Friday, May 3, 2019
I'd love for you to see how my classroom has changed over the years. Although this classroom hasn't been my space for all 15 years of my teaching career, it holds a special place in my heart. This was my second grade classroom 30 years ago. Thankfully it has changed since then with new lockers, updated windows, more shelving, a Smart Board and flexible seating. As soon as room 23 became mine, I knew I had to have the perfect decor for my second graders.

I decided on a Game Board theme. It was perfect! Bright colors and classic games like Monopoly, Chutes and Ladders, Chess, Candy Land, Guess Who, Uno, and playing cards. Many ideas came from Pinterest but I adapted them to become my own.

I added to these boards with our academics as the school year went on. This way, they were game board themed and functional as well.

Another goal was to be sure my behavior management was also game themed. I used Mr. Potato Head for our whole class incentive. The class needed to work for all of Mr. Potato Head's parts to earn a reward. You can click here to grab this FREEBIE sign for your Mr. Potato Head.


My homework incentive board was also a huge hit with my second graders. This one was Candy Land! I took a photo of each student in the beginning of the year and that was their game piece. If the children completed their homework for two weeks without missing any assignments, I let them spin the Game of Life wheel. You can easily let them use dice as well. They would move their game pieces around the board until they came to the end and won a homework pass. Then they would begin again from the start. If they landed on a "candy" space along the way, they would get a small prize to keep them motivated. 

I made this Candy Land board by purchasing items on I searched "candy land bulletin board decorations pack" and various items came up. I laminated the main board and had the children use sticky tack on the back of their photos to hold them on. The lollipops are printed designs and glued on paper plates. I wrapped them with cellophane and tied a ribbon on a wooden stick. A striped paper straw would look fantastic for the sticks. 

Another full class reward I used for my game theme was a Barrel of Monkeys. The class needed to earn compliments for their great behavior from other adults in the building. When they did, I placed a monkey on the hook. When ten monkeys were earned, the students picked a class reward. Click here for this FREEBIE poster. (The FREEBIE is NOT grade specific.) 

For individual behavior I used (and still use) a clip chart. I know there are many arguments for and against clip charts but I found they worked some years in my room and they don't work other years. I created a clip chart to go along with the game board theme. 

Click here to see this product in my TPT store. It also comes with a home/school communication piece that students take home each day recording where they ended on the clip chart. 

I introduced flexible seating to my class around November. During that time, my students were really struggling with transitions and being prepared for each lesson. I was following Adventures of Ms. Smith on Instagram and she picked up a jumbo Kurplunk game at Target. I knew this would be a great way to motivate my students to be quick, quiet and prepared for my lessons. I turned it into a behavioral system. Each time the students made it to the carpet before the timer went off while following these rules, they got to pull a stick from the game. When all the balls fell, the class was rewarded with an activity. It worked like a charm! 

I was able to grab this on sale at Target right around the end of August. You can also grab a lot of other outdoor games on sale this time of year that you can incorporate as class behavior monitors.

The last behavior incentive in my room was Bingo. Students earn bingo numbers for participation, group rewards and basically anytime I felt like a student was going above and beyond. I laminated this board so I could write students' names on the spaces. They chose the number they wanted and when all the numbers were filled, I picked about five or six numbers to earn a reward. It can be whatever you like. A special pass, candy, extra points on a test. Whatever you decide. 

I got the bingo board from this TPT shop. Click here.

The last thing I want to share about my game board themed classroom is my student check in. The first few years I was able to use the Guess Who? game board. I inserted the students' photos into the game and as they arrived, they would knock their faces down. Anyone left standing was absent. The following year I had over 24 students so I needed to adapt my check in system. I moved onto the Connect Four game. This held WAY more pieces. I pasted my students' photos to the checkers and as they arrived to class the put their game piece in the board. Any absent students' checkers remained on the tray.

If you decide to go with game board theme decor for your classroom, let me know. I'd love to see it! Tag me in your posts on Instagram or Facebook! I hope you found this post helpful.

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