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PrimaryTeach8 PrimaryTeach8 is online now
 
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Management - ClassDojo or Economy System?
Old 06-12-2019, 12:14 AM
 
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Thank you all for helping so much! As you know, I'm overwhelmed after just accepting my first teaching job in 4th grade and you guys have definitely made it easier so thank you!

I'm still trying to figure out my management system. ClassDojo worked flawlessly for 1st graders. I would say my quietest writer gets a point and you could hear a pin drop. But for 4th grade during my student teaching, it worked for about 2 weeks and then they didn't care at all even when they lost like 5 class points. They still wouldn't quiet down. One boy in the class who was a major behavior problem said how it will "take forever to reach 950 points!" and said I need to lower the values of the prizes. There were students asking if they could play on the equipment when they get to the bubbles prize if they didn't want the bubbles. When I asked a show of hands, how many of them want the bubble reward, only 2 students raised their hand. Here were my rewards at the time:

Individual
25 - Change Avatar
50 - Pencil, Eraser, Sticker, or Bookmark
100 - Treasure Box

Class
350 - Candy Treat (The management system seemed to work about 80% of the time until they got this reward. After this it went crazy)
500 - 15 minutes of bubbles outside
650 - Class Snack
800 - Class Game
950 - Ice Cream Party!

One thing I didn't like about Dojo is nobody knew where they were so they were always gathering around my computer screen trying to see how many points they had. I found a sheet I can pass out where they can just color the number when they earn a point but what about if they lose a point? I don't know how that would work.

I've never tried it by myself (just as a sub because it was that teacher's management plan, seemed to work well) but I thought about using an economy system where students earn money or tickets that they can redeem for prizes. A lot of you said you have had success with both that system as well as DoJo. So I don't know. I'm torn. I want my classroom running smoothly and quiet.

DoJo didn't work for me in 4th but it's worked for many of you in 4th so I just really don't know. I don't know what system will work the best.

Maybe I used it wrong and I should've had prizes like "First 5 students to 50 points get an ice cream treat/party" but then the other kids will go home and complain to their parents so I don't want that.

Idk there was another 1st grade classroom I was subbing at. It was in a well-known school district with parents highly involved. The school had a management system and the teacher had her own too (marble in the jar). But for the school management system, students could earn these tickets that could be redeemed for prizes like a Nintendo event that some boys went to. They didn't care when they lost several tickets. It was extremely loud and disorderly!

I'm just trying to figure out what will work the best. Do I use DoJo? They need some tangible way to keep track of points because I'm not dealing with them all coming up to me all the time asking how many points they have. Or do I use the economy system where I give students money or tickets and they can redeem them for prizes? Like the bucket for 30 tickets could be filled with all kinds of small food items and students get to choose what they'd like. It's a high poverty school so I think that might work. I like the tangible aspect of the tickets but then I think how tickets redeemed for prizes didn't work for the first grade class I subbed for. But DoJo worked SO well with one of my student teaching experiences in 1st grade. I guess I just like the option aspect of the tickets where they have a variety of choices in a bucket to choose from. It's not just "class snack" It's they can choose between m&m's, chips, Rice Krispies, etc. I guess I could also do that with DoJo Idk.

And would you have it where as soon as a student hits that number, they can redeem for prizes if they want? Or have an auction? The problem with the auction was when I subbed, everything got gone and students were crying and upset that they didn't get what they wanted (even though everyone still got something). This was in 3rd grade. They loved those prizes though. I said everyone who helps clean up the floor gets $20 and there wasn't one student who didn't help clean up the floor.

Which system do you guys think would be best? Thank you to those of you who have shared your thoughts already regarding management. I just want this year to go well so I can get a nice letter of recommendation and hopefully then switch to the primary grades. So whichever system will work the best is what I want to use.


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Old 06-12-2019, 01:35 AM
 
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Since I'm having a hard time deciding, I'm wondering if I should just tie everything in together.

Like they can earn DoJo points. I don't want to not have DoJo because I like being able to use it as a communication tool with parents and principals like that too. So they can earn Dojo points and at the end of each day, I'll call their name and give them either dollars or gold coins equivalent to the number of DoJo points they've earned. Every month or so, the DoJo shop opens where they can buy prizes with their money.

