Candy as a reward

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Aliceacc, Dec 9, 2011.

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  1. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Another thread got me thinking-- not always a good thing :)

    But I've been thinking about this.

    I've never heard of using candy as a reward for good behavior in school except here on A to Z.

    My 8 year old daughter is not allowed to bring candy to school as a snack. When her birthday rolls around, I'm not allowed to send in candy-- or any other food-- as a celebration.

    Why are teachers allowed to give that same candy -- or any other food--as a reward?
     
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  3. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    I'm in my 4th year of teaching and candy has been used as a reward in both states I've taught in.

    I don't know why it's allowed. I don't like the idea myself. I don't like food being used as a reward.

    However, in my treasure chest this year, I did add a few dum dum suckers:(...the kids really wanted me to and I caved in.

    We are having a Christmas party(it's called Christmas) and the kids are being asked to bring food.

    The kids can bring food for birthdays and any celebration as long as they clear it with central office and the P.

    The thing that really distrubed me was when I was asked to bring homemade items. Everyone did!!! I stopped at the bakery and bought mine. That just seems like to big of risk to take.
     
  4. Zabeth

    Zabeth Rookie

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    I don't know, but personally, I feel it's a bad idea to reward with candy. As teachers (especially as substitute/supply) teachers, we can't always know about 1) medical issues such as diabetes and allergies or 2) religous issues associated with food.

    As a supply teacher for three years, I have never rewarded children with tangibles like candy. In my classrooms, I expect students to behave appropriately because a calm classroom is its own reward.

    Pollyannaish? Naive? Perhaps.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I don't reward with candy.

    I do have an estimating jar...kids who are the 'excellent estimator' each week take the jar home and fill it. Sometimes it's candy in the jar...I'd rather it was some thing else and will probably change 'the rule' for next year. This year we ESTIMATE about the contents only. If the contents are a snack, I send it home for parent approval.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Don't get me wrong-- I am a big believer in the theraputic benefits of a little junk food.

    But it does seem to me that it's sending quite a mixed message. Schools are all about healthy eating. Whole wheat bread on the sandwiches, peanut free zones and schools, demands that snacks be healthy, no more bringing in cupcakes (or anything else) to celebrate a birthday. God forbid I put candy in Kira's snack the day after Halloween!!

    Then they go to class and get candy for being good. It just doesn't make sense to me.
     
  7. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    I will offer candy as an option. In my class students get raffle tix for participating ( the more you participate the better your chance.) At the end of the week I do a drawing and a lollipop or bag of hot fries ( my students are obsessed with those foul crispy sticks) are among the choices as well as passes for homework, journal, and other things. I don't see it as a huge deal unless you are passing out candy all day, every day.
     
  8. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Alice, don't quote me on this but I'm wondering if the schools that do allow candy as a reward are all about nutrition in other areas. I'm willing to bet these same schools have not caught up to the program on nutritional acts quite yet. We see everyday how schools vary so widely.
     
  9. bondo

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    I don't have a problem with it as an option for a reward. If the candy is simply used as bribery for good behavior, that's another issue. But an occasional treat here and there is not a big deal. I have had my own treat stash for a very long time :)
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    That may be true, cut.

    Since I've never heard of it, after 3 kids in elementary, maybe it's just not a common practice in our district or in the others around here.
     
  11. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Cut, that's the part that kills me. They are all about nutrition. Took out the chip and soda machine. Only whole wheat, no fat mayo, and no Ranch dressing (that one almost caused a riot last year). Yet, candy is used as a reward. Go figure!!!
     
  12. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    As the mother of a diabetic child, can I tell you how much I hate candy being passed out in school? Even if the teacher offers and alternative, he's still singled out, paraded around the class as "different", then comes home angry. It's even worse when it's something that the kids work up to for a period of time. He then gets weeks to stew about how unfair it is that all his classmates are going to get an ice cream sundae party for learning their multiplication tables, and he has to learn them anyway, and then when all his friends go to the party he has to stay behind with the kids who couldn't get them memorized, so not only does he not get the treat, the rest of the grade makes fun of him for not being able to learn something.

    Then, the teacher wonders why he's often ill-behaved in the days leading up to the "reward".
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 9, 2011

    I think that, for primary school aged kids, there's kind of a fine line between "bribe" and "reward."

    What was a reward last week becomes a bribe next week... "gee, if we're good, we get another reward!"
     
  14. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    MM, I've been feeling verrry guilty for caving to the pressures of 6th graders and adding in the dum dum suckers. After reading what you wrote...I'm taking them out Monday. So sorry for your child. His story has changed the way I will do things.
     
  15. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I was rewarded with treats beginning in kindergarten. Candy, pizza parties, ice cream socials, coke, you name it. That's how I was finally exited from speech...coke rewards! Candy is used often at my school at the classroom level and schoolwide (candy bars and ice cream for good state scores, report cards, and behavior).
     
