Angry Birds

Happy Monday!  I can say Happy Monday because I slept in this morning and had my morning coffee with PJ and Kelly.  Lovely is all I can say.  Just lovely.

Let me just tell you that seeing The Hunger Games for the second time was just as good.  I caught things I didn't see the first time.  I saw it for the second time in the "O.C."  That's Orange County in case you didn't know.  The O.C. audience clapped spontaneously in the middle of the movie, and then again when it was over.  I really appreciated that.  The audience in my town did no such thing.  I am attributing the clapping in the O.C. to the Housewives phenomenon.  Everything is a night out.  Everything is important.  Everything is a cause to be celebrated.  So let's clap, shall we?  I'm on Spring Break.  Clap away.

I have no idea if this post will bring about a lawsuit.  Let's hope not.  Do not clap here.

This post will show you how I am currently using Angry Birds as a management tool in my classroom.  Because we need it.  We're getting too big for our britches.  Too comfortable.  A little sick and tired of one another.  And, quite possibly, annoyed with the teacher who continues to do her same old signals in the same old way. 

So I found this pic, inserted it into a document, and printed it.

Then I typed in a bunch of the other birds by color.  Blue angry bird.  Yellow angry bird.  White angry bird.  I was amazed by my knowledge because I don't play this game.  I just listen to the hubs say bad not-so-very-nice words while he plays.

I also googled the towers.  I had a hard time finding a tower.  So I just printed out a pig.

I printed everything out on cardstock, laminated it, cut it out, and stuck magnets on the back of each bird and the pig.

On my whiteboard, I put an angry bird far over to the left and the pig far over to the right.  Let me put my recent map skills to good use.  

There.  Now you have a visual.  

The goal is to move the angry bird all the way over to the pig.  I mainly use this for carpet behavior.  I use a little easel over there ALL THE TIME when I am teaching.  Another visual:

I put 4 number magnets on the easel.  I just use the magnets from my math program, but you could use anything you want.  I got this idea from Kim at Kinder Gals.  I love the way she uses different magnets based on what she is teaching.  So far, I'm just using number magnets.  I should probably make little Angry Bird magnets to use.  Genius!  But I just use these:

I put numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 on my little easel.  When the kids see that, they know Angry Birds Are In Effect.  They Are On.  It's Time.  

Prior to my Angry Birds flying in to flap their wings in my kids' faces . . . my teaching might look a little like this:

I begin teaching.  I am phenomenal.  I am engaging.  The kids are on the edge of their seats (bottoms on the carpet).  I wish I was being evaluated right now - I am a superstar!

One minute later, someone shouts out.

I growl.

Then I continue.  It is still an Oscar-worthy performance, if I do say so myself.

Thirty seconds later, two kids start whispering to each other.  They may even giggle.  And it has nothing to do with me or anything I said.  The steam from my ears fills up the room.  I bark.

I keep teaching.  I have lost a little of my zest.  But I carry on.

Someone raises their hand to join in the discussion of synonyms.  Instead of providing a synonym for the word "big", the student says, "Did you know that I had broccoli last night for dinner?  I liked it.  It was like I was eating trees!  And I dipped them in ranch so it was like I was eating snow-covered trees!" 

On and on it goes . . . 

By the end of the lesson, I am worn out, defeated, and throwing a worksheet at them to get them off the carpet, and as far away from me as possible . . . mind you, this is not every time.  But it does happen.  Has it happened to you?


Now my lessons on the carpet go like this:

I begin teaching.  I am fresh.  I am awesome.  I smile.  I glow.  I pause for the clapping to end.

I am on fire.  It is that good.

Someone shouts out.

Without saying a word, I remove magnet number four.  The kids turn and glare at the shouter-outer.  I continue.

No steam.  No growl.  No bark.  All is well.

Two kids start talking on the carpet.  Giggling.  Hee hee.  Ha ha.

Without saying a word, I remove magnet number three.  The kids turn and stare down the hyenas.  They stop immediately.  I smile on the inside.

The lesson continues without a hitch.  The kids talk to their shoulder partners, we blow answers into our hands, we release (this is all whole brain teaching stuff that I have never been trained on, but I watch videos and try to copy it) and we conclude the lesson.  We have two magnets left.

Soooooo, I move the Angry Bird two spaces closer to the Pig on the whiteboard.  The beauty of this is that I get to determine what a "space" is.  Doesn't matter.  I just count "one, two" while I scoot him.

