Show and Tell: My Holiday Behavior Tip!

Keep your Middle School students engaged during the last week before the winter break with "Smackdown"!  #teaching #classroommanagement

It's holiday time and you know what that means - students are restless and excited!  What's a teacher to do to keep those rascals engaged?

Tell teams of students that they're the next contestant on 
"Language Arts Smackdown"!
(simply substitute Language Arts for your subject area ;) )

This is what you need:
Fabulous Prizes
Exit ticket questions
Ability to use Kahoot, Plickers or another student response system.

This is how I did it:
I set up teams of no more than 4.  I asked them to choose names.
Each day, at the end of the period, we would use Kahoot or Plickers or another voting type student response system as our exit ticket. I would ask questions that could only be answered if one was engaged and paying attention. Kahoot now has a team option, but I had the students each earn their own points.  Then they would "pool" their points with their team (to promote individual responsibility and maybe even a little positive peer pressure).  Then the team with the most points earned a point on the scoreboard toward the "Fabulous Prizes".  
(I kept it a point to keep it competitive for the long haul.)

I use friendly competition and "fabulous prizes" to keep my students engaged before the holidays!

What were the fabulous prizes, you ask?

Well, I went to the dollar store and bought those small stockings and put candy canes in them.  Then I asked my school's Partner in Education, Chick-Fil-A, for whatever they might be willing to donate.  They donated small coupons for free sodas and such.  I placed these in the stockings too.  Next, I placed homework and tardy passes in the stockings.  Then, I told the students that the prize packs were worth at least $x in cash BUT were actually priceless in terms of other reallyreally great school benefits (the homework and tardy pass).  I hung them up across the front of the room above the whiteboard and referred to them often like a product model on The Price is Right.  :)

FREE homework and tardy passes for your Classroom Smackdown!

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The end result
You know what?  They ALL wanted those stockings!  And the only way they could get them was to pay attention in class so that they could contribute to their team's win at the exit ticket time!  The best part was that not only was learning still occurring, I had found a way to harness all that energy and excitement AND track that learning with the student response systems all at the same time!

Thanks for stopping by!
Be sure to visit Forever in 5th Grade for more great Show and Tell!


  1. I think this is a great idea! It sure gets tough to keep them engaged between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanks for linking up!

    Forever in Fifth Grade

  2. I love this idea! I might try to gear it towards my third graders, because they sure could use some incentives during this Holiday season!

    Chevron and Crayons


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