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
- 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!)
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
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 Freebies tab. Click here to get a free copy of my Desk Fairy notes.