so I make no promises!

"This post was created in connection with my appointment as a SlimFast Ambassador." All opinions are that of my own!

- The Babbling Box!

Mixed Feelings

I haven't been around much this week, I guess that makes me some kind of horrible blogger not posting or answering comments, but life happens.

We had our professional development this week and I am not sure if it was the long hours, waking before the sun each morning, not drinking or the stupid cold/virus I seemed to have lingering from my trip but each day I arrived home pretty much like this:

And I could barely function to get some sort of dinner that blogging just had to take a back seat. Considering this week was sans kids I can only imagine how I will fair next week.

Walking away from my classroom today I had a bunch of mixed feelings about school starting Monday that can really best be told in gifs. Because that's how I roll...brushing off my kid lingo for Monday.

My classroom is done. And I think it looks pretty darn fabulous, if I can toot my own horn and all. Also a big plus, all of my copies are done for the week so I won't be wasting any time in that stupid line for the copier. 

70 teachers+one working copier+office staff making hundreds of first day packets = hair pulling insanity 

Sitting through the two straight eight hour days of professional development was pure torture this week.  I hate sitting for eight hours period. In a room where I am being watched like a hawk so playing candy crush is off the table. Said room has no windows. 
This is a path straight to the nut house.

Knowing that I will be spending most of next week reading from a school wide script on administrative procedures, school procedures, being a student...etc. pretty much has me...shaking with excitement?

 I am not totally on board with having to do my hair, makeup and wear professional clothes again everyday. Sitting through professional development with my fake smile and professional garb on just felt...

Here is hoping that my new school clothes perk me up Monday morning or it will be a long year of 'the bun.'

Speaking of getting up and getting ready, I had horrible insomnia this week, which probably didn't help my energy levels at all! Here is hoping that Sunday night I can get some normally sleep, but I can already guess this is what I will be doing instead:

The night before the first day of school. .

I have big plans this weekend of finding some old middle school pictures of myself to share with my students next week to try and lighten the mood. One of the best things about school starting is I now have 150 people who are forced to pay attention to me and who I can just be plain weird around. I enjoy each and every minute!

I was able to sneak a peak at my rosters today. Yes you read that right, generally we don't get to see those babies until the first day of school. It's sort of like the gift of crazy that just keeps on giving each period. But I am not sure if knowing which 'delightful' students I am going to have beforehand will help my sanity or liver this weekend.

On the brighter side generally students are so excited to come back to school and see their friends that they act sort of kind of mildly like angels that first week.

Looks can be deceiving, I am sure those kids are also secretly plotting how to take over the school.

Hopefully I won't go so long without posting next week but please stick with me as I transition from a stay at home person to a working adult. Life is rough.

And just because I love seeing a theme come full circle:

Completely off topic, rumor has it N'Sync will be playing at the MTV VMA and while I am sure they will play a classic like Bye Bye Bye here is hoping they bring this baby back music video and all:

Girlfriend by N'Sync on Grooveshark

I hope everyone has a wonderful and relaxing or crazy fun weekend, not sure which path I am headed down yet.

Linking up with Doodle BugsWhitneyLaurenSarahJennifer and Lauren.

- The Babbling Box!

Last Weekend of Summer

Sadly Tuesday aka tomorrow we are required to report in for our first day of professional development. 
Which officially means that summer is over.

So this weekend instead of running myself crazy or trying to squeeze in any last minute social engagements I just let everything go.

I didn't care how much I stuffed myself with crappy food, drank boxed wine or worried about my to do lists. Instead of cleaning the house I laid in the hammock and finished up the last of Crossfire series which made me sad, I get too attached to characters.

And I enjoyed every damn minute of it, but I do have to say that today was impossible hard to try and get back into any sort of routine.  #tomorrowsproblem

one. Mr. B and I enjoyed a little Sunday Funday action. 
two. The infamous breakfast shot, yes that is bacon in my shot. That's how we roll.
three. Nothing like a little Sunday afternoon bar hopping.
four. Iron Cactus for brunch, buffet brunches are the best! And of course there was Fireball. Duh!
five. Trying to get my queso fix with store bought queso, it just didn't hit the spot. But I still ate it, just a well balanced Saturday night dinner.
six. I tried the Tone It Up Protein Pancakes and Bombshell Spell. My one attempt at health food this weekend.
seven. Pizza, boxed wine and Pretty Little Liars the perfect way to spend a Friday night.
eight. Back to school shopping is one of my favorite things about school starting.

