A to Z Teacher Stuff ~ Teacher Resources, Lesson Plans, Themes, Tips, Printables, and more
advertise
Go Back   A to Z Teacher Stuff Forums > TeacherChat Forums > Elementary Education



Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #11  
Old 11-10-2012, 08:42 AM
Linguist92021's Avatar
Linguist92021 Linguist92021 is online now
Fanatic
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,873
Central Valley of California
High School English (Alt. Ed.)
Speaking of power of words. Words can be very powerful, and I forget about it often.

These 2 weeks I'm in an alcohol / drug rehab school, with high school boys and girls. I do not understand why I hear so much profanity, from boys and from girls, I'm actually shocked. Those F words just fly out of these young ladies/men at any given moment, like they're nothing. As a person, and of course as an educator I'm very sensitive to that (as I say, I'm allergic), and every time I hear one, I flinch.
I suspect it has a lot to do with staff expectation. Not necessarily teachers, but the counselors / staff are with student 24/7 and if they let them talk like that, teachers can make only co much impact in 6 hours.

So 2 days ago when I heard it, I said to this young lady: "Oh my God, just look at that beautiful face!! and then look at those words coming out of it! That is just so shocking". she paused for a second, I'm sure she was surprised that someone called her beautiful. Then everyone looked at me for clarification (boys and girls) and explained to them that it is so strange fro me to hear those type of words coming from such beautiful and handsome students. Some of them actually asked me: you think we're beautiful?

After that, every time a word would fly out, I would still say, 'again, that beautiful face! that just ruins it...". there was a significant decrease in these words, and every time there was one, now they would stop and think, especially the ladies.
It wasn't as effective with the guys, but it still made a difference.
Reply With Quote

 
  #12  
Old 11-11-2012, 06:25 AM
cutNglue's Avatar
cutNglue cutNglue is offline
Magnifico
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 8,925
Kindergarten Teacher
I once watched a classroom that used what I decided to term, "friend language." It was a lower elementary class. Then later I ran across an entire elementary school that adopted this language. (I was observing an ED program that was within the setting of a regular elementary school). Basically the idea was to create a sense of community through the power of words. "Carrie, can you help your friend Shane with..." "Hello friends, say hi to our friend Mrs. Crane (guest or professional). Our friend is here to observe all the nice things we do in class. Let's welcome our friend." "Did you hear our friend Greg? He made an excellent connection there! Greg, please repeat what you said so our friends can hear what you said." The adults even said it to parents. "Thank you for coming. If you will excuse me, I have a friend that needs my help."

Those observations really got me thinking about the power of words in building classroom community and the power of words to reinforce what we want to see. While the redundancy of the terms may be a bit much in the older grades, I think the more positive we praise students and the more specific we are (not your generic overdone "good job"), the more they want to do those things again.

Then recently I saw a classroom where there were all kinds of tangible reinforcers but the language was not there. I do not mean specifically friend language but general and specific praise. There were some differences.

Are tangible reinforcers necessary? If so, when? When do you select these and why? Are they backed up with verbal reinforcers? If so when and how?

(I've used both, but I'm just interested in discussing this on a more reflective level).
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-12-2012, 09:07 PM
Roobunny's Avatar
Roobunny Roobunny is offline
Companion
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 243
Texas
2nd Grade Teacher
I use "friends" ALL the time in my class.

Although I use a ticket system, a clip chart (where students can move both down AND up), and "warm fuzzies" (pom-poms in a jar for a whole class reward) I use TONS of positive verbal language.

During spelling word sorts I often tell students "good thinking" or "I am glad you noticed that these words have _____ in common and those words do not."

If a student answers something correctly or uses good problem-solving skills I often tell him/her "kiss your brain!" I've also been known to tell my students to "pat themselves on the back for a job well done."

I call attention to students doing something correctly. "Wow! I love how such-and-such is holding her scissors so safely while she walks to the trashcan" or "I think it is so responsible of so-and-so to clean up the mess he made!"