Once the Angry Bird gets to the Pig, the kids earn a class reward.  Most times, it takes about two to three days for us to get to the pig.  I make a big show of it and have him knock the pig off the whiteboard.  They love that.  I have a lot of boys and they like it when I destroy things.  Or throw stuff off the whiteboard.  Or accidentally drop a whiteboard marker.  Or a pile of papers.  Or trip on a backpack.

So far, our rewards have been an extra recess (with special equipment like hula hoops and jump ropes and millions of balls), lunch in the classroom with me, sit anywhere on the carpet that you want (of which I have a story to tell), and we have watched a movie (that was Friday before Spring Break).  That one was more for me, but they didn't really know that.

When I knock that pig down, the kids are actually more excited to find out what Angry Bird we're putting up next.  They'll chant, "Boom-er-ang!  Boom-er-ang!  Boom-er-ang!"  I have to shoot them with tranquilizers  signal them to be quiet and wait for them to calm down to say, "Just tell me a color."  I had no idea these birds had names.

So that's my little system.  It's working wonders.  I actually love that the kids are holding each other accountable on the carpet for their behavior. 

One of my friends uses five magnets.  She also starts over every day.  It's however you want to do it.  I told the kids I would never move it backwards.  And I haven't.  I have wanted to, but I haven't. I will also move the Angry Bird for little things - coming in quietly, transitioning, etc.  Whatever.   

Are you doing any extra management tools to get you through the end of the year???  I'm almost out of colors and I'm not sure what I'll do next . . .  (thanks, Kerry, for the blog post idea!)


  1. my kids are obsessed wity angry birds and I am working on a unit for after spring!


  2. I absolutely love this idea, especially because the kiddos love angry birds. I am just like you and I have no idea what each bird is called.. but I would definitely use this idea.

    I have used a table team point system (but that only works if you have table groups) and it works similar to this. Each group will get a point if they are ready on time, working effectively, etc.

    I think my favorite thing about both ideas is that they use silent cues. You don't have to stop the class to correct the behavior. You can just silently remove a number, or add a point and the kiddos immediately respond.

    Thanks for sharing your idea :)

    The Crazy Adventures of a University Graduate

  3. I love this and has now become my goal to make for the week--and I am not on spring break....yet.

    To keep this going you can get all creative and do all the different games- Angry Birds Rio, Angry Birds Space ect. But that's all I know since I don't play the game either.
    Thank you for making my afternoon so fun!

  4. LOVE the Angry Birds!! I'm sure you receive tons of awards but I gave you another one because your blog is just awesome! Head over to check it out!

    Primary Punch

  5. You just described my day! I love this idea...and will be headed off to make this now! Thanks!!

    Ms.Smarty Pants

  6. I love this idea! I've been using easter eggs in basket. I randomly choose students who are on task, following directions, QUIET (my class is SO talkative this year), etc, and they can choose an egg. They get whatever is in the egg- a piece of candy, a "coupon" for a pencil, something from the prize box, line leader, that sort of thing.

    But it's not working as well as it has in the past. I may have to try out the Angry Birds- I have a feeling this group would respond really well!

  7. I have about 5,293 incentives in my room, seriously! lol! My most recent is the "sparklers" idea for table points... they love it!!
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

  8. AWESOME! So stealing this! Making me some birds tonight!
    Dragonflies in First

  9. Gotta pull out all the shots these last weeks of school. Can you believe I just said that "last weeks of school"...I'm looking forward to vacation, but man - life is just flashing before my eyes.

    Okay - back to the topic at hand - those birds are an awesome idea. Once my color printer police are distracted...I'll print them off and use those cute things!

    Thanks bunches!

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

  10. I love this idea! It sounds like something that'd work well in my room...I'll have to try it out. Thanks!!


  11. I have been off the blog stalking radar for like a solid week! I'm sure you already posted about your first viewing of The Hunger Games, so I'll have to check it out.

    Love the Angry Birds idea. Reading this made me laugh out loud. I especially like the diagram :)

    I started Class Dojo with my kids during February and it has really helped with certain behaviors, such as helping others and being kind. We do a marble jar for class rewards too, but it is BIG, so it takes a while for them to fill it up (thankfully for me, because the rewards are big, like pizza or ice cream parties).

