Treats for Our Sweets

Happy Halloween!  I've teamed up with my buddies over at Freebielicious for a fun freebie party . . .  I hope you're having fun trick or treating through our blogs!  (In the meantime, I will probably be getting off the couch every two minutes to answer the door and giving away candy that I want to keep.  Something is wrong here.)

I'm here to talk about a super cool management tool that I found over at What The Teacher Wants: Best of Behavior Management.  The idea comes from Stephany over at Primary Possibilities.  (As you can see, I was seriously blog hopping the day I found this, and ended up clicking here and then clicking there and ending up who knows where.  Does that ever happen to you?  At times, it can be dangerous because I'm afraid I won't find my way back home.)

Okay, so you can read all about the idea on Stephany's post, but I'm going to summarize it for you.

First of all, I already screwed it up a bit.  That's just my way.

I thought it was called "Mystery Student."  It's not.  Stephany calls it "Secret Student."

So . . . a little snafu there on my part.  I'm sorry about that -- I tend to just run with things as soon as I see them and then I look back and say, "Oops."  (Or I look back and say, "Did I do that?  Surely I didn't do that.  I better get the heck out of here.")  Stephany, I apologize.

The whole idea is that you pick a Mystery (Secret) Student at the beginning of the day.  And then all day long, you keep checking on your Mystery Student.

Some scenarios:

1.  It's too chatty during independent work time.  So you say, ever-so-casually, "Hmmm.  I wonder if my Mystery Student is working quietly . . . "  And BAM!  Silence.

2.  Your lines look like a crowd of six and seven year olds inside of a jump house.  So you say, ever-so-softly, "I better check and see if my Mystery Student is walking quietly."  Wait . . . for . . . it . . . Two Straight Lines.  Like that.  Likethat.

3.  You want to take your daily cat nap and centers are too noisy.  You say, ever-so-irritably-calmly, "How's my Mystery Student doing?"  You got it.  Peace.  Snooooooooooze.  

Stephany uses this great magnetic container with glitter inside of it -- and she puts a special note with the student's name in it and all of this is on her whiteboard.  It's magical.  Check it out on her post AND you can download her special note for free.

I, on the other hand, don't have all that.  I was desperate to kick off second trimester with this management tool so I went a different route.  We'll call it Bush League in the interest of time.  Either way, it's my freebie for ya.  Aren't ya glad you knocked on my door?   

Click the pic to download your freebie or
see 4 other options to choose from!
I'm telling you, it's like you're getting the fancy
magnetic container with glitter for free if you use
your imagination really hard.
Really really hard.

I put magnets on the back of my card.  And then I write the student's name on a post it each morning.

Exhibit A
(Pretend it's a magnetic container
with glitter.  Thanks.)

Exhibit B
(That says that I keep it up there out
of reach.  And, yes, I have to stand on
my tiptoes to reach it.)

The only trouble I've had is that a couple of my first graders ask me all day long if they are the Mystery Student.  And a couple of others claim to know who it is.

If that sort of thing doesn't bother you, get under your skin, and/or you've learned to tune out little kid voices, you'll be all set.

I have been announcing my Mystery Student at the end of the day. If the student has had a great day, I give them 10 gold tags (my behavior plan).  If the student has not had such a great day, you don't announce the name.  You just tell the kids that the Mystery Student had some trouble and we'll try again tomorrow.

I am IN LOVE with this.

So there you go.  The clipart is from Scrappin Doodles and the font is from Nicole at Rowdy in Room 300.  You can get the font for FREE and she also has some other ones that are just as cute.

Well . . . that's about it.  

Happy Halloween!!  I can't end this post without mentioning that this is the 16th anniversary of my True Halloween Ghost Story.  If you haven't read it, be sure to check it out.  :)

Trick or Treat!!!

Click on the button below to go to the next blog!  :)


  1. You are so darned cute and talented! I love this idea. Im going to do it! I so something similar. I grab a starburst as I walk out the door. My students know I have chosen a "starburst student" for our walking time in line, but the dont know who it is. If the starburst student does well in line the whole time, they get the candy. It works for me. But I love the one student for the whole day too. Love it!

  2. Thanks for the Freebie! I love that idea also. I have shared your 'True Halloween Ghost Story' with many of my teacher friends and they always LOVE it as much as I do. (And of course they are now following you too!) Just recently a friend suggested I read some of the comments on that post, which I had never taken the time to do. OH. MY. The crayons in the 'baggie' story was a hoot! Hope you get some good candy tonight...go trade with the neighbors, that's my plan!

  3. Thanks for the freebie! I do something similar with my students. Our mascot is a cardinal, so I found a beanie baby Cardinal and named him Cardy (how original) and he is my lookout. He looks out for good behavior. At the end of each day I put Cardy on a desk of someone who did a great job. The kids love it and are excited each day to find out whose desk he is sitting on. We even took him to the Science Center last week!

  4. A year after discovering you with the True Halloween Ghost story, you still make me laugh out loud. I am sitting waiting for kids but it is poring rain so very quiet tonight. My husband is annoyed I bought boring candy I would not be tempted to eat.....

  5. I have a mystery student as well and it's such a great management tool! My kids love it and it's so easy to do on a consistent basis!

