CTR Badges – My Favorite Reverance BoosterPosted by MeckMom on Mar 2, 2008 in Popular Posts: Free Printables, Popular Posts: LDS | 17 comments
Okay, 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