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StellaBulldog 09-16-2019 01:45 PM

I Need Help
I am really struggling this year with my students. Last year was just all around bad, so my patience may be thin to start with. They are unable to sit for even the shortest period of time and a one step direction is beyond them. My class is very routine and structured, but they can't seem to pick up on the routine.

I am not the biggest fan of a token economy in the classroom, but I think I need to do something to motivate this class. Do I do something individual, whole class, by table? I would like to know what has worked for a class that really just doesn't seem to care.

Sbkangas5 09-16-2019 04:16 PM

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I don't like to rely solely on external motivators, but they do help, especially at the beginning of the year. And let's face it - we all work to get that paycheck, right?

The year I had "that" class, I ended up changing my whole behavior management to the gold ticket system (here's a good blog post about it if you haven't heard of it). It didn't fix everything, but with that group it did help. What I liked is that the reward wasn't anything I had to buy or prep or anything. It was simply first rights to choose fun Friday activities. I made sure to pull out something very fun and popular each week so that the kids who had not earned first pick actually felt the sting a little bit. That was also the only year I limited how many kids could be at each activity, because that class absolutely could not handle the freedom of choice. I also liked that I could bring those darn gold tickets with me anywhere!

My go-to system for most years is two-fold. I have a "star jar" where the whole class earns things when they are all working together and doing a good job together. What goes in the jar varies (pencils, stickers, cool shells or rocks, etc), and once they earn enough for everyone to take one home they do and we start over. The peer pressure to earn things is great! Then I have an individual system I call "reaching for rainbows". When kids are doing a stellar job with something (or when I'm trying to reinforce a desired behavior) they can earn a piece of their rainbow. When they get the whole rainbow they earn a trip to the treasure chest (which is currently filled by my partner's kid's old toys - I will get rid of it once that resource is gone and go to coupons or something). Some years I use this a lot, some years they have to do something really spectacular to earn a rainbow piece. This is not my pic, but similar to what I use.

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