Classroom rewards

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Peregrin5, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jul 3, 2012

    So I have expectations for academics and behavior in my classroom, and I wanted some feedback on what I can do to reward correct behavior.

    So each week, we have a specific behavioral and academic expectations to meet. Students must get it down perfect for a month, otherwise they are not allowed to participate in the reward. (i.e. if three people mess it up, they have to work quietly on something [in another room?] while the rest of the class participates in the reward)

    The tricky part is the reward. Our Wednesdays are minimum days, and I've been thinking about allowing them the choice between Socratic Cafe (they sit in circles with hot chocolate and hold free discussion about a topic I give them) or watching an episode of some Science related documentary like Through the Wormhole, Nova, or maybe even a science fiction episode.

    What do you think?
     
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  3. Jeky

    Jeky Comrade

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    Jul 3, 2012

    The Socratic Cafe sounds awesome to me, but I'm not sure they would see that as a "reward", per se.... I guess it depends, what topics would you consider?

    You could always try it once, and then use the videos as a back-up :)
     
  4. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I only gave rewards for behavior, not for academics. I feel that the grade is the actual reward for the academic part, or actually i should say consequence.
    For behavior I included behavior and effort. So for example if someone managed to stay disruption free, and even participated some, but chose not to do his work, he didn't get the reward.

    I think a month is way too long for a reward, even in high school, in my opinion weekly rewards are better. Also you want to make sure the reward they get is something that they want, otherwise they won't care and the system won't work.

    For example, at the detention center I was at, they had an 'honor roll' system. It was actually for behavior. Every Friday every teacher would mark students who were 'good' the whole week, did their work, etc, in other words were 'honorable'. academics didn't matter in this case, it was behavior and effort. Then we would get a flyer with all the students that made it on it, and post it in the classroom. Out of about 90 students 4-10 students would actually make it, because if just 1 teacher had a problem, the student would lose the status.

    The kids were actually curious to see if they made it, and felt good if they did, but a lot of them didn't care. There was no other reward for this, just the knowledge that they made honor roll. This was good. However, if they made honor roll roll for 8 consequitive weeks, then they got a reward of having lunch with a teacher. this sounds good, because instead of the crappy food they got, they could ask for pizza, etc. But they really didn't care for this lunch, and in my opinion 8 weeks is way too long for a reward like that. They also got an honor roll T shirt they could wear, instead of the uniform they had to wear, and they liked it, but overall, in my opinion this was a case where the reward didn't make sense overall, because it took too long to get it, and it wasn't all that. So it wasn't effective, and a lot of the students didn't care.
     
  5. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    I'm not a fan of rewards for behavior. I tried that with my one low 9th grade class during my student teaching. It got out of hand with them asking for rewards for every little thing they did right. Maybe I just didn't have an effective system, but I don't think I will be using rewards at all this year with the exception of a certificate and homework pass for the winners of my "Team Problem Solving Tournament". I think that just enforcing consequences fairly and consistently for behavior is more effective for me.
     
  6. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    So, if a student screws up on day 3 ... what keeps her from being a monster for the remainder of the month.

    I don't have the answer, just something to consider with reward systems.
     
  7. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    I just want to chime in and say that I think both reward ideas (documentary and Socratic cafe) are awesome! Maybe it's just my personality and interests that make me feel this way, but they're worth a shot. I will keep them in mind for trying in my (future) classroom.
     
  8. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    I think it will probably be difficult for many students to keep behaving for something that is a month away. It will be too abstract and off in the distance.
     
  9. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Well, I also have a consequence system in place. This would just be positive reinforcement and incentive to stay on point.
     
  10. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I was thinking that too. It was a toss up between having an immediate reward, and losing class time. How about every two weeks?
     
  11. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Yeah, I had issues with rewards last year too. I think it's possible but there has got to be some sort of knack to it.
     
  12. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    I still think two weeks is too far off in the distance. I have trouble waiting two weeks for things :)
     
  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jul 5, 2012

    But... hot chocolate! (and probably cookies) And this is simply being able to take a day off and sit back and discuss their opinions about topics in science with their friends.

    As for topics, they will generally be around the "Philosophy of Science" type things. For instance, the teacher who used this in her classroom used: "What is truth?" and "Why is scientific truth important?"
     
  14. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Me too. The problem I have with making it weekly though is that it would take up too much instruction time, as I learned last year, when I tried to do Preferred Activity Time. (I ended up just no longer doing PAT at all the last few months of school, and there was surprisingly much less outrage than I thought there would be.)

    Both of these rewards are too involved to merely spend 10 minutes a week on, but we can't afford the 30 minutes a week that it would need.

    But I really really want to fit it in. :unsure:
     
  15. MissApple

    MissApple Companion

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    Jul 5, 2012

    You could use those as long term rewards and perhaps implement something smaller for short term rewards. One of my coworkers has a friend who works at Walgreens and gets us free candy after every holiday. We'll use them as rewards for getting the higher comprehension score that week, finding a complex answer the fastest, or for the worst classes, getting through class with more positive points than negative. Of course it really depends on the population you're working with.
     
  16. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I wish I had access to free candy. xD The main reason I don't use candy often (only for test reviews) is because of the cost, and also because they begin to expect it, and find think its unfair that you don't give them candy for every question they answer. I want to cultivate more intrinsic motivation for class participation.
     

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