Positive Reinforcement Ideas for Subs?

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by sidhewing, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. sidhewing

    sidhewing Rookie

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    Mar 27, 2011

    Positive Reinforcement Ideas for Subs in Middle/High school?

    Hey Everyone!

    I've gotten such good advice here in the past, so I figured I would shoot this question out and see if anyone had any ideas.

    I'm slowly stepping my foot into the substitute teaching door. I'm playing around with some classroom management ideas, consequences for negative behaviors, but what I don't really have are ideas for positive reinforcement in the middle or high school classroom.
    I was thinking I could rewards students with:
    -writing a personal and positive note to the teacher about particular students that were behaving.
    -for younger classes hand out stickers (but I've had stickers denied by boys that were "too cool" to get them)
    - specific, positive feedback.

    Any other ideas for how I can reward a student or a class with something positive?
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Mar 28, 2011

    Just the act of saying, "Wow, Susie, I really like how you are sitting so nicely on the rug..." goes a long way. This works with younger students up to and through high school. Everyone loves a compliment and my sixth graders just eat these up.
     
  4. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    Mar 28, 2011

    A retired teacher recently subbed in my room. She had the class earn a treat, letter by letter throughout the day with good behavior. (It was a movie I had left out for her to use) The kids LOVED earning letters. I've even taken to doing this some days in my room. :D
     
  5. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Mar 28, 2011

    I put the word "Superstars" (or you could use rock stars for older grades) up on the board, and would have the children go up and write their name under it when I caught them doing the right thing. I'd have them put a check next to their name if they continued to behave.

    My goal was to get the entire class on the board, and to make sure that the students who were behaviorally challenged had the most checks next to their name.

    It sounds very simple, but you will be amazed at how hard the children will work to get on that board and have the most checks next to their name.
     
  6. ciounoi

    ciounoi Cohort

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    Mar 28, 2011

    Haha, after three years of subbing, I have come to the conclusion that I can't seem to get the hang of positive reinforcement. The kids just try to take advantage of it. I find that applying firm, consistent (at least for the day!) consequences along with general friendliness and kindness works better for me than granting extra recess or other privileges. :)
     
  7. bunches3614

    bunches3614 Rookie

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    Apr 2, 2011

    I subbed for the first time yesterday, and it happened to be a sixth grade class. I used the Rockstar idea, and it worked like a charm! When things would get a little louder than I liked, or when they were not on task, all I had to day was "I am not seeing a whole lot of Rockstars right now", and they would get right back to work. Now this was a class of overacheivers, but I can really see how it would work everywhere. I also left the list up on the board for the teacher to see, she came in at the end of the day and I explained it to her. She loved it! Thank you so much for the idea, it saved my first day!
     
  8. Subber

    Subber Companion

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    Apr 3, 2011

    That makes the two of us.

    Good to know that I am not the only one out there thinking "what are they(the other subs) talking about? And it doesn't help that regular teachers chime in. We all know how kids behave differently with their teachers.
     
  9. Subber

    Subber Companion

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    Apr 3, 2011

    You are joking, right?
     
  10. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 3, 2011

    For elementary I would probably use more positive reinforcements, a couple of minutes free time, a game or extra recess - but not being overly generous.

    I still have a lot to learn, as I've been only subbing full time for 2 months, but for middle schools I'm not focusing on positive reinforcements.
    I have high expectations of the students, and require that they do their work, participate in discussions, etc and not be disruptive. This is what is required of them, and I'm not in favor of giving them "gifts" for doing what is right. I explain to them that today is a regular day, same as others, the only difference is that I am a different teacher. I emphasize that although I am not their regular teacher, I AM THEIR TEACHER for today. I try to give as many positive comments as I can during the period (I'm seeing lots of great work, you are all doing a great job, wow, this class is just awesome), and I let them know that i will leave detailed notes for the teacher.

    In one tough school we spent the least few minutes writing a letter to their teacher. I dictated, 1 student wrote, and all others were listening in silence :) The student wrote what they did, how they did (lots of positive things actually) and even named students who had trouble. It was awesome, I need to remember to do that every time. It even cuts down on my work for writing a note :))
     
  11. MissNewTeach161

    MissNewTeach161 Rookie

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    Apr 13, 2011

    Ok so I'm subbing today and I tried the superstars for the morning and it's working amazingly!!! Well see how the afternoon goes ! :)
     
  12. Carliee

    Carliee Rookie

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    Apr 13, 2011

    I like the superstar idea...only problem, my district rarely has much, if any white/chalkboard space. some ideas I have for overcoming this are to use the projection system when it works and the teacher has nothing for it. I also have some small whiteboards and I could bring one of those to use.

    One thing that I'm trying with upper grades is to have a welcome message projected for them to read when they arrive. The one time I did this, it seemed to help, but it was my first time at that school. I write "Welcome, my name is...." with Welcome and my name larger than the other words.

    I also include a paragraph or two about myself...why I substitute teach, my educational background and some of my interests (esp those that relate to the class).

    I also included my behavior expectations and a summary of what we'd be doing that day.
     
  13. Carliee

    Carliee Rookie

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    Apr 13, 2011

    As far as items to hand out as reinforcements, I find that cool pencils from the dollar section at Target work really well.

    I've mostly used them for kids who don't bring a pencil to class. I wonder if I should give the cool pencil to a student who does have a pencil in exchange for their normal pencil, which I'd give to the student who forgot theirs. I hate to reward students for not being prepared, but I also don't want the disruption of them going to get one.
     

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