    Living A Wonderful Life

  12. I like the Angry Birds idea. I do the Whole Brain one. I draw a smiley face on one side of the board and a sad face on the other. Every time they do something worthy of one or the other, I silently add a tally to that side. the deal is that if they are equal, recess happens as always. If there are more sad tallies, they lose 5 minutes of recess, if there are more happy tallies, they gain 5 minutes. They get so mad at each other when someone scores them a sad. Part of the plan is also that they are never more than 3 apart (happy and sad tallies) so that the kids don't feel too cocky or dismayed.

    First in Maine

  13. Love this idea......might have to try something like it. I can give a pretty mean glare too.....better than my kiddos...it's harder when they're older....sometimes they give it back...not often, but sometimes and then I get really unhappy!!! I'm thinking they may like the angry birds or at least a spin on it:) I also like the easter eggs in the basket that Elise uses...that would be cute for around Easter time:)

    4th Grade Frolics

  14. Sounds great! Along with our traditional management system, I always write the word RECESS on the board. If they get a little crazy, I just quietly go erase a letter. The glaring happens. If they lose all the letters, they lose 10 minute of recess. We are actually only required to have 30 minutes of recess a day, and we usually end up having 40 (2 twenty minute recesses), so I don't feel bad taking back that extra 10 minutes. And...it works :)


  15. I'm so Angry I am clapping! Printing some birds tonight and those bad pigs are going DOWN! Brilliant!!!!

  16. I love your idea! My kiddos are not much into Angry Birds.. I have no idea why?? But, it's not a big deal ??

    I really really really need to come up with something for the rest of the year.. my little ones are getting restless.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Doodle Bugs Teaching
    Doodle Bugs Paper

  17. The whole brain teaching stuff really is pretty great. I moved down to third grade this year, and without it, I think I would've had some sort of heart issues by now. I use the mirror my words and gestures constantly. They're like little mini-mes. It's kind of weird to outsides.

    I use the Oh,Yeah and Oh, No system from the whole brain thing. It's working well for us. I set a number of oh yeahs they have to earn, but for every oh, no, it cancels out an Oh, Yeah. After x number (varies) we get to work with our little buddies (2nd grade class). They are actually pretty excited about it.
    Buzzing with Ms. B

  18. Oops - it's weird to outsiders. Not outsides. I'm wearing a big chunky bracelet so typing is kind of awkward. You'd think I'd have taken it off by now. Duh.

  19. That's a fantastic idea. We use a tally system right now, where if they earn a certain amount of tallies they'll get a reward, but after Spring Break, they may need something new and fresh to shoot for! Thanks for the idea!

  20. I have never in my life EVER laughed so hard at a blog post. This was so funny. I love the way you write, and I really love this idea for classroom management. I do believe I am an official follower of yours now after coming across this blog (on Pinterest). Thanks so much for the laugh and the great idea!

  21. I LOVE the Angry Birds idea!! How cute!

    My kiddos try to spell the word COMPLIMENT on the board. Every time they receive a compliment from another teacher/adult, I add a letter. After they spell compliment, the class gets some kind of treat- extra recess, gym time, partner time, etc.

    They LOVE it!! The only problem I had was once they got a compliment, they would start to talk in the hall or act overly excited...so this week we started thumbs up. When someone hears a compliment for our class, they give a thumbs up and then we talk about it once we get back to our room!

    Not as cool as Angry Birds, but it works well for us! :)



  22. oh my gosh - LOL! I needed a post like this! :)

  23. You have totally inspired me, I'm printing out Angry Birds as we speak!! I'll be starting this soon since we're 9 days away from Spring Break...

  24. I am definitely doing this after Spring Break. I have a lot of {crazy} boys in my class this year and they love Angry Birds!!


  25. Hi BlogFriend:

    You could have easily been describing the carpet behavior (at 1 minute, 30 seconds) of the twelve year olds I was looking at today!

    And... the entire crew of angry birds could fly through the window... and my pals would just yawn.

    How many days until Spring Break???

    I would love to see you and the SMACK DOWN between the bird and the pig... Coming soon to a theater in the OC...

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  26. I spent my afternoon finding ways to incorporate angry birds into my classroom today! I am loving this idea!!! Might have to try this... THANKS FOR THE IDEA! It's like you read my mind. And I can't wait to hear the lunch on the carpet story.

