School-Wide Behavior Policies

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by smalagreca, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. smalagreca

    smalagreca Companion

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    Aug 22, 2009

    Im curious to see if any of you have a behavior policy in place that you absolutely LOVE and it works for your school?
    Also, what are your thoughts on detention for elementary school students (grades 1-4)?
    I am in th e process of redoing our schools behavior policy. I like the idea of having different levels of infractions cleary definedin the beginnig of the year and signed by parents, this way there is no question as to a given punishment. However, I am torn on how to work "detention". I dont believe in taking a childs recess away, howeveR i do like the idea of taking their lunch away and making them eat with the AP during a "counseling session". However, in the real worl we know that the AP cannot be available at the drop of a hat.
     
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  3. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Aug 22, 2009

    I have a hierarchy of negative consequences:
    1.warning
    2.behavior contract (missed work will be homework and count as double credit)
    3.Lunch detention (kid copies a dictionary after eating)
    4.After school detention (kid copies a dictionary after eating)
    5. Write up

    I doubt any AP would be ok with having a kid during lunch. Typically, they want teachers to handle the issue, but I'm sure there are awesome APs out there. Good luck!
     
  4. smalagreca

    smalagreca Companion

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    Aug 22, 2009

    Unfortunately I do not agree with copying the dictionary.

    As a new AP I want to make the plan to be for the whole school and easy for the teachers
     
  5. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    I just try to make detention boring so that the kids don't like it. Any suggestions?
     
  6. smalagreca

    smalagreca Companion

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    Aug 22, 2009

    I get your point, and if it works for you- great. What grade? I'm assuming an intermediate.
    As a classroom teacher when I gave "detention" my kids would either have to
    A. Have a counseling session with me and fill out a "think sheet"
    Or
    B. Give back to the (school) community. They would do this be cleaning, helping out around the school, helping a younger student or doing something to make the school a better place.

    These were done as a classroom teacher, they were my classroom behavior policy. Now I am looking for a schoolwide behavior policy. I have an idea drafted, but I am torn slightly on the detention part. The district has a very diligent union and teachers cannot be expected to stay after or for lunch and so forth.
     
  7. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Aug 22, 2009

    Whole Brain Teaching has a technique called Power Detention - a five-minute detention during which you "share some of your favorite music" with the students...something like Chinese opera...with the volume cranked way up...
     
  8. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    I will be teaching 4th grade. I like the counseling idea. The school I taught at last year used a school wide token system. Students bought items from the "School Store". We threw random ice pop days, movie days, and free recess days for kids who had x-amount of tickets. The kids really liked it. The specialist teachers helped during their coverage periods.

    My former school talked about having group detentions after school and teachers would be paid for it. Two teachers would do this. I'm not sure if you could do some incentive to get teachers to hold detentions.
     
  9. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Aug 22, 2009

    LOL I like this!
     
  10. smalagreca

    smalagreca Companion

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    Aug 22, 2009

    I'm all for positive reinforcement. In my tentative plan, I have something similar to your free recess. Mine is called fun day and kids earn it based upon behavior.
    For a school that houses children in grades 1-4, I am not quite sure how I feel about detention. I would support giving detention for grades 5 and up but am on the fence for grades 1-4. I really do not think a 1st grader should have to stay after school for an infraction they committed. I also want a policy that is applicable for the whole school. In addition to the union being militant, the parents would most likely not be supportive of afterschool detention. This is a very afluent community and many of the children have activities after school.

    I am going to read up on this Power Detention and get some more info on it.
     
  11. smalagreca

    smalagreca Companion

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    Aug 24, 2009

    So do most of your support or are you against detention in primary schools?
     
  12. zoey'smom

    zoey'smom Cohort

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    Aug 24, 2009

    We are now pre-k-3rd grade. (In the past we were a pre-k-5th grade. We do not have after school detention, but we have noon detentions where they have to eat their lunch in the office and lose their recess time.
    We also do incentive parties which rewards those who did not get in trouble all month. The others have to go to the unhappy room or they had to watch, depending on how many we would have. There were months where there were just a couple of students that didn't make it. The teachers take turns organizing activities. Parents take turns sending in snacks for each month party. Here are a few parties or activities we have done in the past:
    - camping theme- with relays, camp songs, and Smores
    - dance
    - Movie day with popcorn
    -scavenger hunt
    - game day- play board games
    - football theme party with pretzels and chips
    - going to the nursing home and singing christmas carols
    -craft day
    -Survivor- Everyone including the teachers are split into tribes. We have different activities that we have to do as a group. This was our last incentive party because we survived the year.

    The kids enjoyed the incentive parties and they worked hard to be able to go. Every once in awhile we would have parents complain because they thought their child was being punished twice, but everyone (students and parents) are told about the incentive parties and the policy.
     
  13. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    Aug 25, 2009

    Do early elementary kids even understand the concept of detention? What I mean is, will they even make the connection that what they did at 8:30 am is what caused them to stay after school at 3:00 pm?

    I think with those kids, it would work better if they had a more immediate consequence that is given right after the infraction.

    A few people also mentioned positive reinforcement. I would try to stick to those as much as possible. I am sure most of you already know this, but there have been numerous studies that show Positive reinforcement has a much longer lasting effect than punishment. Some of these studies suggest that punishment should only be used for major infractions. After a while, punishment loses it effectiveness, and then you have to "up the ante" to make it effective again. If it is only used for major infractions, then it will still maintain its effectiveness since it will not be used as often. This is similar to the program that is used with the ED students that I work with, and it works relatively well when the teachers are invested in the program. Of course, that is true with everything we do, isn't it?
     
