09 February 2014

Rollin' with Positive Reinforcement

With all this crazy winter weather and being stuck inside with kids, how are you rollin' with positive reinforcement?   Last week I wrote a blog post {click here to read last weeks post} telling how I handle discipline in my room once a child has reached "Red" on the behavior chart.  This week I wanted to write a post on how I try to keep them  from reaching that point.  Let's face it that is not always easy.   If you read my post last week then you remember I said this year I have 24 students and only 9 of them are boys {I know - don't you feel so sorry for the poor boys}.  Some days I feel like those sassy girls are going to eat those boys alive.  Don't get me wrong, they can be so sweet and they are so darn cute in their uniforms with those big bows in their hair {we love big bows in the south}.   And I must admit having a room full of girls can be very helpful because it is like having a roomful of mini teachers.  I really know think some of them could run the show without me even being there.  As I mentioned in my last post I can usually speak to a student about a behavior and that will correct the problem, but my goal is to try to keep them all on green and feeling good about their day.  So here are some ways that I do this.

I try to keep all the rules, behavior chart, and my Whole Brain Star Improvement Wall all in the same area.  Every teacher in our school has a similar Star Wall.  Teachers hand out Rocket Bucks for any type of positive behavior they think is fit.  Each time a child get a Rocket Buck they can then place a tally on their star.  Once they have reached 10 tallies they get to move to the next star color.  The goal is to be at the top by the end of the year.  When we had our workshop at the beginning of the year they told us to not just hand tallies out all day long, because you want it to be a goal they work toward all year.  So getting a Rocket Buck is a really special treat because it can come from any teacher or staff member in the school.  I also reward by student by giving them a treat each time they change to a new star color.



A second reward system I have set up in my class is to take all the Rocket Bucks left over after they have placed their tally on their star and put it into a bucket.  Then at the end of each month I draw 5 Rocket Bucks for a treat out of the teacher lounge.  This was something new I tried this year and it has been a big hit.  This kids love getting to go to the teacher's lounge to get a Sprite and a snack.  It has worked out so far too that everyone in the class has gotten to go at least once.  




The other trick I have up my sleeve is tickets.  I know a lot of teachers use some form of a ticket reward system.  This is probably my favorite reward system.  I give tickets for homework, walking in the line correctly, participating in class, and just about anything you may get caught being good at.   This works for me because I give tickets more freely than Rocket Bucks, so it seems to feel more instant to the student.  Especially if the child has not received a Rocket Buck from a teacher in a while at least he/she is getting some form a reward from me.  I think it makes them feel like their hard work and good behavior is not going unnoticed.  At the end of the day I draw about 5-6 tickets for a small candy prize and on Friday we draw 5-6 tickets for treasure chest.




The other thing I do is let the kids earn a "DANCE" party.  If I catch the entire class doing what they are suppose to be doing then I add one of the letters to the word dance on the board.  Once the word is spelled out we get to have a 10 minute dance party at the end of the day.   However, in order to get these letters it takes the whole class working together and staying on task.  When the kids reach the final letter "E" it is total excitement in the classroom.  The picture below is the class in action dancing at  one of their dance parties.



The final and most important thing I think I can do is give praise.  I think a simple hug or just telling a kid good job and sincerely meaning it is just as important if not more to a child.  In the end they would much rather have your attention than a prize.  So a lot of times when the class gets rowdy I try to find a couple of students who are on task and give them praise.  I notice that a lot of times most of the other kids will then try to get on task as well.  A simple praise or sweet little note will always do the trick!!

Well that about wraps it up for me.  I would love to hear what positive reinforcements you are rollin' with.  Sometimes the best ideas come from sharing.   I {heart} comments and followers.   Thanks for stopping by and taking a peek.


         



8 comments:

  1. Such great ideas!! I especially love your star wall! About how long does it usually take for students to earn 10 tallies? My students sit in groups, so I also like to give out group rewards (a tally mark) for groups that are following directions. At the end of the week, the group with the most tallies earn a trip to the prize box.
    Rachel
    A Tall Drink of Water

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  2. It takes a while to earn 10 tallies. Most are just now reaching about half way through the star wall, which is where they should be about this time of year. I only have two that are closer to the top. They are both excellent students and they truly get caught doing great things even outside the classroom by other teachers. I have a team teacher down the hall that uses a group tally method that sound very similar to yours. Thanks for stopping by!

    Jamie

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  3. I love the Whole Brain Star Improvement Wall! I've started learning about WBT and love how it has helped my class so far. Did you make that chart or find it somewhere?

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  4. I love your ticket and prize jars...too cute!

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    1. Thanks so much! I try to coordinate all my stuff {notice I said try}. Thanks for the sweet comment!!!

      Jamie

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  5. Your blog is super cute! I like to do dance party rewards, too. So quick and easy (and fun for me, too!). I feel like we have missed so much school due to snow that it's hard to blog about anything teaching related, so my hat is off to you.

    Amy

    Always Adapting

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. I am wishing for a snow day!!!

      Jamie

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  6. Hi Jamie - just found you through the Louisiana TPT teachers. (I'm from Lafayette) I'm so glad I found your blog - it's precious!! I had to laugh when you said how many girls you have... I have the opposite (8 girls and 15 boys), not sure who is luckier. :)

    I just started the ticket system this year, and Oh MY GOSH - it works like a charm. Have a great week!

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