Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Classroom Management Part Three: The Fairness Cup

Over the past few posts, I've been sharing my classroom management tools and tips with you. Nothing remarkable or earth-shattering. but ideas straight from the classroom, teacher-approved for immediate implementation.

The same is no different for today's post. You may have seen something like it before. Maybe not. It's something I use constantly in my classroom. I couldn't teach without it. In fact, I have multiple of them all around my classroom.

It's my Fairness Cup. A magical little tool that takes the argument and decisiveness out of choosing students for tasks (certain tasks, let's be honest) and makes it "fair." Everyone has the same opportunity to be chosen for every single activity, every single time. There's no more arguing, no more "Why am I always last!" or other outbursts. In fact, now my students actually promote the use of it! They know everyone has equal opportunity to be chosen, and if they aren't, they're okay with it because they know it was completely fair. It's a magnificent thing! It also takes the guesswork out of who I have called on and who I haven't throughout the course of the day. It does the thinking for me - and that is just fabulous!

It's so simple, and you probably have everything you need laying around to make one (or two!) of your own.

Here's what one of mine looks like.


I used a mini bucket I had in my classroom and some clothespins. I wrote my students' names and numbers on them, and pull them out one at a time when I need to call on students. After I pull a clip, I clip it to the rim of the bucket so I don't have to put it back in and won't pull it out again. I can also then pull them off the rim and put them back in one at a time to choose after I have pulled all of the names out. It keeps them constantly mixed up and truly "fair" in selection!

I also have a pencil jar from Target with large wooden tongue depressors that have my students' names on each end. I have the two fairness cups located in different places in the room so there is always one nearby when I need!

So - that's it! 

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