Also, for every 10 DoJo points they earn, they'll get a raffle ticket. They can write their name on it and put it in a jar. Once a month, I'll have a drawing and I'll tell students what I'm drawing for. Like I'll say the first 5 names I draw out of the jar get a donut and orange juice for example.
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Keep it simple!
Old 06-12-2019, 01:39 AM
 
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I would begin with teaching them routines and procedures. Go for the intrinsic motivation first. Be consistent with consequences and keep practicing those routines and procedures.

If you absolutely have to, I’d use class dojo, but keep it simple. You don’t need rewards, just let the number of points be feedback for how they did. Simple, simple, simple!

Congratulations on your new job!
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:03 AM
 
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You are going to make yourself crazy with a complicated system with levels and points and prizes. You have too many other things to think about and notice during the day - You won't be able to reward the kids who are behaving enough, and you will be stressing about the kids who aren't. The kids who are going to behave anyway are going to behave and the kids who aren't, aren't, and are going to argue with you about the system.

Go simple, simple, simple. Simple. Teach procedures. Release responsibility gradually within the routines. If it's not done correctly, practice it. People have mentioned Dream Classroom as a good way to manage. Harry Wong or Responsive Classroom's First Six Weeks are great for how to set up a classroom.

For your end of day question above, teach the steps as a procedure and practice. Don't let it be crazy. Kids need to be read aloud to, so if you don't want to do it, download your library's audiobook app and borrow books for free to play for them as the read aloud.

Good luck. The first year is a whirlwind!
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:03 AM
 
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Quote:
"take forever to reach 950 points!"
I liked that you had lower level rewards to keep them interested but setting a number as high as 950 can SOUND daunting. Early in the year rewards and parties are easier to earn to bet buy in and make the rewards seem accessible. Once kids had earned a reward the amount to get it again goes up a bit and then goes up again as they get it but it does have a topping out point so its does get too out of reach.

Quote:
One thing I didn't like about Dojo is nobody knew where they were so they were always gathering around my computer screen trying to see how many points they had. I found a sheet I can pass out where they can just color the number when they earn a point but what about if they lose a point? I don't know how that would work.
I hate being responsible for stuff like this-it eats up class time but if you are letting them know where they are its hard to keep their buy in. This is why I prefer tangible tickets.

Another option that is similar to dojo is classcraft. Its a little older looking and feels very gamer-y which really appealed to my class of fortnite knuckleheads last year so I used it in conjunction with the tickets. Kids can log in and view their own points and change their outfits or "equip gear" when they have extra time from finishing an assignment early. This way they wont come up to you and ask you to inform them about their points. IT has a paid version and a free version, I tried the paid version last year because it has a lot of fun looking bells and whistles but in truth I dont have time for those bells and whistles in the classroom (or setting them up after school since I had to set up a variety of quests and boss battles which sounds fun and the kids were excited for but I couldn't keep up with since they eat your time making them) so trust me when I say that the free version is all you need. As the kids "level up" they earn classroom privileges and intangible rewards based on their level. I had kids who earned a "wear you hat in class" privileged and I set their "mana" to refill each week so that once they had reached the level to access that privileged they could use it 1 day per week-this helped them feel like the rewards were very attainable and useful since they could use their privileges more than once. One privileged that I had kids vying for was music picker-I put music on frequently because my class was next door to a self contained class that was often loud with screaming and crying and banging on the walls. They always wanted to be the ones to pick the music for the day.

But I also think a simple token economy also works well on its own if you dont want to have 2 systems going at once and all of the privileges can be put on a paper coupon in a prize box and its really easy and stress free to maintain which might be the way to go your first year-since you will be trying to master so many new things at once. I am glad for your enthusiasm and desire to succeed for yourself and your kids, but always remember that the the more successful first years are ones where we dont bite off more than we can chew. Keeping things simple at least at first is often best because it easier to be consistent with simple systems and the key to all success is management is consistency.



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Old 06-12-2019, 07:14 AM
 
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Quote:
I would say my quietest writer gets a point and you could hear a pin drop.
Think of school this way. It is their job. Just as teaching is our job. Learning is their job. I am very honest with my class!

If the expectation from my P is that I teach x, y, or z, I must teach x, y, or z. I do it because it is expected of me. I do what I am told because that is how life works.

Same with students. Their job is to learn. If I am teaching x, y, or z, their job is to learn, x, y, or z. Period.

They don't get a point for it. They don't get a reward for it. It is the expectation, and therefore, they do it.

