Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Desk Fairy Left YOU a Little {FREE} Treat!

If you're like me, you like a clean classroom, and that includes the inside of your students' desks.  Like many teachers, I use the mythical being known as the Desk Fairy, to help motivate my kids to stay clean and organized.

Our Desk Fairy is kind and gentle, but she can't stand the sight of a messy desk.  When she sees a clean desk, she shouts with joy and leaves a note and small treat behind.  Needless to say, the kids love it when she visits.

I know I'm not the first person to use the Desk Fairy concept, but I did want to share how I use this tool in my classroom. Many teachers leave a small sweet treat on a student's desk when he/she has been visited by the Desk Fairy. I used to be one of those teachers, that is, until our district adopted a policy prohibiting us from passing out sweets as a reward.  I can't even bake brownies when we earn Brownie Points!

Instead, I rely on the Dollar Spot at Target, the party favor section at Walmart, and our school's supply closet to find things that I can use to reward my students.  I try to vary the reward so that the organized kids stay motivated and the not so organized kids get inspired to be clean.  Here are some of the kinds of things students might earn over the course of the year for having a clean, organized desk:
  • silly band
  • bookmark
  • mechanical or "fun" pencil
  • special sticker (i.e. a 3D sticker, or those ones with googly eyes)
  • new pink eraser (I always have lots of these on hand from the supplies the kids bring in at the beginning of the year.  By mid-year, many of them are ready for a new one anyway!)
  • glue stick (this is popular when it's a bit later in the year and they are running out of glue)
  • a brand new crayon (I pass these out later in the year as well, once their original packs start getting yucky; sometimes I give them a box of 8, if we have enough in our supply room)
  • anything else I might stumble upon that I think the kids might like (and is cheap-tee hee!)
The Desk Fairy comes to visit periodically. I tell the kids that she does not have a set schedule.  This keeps the kids on their toes and it allows me to check their desks when I have the time to do so.  Also, I laminate the notes and have the students return them to me.  I tell them that the fairy reuses them so as not to waste paper.


I explain to the students that she is very selective when it comes to leaving behind a treat.  Translation: not everyone will get a note and a treat.  In order to get a reward a desk must be super clean, with everything in its place.  This means:
  • No loose papers (everything should be in its folder) 
  • No loose supplies (everything should be in the pencil box)
  • No trash or small pieces of paper strewn about the inside of the desk
  • No pencil shavings or eraser "jibs" strewn about either
The Desk Fairy will be visiting our classroom this week and I'm sure that the organized students will be pleased that she noticed their hard work.

Since you have read to the end of this post, the Desk Fairy has left you a nice, little treat!


You can grab this freebie from my TPT store.  Click here to get a free copy of my Desk Fairy notes.  If you download the file, please consider leaving feedback! 

Does the Desk Fairy visit your classroom? What does she leave behind?

12 comments:

  1. super cute Aimee!I'm loving the polka dots. I do mystery trash but the desk fairy is great. :)

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  2. I've made my own "desk fairy" notes, but yours are much cuter! Thanks! :)

    Kayla
    Mrs. Not-Much-Taller-Than-A-Second-Grader

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I feel like that happens to me all the time. Enjoy!

      Aimee

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  3. Thank you for the adorable notes. Very cute! I like the no candy ideas too. Thank You for sharing!
    Amy

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  4. Thanks Aimee! I've never thought to reuse the notes. I think she would visit more often if "she" didn't have to print out and make new cards. I like to put a little glitter on mine too when I leave them!

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  5. Hi Aimee! I found your blog through some blog hopping and am so glad I found you! You have a lot of great ideas! I am a second grade teacher, too :)

    Kate
    EduKate and Inspire

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  6. I love your desk fairy note! Just downloaded it so I can use it later this week. Thanks for sharing and stopping by my blog.
    Chrissy
    First Grade Found Me

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  7. Very cute! Love that your desk fairy has gone green and recycles. After two weeks with a new group of students, I predict a visit from the desk fairy in the very new future!

    Thank you for sharing!

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  8. Thank you so much for sharing your notes! I have been on the look out for just this idea. And my district too has gone to a no/very limited sugary food treat policy -- I don't mind, but I appreciate hearing your ideas of non-food treats.

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  9. Aimee
    It was exciting to see your blog. I'm not a teacher but I am married to a teacher, have a daughter who is a teacher and my mother was a teacher. So I have spent alot of time helping teachers. I actually conducted a research study to see if the Desk Fairy makes a difference and she really does. In the study we only used non edible prizes like bracelets, erasers, sticers, hand held puzzle games, book marks, coins,etc. Students as young as kindergarten and as old as 6th grade worked to have the Desk Fairy leave a prize. To do the study I wrote a book for teachers to read to their class about the desk fairy. It was fun research to do. You might be interested in checking out my website "TheDeskFairy.com" for other ideas for how to make this strategy work in your classroom. Let me know if you do.
    Connie

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  10. I think this is so cute and I will be using it in my classroom. I reposted your picture and your link to teachers pay teachers onto my page. Thank you for sharing.
    http://rockinteachers.blogspot.com/

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I'd love to hear what you have to say!

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