REWARD BOARD: a behavior modification system that allows you to reward students for good behavior and for following procedures
I have used this positive reinforcement plan with 8th-10th grade classes. It is elementary in nature, but IT WORKS.
I've included the Reward Board and the instructions. I recommend that you laminate each part of the Reward Board and clip each sheet together (I used binder rings) and hang it up in a prominent place in the front of your classroom.
This has been incredibly effective for me. I have give multiple Professional Development workshops on how to use this and new teachers at my school are sent to observe me. This resource is the FIRST thing they always ask for!
1. Hang up a Reward Board. The goal is to get to the highest level (or the top) by the end of the week to earn a reward. Assign each class a clothespin or clip of some sort (with a specified color or number if you have multiple classes). Start each clip at the bottom of the board. The goal is to get their clip moved up (one notch at a time) to the top tier by the end of the week (end of class Friday) to earn a reward. If they DO, reset the clip and do it again next week. If they DON’T, keep going until the following Friday. Only reset when they’ve earned and received a reward.
2. Teach class rules then begin using The Reward Board.
3. Reinforce good behavior by moving the class clip up and verbally praising them. LOOK for opportunities for positive reinforcement.
(Ex: "I love how quietly you came in today. I love how you took out your materials and are ready to go! Great job getting quiet as soon as the loudspeaker came on.)
4. Move the clip down when anyone demonstrates poor behavior. Ask the class how they can do better, and then PRACTICE.
OR, go stand next to the Reward Board and place your hand on the class’s clothespin to let them know that you are warning them. If they quiet down quickly, move them up, if they don’t move them down.
5. Within a couple of weeks you will no longer have to verbally enforce anything. They will know WHY you are moving their clip and will come to expect it EVERY time they walk in, EVERY time the intercom comes one, ANY time someone blurts out, etc.
6. Any class who has made it to the top tier of the Reward Board by the last 15 min. of class on Friday has earned a reward (teacher's choice.) This is not free time. It is 15 min. of less intense class time. Ex: educational game, review game, quiet time to do HW, educational movie clip, puzzle or word search for bonus points, treats, etc. Whatever works for YOU.
7. When they earn a reward, reset that class clip to the bottom again. If they do not earn reward on a Friday, do not reset it. There is no punishment for a low clip - only lack of a reward.
9. When used effectively, this system shifts the burden of managing class behavior to the students. I have to hide a smile when I hear them correct each other because they are doing the work for me and I'm NOT the bad guy!