If the P walks into my room, he is going to expect to see 1) me teaching and 2) students learning. He isn't going to come in and reward us for doing what is expected of us. We do what we are supposed to do because that is how life works.

If the expectation is that students write quietly, then set that expectation and hold them to it. They don't need a point for that. Your job should be conferencing with students on their writing, not keeping track of who got what point, when...

At the end of writing time, if they all worked fabulously, then sure. Put a marble in the jar or pull a scrabble letter to work towards a class reward. No need to pit 1 student against another, or be so worried about taking away a ticket or a point that you can't even meet 1 on 1 with students. You will always have the "quietest" person in class and the "most active" person in class and the "most impulsive" kid in class, etc. The quietest person will always "win" and the loudest/most impulsive/etc. never will. Of course they aren't going to care if they lose a point. They've already lost because they KNOW they aren't the quietest, most well-behaved student.

Build a strong relationship with your class. Get to know them. Understand who they are and where they are coming from. Build a TRUE COMMUNITY where you are all working together to be the best you can be. Encourage each other. Celebrate together. When things aren't working, come together as a class (community circle) to discuss. This is as much their classroom as it is yours. Work together, get their input on how to make it a great learning environment.
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:14 PM
 
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I agree with keeping things simple. At least to start. If you really want to use dojo and a reward system, maybe just start with 3 or 4 rewards - change avatar, homework pass, 15 minutes computer time, whatever you have available that does not cost any money or time on your part. Or just do the raffle system that you mentioned. But you don't need both.


For me, I focus more on procedures and expectations rather than discipline and rewards. If you set up your classroom so that it functions well and has clear routines and procedures, train the kids so they clearly know what is expected of them, and work to create a community within your classroom, then you don't need a fancy system. Not that kids shouldn't earn rewards sometimes, but it doesn't need to be the linchpin of your day.
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Old 06-12-2019, 03:04 PM
 
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I’ve used Dojo very successfully with Year 4. I negotiated the rewards with them at the start of the year. Things they liked :

Changing their monster
Extra computer time
Sitting with a friend
Sitting at my desk

They weren’t really interested in prize box bits.

I never take points away. They earn that point by doing the right thing or exceeding it. A later misstep doesn’t cancel out the positive. I maintain a three strikes system for negative behaviour - first strike a warning; second strike is the minutes sitting on a tree stump (like detention but peculiar to our school) and third strike is a chat with the principal.

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Figured something out!!
Old 06-12-2019, 03:56 PM
 
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Thanks everyone! You guys are right, I don't need both systems. I was making it too complicated. But I do absolutely believe a reward system is needed. Sure it's good for students to be intrinsically motivated, but that's just not a reality each day. You're teaching them economy. Would you teach if you received NO paycheck? Your principal does give you a reward, a paycheck that you work hard for. What I'm doing with the students is no different.

I'm going to use raffle tickets and reward students for positive behaviors I see them doing. Two weeks into the year, we'll have Gold Day where they can earn prizes. That will be the first time. After that, it will be once a month. I went out and bought tons of prizes at the dollar store that I think they'll love. Prizes that appeal to both boys and girls. I'll put these into containers with ticket values and they can buy what they'd like. It's a very poor school district as I mentioned so candy/small snacks will be prizes as well.

As part of Gold Day, there will be a raffle drawing where students can enter as many or as little tickets as they want into the drawing. I can either tell them what the prize will be ahead of time or make it a mystery prize that they would only find out that day (5 winners for Krispy Kreme donuts or gift cards or an art set). They can enter all their tickets and have none for the prizes in the containers, they can use some for the prizes in the containers and enter some into the drawing, or they can enter none into the drawing and save them all for the container prizes. It all depends on how they'd like to spend their tickets.

I was thinking that I'll have students use a paper clip to hold their tickets together when they reach 20 and then start over with a new set. Does this sound ok or does anyone know a better way? They might eventually have 500 tickets so I can't count all those. I can but it will take forever.

Class Rewards, I'll keep simple. I'll ask them what kinds of rewards they'd like to see. And when the class is doing a good job, I'll take a sticky of a number (like those number printouts that stick to the board) and put it on the board. Starting with 1 point. 30 points might be extra recess time (if allowed). 60 points might be a movie and popcorn. 100 points might be an ice cream party. If they're good at specials for example, they'll earn a point. Anytime theyre working well as a class.

