Have you heard of secret student? I want to share this amazing classroom management technique I use in my classroom from time to time! Unfortunately, I have no idea where I found this years ago, so please let me know if you know the original source!
INTRODUCING SECRET STUDENT
WOW! I love bringing this into my classroom in the fall after settling into our routine. Unwanted student behavior can really creep up this time of year. When I told my class all about it the first time, they ate it up! Here's how it goes…
Each morning before the kids come in, I pick a random student. I write the student's name on the board, then stick my handy dandy laminated sign on top of their name! I LOVE magnetic tape to stick on the back so that it stays up on the white board!
The students know whenever they see the sign on the board… I have a secret student that day!
I watch the secret student all day long. You can really look for anything you wish to see more of in your classroom.
- Are they on task?
- Ready to learn?
- Is the student being kind?
- Are they participating in class discussions?
- Are they following school rules in and out of the classroom?
Giving reminders throughout the day works wonders. For example, saying, ”Oh, I hope my secret student is following along…” totally works like a charm.
At the end of the day, IF my secret student has had a good day and, in my eyes, has earned their reward, I *reveal* the name behind the sign. If not, I just say, “Sadly, my secret student didn't have the best day. We will try again tomorrow.” The class does not know who it was if the reward was not earned.
SECRET STUDENT REWARDS
I let my students pick between 15 “patriot points” (a school-wide point system to spend in the classroom store each week) or to use our exercise ball as a seat for the entire day the next day as their secret student award. You can do whatever works for you!
- Pen all day
- Switch seats
- lunch bunch
- game time
- show and tell
What's great about this classroom management strategy is that you don't have to remember to do it every day. In fact, using it when students are showing not so great behavior during the week or month could be just what you need to get everyone back on track.
Secret Student Tips and Tricks
When randomly choosing students' names to be the mystery student, you could take the students’ names out each time, so everyone gets a chance to be the secret student, OR put the name back in, so the students are always left guessing! I would just write down the names if you did it the second way to track someone who is constantly being chosen.
The secret student strategy really encourages students to take charge of their own learning and behavior. In addition, it's a great way to manage students without any extra work from you.
You can try it with your students, and see if this works for you in your classroom! Grab the sign for free in my store HERE!
Pin the image below, to revisit this post later!
Third in Hollywood
YESSSSS! LOVE THIS IDEA! Totally gonna try it!
Do you return the students name in the drawing of they win mystery student or take their name out of the running until everyone has had a chance?
That’s really up to you! You could do it while taking the students’ names out each time, so everyone gets a chance to be the secret student or put them in, so the students are always left guessing! I would just write down the names if you did it the second way to keep track if someone is constantly being chosen.
Shakin' it up with Mrs. Shannon
I've tried something similar but love the simplicity of this! Thanks so much!
Can't wait to try this!!
Hauwau Muhammad lawal
What a great idea!
This is a great idea! Thank you for sharing!
Would you do this with 6th graders?
Hi Debbie! You could absolutely try this with 6th graders. It’s all about how you “sell” it to them 🙂
I love this idea! Thanks for sharing the super cute poster! 🙂
I do a "mystery" walker and my 3rd grade students were just asking if I would make a "mystery" student version. Thanks for the visualization. I just need to make something like it that changes the secret wording.
That is an AWESOME idea! I feel like this could even work with the rowdy bunch of 6th graders I had been subbing. The only problem with using it at the middle/high level is that that's a lot of prizes to buy…so maybe something like extra credit points [which are free to me] is a good alternative 🙂 But I like your exercise ball idea too!! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Tales of Teaching in Heels
I used this idea my last couple of years in an elementary library on a related arts schedule. I didn’t give out prizes. I just notified the teacher when she picked up the class. They are usually working on some goals in the room.
I especially loved it when one of the busy/difficult students won for the day and I could tell the teacher that his behavior won the secret student award.
For subbing, maybe you could leave a certificate for the teacher to award the next day.
Sailing into Second
I do this with my students when we are walking to and from places in line. We call it secret star!! 🙂 love this idea too!!!! 🙂
Thank you!! This is brilliant! I may survive the crazy holidays now!!
SUCH a cute idea. Love it! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
The Organized Plan Book
Ashley, doing this Monday! Kulsum
This is a great idea! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Coffman's Creative Classroom
Love this idea for the Art classroom. I can use it week to week and choose a few students since I see my students once a week.
I do this on the regular with my fifth grade students. They absolutely love it and since my rewards are coupons, it is totally free!
What types of coupons do you use? I'm student teaching 5th grade and need something extra to help with management.
Love IT! Thank you for sharing. I was just thinking this week, I need something different and fresh to motivate my students toward better behavior! Thanks, Ashley! 😀
What a cute idea! I’ve done something similar called Mystery Walker (for respectful hallway walking) but I love this idea and how it works all day long!
I love this so much!
Thank you for a brilliant idea in classroom management.
Love this idea and it works wonders!!!
could I use this for small groups?
Absolutely! Adapt it however it best fits your classroom!
How would I use this with multiple classes? I am departmentalized and have 4 classes a day. I wouldn’t want 4 different secret students every day, would I? Should I do one per class for a week? Or is that too long?
I would do it with each class separately for it to be effective! You could always rotate which class you are using it with.
Thank you so much for this free secret student management strategy. I will be using this. I changed up the rewards to match my students; Catholic School has a mandatory dress code. 1. Dress down pass, 2 class wow – rewards for good behavior, pick of prayer – games – indoor or outdoor recess, lunch with teacher, trade seats, first toy pick at recess, bring a tory to school, extra computer time, extra recess/play time, and choose a snack. I use to do snacks daily, but I ran out of money to keep that up… lol. Again, thank you for this awesome resource! Happy New Year! Many blessings!!