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Enough praise
Old 12-26-2019, 06:56 PM
 
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Is anyone else tired of the trend that if a student isn't acting the worse they possibly can we have to praise them? Not the students who are on course or who are genuinely doing 110% at that moment, but the student who always has an issue. Funny enough they continue to act this way despite mommy and daddy giving nonstop praise.


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with very young children
Old 12-27-2019, 06:44 AM
 
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I found it very effective to give them a compliment when they were following the rules. Little kids want attention and some don't care whether it is positive or negative. Some little ones are just sorting out what we actually want them to do. Ignoring some attention seeking behavior and giving attention for following rules works.
On older kids, I don't think so. However, my only experience is with kids ages 3 to 8.

I do know that the "total ignore" works in classrooms that are designed for very young more severe special needs students. However, I don't think this technique can be done in public schools.
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Old 12-27-2019, 11:44 AM
 
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I'm tired of the "advice" that a child needs some kind of incentive every 5/10/15 minutes for on task behavior. That is just not reality.


I'm okay with some praise, or at least acknowledging a child for doing what they are supposed to be doing. But I give it to all kids, not just the strugglers. I teach kinder, though, and a little bit of praise goes a LONG way.
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Old 12-27-2019, 08:23 PM
 
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We have a school wide ticket system. If a staff member sees a student doing something “good,” they get a ticket that’s turned into a drawing box. Some of the names instantly make me shake my head. I’ve seen ticket winners in the principal’s office the same afternoon.

It’s like the kids who are consistently doing what’s expected aren’t recognized because when you see the doing something “good” it isn’t shocking, so they kind of get screwed in the situation.
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Old 12-28-2019, 06:08 AM
 
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I have several difficult first graders this year. Two different parents told me at open house that their child has had a rough home life and needs attention. They do get most of my attention. I praise them, they help me, and I am positive. The best is when I went to an in-house meeting for one. I was told to give more attention and maybe this would improve behavior. I replied I already do more than enough for the child, I have 29 students, and I’m sure the 22 well behaved children in my class would love half of the attention I give my behavior problems. No response. I don’t know the answer, but it’s getting worse every year.


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Old 12-28-2019, 07:37 AM
 
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I agree with a lot of what is said here. I have two behavior issues this year. I find if I am the one that starts with negatives, things go south fast. It is a balance for sure.

I agree that often the “good” kids get overlooked because they are doing what is expected. I have one girl who is a doll. But, she must tell me everything “good” she does. I would reward her for leaving me alone!
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Old 12-28-2019, 08:39 AM
 
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Happy, I find the opposite. I find behavior shapes up, when I put my foot down. My biggest issues with constant praise is it sends the message "It's ok to misbehave you get rewarded.".
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It is frustrating
Old 12-28-2019, 08:45 AM
 
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I teach SpEd to ED/BD and those in need of self-contained. I have 9 HSers and 1 3rd grader. It is frustrating. I will grant you that. About 3-4 of the HSers are low functioning only and the rest have BD issues. Some as part of their disability and some as separate issues.

I also see both sides. My low kids need as much time and assistance as I can give them. But so many days the ED/BD kids demand that same attention in the same time periods. I only have so much-I only have two hands. I have great support in my two paras. Some days we are not enough.

So if there are times when a few kind words will prevent or de-escalate a situation, I am glad to give them. A few kind words to anyone--child or adult--doesn't cost me anything.

Like a PP said though, make sure that you share that same kindness with those who truly deserve it.

And just to note, many of my worst offenders do not get "nonstop praise from mommy and daddy." As a matter of fact, I have 10 students in my class and only two live in traditional family situations.

The dysfunction I see today is unlike anything I've ever imagined. When I got my teaching certificate in 1987, I had the most dysfunctional family I knew of at the time. Families today make my family look like the Cleavers...
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Old 12-28-2019, 10:40 AM
 
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I know this child has both parents. Extended family also thinks the child is the second coming. I also notice the constant praise isn't helping in this situation. IME, sometimes being too kind is a disservice. Yes, it's free. I don't think it deescalates. I think it sets a tone of no is no for some but not all. IME, it leads to other issues. Do authority figures do this to adults? No, young adults aren't prepared of this.
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Old 12-30-2019, 09:06 PM
 
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I have found that the most effective way to get students to do what you want them to do is through praise. That being said it is exhausting having to recognize and reward some students constantly while others are following the rules without all the prompting and prizes.

I have seen students "game" the system to get the reward(s). When I taught 4th grade I had a third of the class (8 students) arrive from 3rd grade with what I call "bingo cards." Several times a day they received a star or smile for doing what they should (what every other student was doing for free). Some of the more observant students picked up on this and started misbehaving. Soon I had 2/3rds of the class on the bingo cards and spent considerable time just managing student behavior.

All of the well behaved students were frustrated as were their parents (a few offered to speak with the parents of the misbehaving 2/3rds). At Thanksgiving break I did away with the bingo cards and moved recess to the last half hour of the day. Students who were done with their work had recess, those that fooled around and were not done completed their work.

Ideally any reward program should extinguish as it moves from extrinsic to intrinsic rewards.


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A question
Old 01-01-2020, 11:46 PM
 
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I have seen classrooms where all the students are super well-behaved, even though they are some of the most challenging students. Why don't districts/schools that are looking for behavior strategies send people into these classes to see what it is they are doing differently? I've never understood that!

Also, to be honest, not all strategies work with every student. So praise works for some students, discipline works for others.
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