Where is Worksheet City?


     I've found a way to remind students that I expect certain behaviors during our most active, hands-on activities.  This works especially well when using science equipment or manipulatives.  I begin by reminding them that our manipulatives are "tools, not toys" and are to be treated with care and respect.  I then tell them that anyone who chooses to misuse materials or misbehave will earn a one-way ticket to "Worksheet City". 
     This means that, instead of the fun, hands-on activity we're all engaged in, that person will have to do a boring worksheet or two to learn the same thing.   So far this year, no one has hopped that train and there was only one customer last year! 
     This is meant to be a low-stress, class-joke way of encouraging correct behavior while still having real consequences.  Do you have a similar system in your classroom?
Pat McFadyen
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  1. I have a similar technique. It is called observation island. Students are removed from their group and must observe their group members as they complete the activity/investigation. As they observe they still have to answer the questions, make notes, etc. It isn't as easy to do and nowhere near as fun. I have only had to use it twice this year and both times it was with 4th grade boys who touched materials before directions were given.

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