domingo, junio 12, 2005


awesome lists & reward systems

MORE LISTS, just not mine:
  • César and Gustavo have some musical suggestions of their own.
  • They also read a lot. Here's stuff César suggests to amuse you at work and Gustavo's booklist.
  • Elenamary has a fantastic list of requirements to date her. I echo many of these sentiments and may have to make a list on my own here (one such list already exists in my head).

  • More teacher reflections, part two:

    These are my best teacher tools. When I found out that I was beginning my teaching career mid-year and entering a classroom with no rules, no consistency, nada, it was imperative that i lay down the law while creating functional reward systems. Some needed a little revamping and this will be the case with any new group of kids... some will work perfectly with one group and horribly with another. Just gotta feel it out and keep changing them until they suit the needs of you and your kids. And the number one and two rules, respectively: Keep 'em simple, and be consistent. No bending of rules/criteria or it all goes to hell.

    Here are the ones that worked best for me, with my particular group of 1st graders:
  • Lunch Bunch: god only knows why kids would get such a kick out of eating with the teacher in the classroom, but they loved it to DEATH and would beg me to have it. we'd get our lunch from the cafeteria and bring it to the classroom, where they could eat while watching a movie or cartoons. This is a reward system that i used very infrequently, no more than twice a week IF THEY WERE LUCKY. sometimes we went two or three weeks without it. usually it was a surprise: i would announce 30-60 minutes before lunch that all students with good behavior (as reflected in our behavior chart) would be allowed to join me for lunch bunch. slackers would stop slacking and the good behavior kids were superior models for the rest. other times, i would promise the day before or reward the class the day after everyone showed exemplary behavior. additionally, for my kids with behavior management plans, lunch bunch was a great goal for them to meet: they could have a special, private lunch bunch where they could invite just 2-3 friends and they themselves could pick what they watched. i'd even roll out some butcher paper and let them eat on the GASP! carpet. they thought they were the awesomest kids on god's green earth when i did that.
    some teachers do lunch bunch on a regular basis; my mentor teacher had it every monday for students with good behavior ONLY... however, i found that my constantly misbehaving students would never have had a chance like that. i'll admit, some days when such students were behaving beautifully, i would purposely choose to have lunch bunch so that they knew they were capable of receiving such rewards. other days, when normally model students were being little jerks, i'd do the same thing but to teach them a lesson. one time a student was leaving our class for good, so we had a special lunch bunch where all students were invited, una despedida. so use this at your discretion, but my rule was always that since *i* decided lunch bunch, i could cancel it at any given moment as well if behavior went south suddenly.

  • Behavior chart: blah, boring, everyone in primary grades does it. Fantastic behavior merited a congratulatory letter home and a sticker, so that parents weren't only receiving bad news notes from the teacher.
    addendum: my kids began each day with a clean slate on "día excelente", which i actually think is pretty generous of me. if they did all their work, they could move up to "buen trabajo" and if they were a good classmate and participated a lot they moved up to "día estupendo" (where the letter home and sticker came into play). if they did not follow directions, they got a verbal warning, then moved down to "1era advertencia" (first warning), where they lost 5 minutes of recess. Continued misbehavior moved them down to "2a advertencia", which meant a loss of 10 minutes of recess and their being moved to another classroom (this usually only lasted the duration of the next activity/assignment). If they couldn't pull it together and kept acting up, they got moved all the way down to "3a advertencia", which meant a loss of 15 minutes of recess plus a little chat with the asst. principal. worked pretty well.

  • Weekly Raffle: i had a little caja de tesoro (treasure box) that i filled with all kinds of dollar store goodies. when students would participate in whole group, ask great questions, win our word wall game, make perfect grades on spelling tests, show exemplary behavior/character skills, etc., i would reward them with a ticket for the raffle. each friday, i pulled 5 names out of the box. sometimes those who didn't win would bust out into tears, but they soon learned the gist of probability, and besides, 3/4 of the class didn't get anything either, so by the end of the year, there were no more tears.

  • Super Table Chart: the last two systems reward kids on an individual basis, and after my first month i was struggling with ways to find small group rewards, specifically for my students' tables... they would get way too chatty sometimes. so i started rewarding tables with colored popsicle sticks whenever i saw each and every student in a group working quietly or following directions. i'd also give them sticks if they all turned in homework and their personal behavior sheets. peer pressure can work miracles. at the end of the day, we'd count the number of sticks at each table then graph them. initially, we did a bar graph where i put one colored post-it for the corresponding table that had the most sticks that day. as we learned about tally marks, we would record the total number of sticks for each table. at the end of each month, the winning table(s) would get reward grab bags with stuff from the caja de tesoro and a free pizza coupon. i have no problem whatsoever with friendly competition, because you better believe that at the beginning of each month, the tables that lost were dead-set on winning and acted like angels... at least for a few days.

  • etc. then of course there's the little stuff... stickers, extra recess time, etc. if you've got any improvements or other reward systems you'd like to share, go comment crazy!

  • Comments:
    I like how your system is positive and random - two things that make it more likely to work. Offspring's school uses the color chart, but if you screw up on Monday, you are hosed for the rest of the week.
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