I'm going to use DoJo but only as a communication tool with parents because I feel for that purpose, it's really needed.

I think this system is a lot more clear and makes sense instead of having too much going on at once. I'm really set on this system. What do you guys think of it?
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Envelopes
Old 06-12-2019, 04:55 PM
 
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I would give each student an envelope to decorate at the beginning of school to keep their tickets in. I would also designate a specific place to keep the envelope like in a folder, plastic sleeve, taped inside desk, etc.... students would be accountable for keeping their envelope and tickets. If they are lost .....they are not replaced.....lesson learned.


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Old 06-12-2019, 05:19 PM
 
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. I went out and bought tons of prizes at the dollar store that I think they'll love. Prizes that appeal to both boys and girls. I'll put these into containers with ticket values and they can buy what they'd like. It's a very poor school district as I mentioned so candy/small snacks will be prizes as well.
My advice is to not spend your money on lots of prizes. I had a box with coupons - use teacher’s chair, sit next to a friend, bring a show and tell, 10 extra minutes on the iPad, etc. These were much more popular than trinkets and didn’t cost anything. Check Teachers pay teachers for examples.
Be careful with snacks. Check your school policy. We could not give food treats in the classroom.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:18 PM
 
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My school uses the Responsive Classroom approach...no rewards, points, charts, tickets....super simple. Model the expected behavior, build a strong sense of community, use logical consequences, preserve the dignity of each student.
85-90% of students will respond and behave according to your expectations. For the rest, use behavior charts as needed. So simple and beautiful!
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You don't need any of this.
Old 06-12-2019, 10:32 PM
 
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It's soooo complicated and you will have a hard time following through and keeping up with it. You don't need a system for typical kids. Spend the summer learning about responsive classroom. I haven't had a classroom management system in 15 years, and I work with very difficult students. 99% of kids do not need Class Dojo, it's just a waste of time. Save your complicated behavior plans for that 1% of your class that will have special needs and require their own plan.
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Old 06-13-2019, 03:31 AM
 
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You have pared down a bit, but I think you need to pare down more. Buying things with your money will add up quickly, even if you do it once a month it will add up quickly. The expectations for rewards will get higher.... start small. I would do one or the other- individual system or class system. You will need to focus on curriculum and you don’t want a chunk of every day just being to managing your rewards.

Truthfully, I start with no official plan. I have things in mind if I need them, but I don’t use anything from the start. I praise students who do what I ask, and I tell kids to knock off other behaviors. I try things that do not cause me extra work because I don’t have time to spend daily on managing behavior plans, even after years of teaching.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:01 AM
 
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Snags you are going to run into (from my personal experience with running classroom economies in multiple schools):
-Kids taking other kids' tickets
-Kids losing a few tickets and expecting them to be replaced
-Kids losing their whole pack of tickets and panicking
-Kids one-short of what they want to buy and having big kid tantrums that include deciding not to participate in the whole system anymore
-Kids who are really sugared up by donuts, candy, and ice cream who then have a hard time behaving
-Kids who, when they don't get a ticket, decide "screw this" and intentionally run themselves to the bottom of the system (if you are in a building where kids have a lot of trauma exposure, expect a lot of this)
-Kids who only behave when they're being watched
-"Miss, Miss! I did ____. Do I get a ticket?"
-"How many tickets will you give me if I ___?"
-One kid consistently intentionally bombing the class reward
-One kid consistently unintentionally bombing the class reward
-Your funds being tanked on prizes, candy, food, and parties (This adds up really, really fast. At $30/month, that's $300/year, and that is only for one thing in your classroom - You'll also be finding books, organizational supplies, office supplies, and things like tissues and plastic baggies. Watch your funds carefully, they fly out the window on "just one more thing.")

