No more candy and no more takin' away recess!

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Master Pre-K, Aug 17, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    5,278
    Likes Received:
    740

    Aug 17, 2007

    Teachers in Texas have not been allowed to give out candy for at four or five years. I forgot exactly when that law was implemented.

    When I gave out candy, I would give one or two M&M's or other small candies. For some kids, that was a huge motivator, but sitting in a special chair all day or eating lunch in the classroom with the teacher work just as well.
     
  2. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    852
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 18, 2007

  3. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    852
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 18, 2007

    I think that this could be a good compromise for teachers whose schools allow this. At least you're still providing an outlet for all the physical energy.
     
  4. amedinaoh

    amedinaoh Companion

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 18, 2007

    MsWK- I see that you are a director? Are you in a classroom with 24 students or more for six hours a day, five days a week? There should be an even balance like everything. Too often, the pendulum swings too far right or left without a middle. Administrators need to trust that the people THEY hired to teach the children, can make appropriate decisions when it comes to activity/ candy/ etc.

    Personally, while in college, I loved Alfie Kohn, but the more experience I obtained, the less I liked some of his ideas. Especially the non homework rule. In Asian families, students work on homework or study for more than an hour or so, each night. Academics always come first and provide honor to the family. I, for one, am thankful for the high percentage of Asian doctors, researchers, etc.
     
  5. sundrop

    sundrop Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    552
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 18, 2007

    Our school adopted a Wellness Policy last year also. It states that students must have a healthy snack one hour before lunch and lists some suggestions. No classroom parties before lunchtime and still only healthy foods. Birthday treats and holiday party treats must also follow the guidelines. No soda during the school day. Students are not to be punished by losing recess, but are also not to be punished by being forced to do physical activity. I'm not sure that it was 100% successful this first year, but it's a start. Maybe the next step will be applying this to the teachers' lounge...yikes!
     
  6. ChangeAgent

    ChangeAgent Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Messages:
    457
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 18, 2007

    I, too, have read Kohn (the first selection while writing a research paper on motivation, which definitely skewed my view) and Gurian (though his style and approach first enfuriated me). I think Kohn is very convincing in his "punished by rewards" analysis.

    However, I have come to adopt a "related axes of motivation" model. I do believe that we must instill intrinsic motivation in our students. However, I also recognize that positive reinforcement and even extrinsic tangibles are necessary for some students. Yes, grades and praise act as extrinsic motivators. However, adding questions to positive comments--"great work! What made you write/draw that?"--that engage metacognition and futher consideration is preferrable.

    We, as humans, then, are affected both by intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Motivation does not seem to be on continuum with extrinsic at one pole and intrinsic on another. I imagine two intersecting line segments (where they intersect with one another, I'm not sure; it may look like an X, or a T, or something in between). One line segment is high to low intrinsic motivation, the other is high to low extrinsic motivation.

    As adults, we do things we don't like because we need the extrinsic motivation--whether it be money, recognition, praise. We also do things for the pleasure of it--help others, tend to our loved ones, exercise. These two aspects of motivation intersect. So long as we encourage children to increase their intrinsic motivations, extrinsic motivations will not necessarily harm them.

    Of course, there is the philosophy (forgive me, I forget the name of the philosopher) that all acts are selfish since even in helping people, we get a good feeling of being a "good" person. In this sense, even intrinsic motivation becomes a tangible.

    Regardless, to say a teacher should never use a reward seems inappropriate. Each of us may view an event differently. What one student may view as a reward (teach attention), another student may think nothing of. Being cognizant of or students' actions and needs, as well as what motivates them to learn, is of the utmost importance.

    Do I prefer extrinsic motivation? No, but if it aids in student learning while I am also working to instill intrinsic motivation through personal interest, genuine enthusiasm, and relevant connections, extrinsic motivation may not be as detrimental. Being aware of the effects of extrinsic motivation is itself a positive step in helping us to awaken motivation within our students.
     
  7. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    2,409
    Likes Received:
    1

    Aug 18, 2007

    We can't take away recess or give candy but at least we have other things in place to help. Our administration has given us support for good/bad kiddos and I think that's great. Without support from up top, it does get difficult.
     
  8. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    4,975
    Likes Received:
    366

    Aug 18, 2007

    Some people like to do graphing with M&M's and such. They may also have the M&M counting book. Nothing wrong with that lesson. It's being creative. I guess they'll have to go and make colored copies of M&M's and cut them out for the students then, huh?
     
  9. ABall

    ABall Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    2,738
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 18, 2007

    I must disagree with the origional poster. I think kids in school do spend a big part of thier lives going to school, and though just with one teacher a year...... they learn the biggest part of common sense stuff from those teachers. I think a lot of them learn about nutrition and good habits from their teachers.

    I have been trying not to give candy for rewards, but stickers, pencils, paper awards, bookmarkers etc...

    But I'm also glad I have the choice.
     
