Good-bye trunk of junk! Are you tired of trying to find toys to put into your treasure chest? If so - find out what I did to make this process so much easier!

When I finally got the word that I would be moving back down to first grade, I was elated.  EXCEPT for the DREADED TRUNK OF JUNK… that crazy, end of the week, FREE FOR ALL that I begged, stole, and borrowed from to reward my students with.  Anyway, the stealing was overs since my own kids had long since gotten rid of their toy boxes, so I started stalking blogs about positive reinforcement.  I was happy to find many different ideas about classroom incentives.  I decided to implement my own ticket and coupon system (derived from several different blog posts.)


So I started with tickets.

I bought these handy dandy tickets(affiliate link – click on the picture of the tickets) and coupon holders. (from the Dollar Tree)



Students earn tickets many different ways.  At the beginning of the year, they earn them by raising their hand, making 1st grade choices, being kind to a friend, and the list goes on.  I give away a TON for 1st grade behavior at the beginning of school, making sure that my little friends have plenty of chances to earn tickets.

And let me say… THEY WANT THESE TICKETS!!!

Anyway – when they earn a ticket, they write their name on both tickets, then they put one ticket into our daily drawing and the other portion of the ticket goes into their coupon holder.

A dear, sweet teacher friend made me these daily and weekly ticket holders (hindsight – the weekly should say monthly).

My daily and monthly ticket containers sure come in handy with my new method!

So, students earn tickets and place them into the daily ticket bin.  At the end of each day, we pick a name out of the container.  Whoever gets picked, gets to bring home the CAUGHT BEING GOOD bag which consists of our cute bag, a stuffed animal of their choice, and one of the shared books that we read that day.  The only stipulation was that they had to be on green or above on our behavior chart.


After a name is picked from our daily bin, those tickets are transferred to the MONTHLY bin.  At the end of the month, the tickets are given back to the students, they count them, zip-lock bag them, and whoever has the most wins a nifty little prize.  I did McDonalds gift cards one year, and another year I did pencils and erasers sets.  Now – this part was a bit time consuming, but we made it into a math game, by putting our tickets into groups of ten, and then counting them.  I also had a student teacher, so she was able to help me (BIG TIME!)


Now, here’s where we were able to say GOODBYE to our JUNK OF TRUNK…

The students saved their “Keep this ticket” in their coupon holder all week long.  On Friday, they counted all of their tickets, and decided on what coupon(s) they wanted to purchase.  Students didn’t have to spend their tickets if they didn’t want to (if they wanted to save up).

Each coupon is a certain amount of tickets.  For example – to kick off your shoes for the day, the student would need to give me 15 tickets from their coupon holder.  Then I would give them the Kick Off Your Shoes coupon.  They could redeem the coupon any day they wanted.  I had TONS of coupons, and MOST didn’t cost me a DIME!  How LOVELY IS THAT!!


I printed up my coupons, and then placed then in a cute little container.  Once the students redeemed the coupon, I put it back into my container, so I wasn’t haven’t to constantly print.  I printed and laminated once, and they lasted for several years.  Here’s the link to one like this on Amazon.

Any easy way to keep my coupons organized!

As we progressed through first, students earned tickets for earning a 5/5 on their AR tests, going quietly back to their seat from story time, working in centers quietly, and so on.  Anything I felt warranted a ticket, I gave.  Some days – the tickets were flying.

Other days – I didn’t hand out many at all.  It just depended on the situations.  My goal obviously is to create intrinsic behaviors.  As the students matured, the reasons students got tickets changed.  When they first start first grade, many don’t understand the concept of raising their hands, but as I continuously gave tickets for the correct behavior, they soon realized what needed to be done.  For me – this worked like a charm!

There are tons of coupons on TPT, or you could make your own!  Here are my coupons if you are interested!

Chalkboard coupons