I work for the paycheck. I don't work **hard** because my principal gives me a paycheck. I work hard because I value my relationship with the students. My last principal was a horrible witch. I still made sure I taught the kids in front of me. If I was only doing that when she was watching, well, it wouldn't have happened because she literally never came in while I was teaching. Don't set up a classroom where the students are dependent on praise/rewards to do well, or you will run yourself crazy trying to be everywhere at once praising and rewarding. Run your classroom so that the expectations are clear, the rules are valued, the procedures are practiced and polished, and the community is supportive. If you feel that you need rewards, keep it suuuuuper simple - A pompom in a jar until the jar fills, then the class reward. Make any rewards relationship-based (eat lunch with you, sit with a friend, chat with the nurse, help the kindergarten teacher for an hour, etc.) or activity-based (extra recess, lunch in the classroom all together, a craft with supplies the school already has, etc.). On top of all to the levels and points and tickets and parties and store maintenance, you're going to have to worry about 20+ individual reading levels and what each kid needs to do to grow (which changes day to day), 20+ kids ranging in their math abilities and what each can do/understand an the next steps for each, individual relationships with students and what motivates them and if they had a tough morning and if their grandma is sick and who they can handle sitting next to and did they write their names on their pages, individual relationships with their parents (sometimes this is 40 different people), who is a walker instead of a bus rider when the secretary calls it out to you as you walk by, and a million other things. You just won't have the brainspace. As simple as possible, all year long.

All of the voices on this thread are in agreement, and there's a lot of experience on this thread. When all this experience is telling you the same thing, take a pause and consider. There's a reason.

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Old 06-13-2019, 11:40 AM
 
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All of the voices on this thread are in agreement, and there's a lot of experience on this thread. When all this experience is telling you the same thing, take a pause and consider. There's a reason.
Exactly.

#1 job: Teaching, and building relationships with students so that they are highly educated and become solid, caring, productive citizens who understand that hard work and success is its own reward.

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Old 06-13-2019, 12:04 PM
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:06 PM
 
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Thanks for your thoughts everyone! I have a family member who has used the same system I'm telling you about with 4th graders for years and years and it works. I'm not saying building relationships aren't important. Of course they are, that should be #1. But students also need a reward system. Just saying "Here are the rules. Here are the consequences. Please behave" doesn't work with the older kids. Kids have to be motivated. The 4th grade class in my student teaching was SO unruly when I used my mentor teacher's system of setting expectations and taking away recess time (consequence) when the students misbehaved/talked during a lesson. But when I used my own system (prizes with ClassDojo) it was immediately effective. It was short-lived because I stopped including treats and started including prizes that don't appeal to 4th graders like bubbles and changing your ClassDojo avatar.

Yes you work hard because you love to teach and love your students. But without any paycheck at all, would you still be teaching? Rewards are a natural and necessary part of life. The paycheck is our reward. Along with seeing the students happy and seeing them succeed. People get rewards all the time. They keep us going. Even a "good job". Getting a job at all is a reward after a college education and a long interview process. If we got rejected for years, I doubt we'd continue interviewing. Rewards for good work and positive behavior are a good thing and keep students motivated.

I found out they might switch me to either 2nd grade or kindergarten and the HR people have let the principal know that I would like a job in the primary grades. SO incredibly happy about that! I hope it works out! For kindergarten, I would give ClassDojo points both individually and a class and students could earn prizes. Kindergarteners and 1st graders are simple with what they like. I don't have to spend a lot of money on those grades. They enjoy pajama parties, bubbles, fun stuff that is free. 4th graders don't like all that. Sure there's good rewards for 4th graders that are free like no homework passes, read a book to a kindergarten class, be the first one to pick the reading spot during independent reading time, but that by itself in my experience is not enough to keep them motivated and well-behaved. Including food, candy, and toys are also good ideas. They aren't easy to please like first graders.

For 4th graders, I would use this system with the tickets. For kindergarten, I would use ClassDojo. For 2nd grade, I'm undecided. I'll have to think about what management system works best for them. I'm REALLY hoping I get switched to second grade or kindergarten. I'll have a much happier year and much better classroom management and control.
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:12 PM
 
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Some of the concerns mentioned about the rewards are valid concerns. I've already thought about how some of those would be addressed.

Once a student receives a ticket, they must immediately write their name on it (not in pencil). I will make it clear to the students that if anyone steals any tickets, they lose all their tickets and all of those tickets go to the student they stole from.

They must learn responsibility. If they lose them, I will make sure they know those tickets can't be replaced.

Gold Day will be at the end of the day so the sugar high they're on from donuts and candy will be for their parents to deal with, not me lol
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:22 PM
 
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But students also need a reward system. Just saying "Here are the rules. Here are the consequences. Please behave" doesn't work with the older kids.
Really?

Sorry, but I am shaking my head at that comment/belief.

