Organization & Management

BAM’s: Classroom Management System

In my 17 years of teaching, I have tried ALL KINDS of behavior management systems
ranging from pulling cards, economy systems, tickets, table points, marbles in jars,
Class Dojo, etc… I’ve tried them all looking for that PERFECT  system… and you know what I’ve come up with?

     I think we each need to find out what works for us and for our current students. I’ve also learned the hard way that what might have worked beautifully in the past, may prove
to be a total flop another year.
     Today I’d like to share with you a system that I am currently using and in LOVE with! I have had much success with it, have seen it motivate my students, and continue to hear positive feedback from parents and former students.

     So if you’re frustrated with your current system or just looking to spice things up a bit, I hope sharing how I use BAMs in MY classroom might give you a few new ideas.

What is a BAM?
is a fuzzy, colored pom
that students are able to earn and trade in for tokens. The word BAM stands for
students caught Being AMazing!
In my
classroom we have LITTLE BAMS…


BIG BAMS which are worth 3 of the little ones! BIG BAMS are hard to come by
so whenever a student receives one it’s a B-I-G D-E-A-L!


store their BAMs on their desk inside of these containers which I found at the Dollar Tree. They come  in a 2 pack and are actually used to hold paint and students brushes.


I attach them to students desks by placing a small velcro
dot on the bottom and placing a label on each container that says BAM. That’s it, every
student now has a compact BAM container that sits on the corner of their desk and can easily be removed when needed.



How can students earn BAMs?
Students earn BAM’s in many ways, but here’s a list of some of the common
ways MY students earn them:
acts of kindness such as helping a fellow classmate without being asked to do
weekly Home Communicators on time (student work folders that parents review,
sign, and return)
information that was previously learned
•AMAZING classroom behavior when a guest enters the room
quietly when the classroom phone rings
cafeteria/ hallway behavior
•taking a risk and trying to answer a question when nobody else has a clue
•well thought out response to a challenging question
really hard even though they might have the incorrect answer
a study guide for a test, even though the teacher never assigned it
above and beyond what is expected
a student finds a BAM on the floor and turns it in to me, I usually let them
keep it for their honesty
are just some of the reasons my students earn BAM’s, because you can pretty much
give them whenever you want.At least that’s what I do. If I notice that my
students hallway behavior is slipping, I simply grab a few BAMS in the palm of
my hand and let them know that I’m on the lookout for some Amazing
wish you could see their reaction… BAMS’s are like GOLD nuggets in my room!
What do students do with the BAMs once
they’ve earned them?
second a student is awarded a BAM, they place them inside of their personal BAM
container. In the beginning of the year, we go over a few rules to make sure
that everyone knows the dos and don’ts.

  1. Students caught
    playing with BAMS will have them taken away.
  2. Students caught stealing BAMs will
    forfeit their BAMS.
  3. Students caught playing with the BAM container on their
    desk, will have their BAMs removed from their desk
other Friday, the kids are then given an opportunity to trade in their BAMs for
different tokens or to save them for next time. Here’s a picture of some of
our tokens…





of the kids favorites are Lunch Bunch, Pick a Chair, and Eat a Treat!
semester I’ll probably ask them for a few more token ideas, and then I’ll
create them and add them to the mix.
How do you know if BAMS are going to work
in your classroom?
don’t! There’s really no way of knowing ahead of time if your students are
going to respond to BAM’s. However, I can say that in my experience, if you
establish a clear set of rules from the beginning, stay consistent in awarding
BAMS for desired behaviors, show students ALL the ways they can earn
them, and make it a BIG DEAL… chances are they’re going to be as excited as my students are!
story: Last year, I did NOT use BAMs with my class because I wanted to try
something new. On a few occasions former students visited my classroom and one
of the first things they each mentioned was what had happened to the BAMS.
Apparently, something as simple as awarding kids fuzzy pompoms was important
enough for them to remember.
So if
you’re tired of the same behavior system, looking for a change, or just need a new
plan because what you’re doing is not working, think about trying BAMs. And if you do, I’d love to hear how it goes!****BAM container Update****
This year I was unable to find the containers pictured above to store my students’ BAM’s so I improvised and used the adorable and colorful snack containers you see below. These are also from the Dollar Tree and come in a pack of 2.

