26 July 2015 / 2 comments

Good-bye to our TREASURE CHEST that is!

If your treasure chest looks like this, you can probably stop reading this post!  I doubt it pertains to you!! ;)  But if you DREAD your TRUNK of JUNK - then keep on reading!

Two years ago I finally got the word that I would be moving back down to first grade from middle school.  I was absolutely ELATED!  But the one thing that I was really stressed out about was that dreaded TRUNK OF JUNK!!!  That crazy, end of the week hassle, free for all that I begged, stole, and borrowed from to fill every Friday!  UGHHHH!!!  (Begged from parents, stole from my own children, and borrowed from...:) )  Anyway, the stealing was over since my own kids are now grown, so I started stalking blogs to find out what others were doing.  I was happy to find many different ideas out there.  I decided to implement my own ticket and coupon system, and I never looked back.
So, I first went and bought tickets and a coupon holder (Coupon holder at the dollar store).  Then I came up with different incentives that I knew first graders would LOVE to work towards.  

Here's how it works:

Students earn tickets many different ways.  At the beginning of the year, they earn them by raising their hand (YEP), making great 1st grade choices, being kind to a friend, and the list goes on.  (If I see a behavior that I want to fix, I try to find a behavior from another student that will help fix the inappropriate behavior - I reward that other student, and it truly seems to fix the behavior I don't want to see) EXAMPLE:  A child not sitting correctly on the carpet (criss-cross) - I'll find one or two students who are sitting correctly, and say, "EEEKKK - thank you so much BOB and SUE for sitting correctly.  I LOVE IT!!  You've earned 5 tickets!!!"  This is the funny part - You immediately see all the kids who weren't sitting correctly, plop down on their BEEE hinds!  Seriously - it works EVERY.SINGLE.TIME!

Anyway - at the beginning of the year, they have so many chances to earn tickets.  I promise, I probably went through 2 entire rolls.  They seriously WANT THESE TICKETS!!  So, once they earn a ticket(s), they write their name on both tickets.  One goes into a drawing for our daily Caught Being Good Bag and the other goes into their coupon holder.

The ones in the students coupon holder are kept until Friday, where they then get to "BUY" coupons to use for the next week.

The other one goes into this container.  At the end of the day, we pick a name from our daily ticket container.  As long as the student's name who has been picked is still on green or above, they get to bring home our Caught Being Good Bag which consists of a cute bag, a stuffed animal of their choice, and one of the books read that day during story time.

Friday is FINALLY here!

Now for their favorite part!  The students save their tickets until Friday.  On Friday,  after our last recess, they count all of their tickets in their coupon holder.  They usually do this on the carpet since there's more space.   Each coupon costs a certain amount of tickets.  For example, to "Kick OFF your Shoes", the student would need to give me 15 tickets. Once they give me their tickets, I then give them a coupon for kick off your shoes.  They put this coupon in their coupon holder and can use this coupon whenever the want to use it. 

Throughout the year!

As we progress through the year, students earn tickets for getting a 5/5 on AR tests, going quietly back to your seat from story time (the leader gives this ticket to one boy and one girl - leader watches for quiet friends).  They also get tickets for working in centers quietly, clipping up on our discipline chart (5 tickets for clipping up once, 10 tickets for clipping up twice, and 15 tickets for clipping up to the top).  Now, just so you know, I'm not that "easy teacher" who clips everyone up.  If you've clipped to pink, you've truly earned it.  I also have all of the coupons on our classroom wall, so they can decide what they want to buy before coming to me.

My Discipline!

I know that some people are against clip-up charts and other ways to control discipline.  I get it, I really do.  But... it worked for me.  If I were going back into the classroom, I would still be using my discipline chart.  My students were always commended on their awesome behavior, and I don't know if it would have been so great if I didn't have a system in place that worked for me.   


Most of these coupons are free to us!  The only two that cost are the erasers and the pencils.  Everything else... FREE.FREE.FREE!!  Wait, did I just say FREE?  YIPPEE!  Kick off your shoes, free!  Bring a stuffed animal to school, free!  Classroom photographer, free!  OK - I have to say something about classroom photographer.  Last year, when I went to create my class DVD, I was scrolling through all of the pics that I had throughout the year.  I ran across a ton of close-up shots of students in the classroom, outside during recess, in the lunch room, etc.  I knew I hadn't taken those, but they were AMAZING!  The photos came from my little photographers throughout the year.  I used some of these for my DVD, and in my opinion, those were some of the best pictures I used. 

Hope this helps someone out there!

Hugs from OCD in First!

Click here to see them on TPT.  If I don't have a theme you want,
email me and I'll see if I can create it to match your classroom.


  1. What a great post! I love how you use actual tickets. That is so important for the little ones to have a tangible reward to keep them going. Thanks for sharing.

  2. What a great post! I love how you use actual tickets. That is so important for the little ones to have a tangible reward to keep them going. Thanks for sharing.


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