Blurt Beans: Classroom Management Strategies

Is your class super talkative this year? Do your amazing lessons get interrupted repeatedly? Are you looking for strategies and interventions to get student’s attention and prevent them from blurting out?

You are in the right place and NOT ALONE. Student interruptions are normal.  The good news is there are strategies you can use to prevent the behavior.

I have several ways to help students learn expectations, but the Blurt Bean system is one of my favorite tools. There are several ways you can use a Blurt Bean Jar. If you are interested in a low interruption lesson, I will explain my two ways of using beans for behavior.

Stop the Blurting Out

Blurt bean jars are amazing for helping students who are blurting out.  Sometimes they don’t even know they are blurting out.  It is important that students understand why it’s a problem and learn some strategies of how they can help the class. Beans are cheap and less likely to be eaten.

Blurt Beans

Types of Beans

You can use coffee beans, dried pinto beans, black beans, northern white beans, virtual beans, or even jelly beans.  I’m not a fan of jelly beans just because they tend to eat them and bugs, but maybe you will have better luck.  You will be surprised how protective students are of their little beans.

You will need two clear jars.  I prefer plastic to avoid them breaking, but it’s important for kids to see the beans filling up in the jars. One jar is to hold the beans. Label the jar Blurt Beans or something else catchy. The other jar needs to have two to four lines with labels of prizes the class can earn for filling up the jar. Let students help you decide on the prizes to get them to “buy-in” to the new system.

You can write on the jar, add labels to the jar, write on tape, and put the tape on the jar. The higher the lines, the better the prizes. Students take ownership when they pick their own prizes.

Two Behavior Management Options

There are two options. The first option is to put 5 blurt beans on each student’s desk. If they have a name tag, I tell them to keep them on their name tag or in the pencil groove. In addition, they are responsible for their beans. Beans found on the floor get added to the Blurt Bean Jar. When students blurt out you, another student or the student must put a bean back in the Blurt Bean Jar.

The second way is a more sanitary option.  You control the beans. Provide a small cup or container to hold 5 beans for each student and you or one student who will be the Bean Monitor will remove beans when a student blurts out.

At the End of the Day

At the end of the day (no matter which way you do it), you will let the kids pour their beans into the 2nd jar to see if the beans hit the line for them to earn anything.  This is important because it’s fun for them to add their own beans and it gives them ownership. Once beans are earned, YOU CAN NOT take them out. They have earned them and need to know you won’t remove earned beans. If the whole class does a great job of being quiet and not blurting out, you can add extra “COOL BEANS” to the jar. Absolutely, make sure you announce it to the class when you do it.

When kids blurt out and get a bean removed, I don’t make a huge deal out of it to avoid embarrassment, but I do make a big deal at the end of the day when students fill up the jar. Clearly make sure to follow through on any promised rewards. Certificates are provided for home reinforcement.

blurt bean jar

When the jar fills up yell, “Cool Beans!” Then, reward them. Kids love it!

Virtual Beans

I know a lot of you are teaching online this year.  The good news is Google Slides makes it simple to have virtual beans that you add to a virtual jar. You can control them and still have the students learn about interruptions, expectations and plan their online prizes.

What Else Can I Do

Next, it’s important to teach students some strategies. Especially, for repeat offenders. Here are a few.

  • Use a journal to write your thoughts before you BLURT.
  • Raise your hand.
  • Stop and Think before you speak
  • Be an Active Listener (eye contact, lean forwards, quiet hands)
  • Hold your voice until times you can talk (lunch, centers, recess or free time)
  • Use a Focus Squishy

Blurt Beans Journal

Blurt Beans allow me to easily tie in writing with different prompts.  Students love to write their opinion about the new behavior management system. I give them a persuasive prompt to convenience the teacher of an amazing prize. Students can practice explaining how to fill up the blurt jar to get their prizes. They love the prompts.  I tell them they can rub or shake the beans for inspiration.

Blurt Beans

Read Stories About Blurting

There is a story provided in the Blurt Bean download called Billy the Blurter.  I have students put their thumbs up if they hear someone blurting out during the story. Also, I read books like My Mouth is a Volcano or It’s Hard to Be a Verb. Students are able to make text-to-self connections easily.

RULES & Posters

Students will buy-in to the system if you let them write their own rules, teach them how to regulate their voices, and model behavior.  Place posters around the most visible area to remind students of expectations. I like to have my own beans on my desk and tell them my principal gave them to me for not blurting out at the last staff meeting.  They will see that self-control is a life skill.

voice regulator

Also – don’t forget to follow Teacher’s Brain on TpT, so you never miss out on fun ideas and exclusive free stuff!

Another GREAT classroom management tool is Desk Pets. Read all about them and grab a freebie HERE.

Calendar Time in Primary is a Beach!

I always loved calendar time when I was in the classroom. In fact, it was the most enjoyable time of the day! If you don’t do Calendar Time in your classroom, you may be wondering what exactly it is. 

Calendar time is a time during the day to come together as a class by the calendar. It is a great way to start the day or transition from one activity to the other. It also helps students because it is part of the daily routine and they know what to expect. 

calendar time

Some of my favorite activities for Calendar Time include: 

  • Singing a song or two. This is such a fun way to let your students show their personality and have some fun. Add in dancing for extra physical activity! 
  • Listen to others. Sharing stories or other important information is a great time to practice our listening skills. 
  • Reviewing days and months. Use your calendar to review the days of the week and the current month. Repetition will have your students reciting it on their own in no time. 
  • Review math skills. Reviewing during Calendar Time feels more fun and less like work. Take this time to review some essential skills you have been working on. 
  • Talk about the weather to help students understand the daily weather and what it means. 
  • Read a story. Select a book that relates to what you are working on that week and read it during Calendar Time while students are gathered close and can easily see the pictures. 

