Mood Octopus

Student Contributor: K.Woody
This tool is a silent way to convey to students that they aren’t following expectations. Simply flip Ollie the octopus from happy to sad when students are not being kind, following classroom agreements, and being safe. Once students correct their behavior, flip Ollie back to happy.

Prior to implementing this method, introduce Ollie the octopus to the class, outlining behaviors that make Ollie happy (like kindness, raising hands, and following classroom agreements) and those that make Ollie sad (such as blurting out or not adhering to agreements). Place Ollie visibly within the class to monitor students. When expectations aren’t met, silently flip Ollie to the sad side without verbal intervention, allowing the lesson to continue uninterrupted. This prompts students to self-correct as they notice the change in Ollie’s position, fostering peer alertness and encouraging behavior correction among themselves.

The strategy involving Ollie the octopus as a visual cue fits into the corrective phase of classroom management. Introducing Ollie and explaining behaviors that make Ollie happy or sad establishes clear expectations. Placing Ollie visibly in the classroom allows for silent signaling when expectations aren't met by flipping Ollie to the sad side. This non-verbal cue prompts self-correction among students, fostering a sense of responsibility and encouraging peer accountability. It enables the teacher to address behavior issues indirectly, minimizing disruptions to the lesson flow while effectively managing misbehavior.

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Tool Source: Kristen Guarino


Let’s talk about classroom management strategies! I use Olly the Octopus here as a visual cue to let my students know when they are/are not following our classroom expectations. It’s a great way to show them instead of telling them! And let me tell you…they do NOT like when Olly turns red and they shape up VERY quickly 😅 You can find Olly and my outfit in my Amazon Storefront!! 🙌🏻 #classroomideas #teachingideas #classroommanagement #teacher #elementaryteacher #teacherstyle #teacheroutfit #teacherootd #teachersoftiktok #rainbowclassroom #classroomdecor

♬ original sound – KRISTEN GUARINO

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