CTR Badges – My Favorite Reverance Booster

CTR Reverance BadgesOkay, I realize this post will only be helpful to a handful of you guys out there.  However, if you’re like me and are responsible for managing a class full of little kids for 2 hours each Sunday…you might find this tip invaluable.

I’ve been teaching the 5 year-olds in my ward (that’s an LDS congregation) for over a year now.  As much as I love the cute little kiddos, sometimes keeping 10 kids reverent for 2 hours of Primary can be a little tricky.  I learned quickly that if I didn’t come up with a way for them to manage themselves, I’d never make it through.  I tried several ideas with only moderate success.  Then, a few months ago, I started the badge system.  It has worked like a charm ever since.

To introduce the system, I taught a simple mini lesson about ‘Choosing the Right’.  We talked about how we can choose the right during sharing time and lesson time.  I taught them that being reverent involved participating in class as well as following three basic rules about our hands:

1:  Keep Your Hands Free - when the kids come in they have to put everything they brought in under their chair (papers, scriptures, jackets, etc.)

2:  Keep Your Hands to Yourself – it can be tough for kids to keep their arms folded for the entire 2-hour block, so I encourage them to keep their hands in their laps or (if they still have trouble not bugging each other) tuck their fingers under their legs.

3:  Put Your Hand in the Air – this one is pretty self explanatory.  When the kids have something to add or need to ask a question they have to tell me with their hand, not their mouth.

We practiced a bit in class and once they had all the rules down I taped a simple CTR bracelet to their wrist (you can find the free download below).  I also showed them the CTR Class Chief Badges and told them about our new plan that would begin the following week.  Essentially, here’s how the badges work:

When the kids come into Primary I hand each of them a badge.  The goal is for the kids to keep their badges for the full 2-hour block.  They keep their badges by participating in sharing time and class and by keeping our three class rules.  When I spot them breaking a rule, I give them a quick warning.  If they continue, they have to pass me their badge.  They can earn it back as soon as they show me they can keep the rules again without reminders.  At the end of class, the kids that still have their badges can turn them in for a small treat (lately it’s been two gummy worms).  If they didn’t manage to keep their badge, I give them a challenge to do better next week and give them one gummy worm.

Thankfully, the badges don’t just help with reverence.  The little numbered stars I added to the back of the badges help me manage volunteers as well.   As I’m sure you teachers know, little kids love to be the helper.  If I ask for a volunteer to hold a picture, answer a question, or say the prayer, I invariably get 10 little eager hands in the air.  Rather than try to pick one person and risk playing favorites, I simply call out a number.  The kids then flip over their badges and check to see if they’re my secret helper for that specific task.  They love the mystery of the number system and I love not having to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings.

We’ve used the badges in our class for over three months now and I’ve seen fabulous results.  Don’t get me wrong, my class isn’t perfect…they are still only 5 after all…but the CTR badges have made a big difference.  To make your own badges, just download, print, and laminate the free file below.  I found the badge clips in the office supply area of Kmart, but I’m sure you could find them at Office Depot or Staples as well.  Just thought I’d pass it on.

Download: CTR Bracelets

Download: CTR Class Badges


17 Comments

  1. Beth B.

    I’ve got 12 Sunbeams right now (thankfully they’ve assigned me a helper!) and after a crazy first week, I instituted the “Sunbeam Sunburst” program…which looked remarkably like yellow and orange Starburst candy. I covered a ziplock bag with sun stickers I made and filled it with candy. Then each week for the first month or so, at the end of class I would tell them that we were watching for the Sunbeam Sunbursts–those who stayed in their chair, kept hands to themselves, and were generally good. It made a huge difference, and now the Sunbeam Sunburst bag only makes suprise visits.

  2. That’s a great idea. How can I make it work for my CTR 10′s? They are all boys and very, very…..animated.

  3. Thanks so much- I was just put in as the Primary President last week, and I am so excited to try some new and fun things- such as this. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful ideas! Keep them coming!

  4. Wow. Thanks I think I just might try this with my OWN kids during Sacrament meeting.. my two year old will LOVE it.

  5. Lara T.

    My two year old will love this for Sacrament meeting too!! She is crazy about stickers right now so I plan to give her a sticker for a reward each Sunday that she is able to keep the badge for the whole meeting. She can see how long it takes her to cover the back of the badge with stickers. Of course not all the rules will apply, I will probably let her continue to do quite activities after the sacrament. (Our 10 month old gets to hold a toy or book, so the 2 year old gets frustrated if she can’t have one of her reverent file folder games)! Can’t wait to try this!

  6. you win. i have been struggling with my ctr 6 class and this sounds SOOOO great! i can’t wait to give it a try! thanks for sharing your great idea!

  7. Fantastic idea! Where did you find your CTR graphic and font used for the badges? I’d like to use this with my Sunbeam class and use a sunbeam graphic. Any suggestions?
    Thanks.
    Jill

  8. Please keep in mind that it is against church rules to hand out treats and also against the rules to reward reverence. Reverence is on the inside; behavior is on the outside. You might want to instead reward behavior, since you can’t measure another person’s reverence. And use a sticker instead of a candy. They are, after all, going straight home to a meal.

  9. I love this idea! I especially love the part about the kids seeing if they got the “secret number” to be the helper. I am going to use that for sure. You have a great site! I’ll spend lots more time here I’m sure. Thanks!

  10. This is an awesome idea–you thought of everything. I am very impressed.

  11. I love this idea, it’s a pitty you don’t have it avaible in Portuguese. I’d love to use in my classes here in Brasil… Would you send me the file in a way that I could change the language? I’d really appreciate your help. Thank you! Clarice.

    • Thanks for the great question, Clarice. The original file was created in one of my Adobe graphic design programs so it might be hard for you to work with it. If you can email me the text, I’d be happy to copy and paste it into the original file and email it to you. Would that work for you?

  12. great post as usual!

  13. Hi,
    I am a primary president and want to copy your badges and bracelets for each of our teachers. I will give credit to you and mention your blog and website in the hand out I am putting together to help the teachers with reverence. Will you give permission for this use and copying of your handout?
    Joan
    Layton, Utah

    • Thank you so much for asking, Joan. Yes, I’d be happy to let you use the printable for that purpose. I hope it brings you tons of reverence. ;)
      Best,
      Maria

  14. You.are.a.genius! Thank you!!!

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