  16. matherine

    matherine Rookie

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    My school is also focused on nutrition - our school lunches have such great veggies and fresh fruits that I eat them every day. We also have no soda or vending machines. Yet, several teachers and the health-conscious, outdoorsy school counselor all recommended that I buy a bag of candy to help reward kids when I talked to them about classroom management. (Granted I've also received much more substantial advice than just giving them candy.:D) Another teacher is known for his "chocolate drawer" that kids can choose from. I didn't realize things were so different at other schools!
     
  17. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Donzijo, thanks. You made me cry.

    I just re-read what I wrote. Boy do I sound bitter! I apologize for that, but I think that would probably be because I dealt with a melt down just a couple days ago, so I'm still irritated.

    It frustrates me even more because I know, as a teacher, there are other rewards that kids love just as much. My 7th graders went bonkers for scratch and sniff stickers. I could get them to do nearly anything by offering them! Heck, even a "good job!" is enough of a reward in many cases to have the kids going and bragging to their parents.
     
  18. matherine

    matherine Rookie

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    Yeah, the day I handed out candy kids the rest of the period was full of comments prefaced with "Can I get candy if I...?"
     
  19. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I agree with you Alice and see it all the time. I think it's very hypocritical on our part. Our district has outlawed any un-nutrional snacks with the exception of birthday cupcakes brought in by parents on the child's birthday. However, teachers do still give out those treats. I think the problem is how it's being policed-or if it is. I just don't think anyone at our school notices that Ms. Smith handed out lollipops as a reward.
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Funny aside, on the subject of stickers:

    I've been telling my kids for a while that this week's test would include a Santa sticker, and they know I personalize my stickers.

    Well, needless to say, I can NOT find those #$!# stickers. I KNOW they're in this house somewhere, but I can't find them. So I subsituted snowman stickers.

    Of course the kids remembered, and asked if I could use the Santa stickers on next week's quiz.

    And, yes, I do teach high school.
     
  21. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Do professional adults really need to be policed????
     
  22. massteacher

    massteacher Companion

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    Dec 9, 2011

    We are not allowed to have candy at my school, and would definitely prohibited from giving it as a reward. Kids can't bring it in their lunches, or bring it in for birthday parties.
     
  23. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    many years ago, we always used candy as a reward, but now - no longer .. it just seems not necessary
     
  24. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dunno about teachers needing to be policed - but trust me when I tell you that grownups light up when they get a Seal of Approval from me. (It's not a sticker. It's me slapping my hands together and barking like a seal. In public, yet.)
     
  25. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    It's illegal in my state so I don't give out candy.

    There are some who, in spite of being told this was against policy, still pass out candy and makes those of us who follow the rules seem like a big bunch of meanies!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  26. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    The only candy in my classroom were mints during testing (apparently they stimulate the brain?) and jelly beans.

    My mother in law would send me bags of Jelly Belly beans from California, and I would put them in a glass jar on the desk. The kids knew them as 'jelly beans from California'. They would do ANYTHING for one those! The room would get spotless in 5 seconds as they search for the secret piece of trash. They would bring papers backed signed the very next day. Library books would miraculously be found. The beans were handed out sparingly, which made them even more coveted. It also lured other teachers to stop by my room and chat, so that was nice as well.

    I will say that the schools I had them at were not into health like previously mentioned. They weren't against healthy, but there were no bans on sweets or candy, certainly not if brought in by the students at lunch. I think that's a bit extreme. If I want to stick a little treat in my child's lunch, I would think that would be my prerogative as a parent.
     
  27. MrsLilHen

    MrsLilHen Comrade

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    I don't give candy as a reward, but every once in a rare rare while (like maybe 2 - 3 times a year) I will pass out dum dums or air heads, or have a hot chocolate party as a special treat. We are encouraged to have healthy snacks, and usually that is what we all do - but every so often, a little treat is just a nice touch. If I had a diabetic kid in my classroom, I wouldn't do this. I have kids with bad allergies in my class this year, so I don't do the hot chocolate thing.
     
  28. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    As I've said many times before, it's hard on the child who can't have the edible treat, whatever it is for whatever the reason.

    I've been the Mom who has watched a 5 year old melt down because the hostess didn't read the label and he couldn't have a piece of birthday cake or ice cream. Or the child who can't frost cookies because of the ingredients in the frosting. It's not fun.

    As the teacher, I've run all over the building looking for a comparable treat because the parent of the birthday party either didn't make sure the item had no peanuts or sent in a home-made item with no ingredient list. Sometimes I was successful & other times not, which resulted in a phone call to Mom to prep her for the disappointment her child was about to face. She was always great about trying to rush something up or taking her child to get a special treat after school.

    So, I'm glad we can't give out food treats any more. it's one less worry for me!
     
  29. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I have a jar of peppermints on my desk. I give them out randomly, not for anything in particular. Honestly most of the time they are for sore throats and coughs. Sometimes a peppermint will perk up a sleepy kid or soothe an upset stomach.

    I have had a lot of diabetic children, typically 1-2 per year They never got special treats. Many parents actually request that their children NOT be given sugar free candy. It's often higher in carbs than the sugary versions. One teacher bragged that she gave her children pretzels because she had a diabetic student she didn't want to single out the diabetic child. She had no idea that pretzels were high in carbs and often raised blood sugars MORE than a single piece of candy would have.
     
