Mystery Soldiers - Motivating Students in the Hallway

I'm LOVING finding all of these awesome
 Student Motivation ideas
 from Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching:

Today I want to share an idea that I use to motivate
students to walk SILENTLY in the hallway:
Mystery Soldiers
This was an idea I stole from my dear Student Teaching teacher (Love you, Mrs. Jones!) and though she used it in 2nd grade, I was amazed at how well it worked with my 5th graders! 
Here's how it works: 
1. When students are lining up to leave the classroom, I draw a Popsicle stick with one of their names on it, but I don't tell them who it is. *if they're talking in line when I choose their name, I look at them pointedly, put the stick back in the bucket, and draw another name. 

2. As we're walking in the hallway, I watch that student to see if he/she is behaving properly and walking silently

3, If they are successful, I make a big deal of announcing it when we reach our destination. The name gets posted on our "Mystery Soldier" board and the student receives two tickets.


*I put the Popsicle stick right back in the can, so they cannot say, "Whew! That was my turn, now I can just goof off until everyone else has had a turn!" Sometimes a student will be chosen twice in one day! If the same name gets chosen again and the “soldier” is successful, then I put a tally mark next to the name. At the end of each month, the “soldier” with the most tally marks wins a prize.

*If the soldier is unsuccessful, I don't say the name of the student (I don't want to embarrass to discourage them in front of their peers). I usually will try that student again later in the day. However, if they are unsuccessful twice in one day, then I pull them aside and tell them that they were chosen, but lost the tickets because of their chattiness or lack of self-control. 

*I've laminated the poster so the first day of each month I erase the names (with nail polish remover) and we start fresh. The "soldier" with the most tally points wins a prize.

*I've also done this with my table groups - I'll choose a whole group to watch and if they are all successful, their names go on the board AND they get 4 points for their team. It's very motivating and they keep one another accountable because they want their team to win.

Here's a sample of my Mystery Soldier board:
How do you keep your kiddos quiet in the hallway?
Link up your idea (or any motivator-sparker) with Joanne!

But before you go...
I am SO CLOSE to 200 Followers...and I am planning a FABULOUS giveaway!
But I need YOUR help!
If you're willing to donate a product, please fill out the form:


  1. This is a really cute idea. I've read about it before but haven't tried it.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  2. Love the mystery soldier idea and cute posters!

  3. Oh my little friends would just love this idea! I especially love the poster where you display their names! Thanks for the fun idea!

    Learning to the Core

  4. That is the cutest idea ever! I love it! And the poster looks great! I really like the mystery group-totally stealing this! Thanks Jessica for linking up and sharing!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  5. I love this idea and will definitely try a version of it with my 8th grader when I take them to check out library books (they are awful in the library). Our kids get a digital PBIS paycheck each week, so I can easily add money to their accounts. Great tip!

  6. This is so incredibly cool. You are right. I am sure fifth graders love it!! :). Trying it this week. :)
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  7. This is such a great idea! Thanks for sharing. I am going to try something like this next year for my 8's.

  8. PS I love following your blog via email :)

  9. Since we are close to Navy, Army, and Air Force bases, about half of my students come from military families. They would LOVE this idea. I believe that I will be adding this my list of ideas to implement for the next school year! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Mrs. O
    Mrs O Knows


Questions? Thoughts? Leave a note below: I LOVE comments! I like to reply to comments via e-mail (so we can start a blogging friendship). Please check your settings to make sure you are not a No-Reply Blogger. Contact me with questions.

Back to Top