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Haley23 Haley23 is offline
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,731
Senior Member

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,731
Senior Member

Old 04-18-2019, 04:28 PM
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Back when I taught K-6, I allowed my older groups to earn 5 minutes of free i pad time at the end of each lesson. I taught in 45 minute blocks and had several severe behavior issues in my room. On top of that, kids that were often separated into different gen ed rooms because they set each other off were together in my room, 3 feet away from each other with no role models.

It was worth it to me to give up 5 minutes of instructional time to get a solid 40 minutes of lesson time in each day, vs. actually having far less time spending the entire 45 minutes dealing with behavior. A "fun Friday" type of thing wouldn't have worked for these students- they needed something more immediate. They didn't have the skills to really regulate their behavior on a Monday thinking ahead to a reward 5 days from then.

I picked the most disruptive behaviors to use the system with. I told students they needed to be in their seats, have hands and feet to themselves, and raise their hand to speak. Each student started the group with 3 tally marks (with the most severe students, I might start with more as to make the reward attainable). If I saw one of the behaviors I mentioned, I simply erased a tally. I didn't say anything, which meant instructional time wasn't lost correcting them, and they didn't need to "save face" by arguing with me. I simply erased it and moved on. Those with at least one tally left earned the free tech time at the end of the period. Those who didn't wrote sentences about what they'd do next time. Students with all 3 tallies earned a PBIS ticket as well.

The key is of course to be consistent. Don't get caught in the trap of giving warnings- don't say "I'm going to take a tally next time you..." You have to be consistent the entire time. Along the same lines, you have to be consistent with providing the reward. I made sure to stop the lesson 5 minutes early each and every day even though there were days when I would have loved 1 or 2 minutes more to wrap things up.

My school had 1:1 i pads at the time (now chromebooks). If your school doesn't have tech like that, consider letting them have 5 minutes of phone time (I'm sure they all have them), 5 minutes of free time where they can talk or draw, etc. Maybe even ask them what they'd be interested in working for.
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