I have a cofession to make: I am addicted to Vistaprint. 

If I could afford to I would have each and everyone one of my posters done by them #teacherproblems.

My two newest posters are ready for hanging tomorrow and I am quite giddy.

The first one is pretty self explanatory: just an easy way to brighten up the area above my whiteboard. 

The second one is a pinterest inspiration.

Here is the pinterest link with the free printable: 

A Teachers Wonderland: student self-evaluations- This is awesome! Marzano scale???

The concept is pretty simple really, its a color coordinated way for students to access themselves and ask for help when needed. I really like the simplicity of the whole idea: once I am ready to release students to work on a project they will assess themselves and hold up a colored card. If while working they get stuck they will just change their card to ask for help rather than calling for me a gazillion times.

The four terms are: novice, apprentice, practitioner and expert. Which just so happen to be the four terms I use on every rubric to grade the class already. 
Novice = 70, Apprentice = 80, Practitioner = 90 and Expert = 100

I plan on hanging the vistaprint posters in the room for easy class wide reference.

And I plan to use command hooks to hang each set of cards on the edges of the computers. 

If I were going to grade myself on my cutting abilities I would give myself a D. I can't cut a circle to save my life. But I am not dwelling on that considering how long they took to cut out.

The printable is white and black so you can pick your own colors, I will say to be careful with the double sided printing because some of mine look pretty jancky. #userproblems

Off to make myself somewhat tired so I can get to sleep at a reasonable hour. 
Back to reality!

Linking up with: SamiBreCarlyLogan, and Tara.

- The Babbling Box!

Let's Hear It For New York

This week I returned from New York and I have to admit the city stole a piece of my heart. Something I really didn't think was possible after Austin, Denver and Chicago also stole pieces of my heart. Perhaps I just enjoy traveling but either way I could easily see myself living in any of these cities.

I also learned some important lessons about myself: when I travel I throw myself into it full force. I abandon all worries, don't let the little things bother me and mostly just go with the flow. I take on a new confidence that makes me unworried about safety/plans/the million other things my mind worries about, I don't care what I stuff my face with and suddenly I am a millionaire.

My mother on the other hand is pretty much the exact opposite. And I was very unforgiving about the complaints and worries. Selfish is probably the best way to describe it, but I felt justified because it was my money I was spending. 

End rant. 
Hopefully this explains why there are two pictures of me and my mom in six days.

Now onto pretty pictures and funny stories. 

Wednesday our grand adventure started! 

I had to wake up at 3 am to make my flight to Houston. I will openly admit that I was extremely intoxicated until we were mid air to NYC. How else does one go to sleep at 8 the night before?

Upon arrival we met the stereotypical NYC cab driver: honked a lot, slammed on his breaks a ton and refused to help us with our bags. 

After getting tossed around like rag dolls we checked in and I was ready to go!

Lunch. Subway ride. Showing my mom where her training would be. Dinner. Dropped my mom off at the hotel to rest.

My sister and I went and checked out The Highline. Basically a very long park on top of old railroad tracks. If I lived in New York I would probably picnic there on the regular.

After something like eight hundred blocks of walking I decided we needed a night cap before heading back to the hotel. We saw the word BAR in bright lights and were sold.

One drink turned into two and well the rest is a little fuzzy. I will say our tab was 25 bucks for unlimited refills. I have no clue how we made it back to our hotel. My mom made sure to remind us daily how much we disturbed her sleep. But we had an absolute blast!

One highlight of the night: a guy walked up and started talking to us. He told us we were adolrable a million times. Girls love compliments. He compared my sister to Anne Hathaway, she was sold. He asked us how we ended up at a 40% gay bar. How he got that number still baffles me. We told him we saw bar and ran with delight. He thought that was...wait for it...adorable! I also managed to pick up a guy I think was straight, yes I am in love but nothing perks a girl up by knowing she still has it.

I feel like I should add that I was up for a total of 22 hours Wednesday and survived to tell the tales.

Thursday we awoke to a lot of banging via my mom or the booze. And escorted her to her training.

We literally passed the steps from Carrie Bradshaw's apartment on the way so of course we stopped for pics.

Shake Shack is the best place to cure a hangover. Please open one in Austin on the double.

