Monday, September 22, 2014

Behavior Management Tips {Freebie}

So, I went to a Professional Learning course last week and actually picked up a few new strategies to add to my bag of tricks. I also wanted to share my new small groups engagement strategy with you all. It is working out so well! 

In our class, we spent some time exploring the differences between praise and encouragement. Praise is vague and non-specific. "This looks great!", "You did that so well!", and "I love your work!" are all examples of praise. We often interject our own feelings into praise statements. If you have students who are in a power struggle with you, praise is likely to backfire. Encouragement,  however, is extremely effective. It describes the student's efforts. For example, "You finished the whole paper!", "You stayed in your seat all during math today!", or ""You scored 8 out of ten correct. You are really improving!". So, I am working on being more specific in my comments to my students. 

A very wise teacher once advised me to incorporate as much choice and chance as possible into my instruction. Kids LOVE choice or chance! For example, I might say to a student, "Drew, your finger and eyes never left the page as we were reading. I appreciate your attention. You may choose the highlighter color for the group today." Kids also love it when their choice impacts others. I may also say, "We are going to read both of these passages this week, but today, Sarah is going to roll this die. If it lands on an even number, we will read the one about apples today. If it lands on an odd number, we will read the one about Johnny Appleseed first."

We are also implementing a new behavior management tool during our RtI reading sessions. I am really pleased with how it is going so far. Very often, these struggling students also have behavior related issues, too. They can be inattentive, overactive, withdrawn, or argumentative. I needed something that would work for specific behavior goals. I don't expect my students to be perfect right off the bat. We are still getting to know each other. I do, however, expect them to work hard and be respectful to me and the other students in our group. So, I am targeting key behaviors with them using a punch card system. I bought these sets from Pink Cat Studio. You can check them out {HERE} in her store.

The very first thing I do during our small group time is distribute their punch cards. They keep them right at the top of their work space.  They know their target behaviors. If Harry starts getting up out of his seat, I just put my finger on his card, and he sits back down. If I have not gotten much voluntary participation out of Carrie today, I may scoot her card towards her and say, "The next question is for you, sweet one. Go ahead and read it now and be thinking about your answer."  If they met our expectations and goals for that session, they earn one punch. 10 sessions should equal 10 punches. 

This little darling is on her way to cashing in her punch card tomorrow!

We decided to come up with some incentives that were quick, easy, and free/inexpensive. I have seen treats like these on other blogs and on Pinterest, but I only have my reading students for 40 minutes. I needed something that I could use just during that time and still get their group work for the day accomplished. I think that the kids will enjoy spending their tickets on a treat! I am planning to staple their punch card and ticket to their work so that they can share it with their classroom teacher and family. If you would like to use these blackline masters for treats for your kiddos, you can download them by clicking {HERE} or on the picture below. 

I would love to hear any ideas you have for other free rewards! 

1 comment:

  1. We use 1 generic coupon with the rewards that are similar to yours listed: wear sunglasses, desk swap, line jumper, gum chewer, stuffed animal friend, etc. Saves copying for each of the rewards. We just have the kids circle the one they want.