Using Chapstick for Positive Behavior
If you’re an elementary teacher you need to know about using chapstick for positive behavior. Yes, chapstick can be used for more than your dried lips. In fact, I want to show you how using chapstick for positive behavior is a wonderful classroom management technique. And, no friends, I don’t mean giving away an entire chapstick as a prize. Read on to see more 🙂
I first learned about using chapstick for positive behavior when searching for classroom management strategies to reward students without prizes and food. Whether it was a peanut allergy in the classroom, or a tight teacher budget, I had to stop using candy and toys as a constant reward with my students. Chapstick, on the other hand, is affordable and a novel method of behavior management.
How I Started Using Chapstick for Positive Behavior
Using Chapstick for Classroom Management Strategies
- Rub a small dot on the back of student’s hand.
- Rotate the scents often to keep it novel
- Goes on clear and doesn’t stain their skin like stamps
- Gender friendly rewards in the classroom
- Keep some in your desk, and one in your pocket throughout the day
- Easily accessible when traveling to specials, during dismissal, at recess, on field trips, etc.
- Great for hallway behavior
- Use in alignment with sticker charts or behavior charts.
When I order chapstick for smelly stickers, or sometimes called smelly spots, I purchase a variety of scents. One variety pack lasts the whole year! My latest amazon purchase was a Hershey’s variety! I keep extra chapstick in my birthday box, too. Students typically get a birthday straw, and are allowed one item from the birthday box.
When to Use Smelly Spots for Reinforcing Positive Behavior
- during transitions in the classroom
- when lining up
- as you walk around the classroom and recognize students for being on task
- give to a parent volunteer to use as rewards when working with students
- small group positive reinforcement
- great effort
- being kind to others
- when filling up a behavior sticker chart
- Choose a classroom helper, and have them give smelly stickers to others who are following directions and working hard. They LOVE this!
Not only do you want chapstick for positive behavior techniques, you will appreciate the science behind using scents in the classroom. The brain based learning theories encourage the use of scents to improve learning efficiency. Peppermint, cinnamon, and citrus chapsticks are some of my favorite scents on days when I’m trying to increase student productivity.
My sweet friend, Rachel from Uniquely Upper, shared how chapstick can also be used for putting kids into groups in the classroom. In the book, The Junkyard Wonders, the teacher applies different scents to her students hands. Then, the students are to find other classmates with the same scent to form groups. Although I have not yet read The Junkyard Wonders, by Patricia Polacco, Rachel said it’s “an amazing book that speaks on the beauty of being different and being accepted for who you are.”
I am so excited to try this in my pre-k classroom this fall! However I am trying to find the best way to explain to families. This will be slightly different than my traditional stickers/treasure box.
Do you happen to have a draft letter?
Hi Tina. Unfortunately, I do not have a draft letter. This is something I will consider writing up. I think it would be great to let the parents know of this system 🙂
This is SO great!!! I cannot wait to try this inexpensive positive in my classroom! Plus how great is it that my last name starts with an “S”?! Santulli smellies!!!
Perfect!!!! The kids will love it 🙂
My favorite! In my kinder class we call them super smellies!
I did this when I taught first grade and we called them “smellies.” When I moved to 5th grade, I figured it was too childish. So wrong! 5th graders love smellies too!
I know, it’s crazy that even the older kids love this 🙂
I call them “smellies” and attached them to my lanyard around my neck. I also used them with the “littles” backstage at dance recitals. I became known as “The Smelly Lady!” ? Was asked by kids if it was chapstick, no it’s a smelly. Was also asked where I got them, at the teacher store (anywhere a teacher shops is a teacher store btw!) Parents contacted me about where they could buy smellies, they were on their kids’ Christmas lists! ? This TOTALLY works!
Yasss! I love it…The Smelly Lady 🙂
I love this idea, my only problem is the hygienic side. How do you handle not spreading germs from one hand to the next?
I promoted frequent hand washing in my classroom. A rub on the back of their hands is no worse than them touching each others supplies or each other when in line, etc. Using chapstick for positive behavior was never a hygienic concern.
Totally trying it!
You’ll love it!
This works! I use it in my PreK class.
Awesome to hear it works with your PreK kiddos, Lynn 🙂
You are brilliant!!!!!!
Do you ever have a parent that does not want you to use “chemicals” (chapstick, stamps) on their child?
Hi Kathy. Great question. No, not in my 17 years of teaching, did I have one parent that didn’t allow me to use chapstick on a child’s hand as a reward. However, there are tons of organic options to choose from. Here are some BeesWax organic balms you could use. https://amzn.to/2F9cPUh
This is just so sweet. I’m proud of you as a teacher for looking for the positive in your kiddos!
Thank you, Lisa 🙂 Positive thoughts = positive reality!