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Teacher: Joni Rowley who teaches at Sunset View Elementary in Provo, UT. Joni Rowley can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: The Reward Day Football Class Management Idea

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To improve class and individual behavior in physical education classes.

Suggested Grade Level: K-2, 3-5, 6-8

Materials Needed: You are creating a football field onto the bulletin board, using the entire space of it. Green paper for the background. Long white strips (laminated) for your yardage. Two sets each of numbers 10-40, in alternating school colors, one set of number 50, letters in your school colors saying the names of the colors, a printed, LAMINATED football player for each class (space for the teacher's name) with half of them facing left, the other half facing right on card stock of each school color, letters that say "Reward Day Football", pictures of footballs, ref shirts, whistles or other appropriate picture decorations, and football party streamers for the top border. A great place to find these things are in the party stores in the sports sections or at the dollar stores. You will need push-pins for each player and a black dry erase marker to write the names of teachers on each player.

The Reward Day Football Class Management Idea

The Reward Day Football Activity is a visible measure of a class's behavior. Yards are earned by listening, following instructions, and good sportsmanship in Physical Education. A touch down represents an earned free day, where they get to suggest 3 activities (weather/scheduling appropriate) to vote on as a class for the day's activity. That is what they get to play that day. My students LOVE reward days!

When a class does well with listening, following instructions, appropriate play and good sportsmanship, they earn ten (or more) yards. The goal is to gain at least ten yards per P.E. day. When they get to the end zone, they get to have a free day. Because we only have P.E. once per week, it generally takes about a 5 week average to get a free day. I have given more yardage as earned (30 for "above and beyond") and this really encourages them. I change it in front of the class at the end before they leave. I even ask them how they think they behaved. You will be surprised at the honest answers you can get! As in the game of real football, classes can also get a "penalty" and lose yardage for behavior that is not as expected. Only a very few times have I had to do this because the students learn quickly that they want to keep all their yards. Even a five yard penalty gets their attention and encourages them to make better choices.

This year I have used it with a secondary purpose. As many of us know, having a substitute teacher in a the home classroom can be a real challenge for the poor sub, and reports of student behavior sometimes a disappointment to the full time teacher. To encourage respectful behavior to the sub, I have now integrated this idea. If a good report is left with the teacher, I will give them 20 extra yards PER DAY of good positive behavior (I've also given 30 out for superb reports). I send out reminders to the teachers now and then to remind them of the plan, and they in turn remind the kids before they leave. I also speak to the subs, introducing myself and informing them (in front of the kids so they can hear the reminder) about the 20 yard bonus. The kids LOVE this! Not every sub day is perfect, but we have had great improvement for our substitute teachers! Homeroom teachers send emails giving the results of the report, but the kids are reporting themselves more often too (good and bad). Many of the teachers have seen better effort among students.

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Posted on PEC: 3/9/2014 and has received 15 votes.

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