Table Points

I am here to talk turkey.

I mean, Table Points.

But I was confused there for a minute because we are all about the -R Controlled Vowels this week and all I can say is thank goodness for Lyndsey over at A Year of Many Firsts.  Her Super Girls to the Rescue pack has saved my bootie this week.

Anywho . . . 

Moving right along . . . 

When I blogged about my Wind Chimes, I got a few questions and emails about how I use my table points.   Which was surprising.  Because I thought the whole Wind Chime thing was the Main Attraction, the whole Kit and Caboodle, the Important Thing That I Was Blogging About.

But nope.


I do not do Table Points all year long.  

I do Gold Tags all year long, but not Table Points.

I start out with the Music Box in order to have a quiet, calm, and well managed classroom.

And then it tends to lose its novelty halfway through the second trimester and my kids talk over the music in the music box, and it is like there is no music box, and I begin to wonder if my nightmare of having absolutely no control over my classroom when I am being observed is actually coming true.

So then I take the music box away.  

And we cry.

And I say, well I told you If This - Then That and now look what you made me do.

I mean, my kids would get one whole starburst if they had music left in the music box.  But if I take the music box away, there is no possibility of even a chance of maybe getting a starburst because even though we're talking too much, the music box is too far away from Mrs. Oldham and so when she finally reaches it and we've all told each other to BE QUIET and SHHHH and SHE'S GETTING THE MUSIC BOX! it's still possible that there might be a smidgeon of music left.  It's possible.

But if there is no more music box . . . well, there's no more slim chance of a starburst.

So we sit there and we stare at each other in complete shock.  Some kids actually sit there with their mouths gaping open.  (Half of them are upset that there is no more music box and the other half are in La La Land.)

I let this go on for awhile.

You know, to let it sink in and really take hold.

And then . . . with lots of fanfare and a big introduction and a lot of words, I introduce Table Points.

To which almost every kid says, "I did that in Kindergarten!"

Which makes me want to teach kindergarten so that no one can say that to me ever again.

But that's neither here nor there.

Table Points in my class start over every day.  This is because we are first graders and we need instant gratification.  Waiting for the whole week to see who won on Friday is just not okay in my book.  Plus, I don't want to have 127 tally points on my whiteboard because a) that would happen -- I am too nice and b) I don't have the room and c) that's just crazy talk.

Table Points in my class are a competition.

Check out the Wind Chimes post to see how I use them in conjunction with Table Points.

At the end of the day, we check Table Points.  And the table with the most points gets . . . 

You guessed it. 

One whole starburst.

They even get to choose their flavor.  Oh my word.  What they will do for that one whole starburst.  I tell ya.

Yes, we have ties.

All the time.

Yes, we have had all five tables tie for the last seven or eight days in a row and yes I rig it because I love these kids and they are working so hard and I am a big ole softie and I am completely messing them up with my inconsistency but, by golly, we sure end the day on a happy note.

Obviously, you can do Table Points however you see fit.

This is how I do it.

That is all.

Thank you for asking.


  1. Awesome idea! I did something similar when I taught third grade, but I called them Sparkle Points. (http://creativeuppergrades.blogspot.com/2012/01/recent-happenings.html)

    Creative Ideas for the Upper Elementary Classroom

  2. We just started Table points too:) Sad how quickly all that novelty wears off, huh? Well, if you want you can totally steal my idea or file it away for next year but we incorporate GoNoodle with our Table Points. Each table has their own champ, and at the end of the day, the table with the most points gets to choose a brain break with their champ. We ALL do the brain break, so everybody kind of wins. Also, our district doesn't allow candy. I know. So this is just as good, I guess:) Good luck with the rest of your year!

    1. I wish I could move to your district -no candy policies are a blessing in my humble opinion, my eldest daughter has ADHD and speech isues she gets 10-15 candies a week at school and then the teachers complain her medications are not working well enough...i have hunted asked nicely and even outright said candy should not be given to her or any kids in my opinion but still her teachers, speech therapist, social worker and the classroom aid all give her candy...it is enough to drive a mother nuts when her daughter comes home and can't sit still to do homework cause she happened to get 4 or 5 candies that day and eats them all 5 minutes before getting on the bus to come home! Add in if it someones birthday and the HUGE SUGARY cupcakes just send her over the edge not only does she come home with her tongue and lips dyed some ridiculously bright color that takes 2 good teeth brushing to get rid of...but her inability to focus and do homework is enough to make me cry.

      Please celebrate that your school is candy free, it is a good thing from a parents point of view..stickers, pencils, little note pads, bubbles, glow sticks, stamps, small toys from the dollar store are all so much better rewards!!!

  3. Kristin,
    Let me tell you, I read your music box post a long long time ago, and let me tell you, I am obsessed.
    OBSESSED, I tell ya. Completely and totally in love.
    It makes me sad that the excitement of the music box wears off, but, ya know, that happens, I suppose.

    See, this is why I love the teacher blogging world. Because then, I can borrow ideas from so many people for my future classroom!

    The Blossoming Teacher

  4. Started Table Points on Monday....WOW! What a difference! My class is so on target and focused that I am thrilled. The chimes work like magic (and the treats help too)! Thanks for the wonderful idea!