They All Scream for Ice Cream!

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I incorporate character traits into each of my classroom guidance lessons.  I’ve mentioned before that my school district focuses on eight specific character traits.  I discuss a different trait each time I visit classes.  Each trait is assigned to a particular month.  So, when I visit, I bring a “scoop of ice cream” with the character trait on it.  I begin all of my guidance lessons by discussing the character trait with the class.  During our discussion, students are able to make connections and share examples of how they show the character trait in their everyday lives.

After sharing the character trait, we talk about my behavior expectations during the guidance lesson.  I remind the class that they are working to earn a new scoop for their ice cream cones.  I give each class a cone to display in their classroom for the school year.  By the end of the year, they have an eight scoop high ice cream cone.  Many teachers display the ice cream cones on the outside of their doors.  Others have special spots in their classrooms to display the cones. If students become too talkative during a lesson, many times I only need to remind them that they are working toward earning a new scoop for their cone.  It’s just a small incentive to keep students on task throughout the lesson and to give them something to show for doing their best.

I also have an extra large ice cream cone to display outside my office door that grows each month as well.  I’ve used it for so many years that it’s a little faded, so I’ll need to make a new one soon.

Do you have a behavior incentive you’ve incorporated in your school counseling program?

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4 thoughts on “They All Scream for Ice Cream!

  1. OK – that’s SO much fun! I may borrow that and turn it into a bulletin board for August. Did you make the scoop template yourself?

    We have a Springtime school wide “Caught Being Good” program that I’m involved in . . . kids earn cards as they’re spotted doing the right thing even when they weren’t sure anyone was watching . . . then they put that card into a HUGE bin and we pick five cards out each week at our community gathering. They can earn time with the AP or me, a book reading with the Principal, a special table at lunch, a nature center walk, something like that. Kids LOVE to be caught making good choices!

  2. Hi, Barbara! I used a template from a book I had over eight years ago. I don’t remember which book, and I’m not sure if I even have it still. I’ll look into that next week and let you know. I need to remake a few cones and scoops for next year, so I need to find my black line masters anyway. If I remember correctly, I drew the scoops myself. Also, the cone was enlarged, traced with a sharpie, and then copied onto brown construction paper.
    Your “Caught Being Good” program sounds great! We are incorporating something similar at our school through our PBIS initiative.

  3. Hi Vanessa,
    I am a first year social worker at a K-6 school. I love this idea! I have been looking for a way to make the character trait of the month more visible in my school. Do you use the ice cream cone for all grade levels?

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