External vs Internal rewards

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Learner4Life, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. Learner4Life

    Learner4Life Cohort

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    Sep 22, 2007

    I'm sure that this has stirred up some debate on here before but I'm struggling with this one. I have a 7th grade student that is VERY concerned with external rewards. Everytime I ask him to do something he wants to come up with some kind of deal like "if I do my homework you'll buy me a candy bar." I've NEVER consented to this and have no idea where he got the idea that I would! However, I talked to the school counselor and she wants me to comply!!! Granted, I've only been working with this child for 4 weeks now and maybe she does know more about this situation than I do (which is a whole other post in itself!) but I am really REALLY struggling with bribing this student to do every homework assignment I want him to do!
    Any advice on this one?
     
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  3. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Sep 22, 2007

    I have no problems with external rewards but not when it is EXPECTED.
     
  4. MJH

    MJH Companion

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    Sep 22, 2007

    I agree, I do not use external rewards either. I do give free time every once and awhile as a class reward if they have made it through a difficult skill that I've been teaching. Plus when I spend my own money on my classroom, which I spend way to much, I want it for something that every child will benefit from.

    I tell my kids and parents my expectations at the beginning of the year. Students are expected to attend school, behave and get all their work completed. They should want to so that they can learn, be successful and responsible citizens. I teach in a Title I school so it's very hard to reach the students sometime because they do want something in return but they soon realize that's learning can be fun and a reward in itself.

    I teach 2nd grade this year but taught K for 14 and know many teachers who do use rewards to get the kids to behave and do their work and then once the kids reach middle school that motivation is gone. I actually had a middle school teacher tell me she really wished that elementary teachers would stop that practice because with middle schools being departmentalized they can have up to 100 different kids a day. Imagine the money that would have to be spent on rewards.

    Now, if the councelor wants to buy the candy bars and give them to him then send him daily to get his candy bar.
     
  5. goopp

    goopp Devotee

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    Sep 22, 2007

    I give rewards (like Jolly Ranchers, etc.) but not when they ask for them, and not every time. I have 4th graders, but one of their favorite rewards is to push my Easy Button. I reserve it for "special" things, so they think it's the greatest thing ever. (Even my parents love to push it...I haven't had a parent walk in my room yet who hasn't asked to push it.)

    I also give out Caught Being Good coupons. Those go into a box, and I draw out one every Friday and the winner gets to choose from the treasure box. They love that, and it's only 1 student per week.
     
  6. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Sep 22, 2007

    Last week I had a mom promise to give her daughter $20.00 if she passed her spelling test!!! Well she passed. We only have 6 words, however this girl can't use those words when she writes for me. She has no idea at all how to spell them this week. I hope this mom doesn't make a habit of this!!!
     
  7. Here2Learn

    Here2Learn Companion

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    Sep 23, 2007

    rewards and punishments is a very bad habit to ever begin. they begin to do things only to receive the reward and not because it's the right thing to do. they avoid doing things only because they don't want to be punished and not because they know why they shouldn't do it. i hate reward systems.
     
  8. Learner4Life

    Learner4Life Cohort

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    Sep 23, 2007

    Thanks for the imput... for some reason I'm getting the feeling there is more debate with this child than understanding. We are trying all different kinds of methods to try and get through to him and this up-coming week I will have the first interaction with his parents through a meeting concerning his grades (all F's) and his motivation. Unfortunately, the types of rewards he recieves will probably be the least of his issues this school year.
     
  9. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Sep 23, 2007

    Kids should never ask for rewards and you should tell him that! You should explain that you may give things to the class over time, yet it is extremely rude if the students ever expect it from you.

    I reward intrinsically more than anything else- yet some kids still have those "expectations". I guess it's that way in any class, any state, any grade level. Bottom line- I just don't comply to those "expectations", especially when they are inconsiderate along with it. Eventually, I reward a little extrinsically towards the middle of the school year- and it goes well enough- yet I set the expectations first with them and get them on the right page. My students, though, are very much used to the grade-level-wide money system from third grade and probably are surprised that they have not received anything this year yet. I let them all demonstrate to me before I do anything like that.
     
  10. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Sep 23, 2007

    Hmm... maybe he comes from a very unsupportive household and doesn't receive any sorts of rewards or have any consequences at home, so perhaps... he's seeking them out from the other main adult(s) in his life.
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 24, 2007

    Emma, I would tell the mom that even though her daughter passed the spelling test last week, she's not spelling them correctly this week. And though its ultimately her decision how to reward her daughter, I wouldn't think this would work very well.
     
  12. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    Sep 24, 2007

    I would never buy candy bars. Those are too expensive. I prefer to give away little pieces of candy at the end of the day for staying on the top color (includes being able to complete all work for the day).

    I do not reward students for turning in homework. That is part of their "job." If parents and the counselor want to give rewards, that is fine. I do remember my parents giving me $10 for every "A" on my report card. :p For every "B" I received $1. For every "C" I had to give them $5. :p It worked like a charm, but they stopped doing that when I started bring home straight A's every report card :p
     
  13. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Sep 24, 2007

    All you have to do is remind that woman that technically the schools are supposed to be supporting healthy habits and a chocolate candy each time is not promoting that.
     

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