  10. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    7

    Aug 18, 2007

    I just quickly glanced through these posts, so forgive me if this has been said already...but, I like our district's new wellness policy, which sounds similar to the original poster's. I think for a long time, teachers, myself included, relied entirely too heavily on candy, treats, etc, as rewards. When you get to school on time, does your principal bring you a treat? When you have all your kids working productively, and s/he walks by, do you get an M&M? When you behave in the teacher's lounge for x amount of days in a row, do you get a party? (ok, maybe that one sometimes happens) My point is, why do we reward kids for doing what they are supposed to do? Now is it not a responsibility, but a bonus-if I sit quietly, I get a treat-but if I don't want my Smartie/sticker/etc, I just won't sit quietly!

    Now before you start bashing me and saying, yeah, but what about...of course there are times when a person deserves an extra reward. My sister just spent a lot of extra time on a project at her tech job, and was given an engraved iPod by her company for thanks. But why, as teachers, do we immediately have to turn to food-and usually sticky, sweet, fattening food? Conversely, why do we always turn to taking away beneficial exercise time-is it really succcessful to punish a kid in that manner? Consequences for misbehavior should be related to the behavior. If a student or class is talking while you are teaching, taking away something that may not occur for more than an hour is not accomplishing what you think it is. Yes, they have time to think about it, but with one not related to the other, it is not made real for them. I'm not sure what to suggest as a consequence for talking in class because-and I am trying really hard not to sound braggy-but I just don't have this problem. I spend a lot of time focusing on this at the beginning of school, I use a lot of state changes, I use a lot of cues, and the kids just learn-it becomes a non issue. And I know what you are thinking-she doesn't have HIM or HER in her class...I do happen to have a kid this year who has little to no self control and is notorious for talking. I talked to him, explained that I need this time for my turn to talk, gave him a small notebook to jot notes in, and I take 5 minutes during free time to just let him talk. I also explain to the kids that I will ALWAYS give them time to talk after "level 0" time (silent for me). It has worked for me-but may not for all-but back to the original point-how can you get creative in doling out consequences?

    As I tell my kids, I have talked for way too long, it's your turn now. I'm sure there are people thinking, what an idiot-you have no idea what it's like in my situation! True, but you may not have an idea what it's like in that kid's house who has McDonald's for dinner every night and gets exercise by getting dad a beer-maybe for 7 hours a day, we can give them some kind of healthy lifestyle.
     
  11. patti2

    patti2 Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Messages:
    557
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 18, 2007

    I agree with the post that said to make the kids walk laps. I had just suggested this to the playground monitor the other day and said MY class was going to do this instead of sitting on the wall. I think they would hate to do the laps more than sit anyway. I had one child last year who could have cared less about school even though I TRIED everything I could think of to motivate him-I finally took away the thing that he loved best....computer time....and it worked really fast. Some kids do NOT respond and one HAS to take action.
     
  12. hipteachergirl

    hipteachergirl Companion

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 18, 2007

    When I was in elementary school, we had to walk laps around our playground as punishment. We HATED it then. It still took time away from recess, but without taking away physical activity. Even though I am only a student teacher, there has been a big focus on this "no candy" phenom. Our district has completely done away with it. THere is the exception of classroom parties though. I believe it is like the other poster said that there must also be healthy options available. If you want a good book to read about punishments/rewards/consequences, I suggest Teaching Children to Care. I don't remember the author at this moment, but if I think of it, I'll post it later. It's a great resource. One thing that a teacher in one of my practicums did is she gave homework passes or something of the sort. I think she even did a "letter grade bump" thing, where the child got 10% added to an assignment of their choice. Another cool idea for older kids is to alllow them to be the teacher for a short time (with your supervision of course). Just my ideas, but anyway...
     
  13. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,597
    Likes Received:
    33

    Aug 18, 2007

    One thing I think many of you have forgotten is that the OP was talking about the issue related to the already difficult job of being a substitute! For a substitute who is already trying to figure out the day's lesson plans with 15 minutes notice, classroom management can be achieved with a lifesaver and a threat of recess removal. We should all keep this in mind when leaving plans for a sub to let them know what rewards work for this class and what the district will not allow.
     
  14. moonbeamsinajar

    moonbeamsinajar Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    954
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 18, 2007

    Masterprek, your new policy sounds alot like our Head Start policy that has been in place for as long as I have worked for HS. We cannot use food (of any kind) as a reward, have never had holiday parties (therefore no candy and treats at Halloween, Christmas, or Easter), can only prepare healthy foods when doing the weekly required nutrition activities, and so on. Also, we have never been allowed to take away outdoor time from a child to manage behavior. The kids don't seem to mind, but the parents are often unhappy about the party issue. However, I really think part of the childhood obesity problem is due to the fact that few of my preschoolers ever play outside. Most spend their free time playing video games and watching tv. Of course, the fatty, unhealthy school lunch we serve them does not help either. French fries every day, even with pizza! Vegetables swimming in butter! Yuck!
     
  15. hipteachergirl

    hipteachergirl Companion

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 18, 2007

    Yeah, I don't think I was so opposed to using candy as a reward until I got a job working at a buffet restaurant while I'm in college. I see what most people let their kids eat and it is ridiculous. Now, I'm not a health nut by any means, but geez! They are crazy.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. usfangel,
  2. Ms.Holyoke
Total: 738 (members: 3, guests: 702, robots: 33)
test