Behavior Incentives with the Marble Jar

Welcome to your new school year! WooHoo! Instead of meeting your year with dread and trepidation, whip out those Fluffilos and add some FUN!! Start your first day with “Get-to-know with toss-a-Fl’o!” and you’re on your way!

Teaching is a joy – as long as you choose to make it so. Embrace the funny little moments. Just look at how cute those kids are when they’re mad! And don’t let that be you! Your students think it’s pretty funny when they get you to blow up  – as a matter of fact, many students believe that is their job – to push you to your breaking point just to see where it is!

For my first blog topic, I’m going with my favorite form of behavior incentive – the marble jar. This technique is effective because it motivates and rewards the entire class. Here’s how it works: Place an empty jar (not too large) in a very prominent and visible location. Whenever the class is on task, behaving well, cooperating, sharing, learning… place a few marbles in the jar. When the class is getting too loud remove a few marbles. When the jar gets full, the class gets a reward. This can be something the class comes up with and votes on, or it can be your choice.

I like to use a glass jar because it makes a really loud, enjoyable sound when you drop the marbles in, and it really gets the kids’ attention when you dump them out! You can take out only a few, or for those really big moments, you can just dump out the entire jar! Since your goal is always to “catch kids being good” this is a perfect opportunity to reward responsible behavior. If you have one student exemplifying a particularly amazing quality you can even add a couple of marbles just for that. NEVER ever remove marbles for the behavior of one student. Individual students need to be respected and disciplined privately.

Kick off the year on a positive note – get those Fluffilos flying, and get the marbles rolling! If you are interested in having a class Fluffilo-making party for your reward you can email, call or text me at 559-250-0771 and I’ll let you in on a few of our Fluffilo making secrets! Another great reward is to go out and play some super fun games from the Tandalay website at . There are literally thousands to choose from!

Here are a couple of fun Fluffilo games for you to try out!



Get-to-Know with Toss-A-Fl’o

  • Review the importance of good manners. What does it mean to have good manners? Can anyone name some things that might be considered good manners? (Let students come up with a few ideas.)
  • What about saying please and thank you? In this game we are going to practice throwing and catching while we work on nice manners! (Demonstrate the game as explained below.)
  • Form groups of 5-7 players.
  • One student steps forward one step and says his/her name.
  • Entire group in unison says the name of the person…Go around the circle getting to know each student’s name.
  • Now add a Fluffilo that is tossed to another person.
  • To toss, call the name of the person, make eye contact, then easy toss.
  • The receiver says “Thank you” and the person’s name.
  • Play until everyone is comfortable with each other’s names.


Fluffilo Juggling

  • Form groups of 5-6.
  • Have one Fluffilo per student on the team.
  • With the group in a circle, the captain of the round will begin with a basket/bucket of Fluffilos (Fl’os) at his/her feet.
  • Captain will toss the Fl’o to another player, who will in turn toss it to someone else and so on, until each player has caught and tossed the ball ONE time each.
  • Encourage students to remember who they are catching it from, and who they are tossing it to. It will be the same for each Fluffilo in that round.
  • The last player to catch the Fl’o will toss it back to the captain.
  • Repeat, following the exact same sequence of tossing and catching with each consecutive Fl’o.
  • The captain adds Fluffilos more and more quickly.
  • On whistle blow, change captains and the order of tosses, and repeat the game.
  • Continue play as time and interest permits, or until each player has had a chance to be captain.

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