Cat Award

Student Contributor: Halene Barsness
This tool is awarded to students for tidy desk and floor areas, but can be applied to any circumstance that is needed. This has been a way to help my placement class improve their organization, and reduce the number of papers lost.

At the end of the day, we give students an additional five to ten minutes to get their desks entered for the Cat Award prize. This time is given at the end of the day so that there aren’t any activities that would ruin the effort students put into cleaning their desks and floor areas. When students come in the next day to class, they are all very excited to see who had won the Cat Award for that day. During that school day, the Cat Award gets to sit on the corner of the student’s desk. This process repeats every day so that every day there is a new winner of the Cat Award. This award helps maintain a clean learning space for students as well.

This tool relates to the Three Phases & the Theories of Influence because it is a tool being added to help a certain behavior that was shown in the classroom. I placed this tool in the phase of preventative. By having students clean their desks and floor spaces daily, students have been able to put papers where they are supposed to go and clear out unneeded items in their desks. This has prevented distractions during lessons, and the number of lost assignments. This tool fits between student directive and collaboration. This award goes between these two directives due to the cat being a character students have shown interest in, but has expectations for how students need to use the award on the desk during the day.

More Information –
Tool Source: Katie Haak

1 thought on “Cat Award”

  1. I am placed in a first-grade classroom with 20 students in a suburban area. This was an easy tool to prepare for, teach, and use! I discussed the idea with my mentor briefly and brought in a small, golden-colored glass turkey that I already had to use as our “cat”. While the students were at gym, I set the turkey on a clean and organized desk. When they returned, they all swarmed the desk I chose and were amazed! We sat down on the carpet and talked about why we think the turkey “chose” that certain desk to sit on. The students brainstormed ideas and eventually came to the conclusion that that student had a super tidy desk! While they were at lunch/recess that same day, I moved the turkey again to another clean and organized desk! I work with 1st graders, so they definitely buy into the fun and the magic of the turkey moving on its own (kind of like an elf on the shelf). They were all super excited to keep their areas clean, so maybe they can get the golden turkey on their desk next. There are currently no adjustments I would make to make this tool better! I think it can be personalized to your classroom and what your students like! The students in my placement love the shininess of the golden turkey, so I think this personally worked better for us than a cat.


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