  14. smalagreca

    smalagreca Companion

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    Aug 25, 2009

    I agree with almost all that. I think positive reinforcement is a more powerful tool than negative. I do something similar to incentive parties, it is called Fun Day.
    But you also said that sometimes children miss theior recess for detention. This is what I am questioning with this thread. Do you think that's fair? Or do you feel that these are the children who need their recess most in order to get their energy out?
     
  15. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Aug 25, 2009

    At the K-5 school I was at for the last two years, they had a wonderful detention program. If a student got detention, they spent either recess or lunch in the library with either the Principal, the Vice Principal or the Music Teacher, and they had a worksheet to fill out... what they did, what some better choices would have been. Then I believe they had to write a letter of apology. Younger students would draw pictures if they were unable to write.

    Eventually, we came across a problem where there were regulars in detention. It was becoming clear these students were incapable of behaving at recess... too much going on for them. So a Lego club was started for some of these students to come and build things. It was invitation-only by the principal... and most were our detention regulars. It was made clear that Lego club was not an equivalent to detention, but that it was an alternative choice for them. It was an excellent idea, and we even used a trophy case that housed some of their creations in the hallway.
     
  16. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Aug 25, 2009

    Just to answer the question as to whether it's fair that these students miss recess... at least in our situation over the last few years, we've found that the majority of detention-causing infractions ocurred during recess and lunch...

    If students can't behave during recess and lunch, then they shouldn't be out for recess and lunch.

    In my opinion, detentions should mostly be for lunch/recess infractions, and although some teachers may disagree with me, I think the classroom teacher has the responsibility to form his/her own discipline plan within the classroom.

    That is not to say that teachers should be made to feel that their kids are their problems so deal with it and don't bother the principal, there are often situations in a classroom that a classroom teacher can't solve all by him/herself, but generally detention should be given in a situation like recess or lunch.
     
  17. smalagreca

    smalagreca Companion

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    Aug 25, 2009

    I love the idea. Some questions- what if an invited child did not want to come? What if a child who is regularly invited gets "detention" at some other point in the day-does he still get to come to the club? What if a well behaved child really wanted to come?
     
  18. punchinello

    punchinello Comrade

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    Aug 25, 2009

    Sometimes the "system" takes over. We forget that the kids really need to be taught how to handle conflict and frustrating situations. They have to practice and need opportunities to actually use their words/actions.
    Extrinsic rewards/punishments don't really work. The kids who are good at it, always get the reward and the kids who need more practice are always in the red zone.

    I don't think detention changes anything.
     
  19. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    I don't think this is entirely true. Extrinsic rewards (positive reinforcement) work very well. As long as the student knows what is expected, and what will get them the reward, ERs work extremely well. ERs are very powerful.

    Punishments, however, do not work nearly as well. They tell students what NOT to do, lose their power over time (which is why detention may not change anything after a while), and can model/reinforce negative behaviors or aggression. They should be used sparingly.

    Use positive reinforcement as much as possible, and save the punishment for extreme, intolerable behaviors.
     
  20. smalagreca

    smalagreca Companion

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    Aug 25, 2009

    I couldn't have said it better myself
     
  21. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    Aug 25, 2009

    I personally cannot get behind detention for children in these young grades. I agree with a previous poster who questioned whether a very young child will make the connection that something they did in the morning caused them to be in detention after school.

    Also, would the detention be on the same day as the infraction? Parents would obviously need to be told that their child would be coming home late- what happens if Mom says there is a doctor's appointment after school and her child will not be staying after for detention? The child gets no punishment for the problem at all? Or it gets put off to another day when they most certainly will not connect the punishment with the infraction?

    From a parent's perspective (which I am not!), I don't think I would like my child coming home late from school for detention. In my mind, that has the potential to push back homework time and dinner time and shower time and bed time.

    Just my own humble opinion!
     
  22. smalagreca

    smalagreca Companion

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    Detention can be served after school or during recess. To me, after school is OUT OF THE QUESTION. I would only consider it during lunch/recess.
    I pose the question, do you think it is okay to take away a young childs recess? (grades 1-4) Arent these the same children who NEED the recess to rid of that extra energy?
    I do belive in taking their lunch, but rather they eat lunch with the ap, principal, or assigned teacher. I also love the lego club idea stated above. But I am on the fence about taking a childs recess away. Discuss
     
  23. zoey'smom

    zoey'smom Cohort

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    Aug 25, 2009

    As a Kindergarten teacher I would rather them not miss the recess, but after missing a few their behavior usually improved. I think the eating their lunch away from their classmates helped more. In Kindergarten if I would take anytime away for bad behavior in the classroom it wouldn't be the whole recess, because they do need that time to get that energy out. It also seems that a lot of the undesirable behavior happens at the unstructured time like recess. So missing some of their recess seems better than staying after school especially for the young. I should also mention we do "Conflict Resolution" every Monday and Friday. We would talk about their responsibilities and other character traits and do activities to go along with them. This is something the whole school does and we all had training. The older grades even have workbooks to go through.
     
  24. smalagreca

    smalagreca Companion

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    I taught k for 10 yrs. It would kill me when I saw the other k teachers benching their kids for the entire recess.
     
  25. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    To answer questions... if kids didn't want to come to the Lego club, they didn't have to. I was the behaviour interventionist, and so I would make sure to meet with any kids on my list and coach them through how to handle social situations on the playground. It was never a forced thing, and eventually, many of the kids decided they didn't want to attend Lego club anymore... but their weeks or months in the lego club gave me time to teach them how to interact with other students on the playground. It will be interesting to find out what happens next year without that added assistance...
     

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