  27. I love this! I think I might use it (if thats okay?)! Right now I am using tickets. Each time I see a student doing something good or following directions while others are not, I give them a ticket. They put their names on the ticket and drop it into a basket. On Friday I pull 4 names. Those 4 students get to eat lunch with me. This past Friday we had a pretty day so we got to eat outside.They loved it!

  28. I love it! I am so stealing your idea! My kidos love Angry Birds. We are on break next week, so when we come back Angry Birds will be in my class! Thanks for sharing!

  29. Kristin,

    Thanks for sharing! What is it with kids and Angry Birds? My kids had the opportunity to earn the actual game on their iPads and during that time I couldn't believe the results! I have played the game and I just don't get it. Then again I am not 7. Anyways I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who watches whole brain videos! ( I love it) Thanks for your ideas and the laughter! Enjoy spring break! I know I am although I am no where near any housewives.


    http://firstgradesmartcookies.blogspot.com - I am having a giveaway if you would like to check it out!

  30. I am in love with this idea! My kids love to talk too and this might fix that... Will prepare for next week! Thanks :)


  31. This is too funny and completely brilliant!! I love it! :)

  32. My class would die over this. Maybe I will use this except that my whiteboard isn't magnetic!! :( I will figure something out.......

    Marvelous Multiagers!

  33. You are a teeny tiny little genius!! I l-o-v-e this! I actually bought all of the stuffed angry birds this summer. Currently they guard my treasure box and play hide and seek from the fire marshall, but I'm totally going to do this!
    You rock sister!

    Sunny Days In Second Grade

  34. Brilliant idea!!! I love it!!! :-) Thanks for sharing! And thanks for making me laugh too!!! Happy spring break to you! I'm jealous!

  35. Thanks for sharing this idea. I needed a new one. I have been using the special Friday activity and that has worked but I what to change it up before they get bored. Have a good two weeks (I'm a little green with envy).

  36. I love this idea! I made a fatal error and decided to try Botox, but I LOST my evil eye! What the heck was I thinking? I am lost without my evil eye!!! Bring on the birds!

    Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

  37. will be copying!!! Thanks for sharing!!!!

  38. This post made me laugh so much after an extremely trying day. Thank you for that! Love this idea!

  39. Oh my gosh, I love this! I had three little guys that decided to give their angry birds a bath in the drinking fountain on the way back from recess today and then bombed each other with the birds. I think your little trick might just be the magic I need! :)

    Oh First Grade Friends

  40. OMGosh I love this idea and will be starting it ASAP.. prolly after spring break to keep it fresh. You made me lol talking about how you feel on the inside when your kids are talking, giggling, etc. Oh my, I thought I was the only one!

    First Grade Frosting

  41. I have barely had any time to blogstalk and missed this. It is genius! I am totally going to use it, thanks!
    Finally in First

  42. Thank you so much for such an incredible, yet simple idea!! I also feel like nothing is working with my kids these days, I'm ready to give it a go!!

  43. you are awesome! i have been looking to incorporate angry birds into my classroom for behavior management for weeks--and i love how simple this! THANK YOU

  44. LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea and your hilarity. You crack me up every time. I have that exact same carpet scenario about 3-4 times a day (depending on whether we gather on the carpet 3 or 4 times). But worse. With such things as a student tying his shoelaces to the legs of my teacher chair. Or another one lying on the floor, clearly rubbing herself inappropriately. WHAT IS HAPPENING, I want to scream. When I could just take away a magnet! Me loves it. I have been using Mr. Potato Head to earn class rewards, so maybe I can set 2 or 3 of his "parts" next to my rocking chair and take those away instead of the magnets. See how I thought of the lazy way out where I don't have to print or laminate anything? I'm tricky that way.

    Holla, and please enjoy that amazing view. My grandfather's family was from Monterey. :)

    Teach On.

  45. Love it! I use Angry Birds to teach subtraction b/c those boys love destroying things - and these are "safe" - just little cartoon animals. (no blood or real stuff, right?!?)
    I am SOOOO going to pull this out of my bag of tricks. And of course the rewards have to help us out, too - wear your slippers to school, take your shoes off, fun stuff! :) Thanks for posting! I LOVE your blog! Makes this kindergarten teacher smile at your stories! :)

  46. I'm so excited that I found this!!!!!!!

  47. I love this idea and your gold tag system. I think I will add a number line to reinforce addition skills for some of my little ones who are struggling.