If you are wanting to get it set up for your classroom, I have you covered! My Beachy Calendar Time Resource has everything you need! 

calendar time

This beach-themed decor bundle comes with matching decorations for your set up. It has six resources bundled in one using Hawaii photographs and watercolor clip art. How amazing does that sound?

calendar time

Included you’ll get welcome banners, tropical word wall decor, growth mindset posters, labels, table numbers, center posters, Hawaii photo alphabet lines, name tags, editable classroom jobs, number posters, Where Are We signs, How I Get Home sign, and your calendar set with watercolors and so much more! 

calendar time

Looking for tips for decorating your classroom? Check out my post here!


 

Kindergarten Morning Work Activities

Kindergarten is a very big deal for young students. For many, it is the first time they are away from home regularly. While it can be scary, there are ways we can help ease the stress of the unknown for them and show them how fun school can be! 

One way to do this is to establish a classroom routine early on so they learn what to expect. Setting a daily schedule and routine can be a huge relief because they know exactly what happens and when.

 Morning work is a great way to ease students into the daily routine. As soon as students come in the door, have morning work on their desk ready to complete. They can work on their morning work independently while you work on other tasks. This is a great time to respond to parent emails, address student issues, and otherwise prepare for the day. 

kindergarten morning work

Here are some benefits of kindergarten morning work 

  1. It is great for review. While at the beginning of the year, kindergarten students won’t have much to review yet, as the year goes on, you can focus morning work on the crucial skills they need like sight words, letters, and numbers. Circling back time and time again will help increase retention of this vital knowledge. 
  2. It helps with classroom management. As mentioned above, having assignments ready to go when students come in for the day helps free up time for classroom management tasks. Having that time really does improve the flow of the day. 
  3. It teaches independence.  As we all know, students learn so much more in kindergarten than just letters, numbers, and reading. They learn social skills and independence too. Kindergarten students are very young so they have likely not had much experience with doing tasks independently at home yet. Morning work is a great way to teach this. 

Ready to try some morning work? Try my kindergarten morning work packets for August and September!

kindergarten morning work

This no prep morning work resource includes 40 printable pages of meaningful morning work for your kinders! Model it once and then they should be able to work independently each month. 

This packet covers handwriting, sight word practice, color recognition, number sense, tally marks, counting, number lines, and writing numbers. 

Looking for more tips for kindergarten, check on my tips for the first day of kindergarten here! 

Do you assign morning work? Let me know in the comments!

 

5 Awesome Classroom Management Strategies That Really Work

Going to school is very fun and exciting for the younger elementary students. They are experiencing new things and making new friends every day. It can be thrilling for them. However, it is important to set boundaries so that students know that while it is amazing for them to have new experiences, school is a place to learn. Their main job is to listen and learn, and the teacher’s job is to teach.  

The best way to get your classroom running smoothly is by structuring it in a way that students know what is expected of them. To accomplish this, you can start by thinking about how you want your classroom to be run. Look around online or chat with other teachers for inspiration.  

Here are some classroom management strategies you can incorporate into your classroom: 

Build good relationships with your students

This one is the first and most basic management strategy. You want your students to trust you so that they turn to you when there is a problem. They are also more inclined to follow the rules with a teacher they are comfortable with. 

Use a behavior chart for classroom management

This is a clear, visual way for students to understand the behavior that you expect of them. As the year goes on, they will grow to understand it better and strive to do well.

 My editable behavior chart makes it easy for you to track your student’s behavior. It also comes with a data-collecting graph to chart data as well as a poster about Big Problems and Little Problems. classroom management

Assign classroom jobs

I love assigning jobs to my students.  (You can read all about it here.) Giving jobs gives your students a sense of purpose and responsibility in the classroom. It also helps you because it keeps your classroom running smoothly when everyone completes their jobs. Ideas for jobs include line leader, paper passer, book monitor, homework checker, etc. 

These editable classroom jobs help make it easy for you! There are 25 pre-made jobs in two different styles to choose from.  You can also use the editable PowerPoint to personalize your own job chart! The chalkboard makes it easy to fit into any classroom.

Classroom management

Designate a calm down corner

Younger students are still learning how to regulate their emotions. Sometimes they get a little too worked up or upset about something and just need a place to breathe deeply. Assigning a certain area in your classroom as the “Calm Down Corner” will give your students a designated place to go when they need a few minutes of quiet to calm down. 

This calm down corner resource comes with visual cue cards, calm down corner ideas, posters, and printables to collect data, identify triggers and calm down actions.

classroom management

 

Offer Praise

One of the best ways to get students to behave is to praise good behavior. Doing this instead of only correcting bad behavior is a way of using positive reinforcement. Students love to hear that they are doing a good job and praising them when they are will give them a strong incentive to continue that behavior. 

When your classroom management strategies are working and everything is running smoothly, it is magic! When you and your students have found your groove, you can focus more on fun and learning instead of focusing on rules and bad behavior. 

I hope these strategies and resources help you out! If you have a classroom management strategy that you love, I would love to hear about it in the comments!