Compulsory education for all states has been in existence since 1918. So, for over 100 years, kids have been attending and succeeding in school without being rewarded. Our country became a pretty d*** strong country despite not rewarding students for going to school. It used to be a privilege. Not anymore. Now many feel we have to bribe students to do what used to be a common expectation.

Not sure when society moved to "we must reward students for every little thing", but I stand firm in my belief that students do not need to be rewarded if we want them to perform/behave/etc. As a society, that is a slippery slope, imo, and we are already seeing the negative consequences of it.

Also, my paycheck is NOT my reward. It is my PAYMENT for doing a job I was hired to do. Kids are not hired to go to school. It is compulsory for the good of society. Big difference.

You obviously disagree and that is fine. Good luck with your 1st year as a full time teacher!

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Old 06-13-2019, 12:28 PM
 
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Eliza4one- so glad to see you on the boards sharing and giving advice!

I am in agreement 100% with your comments and your thoughts on rewards. We are already seeing some of the repercussions from over rewarding children for doing things that should just be an expectation. Life is just too tough when you hit the point where your boss isn't telling you what a great job/person you are when you can't listen or follow directions.
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Old 06-13-2019, 01:04 PM
 
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Thanks, Kahluablast~


I'm feeling the need to step away again. Going to try to stick around!
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My apologies. I didn't realize how much knowledge you've gained from your months of student teaching while using a system with "short-lived" success in one grade level, plus subbing in classrooms with other teachers' already-established systems where you enter for a day or two with no time to build relationships or community expectations and then exit. That certainly trumps the decades of teaching (and parenting) experience over several grade levels on this thread. I'm sure that the incidents you've had with "crying and upset that they didn't get what they wanted," "unruly" students, and classrooms that were "extremely loud and disorderly" were simply a result of not rewarding students enough and had nothing to do with establishing routines and procedures, practicing them repeatedly, gradually releasing responsibility to the students, building individual relationships, maintaining a calm presence as an authority figure who expects directions followed the first time, planning engaging lessons that connect to the students' interests and sit on the border of "challenging" and "too hard" for a grade span of two years because you'll have very low and very high kids, or teaching missing social/emotional/behavioral skills that allow students to access their academics. You have certainly educated us about what works for students. I must have been just lucky to see social, emotional, behavioral, and academic progress over hundreds of students in low-SES high-trauma-exposure settings (I believe that's what you meant when you said you are working in a "high poverty" school so therefore snacks and candy will be a desired reward? Not sure what distinction you were drawing there) without systems or prizes. I wish you much luck in kindergarten or second grade while you are doing daily planning of 3 whole class reading minilessons, 3 guided reading lessons, a math whole group, math activities, individual math support, writing instruction, writing conferences, a science/social studies lesson, classroom community sessions, communicating with families, correcting work, and on top of that managing your classroom economy. You have your one family member to advise you and validate your predecided plans so that you can "get a nice letter of recommendation." Best wishes.

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Old 06-14-2019, 07:56 AM
 
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Quote:
My apologies. I didn't realize how much knowledge you've gained from your months of student teaching while using a system with "short-lived" success in one grade level, plus subbing in classrooms with other teachers' already-established systems where you enter for a day or two with no time to build relationships or community expectations and then exit. That certainly trumps the decades of teaching (and parenting) experience over several grade levels on this thread. I'm sure that the incidents you've had with "crying and upset that they didn't get what they wanted," "unruly" students, and classrooms that were "extremely loud and disorderly" were simply a result of not rewarding students enough and had nothing to do with establishing routines and procedures, practicing them repeatedly, gradually releasing responsibility to the students, building individual relationships, maintaining a calm presence as an authority figure who expects directions followed the first time, planning engaging lessons that connect to the students' interests and sit on the border of "challenging" and "too hard" for a grade span of two years because you'll have very low and very high kids, or teaching missing social/emotional/behavioral skills that allow students to access their academics. You have certainly educated us about what works for students. I must have been just lucky to see social, emotional, behavioral, and academic progress over hundreds of students in low-SES high-trauma-exposure settings (I believe that's what you meant when you said you are working in a "high poverty" school so therefore snacks and candy will be a desired reward? Not sure what distinction you were drawing there) without systems or prizes. I wish you much luck in kindergarten or second grade while you are doing daily planning of 3 whole class reading minilessons, 3 guided reading lessons, a math whole group, math activities, individual math support, writing instruction, writing conferences, a science/social studies lesson, classroom community sessions, communicating with families, correcting work, and on top of that managing your classroom economy. You have your one family member to advise you and validate your predecided plans so that you can "get a nice letter of recommendation." Best wishes.
You're right, I have 0 experience or knowledge when it comes to classroom management. That's actually not true at all, despite what you believe and write in your demeaning, disrespectful post. I have two student teaching experiences, tons of field experiences in college in which I had to lead with my own management system, and throughout substitute teaching in about 100 different classrooms (multiple school districts) there has not been ONE teacher who has not had a reward system as part of her management system. There were character coins they could earn for prizes, DoJo points they could earn for prizes, money they could earn for prizes, there was ALWAYS a reward system. The family member I've talked to who has been teaching for 30 YEARS told me her management system with economy before I even mentioned what I had planned. I actually got the idea from her! It really does not take long to manage an economy system and say "The quietest writer earns a ticket." Or "Everyone did a wonderful job at specials today. You had a great report so everyone earns a ticket" You act like it's so much time of the day wasted. It's not at all. It's pretty easy to do.

