How do you motivate your class towards good behavior?
I'm not one for a list of class rules.
I just have one:
At the start of the year my friends and I brainstorm a list of good classroom rules. I write down everything they say. By the time we are done, the board is covered in rules. We take the time to discuss each rule and why it is important. I then relate that rule to respect. After discussing each rule, I erase it and replace it with one word. RESPECT. It is amazing how respect covers pretty much everything. Respecting classmates, property, feelings, pretty much anything you can think of. It's a pretty powerful lesson for my friends because, by going over all the rules they brainstormed we've pretty much covered anything that can or could go wrong. The best part is that in the end the board is covered with the word respect. It's a powerful visual. We finish the lesson by making a small poster of that one word and hang it in the room.
This pretty much gets my friends through the year. This year, I decided to add a twist with some positive reinforcement. This year, my friends can earn brownie points. It's not easy, but they earn brownie points if they get a compliment from another teacher, a substitute, doing something above and beyond, and pretty much anytime I see something I really like. :-) Here's our Brownie Points tray.
As you can see from the top picture, my friends are close to the reward. I'm just not sure what the reward should be! I told my friends that when they reach twenty brownie points, we would brainstorm a list of rewards and decide on one together. So far, they keep telling me they want brownies. How funny is that? I'm sure the list will get bigger when the actual time comes.
Oh, by the way, my friends can lose brownie points. We did lose one from this tray for some misbehavior in the hallway. I try not to take them away, but once in a while you need to practice a little tough love!
For some reason, in my school, the marble jar is very popular as a reward system. There are a lot of teachers that use it. When the marbles reach a certain level, the class earns a reward. As for me, it's all about the brownies. How can brownies not be better than marbles? :-D
How do you reward your friends?