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    By VA teacher

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    I "borrowed" this idea from my supervising teacher when I did my student teaching in first grade. I have a 24 piece puzzle (several actually) and I put sticky magnets on the back of each piece. Each time my class earns a compliment outside our room from another teacher or resource member we do a silent cheer and they get to put up a puzzle piece. Now the big thing is SILENT cheer. We do this by raising our hands in the air and open our mouths like we are cheering but no one makes a sound. I sure would hate to have my class earn a compliment and then scream in the hall. When we get all 24 pieces up on the filing cabinet (or whiteboard this year) they get a special treat. Now I tell my kids all year that I am so busy at night I never have time to make special treats likes cookies or cupcakes, etc. So when we earn our treat I let them decide what kind of treat they want. Most of the time they finish their puzzle around spring and they vote and decide on ice cream sundaes. This is great for me but I also have the time to bake them something. But telling them how hard it is for me is an advantage because sometimes I will tell them I have the perfect snack in mind. I will bake them something and they "know" I took special time for them at home. One hint of advice....number the backs of the puzzle pieces so you don't have to hunt for the next piece. I put my puzzle together, flipped it over, numbered each piece, attached my magnet and then put them back in the box with the 24 on the bottom and 23 on top, etc. Makes it a lot easier and quicker then searching for the next piece.

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