Thursday, August 15, 2013

Behavior Management: It's whats for dinner!

So, I have several things that I do to help my kids do their personal best.  I fight with myself about behavior management strategies because I feel that they shouldn't be rewarded for expected and appropriate behavior.  But as we all know, some things have to be done, but I usually shed my strategies and stick to my first and formost strategy.


1.  I think giving praise for specific behavior is much more powerful than a warm fuzzy, or some kind of other tangible reward.  I think it boosts confidence and self-esteem and that transfers to their daily behavior more so than "rewards."  I verbalize and discuss my expectations daily and before each activity.  When one or several students get off task, I search for a student that is exuding that desired behavior (even if it is just one) and lay all my attention on them.  As you know, kids love attention, and they will get negative or positive attention, so try to curb the negative attention and load up on positive attention.  Eventually, they will automatically and continually exhibit positive behaviors.  But don't just give positive praise just by saying "Good job, Jane. I like what you are doing."  Say, "I like the way you are focusing on your task and referring back to the text to support your answer, Jane.  Keep it up."  Be specific about what you like about what they are doing.

  • I have a pad of paper that I write every kid's name at the top of (one name per page) and every day write a note to that kid's parent/guardian about that kid's good behavior EVEN IF THEY WERE HORRIBLE!  Find something positive!  They will be encouraged to try harder the next day to behave better. And every kid gets a note eventually and over again!

But before we do all that I use other strategies.

2.  Warm Fuzzies.  Each group of tables gets a jar, and whenever they are all on task or working collaboratively, or whatever you like specifically, I give the group a warm fuzzy.  Whichever table has the most at the end of the marking period, I buy them lunch and we eat all together.  They love it, of course, who wouldn't!

2.  Roadrunners.  Our school's mascot is the roadrunner.  Whenever another teacher comments on how quiet my line is in the hallway, they get a roadrunner.  They'll say, "That is a roadrunner line!" and we get one.  When they get 20, we get a group decided prize.  Extra recess, computer lab time, whatever you decide.  I also have a student passing out "stars" to those students that are exhibiting appropriate behavior.  A "star" is just a piece of small paper with a star on it that says they are doing their personal best.

3.  The Star Jar.  When a student gets a star, they put it in my star jar, and at the end of the week or month, which ever you decide, and they get a prize.  Again, I don't like candy or items, so I give something like computer time, or read with a buddy, lunch with a teacher, and I have those on cards they can choose from. This is recycled coffee jar and I used paint pens.  I didn't cover the silver because I thought it was pretty cool.

So these are my strategies.  I've used others but having too much can also be too much!  I think expressing your expectations clearly and often and holding them accountable for that behavior is so much better.


  1. I *love* you roadrunner idea for walking in the hallways!! I've never thought of having a separate behaviour management system for walking in the halls, that's an awesome idea!

    Thanks for sharing :)

    Fun With Firsties

    P.S. I do group points too, but my "tokens" aren't half as adorable as your "warm fuzzies" ...I might have to change that up a bit :P

    1. The warm fuzzies are cute. I've seen them done up into bugs and such, but "ain't nobody got time for that!" :)