Relationship building and creating fun, engaging lessons are important no doubt. Those qualities are actually strengths of mine. But they're not effective on their own. I assisted in a classroom once for one of my field experiences that had terrible classroom management (the kids were very loud and unruly). The teacher was building relationships with them and coming up with creative lessons, I saw all this happening. But she had no reward system. She used a clip up/clip down chart. There were no rewards or consequences associated with it. Students would clip up and have no reward ever and clip down and have no consequence ever. They were one of the most unruly classes I've seen. Then it was my turn to take over. At the time, I implemented ClassDojo with fun prizes. Their behavior immediately turned around and the teacher now uses that system so clearly I have no experience right? ����

I'm not going to keep debating it. 99% of the time students need a reward system. Sure, if you have a stern, tall, tough looking male teacher, they'll fall right into line without a reward system just because he's intimidating. But that doesn't happen often.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:05 AM
 
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I also think it's important to note that lunch with the teacher, sit in the teacher's chair for a day, sit by a friend for a day, be the first to choose the reading spot, no homework passes, extra credit points, and reading picnic day are ALL rewards. Yes they're free rewards but they're still all rewards. Try not including those and see what happens with student behavior.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:11 AM
 
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More problems you will run into...

"Susie got the last super duper giant bouncy ball! That's the one I wanted! Waaaahhhhhh!"

"But why can't I play with my prize right now? Waaaahhhh!"

"My prize broke. Waaahhhhh!"

Somebody stole my prize! Waaahhhhh!"

"These prizes are stupid."

However if your prizes are things like ONE Skittle, a tiny sticker on the forehead, a first bump or high five, then everyone already knows the prizes are stupid, they CAN use it right now, and you don't run out before everyone can get one. The trick is to make the PRIZE itself something they do NOT care about. The prize is just a means to show that you noticed their good job, hard work, nice behavior, or just general loveableness. That extra attention and recognition is the REAL prize! I have been known to break one regular sized Hershey bar into 22 pieces, and I regularly give my class thirty seconds of extra recess. Set the bar low! They will love you for it.

Oh, and everything previous poster said.
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:05 AM
 
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"Try not including those and see what happens with student behavior."

That's what we're telling you. We have.
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Old 07-04-2019, 05:12 AM
 
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It's pretty obvious you're not looking for advice, but rather want veterans to agree with/praise you. Everyone gave you good advice (esp LastMinute & eliza, props to you both), and it is clear you're ignoring it. That's cool; it's your call and experience is the best teacher. I will challenge this comment because it is super offensive:

Quote:
99% of the time students need a reward system. Sure, if you have a stern, tall, tough looking male teacher, they'll fall right into line without a reward system just because he's intimidating. But that doesn't happen often.
I am a 5 foot tall woman. I have no "classroom management system" (clip chart, DoJo, etc.) and have very few behavior issues.

Once you get a few years under your belt, you'll see the wisdom others have shared with you. It's like raising teenagers: they know better than the parents. Once you get through your "teenage years" of teaching, you'll see Mom and Dad did know stuff.

Best luck to you.
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Old 07-06-2019, 11:57 AM
 
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I was going to type out an actual response— but... now just want to say

Yes to all that Eliza and Zia said!!!