    Success in Second Grade

  6. I am implementing this tomorrow! I will admit, I do get annoyed with the "am I the mystery student?" questions. I shouldn't let those bother me, but they do. So, maybe I will wait until next week, when I am less irritable.
    Crazy About First Grade

  7. Well Happy Happy Anniversary of your Halloween Story Blog! That is still my favorite story every!!! And I am with you on the wanting to keep the candy for myself. I just turned out my porch light (@ 8PM) because I need to keep the rest of the candy for me. I am sick.

  8. I love this trick or treating! All from the warmth and comfort of my couch! Happy Halloween & Thank You

    You Might Be a First Grader...

  9. Hey Chicklet,
    I do a combo...depends on the year. Last year I did my "Mystery Walker"...my kids were HORRIBLE at walking down the hallway. Once I started MW they turned themselves right around. I have a basket that they can pick some "junk" out of ...

    This year, my kiddos do fine with walking in line but our end of day was HORRIBLE. Yikes, HORRENDOUS describes it better. Enter...MYSTERY FIRST GRADER. Same deal, different time of day. Works like a charm. Love your freebie!


    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

  10. So fabulous! Can't wait to start it.

  11. Such a GREAT idea! Thanks for sharing! :)

  12. This idea is brilliant. I even went over and read her post. Ooh. So good.

    Alas, I am afraid I'm turning into that teacher that is using too many tricks out of her bag all at the same time.

    Handing out "2nd Grade Bucks" that they can cash in for rewards (shoes off, stuffed animal from home, wear a hat, etc). Adding tally marks for a whole group reward when we reach 10. Clip Chart where they move their clips up and down throughout the day. Giving (and taking away) Class Dojo points. This woman is having trouble keeping up with it all.

    Here's what I've been doing lately (lazy alert): Doing only Class Dojo points throughout the day, and at the end of the day, I decide where there clip goes and how many 2nd Grade Bucks they get based on their points. I know. Aren't I bad? Sadly, I still find myself saying things like "Amy has earned a tally mark. I mean a 2nd grade buck," and "Great job, class. I'm going to give you a point. I mean a tally mark." *sigh*

    Teach On.

  13. Oh my god. I just read your True Halloween Ghost Story. Did you not die? I would have died. For sure. Poor little Esteban and his nubbin. I read this post in the wee hours of Thursday morning and I'll be starting Secret Mystery Student at 8:00 a.m. Such a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing.

  14. Oh my god. I just read your True Halloween Ghost Story. Did you not die? I would have died. For sure. Poor little Esteban and his nubbin. I read this post in the wee hours of Thursday morning and I'll be starting Secret Mystery Student at 8:00 a.m. Such a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing.

  15. Thank you for linking to my post! I love how you did this!!!


  16. Great idea Stephanie and Kristin! Kristin, I love your behavior management system and use "golden tickets"! I get the take it and run and then say Oops!

  17. I am SOOOO having a mystery student!!!! And my caveat will be "If you ask me is it me?' You are ineligible for the end-of-the-day prize!" (And then I will spend ten minutes explaining what "ineligible" means! ) :-)
    Patty So

  18. I love the management idea; thanks for sharing! I'm also liking the different variations of using it for walking in a line, which my students have yet to master. Last year, you could hear a pin drop 90% of the time...seriously, it was a little scary. This year, I don't think you could hear an elephant drop. Which is even more scary.

    I'm dying at the finger story. As someone who cut off her left index finger in an unfortunate tractor incident (although my parents had the perfect, "I told you not to touch that!" story for the rest of my life) nub fingers are totally fine. I can even type and knit....but not crochet!

  19. I love this idea and it works like a charm! I have used it for the past several years only I call it the "Secret Walker" and it helps my first graders stay in a Short, Straight, Silent line in the hallway. If the "Secret Walker" is SSS in the hallway they get to choose a prize from my treasure chest.

  20. I've done Secret Student before, but I love using a sticky note to hide the name on the board - that's a little bit of brilliance I never thought of! Thanks for sharing. :)

    Teaching Maddeness
    PS - Come enter my giveaway for the most BEEE-UTIFUL monogrammed teacher tote EVER! :)

  21. Thank you for this great idea Kristin! I LOVE the way you give us the heads up about all the things the kids will do and say so we can be prepared! I started this on Friday and oh my it worked like magic! I LOVE it!

  22. So it looks like I'm going to have to try this out! I love the idea, and I like how you have it up on the board- visual reminder! Thanks for the shout out friend!
    Rowdy in Room 300

  23. I love this! This is perfect as we get close to the holidays and winter as the cabin fever will soon set in!
    The Connected Teacher

  24. Thank you so much for this freebie! I'm loving the Trick-or-Treat freebies (As you can see, I'm a little late). I've heard of this idea, but I just printed off your freebie and I'm going to start it this week! Thank you!
    I do have to ask though....In the picture you posted, what do you use your pig for on your board? I'm guessing money? Have you made a post about that? I'd love to hear about it!

  25. 2 things. 1 - thanks for the link and the idea of the Mystery/Secret Student! I will definitely be adding that into my classroom! 2 - I red the Halloween story and about died laughing. What an awesome story to have ! Crazy

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