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  • Reply
    Nikki Carel
    March 4, 2016 at 1:24 am

    I love your idea!! What an adorable storage system. I am really interested in your tokens! I also use coupons but ❤️❤️❤️ yours! Could you email me and tell me where to find them? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Melissa Yalesias
      July 20, 2016 at 12:28 am

      Nikki, thank you for your sweet words! It's amazing how excited the children get with something as simple as BAM's and tokens. It actually works much better than when I had trickets for them. You can check out the tokens by visiting my TPT store at this link:

  • Reply
    Angela Browning
    March 25, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Do you have your tokens for sale? My email is

  • Reply
    Angela Browning
    March 25, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Do you sell your BAMS tokens?

    • Reply
      Melissa Yalesias
      July 20, 2016 at 12:29 am

      Hi, Angela! Yes, just click on the picture of the tokens to be taken to my TPT store. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Reply
    March 26, 2016 at 2:28 am

    I have so many behavior problem students, I may give this a try! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Katelyn Swenson
    April 6, 2016 at 1:46 am

    Love!!! I am desperate to try something new and this is it. Looking forward to starting this soon. Are your tokens available for purchase? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Melissa Yalesias
      July 20, 2016 at 12:31 am

      I'm so happy to have inspired you and to have given you some hope! Good luck with your kiddos.
      Yes you can find my tokens by clicking on the picture above and you'll be directed to my TPT store.

  • Reply
    Angela Place
    April 7, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    I love the tokens as well! I use BAMS in my classroom now but call them fuzzies instead. I love the idea of putting them on velcro on the desks. Good rules for them as well! I would love a link to the tokens as to where you got them!

    • Reply
      Melissa Yalesias
      July 20, 2016 at 12:32 am

      Howdy, Angela! Aren't BAMS/ Fuzzies simply the best? I love them!!!! I'm glad I was able to give you some new tips and tricks. Yes you can find the tokens by clicking on the picture of them above. Take care :0)

  • Reply
    Abygail Mason
    May 31, 2016 at 12:39 am

    This is fabulous I do something very similar with soft fabric wristbands that I implemented halfway through the year last year (pre-k, no desks not much cubby space and no stealing at all…on your wrist it is yours not on your wrist it is getting washed) I used them as both a counting activity at the end of each day for individual students to check out and practice spelling their names. They were then placed in a celebration jar for the whole class and sometimes we would vote at empty jar for what we would like to earn and sometimes we would vote at full jar for what we would to to celebrate that everyone was being super safe and working together to full the jar.

    • Reply
      Melissa Yalesias
      July 20, 2016 at 12:35 am

      I love the idea of wristbands for the precious little ones! That's a GREAT way of keeping them from getting lost. Yea, I have my students practice their math skills as well with them when the time comes that they want to trade them in for tokens. I have them figure out how many BAMS they owe me if they decide to purchase multiple tokens or if they need "change" back. Thanks for sharing how you use the bracelets with your kids. The celebration jar sounds like fun!

  • Reply
    Platt Blog
    June 24, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Do you do anything in addition to this for negative behavior? Any type of documentation or program?

  • Reply
    July 2, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    How many BAMs equal a token? Will you email your response please thanks

    • Reply
      Melissa Yalesias
      July 20, 2016 at 12:37 am

      The value of the tokens vary depending on the demand… just like in real life :0)
      Some tokens are worth 5 BAMS others that are in higher demand are worth 15-20 BAMS. Also, at the beginning of the year I tend to give them more BAMS in order to motivate them and get them accustomed to the BAM system so I might raise the prices. It's fun to keep the kiddos on their toes.

  • Reply
    Lori Williams
    August 5, 2016 at 12:57 am

    Hi Melissa! I have already bought the "paint" cups for the students to try this for my 1st graders this year. I'm really excited about it! What do you have for repeated negative behavior? I'm trying to figure that out.


  • Reply
    September 13, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Do you have the container labels available? The one for thr big jar and the little individual ones? Thanks!

  • Reply
    Mrs. Downey
    October 5, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    A coworker and I are interested is using your BAM program in our Kindergarten classrooms. Do you have a sample parent letter that we could look at explaining the program?

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