If a student receives a 100% on an AR quiz, they are allowed to push my Staples "Easy" button. When I hear the recorded voice say, "that was easy" I burst into applause, smile, and say "great job! Congratulations!" I've noticed so many of the other students are now congratulating and applauding too when they hear that one of their peers received a 100%

We recently did a storybook pumpkin project and I was totally blown away by many of the results. I told my students how "impressed" I was and that I could tell that they put a lot of time and effort into the assignment."

If my students do something for me (organizing my classroom library for example) I thank them and tell them I appreciate their help.


On another note, I am HUGE on respect. It's one of my three rules and I constantly drill it into my classes. I try to also be very aware of how I treat my students, and that I am treating THEM with respect. If a student volunteers to share his or her writing, I ask if I can sit in their chair while they share their piece at the front of the room. I never take anything out of their desk without asking. I ask if I can share something of theirs with the class before doing so...

Just the other day, I left their homework I had been grading outside of the library while we were shopping at the Book Fair. On our way back to the classroom a student informed me what I had done. I felt awful! I am also always onto them about being responsible and what I had done was definitely not responsible...I asked the class what my punishment should be and after a few silly suggestions, one student said I should write an apology letter, which I did that evening and read it aloud to them the very next morning.

Anyway...it makes me happy to know that I feel like in a given day, I say more positive things to my students than negative.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-12-2012, 10:00 PM
cutNglue's Avatar
cutNglue cutNglue is offline
Magnifico
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 8,925
Kindergarten Teacher
I will say I think that positive reinforcement language looks different at the elementary level compared to the high school level. From a few other threads that are currently going, I also gather that some of it is not as recognized as the overly dramatic form of praise but is still effective and worth considering in our overall plan.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-13-2012, 11:23 AM
pwhatley's Avatar
pwhatley pwhatley is offline
Maven
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 5,085
USA
3rd Grade Teacher
We have PBIS at our school as well, however, I don't feel it is implemented correctly. One example is that we have "tiger bucks" that are given out for positive behaviors (be responsible, respectful, resourceful, safe) (often as bribes for "challenging" kids), and "tickets" that are given out kind of like traffic tickets (for running on the breezeway, talking in the cafeteria, etc.). As a 1st grade teacher, I am the "banker" for my kiddos' bucks. Unfortunately, this year, the "tiger store" has opened exactly once, and then the kids were limited to spending 5 bucks. If something like sock hops, movies, popcorn, etc., were offered in addition to the once-per-9-weeks "tiger store," it might be a reinforcer, but my kiddos forget about them! The bucks are meaningless, because they never have the opportunity to use them.
__________________

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.
― Dr. Seuss
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11-13-2012, 01:31 PM
YoungTeacherGuy's Avatar
YoungTeacherGuy YoungTeacherGuy is offline
Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,431
California
Vice Principal (K-5)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roobunny View Post
I use "friends" ALL the time in my class.

Although I use a ticket system, a clip chart (where students can move both down AND up), and "warm fuzzies" (pom-poms in a jar for a whole class reward) I use TONS of positive verbal language.

I call attention to students doing something correctly. "Wow! I love how such-and-such is holding her scissors so safely while she walks to the trashcan" or "I think it is so responsible of so-and-so to clean up the mess he made!"

We recently did a storybook pumpkin project and I was totally blown away by many of the results. I told my students how "impressed" I was and that I could tell that they put a lot of time and effort into the assignment."

If my students do something for me (organizing my classroom library for example) I thank them and tell them I appreciate their help.

Anyway...it makes me happy to know that I feel like in a given day, I say more positive things to my students than negative.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
positive, reinforcement

Thread Tools

Forum Jump

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




Mr. Rebates

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:29 PM.


Copyright © 1997-2010 A to Z Teacher Stuff, L.L.C.  All Rights Reserved.
Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.
Questions, comments, and suggestions: Contact Us
Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.