As the first few days of school are behind us and my students and I settle into our classroom procedures and routines, we have been working towards EARNING a great prize. Cookies! I mean what better treat than cookies right?!
I use the card and stick method for student individual behavior tracking. It is very simple and to the point. When students are following the rules, they have a green card. When they have difficulties following the rules, they have to change their card. I use yellow, orange, red, and blue cards. We rarely see red (note home) and blue (visit the principal) cards!! Thank goodness! Yellow cards are warnings and orange cards mean loss of recess. I never take the entire recess away because I feel that the kiddies need a break, fresh air, social time with friends, and well, let's face it, they definitely need to RUN!
What is most important is that the rules are clearly indicated. I have four. If we have too many rules, the students get confused and forget. I also display the consequences and the rewards. I give them ALL the information they need in order to have a positive and successful day. No surprises!
What I like about this method is that it is visual. I also like to use the sticks because even if a student has had a difficult morning, they can still receive positive reinforcement and maybe even get a prize. I'm all about "turning it around" and making it right. If a child is able to change their negative behavior and let go of a negative situation, I am happy. Moving on and continuing to have a good day is very important. And don't be worried about social stigmas when students have a yellow or orange card. We discuss the importance of "worrying about ourselves." I also find that when the students are responsible for changing their card, they then are also taking responsibility for their behaviour.
When the students have five sticks (colored popsicle sticks), they receive a prize. One of my little rambunctious second graders earned a prize, just the other day. He chose a mini note pad. He wrote "This is the best day" in his note pad and carried it everywhere. Little monkey melted my heart!
I also like to use a class behavior chart in conjunction with the individual behaviour modification programs. Last year, my classroom attendant came up with a great way to encourage the students to work well together, and chat less when working. We created a puzzle and wrote a class reward underneath the pieces.
Each time we have a good period we take off a puzzle piece and, slowly but surely, the students discover what the reward is! Once all the puzzle pieces have been removed, we have our special prize. Sometimes it's a movie, or extra recess time. In this case, it's a cookie party! Yay!
I created a few variations of the puzzle.
You can grab a free copy of my Positive Reinforcement Puzzles HERE!
You can also grab a free copy of my rules, consequences, and rewards HERE!
Until next time...