I wanted to see the 9/11 reflection ponds from one of my favorite episodes of Rescue Me BUT they were all fenced off and after a few rude cops who weren't won over by my charm I decided that a few far away pics of the new tower would have to do.

We stopped by the Trinity Church Cemetery from National Treasure and did a photo shoot/rested our aching feet. It isn't weird that I enjoyed the cemetery more than anything else that day, right?!?

We then stopped by the fire station from Ghostbusters and the Friend's apartment. 

Dinner with my mom at Eatly which is a super fun Italian market with six different restaurants.

Then early to bed for our big appearance on the Today Show which I already recapped here.

After the concert we stopped by the Bethesda Fountain from One Fine Day and then Dean and Deluca from Felicity. 

Friday night we had dinner with my mom and dropped her off at the hotel room.

Then my bestie arrived and it was pretty much just like this:

We went to a fun place for drinks and late night snacks. And then picked up a couple of bottles of wine and went back to the hotel. Not to disturb my mom we decided to hang out in the lobby, sip wine from paper Starbucks cups cause we are classy like that and catch up. 

As corny as it sounds I feel a completeness when I am with my bestie. 

And with that I am going to wrap up this post and postpone the final part of our trip recap for a second post. I can't begin to describe how many pictures we took Saturday and Sunday.

And in staying with my New York theme a little diddle I heart:

Linking up with WhitneyLaurenSarahJennifer and Lauren.

- The Babbling Box!

Taming The Wild

Here I am talking about teacher stuff two days in a row, odd I know, it must be that time of the year. 

Teacher stuff not your forte, make sure you stop by tomorrow for my big NYC recap full of ramblings about how my drinking annoyed my mother to no end and how my sister and I ended up in a '40% gay bar' our first night out on the town. Oh and of course fake mustaches.

Okay back to teaching.

It is really a surprise that I stumbled my way into teaching. Here are a few truths about me, please don't kick me out of the teacher club when I announce these.

I dislike most children. Perhaps I was scared during my babysitting days but when I turned 18 and could serve booze I ran as far as possible away from children. Also why I teach middle school, anyone under the age of 10 frightens me.

I detest professional development. I know I should be all 'I am bettering myself' and shit but the truth is a tune out the second I sit down and make lists upon lists of things I actually need to be doing in my classroom. Perhaps I am bitter because they never address elective teachers in professional development.

I loathe ice breakers. I could really care less what your name rhymes with or spending the first thirty minutes of my professional development walking around learning what you did this summer or how many languages you speak. If I cared we would be facebook or instagram friends and you would already know I spent most of my summer drinking and blogging. Duh!

I have zero school spirit. Pep rally's annoy me to no end. I don't chant. After school activities that don't pay me extra interest me about as much as gum stuck on my shoes.

I could really go on and on but this post does have a point, I PROMISE!

So the fact that I am on the executive committee for PBIS (positive behavior interventions and supports) and have even presented at a professional development (although my nervous performance was laughable) is downright perplexing.

My first semester classroom management was a joke. The whole school was running crazy with issues and me being the new teacher who started late wasn't helping the least bit.

After tons of time spent blog stalking, reading Harry Wong and at workshops I realized there just aren't a ton of classroom management ideas out there that specifically addressed middle school needs. Perhaps you have found some but for me they have been few and far between.

I went to two different workshops at the end of the semester and I hammered out a classroom management plan that I could live with and I thought fit my students needs. 

The second semester started up and low and behold a lot of my issues were gone. The school was still a crazy mess but for 48 minutes I could get most of the kids to do something other than hit each other.

I felt like a success. But I just kept my head down and didn't say much to other teachers. Who was I kidding some of them had been doing this for 5, 10, 20 years my one semester of success in a school of crazy wasn't exactly earth shattering.

Until we had a professional development focused on pbis and a fellow teacher said this: 'I don't believe in handing out rewards to kids for doing what they are supposed to be doing.'

And finally I figured out where my passion was under all of these professional developments, ice breakers and school spirit mumbo jumbo.


A lot of our kids are wanna be gansta's who could give a rats a** if they pass or fail because they are failing so many other classes as it is. They prefer to come to school and skip school by running the hallways and interrupting other classes by banging on doors. Makes sense right?!?! They enjoy destroying anything you provide them rather than using it for anything productive. 