I’m 10 years in and still learning from veteran teachers!
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Old 07-06-2019, 01:31 PM
 
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I just want to say that you have been given great advice. The very simple systems work. You will do whatever you choose but I have found that there are really just too many demands in the job to use a system like what you have described. It is very complicated and even I, as an adult, have difficulty following all of the details. I don’t know where your relative teaches but I suspect that there are many of the suggestions mentioned here that cause this teacher to be effective.

You asked for advice and I feel that a significant amount of effort was taken from each of these teachers to give you their best advice. For that, I feel that you should give respect and appreciation. I have found that purchasing treats and rewards just took too much of my time and money even for the “special behaviorally challenged students”. Positive phone calls or notes sent home and maybe a couple of extra minutes of recess are more effective in the long run. I try to verbally recognize effort and success in class (no matter how small) as often as possible each day. Yes, I also have mastered the teacher look as well. My students know that I have high expectations and mean what I say but they also know that I love them and only want the best for them. I have been told that my class was a model for the rest of the school.

Strong academic growth, good test scores and a professional demeanor/attitude are what give you a good recommendation. A willingness to accept and use feedback is also expected! Wishing you the best!
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:03 AM
 
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I think it is great that you are thinking about these things in your first year of teaching. We all have our preferences and sometimes it’s hard to see other viewpoints, but that’s how we grow.

The reason why Dojo or an Economy system doesn’t really work in the upper grades is simple: extrinsic rewards work only temporarily. Many studies have been done on children as well as adults on rewards. This is why primary students “appear” to respond well with “rewards” because they are new to these systems. By the time students reach 4th grade, the novelty has all worn out. Also in the upper grades students know that they can go to the Dollar Store and buy the same thing so easily, that these items lose or have no appeal.

“ Relationship building and creating fun, engaging lessons are important no doubt. Those qualities are actually strengths of mine. But they're not effective on their own. “

I’m so impressed to hear that these things are your forte so early in teaching, because this actually is the most important basis of your classroom. So congrats! The relationship that students have with you AND with each other is what makes even the most difficult students work with you. You might not see a dramatic change in some of your students in 9 months, but you’ll see improvements. A simple compliment from their peers or a teacher is far more impactful than points or stuffs. If you are doing “rewards” it needs to be unexpected, not on an expected schedule for it to be effective. This is what all psychologists agree on. Sure, you can use Dojo just as a communication record with parents, but that could also be an anecdotal record since no ready-to-use programs match every teacher without some tailoring.

Here’s some red flags. Telling students that points will be given to the students writing quietly is not a meaningful management because he/she may not be writing with intent but just learning to pretend to write, or they aren’t taking risks or trying different ways of writing. The result is an uninspiring and boring piece of writing that is just completed. Some students need to confer or think out loud or move when they are thinking. “The first 5 students who do ... “ doesn’t work either. It’s hard to watch 20+ students and pick out the first 5 because the rest of the students who helped are left unappreciated. Some students only comply to these requests or expectations only when they are watched or ones who learned to put on a show to get the attention. These “rewards” puts kids against each other and not become a community. If the students are constantly rewarded with points or objects for things they are expected to contribute for the community of the class, they learn that they should be rewarded every time they do so. I’ sure you know some people with entitlement behaviors.

I do not consider having a teaching job or receiving a salary as rewards. After all, I paid tuition to fulfill the university requirements and work with the education system put on by the state and the district. I’m grateful to have a job, but I did put in 200% effort to be where I am at without sounding conceited. If my salary is a reward I should be paid far more and the pay should be increasing significantly each year to feel it is a reward. It is compensation for what I am entrusted to carry out. The pay allows me to devote the time to do these tasks. If you ask this question to any professionals they will all say no. You’ve asked that if we didn’t get “rewarded” in payment how many of us will do the work. If we had zero obligations to pay for anyone or anything and all our needs and wants are taken care of to enjoy life, you’ll be surprised to find all of us teaching for free. If teachers think their salary is the reward, they wouldn’t be teaching for long.

My suggestion is to think about long term effects of how you run your class is really teaching your students to become wholesome and contributing citizens in the future. I have nearly the same amount of teaching experience as your relative, and I’ve spend many years pondering, reflecting, deciding what kind of teacher I want to be. These things I mentioned and other advices you’ve already received are great life-long questions to ponder about. They took the time to comment because they care and want to help.
Good luck to your new school year and keep us posted!
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