  30. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    I'll admit I didn't read the whole post, but I just want to add something that boggles the mind...my aunt is a TA in a poor-er school on Long Island. They went on a health kick and decided NO unhealthy snacks were to be brought in and no parties- no cupcakes for birthdays, holiday treats, etc. Now my aunt is very generous and loves to bake and always would make (gourmet) cupcakes for many of the kids bdays if their parents weren't planning on sending anything in. Not anymore since they are not allowed to have sweets in school....let me tell you kids are not becoming obese from 1 cupcake a month.

    Well, here's the kicker....November rolled around and the PTA sent home the Miss Chocolate fundraiser to sell....she was livid and went to the school board, got some people to go with her- how ridiculous that the students can not have a cupcake for a birthday, but they can have the unhealthy stuff if the school is going to make 50% profit from it!!!

    3 years later...no cupcakes for birthday and they are still selling Miss Chocolate AND cookie dough! :dizzy:
     
  31. SpecSub

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    When I was a kid, we didn't get rewards at all. There were no prize boxes, classroom rewards, treats, etc. I know this is kind of irrelevant to the current topic, but when did we start deciding we needed to reward kids so much? I'm guilty of doing it too.
     
  32. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Lesson Plan

    If candy passes as sophisticated incentive management when will identifying a picture pass as reading? Salute to those who go the extra mile and plan not only what goes in students' heads but, also, what goes in their stomachs.
     
  33. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I did Jolly Ranchers one year. What a pain! They kept whining about them, so I never did it again. I do keep sugar-free peppermints in my desk. They're more of an occasional reward (using a vocab word in class in context, etc) or for a sore throat. For whole class rewards, they get a one-song dance party. They seem to like that even better than candy.
     
  34. yarnwoman

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    I can sooooooo relate to this. My son is nut allergic and it was the same for him. Food was always used as a reward for behavior etc. in his classes. He got to the point in middle school where he really hated going to school some days. One day I asked him why he did not want to go to school and he said that a science teacher was doing a lab with snickers and peanut m&m's and he would have to sit out the lab. So I e-mailed the teacher and sent in supplies out of my own pocket so my son could complete a school assignment.


    Now that I teach 3rd grade and have students with the same allergy I go out of my way to make sure everything is safe and everyone can participate. But then I also do that for the "Holiday" celebrations so that those who do not celebrate in the smae way can participate.
     
  35. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    I wish that there was more consistency with this in the schools. During my three years of subbing, I have seen a tone of candy given out by the teachers every day. Then I did a long-term in a different district and had a few pieces of nut free candy in a prize box with other non food prizes. I found out that it was against the "Healthy Kid Act." I'm still confused about this because now that I'm back to subbing in the other districts, I'm still seeing a tone of candy passed out. If it's something for the entire state, I think that everyone should abide by it. It makes it confusing.

    I've never given out candy when I have done day-to-day subbing unless the teacher that I am subbing for left it. I did have a class last week though that I did not give candy to even though the teacher left it. The class was horrible all day long! When they asked at the end of the day where there candy was I said that they had not earned it today. The kids complained about how I wasn't being fair and they didn't have to work for the candy they just got it. Of course, I still didn't give it out. Candy seems like a reward to me and I'm not rewarding a class for not following directions and being disrespectful.
     
  36. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I guess it depends on the school. We give candy at our school.
     
  37. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I remember getting candy also when I was in elementary. I specifically remember a time when I got gummy bears.
     
  38. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    At my school there is no rule against what you can and can't use as rewards. It is up to the teachers discretion. I rarely ever give out rewards, but right now I do have an extra stash of small pieces of candy. For a few minor things here and there I have offered up some pieces. They have to wait to eat it later, but its all in good fun. They see me eating sweets in the classroom, so its not like I can tell them sweets are bad. I get students to bring me sweets sometimes. Yum.
     
  39. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    I don't give food as a reward.

    But I *do* give out food. I make cupcakes for birthdays, parents send in cake sometimes, I keep a huge bowl of fruit that I fill once a week (apples, bananas, pears, oranges), and I have a stash of tiny candy bars that students sometimes ask for in the afternoon.

    Our school has a very serious emphasis on nutrition. Everything in the cafeteria is organic or local or both. But these are high school students and they need to learn to make good choices. Most of them are extremely healthy. Most are athletic, many are vegetarians, and all of them routinely eat tons of veggies and fruit. So if they want a cupcake once a month, I think it's ok, and so do the parents.

    None of my students are diabetic, but lots of them decline candy and cupcakes in favor of fruit. They just like those foods better. And I should say that my cupcakes are made from scratch with real butter, etc. So they're sugary, but a little old-fashioned. I never, ever use nuts.
     
  40. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Great story. It's this type of story that should be told when people talk things like combining districts and government's role in education, etc. Let the people decide.
     
  41. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Joy...as you learned from your LTS position, it's best to NOT use candy as an incentive...
    http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?p=1538994#post1538994
     
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