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Saturday, October 16, 2010

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know we have been having some issues with T Man in 2nd grade.  Most of these issues have centered around his behavior and choices.  Lately, things have turned around for the better.

Our school focuses on positive behavior support as well as Teaching with Love and Logic.  As a result, behavior intervention are geared towards finding out something that works for each child as an individual. 

At times, I find this difficult.  As a teacher, I want the children to behave because they are suppose to behave at school.  I do not want to have to constantly offer rewards to the children in order to evoke a certain response.  As a mom though, this approach has worked wonders with T.

Suggestions for Positive Behavior Interventions:
  • charm bracelets: We give out slips of paper to children (known as HOWLERS... our mascot is the coyote) when they are caught following a certain expectation.  When they have 10 of these slips, they trade the slips in for a charm for their bracelet.  We are using plastic charms and those cheap silver ball chains.  These chains are a bit big for my kindergartners, so I have the children use them as a zipper pull on their hoodies or as a backpack charm.  I have searched the web for a site with plastic charms similar to what we are using and cannot find one.  I will ask at school and post the site sometime this week.
  • shoe pins: I was having trouble getting my class to listen and be quiet while doing whole group instruction.  I needed something to encourage them.  I was contemplating ideas when I remembered the crazy beaded safety pins from the 80s and 90s. I use to have those beaded safety pins all over my jean jacket and tennis shoes.  That is when I thought... I think I could start a new fad or at least bring back an old one.  For every five good days the kids have, they earn five beads.  Five pony beads fit perfectly on a large safety pin.  This has turned my class's behavior around dramatically.
  • sticker charts: I sticker an incentive chart every time I notice the children doing something wonderful: tying a friend's shoe, cleaning up a mess without being asked, doing quality work, etc.  When they earn five stickers, they get to work without their shoes on ALL day.  This is a huge incentive that encourages the children to be kind, caring, and respectful.  When the entire chart is filled, the child earns a date with me in the classroom at lunch.  We eat and watch cartoons together.  A little one on one time goes a long way to building lasting relationships.
  • incentive jars: T Man has been checking in with a behaviorist on campus multiple times a day.  Every time  he meets with her if he has been making good choices he earns a lego.  If he does something out of the ordinary fabulous, he can earn even more at that visit.  Once he has earned all the legos from a given box (generally a small Star Wars structure of some sort) he gets to build the structure and take it home.  When he has earned 4 small structures, he can trade them in for a larger one and we will have him earn the small structure again. This saves me from buying tons of small lego kits that he really doesn't want as much and allows him to earn something that he can play with and expand his imagination.  I can't stress enough how well this has worked for him.  He went from crying and calling himself names on a daily basis to getting his work done, smiling constantly, etc.
  • keys of happiness:  I am going to modify an idea I got from Katie @ A List Maker's Life.  I am in the process of searching for old looking keys... the pretty scrolled looking ones.  I want to create a glass mason jar for each member of the family that will sit near the kitchen table.  What will eventually happen is... On Friday nights, we will celebrate any accomplishments we have made during the week.  For each accomplishment, we will place a key in our jar.  When we are having a tough day, we will be able to look at our jars and see just how many good things we have done in our life during the year.  Each year we will remove the keys and begin again.  *I am also considering allowing each of us to give keys to the other members of the family if we notice something they should be recognized for.  Examples might be... the boys cleaning their rooms without being asked, my husband helping me clean the kitchen or fold the laundry, etc.
If you have similar suggestions, please share.  I would love to have some more tools in by tool bag for when the incentives I am using no longer work.  This is always the way with children... they need and crave variety.

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Thank you for visiting Natural Simplicity. I hope I have helped you on your journey to getting back to the basics.
One Pink Fish


*All remedies mentioned on Natural Simplicity have been found on the web or in books as I learn to heal my family in a more natural manner.

* Always remember to consult a health care professional before trying any form of alternative medicine.