Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Taming the Wild: Positive Reinforcement

I think I've finally figured out my classroom management strategy that keeps my class and me happy and focused on the positive. This is how it goes:

1. A student breaks a classroom rule:

Be on time to class, for group work, etc.
Be ready to work.
Follow directions immediately.

Bring these items to class every day: agenda, paper, pencil/pen, and a book to read.
Be ready to listen and learn.

Treat others with kindness and respect.
Speak using appropriate words at appropriate times.
Keep your cell phone turned off.

Do your work to the best of your ability.
Use your time in class to complete your work

Take part in discussions and activities.

2. I notice the misbehavior, look for someone who is following the rules, then clap once.

3. Students look to the classroom rules on the wall, ask themselves if they were following the classroom rules. Recalibrate, so to speak.

4. I will reward the student I noticed who was following the rules, then document both the student who behaved positively and the one who misbehaved.

Students love this because they get positive points for good behavior and negative points for misbehavior (I use the app on my phone). I also reward the entire class when they are quiet during fire drills, assemblies, walking in the hallways, etc. When students volunteer to read their personal writing aloud, I also give points. Eventually I plan to have a classroom party for those who have 20 points or above or something similar. This way, students don't get discouraged, thinking they can never win a prize.

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