No Specific "Economy"?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by mathmagic, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Aug 23, 2016

    Midway through last year, I was thinking about how I wanted to shift this year to having a classroom economy. Even better, I heard about: http://myclassroomeconomy.org/home.html , which pretty much will send out all the main materials out to you pre-copied, on colored paper, etc..., so you just have to cut / organize it.

    To be fair, part of these thoughts might stem from the fact that we're a week out and I haven't prepped any of it...but holistically, I just feel like it'd take on a mind of its own, would take focus away from the main goals and messages in the classroom that I'm driving, not to mention some of the instructional time / my own focus on student learning. I'm thinking more and more that I'd prefer to have a common sense / authentic kind of situation where if we've been having an absolutely fantastic week, then we make the decision to go and play an extra game of kickball. Alternatively, if we're having a rough couple days, perhaps we take a block of time, and have a class discussion around why that's happening...or have a small group discussion with a group of kids who have been off-task a ton and come up with strategies together.

    Each of the past couple years, I've somewhat used a "point" system or tickets in a few different ways...accumulating as a class and sometimes as individuals, where we'd then use it to play our class game or have some choice time...or they'd be able to get something from a prize box or use my teacher's chair... but I always felt like it didn't make too much of a difference in behavior, and throughout the year, it became either less effective or took on the mind of its own and morphed a bit. Another thought is in terms of evaluations: I'd worry that not having any specific system (even if there's the more holistic one happening) might not look that good.

    Am I wrong for thinking this, or going in with no specific "economy"? Should I still use something but have it extremely pared down?
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 23, 2016

    This is what I have always done and continue to do--no formal "system" of any kind. Firm, fair and consistent is what will resonate with the kids.
     
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  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I think it will depend on your admin. My admin don't ban formal systems, but they certainly encourage treating students fairly and respectfully. I've heard that one of my previous schools is going this route as well. In that case, I heard that the admin said no clip charts or cards were allowed. I also received another job offer at a school where I explained that I would not use a formal system in my classroom if they were to hire me. They really liked that about my management style, and it's one of the reasons they offered me the job... although I turned it down.

    This is my first year as a classroom teacher using no formal system. It's only 7 days in, but I love it. I'll admit that there have been a few times where my instinct was to tell a student to move his clip, but I'm glad that I am forced to find better ways to deal with disruptions and inappropriate behavior. My first line of defense is building relationships with my students, and not having a formal system is a key part of that.
     
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  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Aug 23, 2016

    If you get a chance, or if you use Twitter, there is a NJ teacher, Jessica Palombi, who created Philville, a total economy for her class. Had the opportunity to hear her speak about a week ago and she is awesome and what she does just blows my mind. She did teach at Riverdale, but had the impression that perhaps she was moving from there. Teaches third grade, I think, but there is nothing elementary about the concept. Wish I could tell you more - a quick search only got me to the twitter posts. Maybe you could get farther - kind of beat tonight.
     
  6. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Companion

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    I'm glad I'm not the only one who teaches without a formal system. I do use specialized individual behavior systems for specific students as needed. Every time I've tried a full class formal system it has not been as effective as being firm and consistent, establishing rules and regulations, reading and following IEPS and behavior plans, and addressing behavior with natural consequences. I have found that formal systems takes a one-size fits all approach and what works for student A doesn't work for student B. I have had no complaints from administration so far and my students are on task and learning throughout the day.
     
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  7. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Aug 24, 2016

    Natural consequences are the best kind of consequences.
     
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  8. MsAbeja

    MsAbeja Companion

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    I prefer the concept of the Responsive Classroom to a classroom economy.
     
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  9. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I like economies in theory, but I know I couldn't be bothered to really do them. Why can't kids just learn?
     
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  10. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Aug 26, 2016

    I agree with the idea that classroom economies promote good behavior just to get rewarded, instead of good behavior because it promotes learning and a good relationship with your teacher and peers. The SCM has a good article about why you shouldn't reward students for good behavior: http://www.smartclassroommanagement.com/2011/03/05/rewarding-students-for-good-behavior/

    I will say that I do provide small rewards for students doing tasks that I would view as extra work or something that saves me time and is above what is expected of them, for instance, passing back papers, organizing parts of my room, sweeping the floor, etc. I also provide rewards during our academic games just because it heightens the fun and it doesn't cheapen the learning. But these are just like tickets (can be saved for engineering activities) or pieces of candy.
     
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  11. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Aug 27, 2016

    I'm like you, but I'm going with a class economy (via the site you mentioned) starting Monday. I'm going to tweak it to my vision... and I do foresee a lot of work figuring out how to make it all run smoothly. But I like the idea of having this "thing" that I can refer to throughout the year while teaching lessons... It being something of a common experience they can all appreciate. I just hope that I can manage it.
     

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