* please note this is not all of our kids but my first year this minority poisoned so many other students that these behaviors became a majority

If we are not rewarding them for coming to class, being seated and generally just acting like a student why are they going to do it? As a teacher we get a paycheck to show up on time, stand in the right place and follow the rules. Some might argue that their paycheck is their grade but if that isn't a motivation for these students we need to tap into what will motivate them.

My entire classroom management plan focuses on the positive, on the rewards and on the praise.

Don't get me wrong there are consequences in my room and I hand them out like a coke machine: you do action A you get consequence A. 
Every day. Every period. Every time. 
Of course I adjust and have increased consequences for certain habitable actions but those situations are so few and far between that I don't focus on them. 

I focus on the positive. 

I greet every student at the door. Say hello by name to each student. Every day. Every period.

The bell rings and the door closes and is locked.

The students then have three minutes to complete the warm up while I handle roll and tardies. 

At the three minute mark I go around and grade each warm up, saying thank you, marking a 100 for each student and providing a raffle ticket to each student.

Then we dig in and discuss the warm up.

Does this take time away from classroom discussion, yes. 
But I find that if I set a precedent for how class starts each day the kids follow. They know there is a reward that follows when they are seated and working on their warm up, whether it is a verbal praise, a grade or a raffle ticket.

I hand out raffle tickets for class participation, being on task, cleaning up, being helpful, or whatever behavior is bothering me about a certain class. I am like a slot machine, you never know if you will get a raffle ticket for the same action twice.

Although the first three weeks to get the idea across I go full force with raffle tickets.

Each Friday I set aside five minutes and we do a class raffle.

My prizes are not things I buy but bonuses for the classroom: 100 on a daily grade, listen to music while you work, pick your own seat for the day, etc.

Sometimes I draw five names, sometimes I draw ten names. This depends on the week each class has had and what I think needs to change in classroom behavior.

These are my students individual rewards for being a great student, besides the grades and praise. 
But who needs grades anyways?

Does it seem silly to praise the student who was on time one day out of five, to some yes. But when said student has 80+ tardies in a semester they need to know you recognize their effort.

Does it seem silly to praise students for being seated when the bell rings, to some yes. But would I rather mess up attendance because students are running around like wild dogs.

My system is not flawless but I have had success with students who can't get past lunch without being sent home on a daily basis and to me that means something is going right in my little room.

I also have a class wide reward system.

I said yesterday that I don't provide free time and I don't. But I do provide PAT (preferred activity time) every Friday.

Each class gets 10 minutes each week. They can lose or gain time based on the whole classes behavior. 

So for example I use my call signal and students are still talking, I just start the timer and raise it in the air. Until I have 100% silence the timer runs and then the class loses that time from their PAT. 

This works amazing with middle school students because peer pressure goes into effect, you don't want to be the one kid who cost the class PAT. Middle schoolers are quick to tell that kid to shut up.

And I never yell or raise my voice. My arm has gotten tired a few times but a small price to pay.

I also try and reward a class who has no tardies, 100% participation in warm ups, etc. with extra PAT.

I have had classes earn an entire period of PAT, which basically means Friday is my favorite day of the week. 

But on the other hand I have had classes only get 2 minutes before and boy do they feel jipped. I always remind them that next week is a new week and we will start again.

During PAT students can play computer games, sit next to a neighbor and talk, I have had girls put on makeup, work on work for another class, etc. I don't allow music because I think that is a special individual reward, although the students tend to disagree with me on that.

I include PAT in my lesson plans so if my administration walks in, and oh do they love to walk in to elective teachers on Fridays, there is no question of what is going on. My favorite is when the administrators question my students and my students respond with 'oh we rocked this week' or 'I earned this.' Its not about the computer games, although they do help, its about the reward.

I also post how much time each class is losing and earning to increase their internal competitiveness. I was so lucky this past semester to have an amazing class that earned endless amount of PAT that it encouraged my other classes to work harder because they also wanted all period rather than just 10 minutes.

The most important thing to me about in acting the positive reward system was that it had to be easily managed, not take away from class time and free. And the students needed to find their own internal motivation to 'act like students' each day in my room. 
So far it has been a win win!

Once again this blog post got way too long way too fast, but when I am passionate about something my babbling triples.

What techniques do you have for taming the wild ones?

- The Babbling Box!