Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Good Behavior Classroom Strategies & Games

Classroom management is rather tricky and teachers need ideas and strategies on how to manage their classroom effectively and efficiently. (Below are some notes from a class I took in a class at Notre Dame that I thought I would share.)

Encouraging Appropriate Behavior: Criterion-Specific Rewards

Criterion-specific rewards can be used as part of a proactive intervention for managing classroom behavior. Students may earn criterion-specific rewards such as activities, privileges, and tangible incentives after the occurrence of an identified target behavior(s) at a set level of performance.

Tips For Implementations

• Identify Specific Behaviors

a. Identify and list behaviors that need to be increased for the student to be successful. Begin with the behaviors likely to have the most significant impact for the student’s success in learning.

b. Describe in specific terms the behavior and criteria necessary for the reward. Make sure to address the “what”, “where”, “when”, and/or “how” in describing the behavior.

• Select Rewards

a. Brainstorm a list of rewards that are feasible, affordable, age appropriate, and complement your learning environment and teaching style.

b. Check school and district policies regarding the use of any activity, material, or edible rewards. You will also need to verify any individual student needs, health, or otherwise (example: food allergies), which may limit your use of these types of rewards.

c. Validate your reward possibilities. Use multiple means to garner input: seek student input on possible rewards; observe students during activities and free time (note types of activities, interactions, and materials they select during these times); and get input from significant others (family members, other teachers, etc.) about student preferences and interests.

d. Match rewards to behaviors. The reward must have adequate value for the student, yet must not be too easily earned.

• Implement Rewards

a. Present the reward program. Students should understand the target behaviors, expected criteria or performances, and corresponding rewards in advance.

b. Deliver rewards as planned and scheduled. Remain consistent.

c. Always state the specific behavior that is being reinforced when delivering rewards.

• Evaluate and Adjust Rewards

a. Maintain records. Institute a record keeping system where you record the delivery of your rewards (or the behaviors demonstrated). Verify if your reward system is working.

b. Vary rewards over time. This will ensure students won’t tire of your rewards.

Keep In Mind

• Plan time in your weekly schedule for rewards. Provide time as appropriate for: 1) activity and privilege rewards; 2) selection of tangible rewards; and 3) individual student conferences to review progress and to adjust personal behavioral goals or rewards.

• Avoid compromises where a reward is present prior to the appropriate expected behavior. This encourages students to use future manipulative interactions.

• Verify the effectiveness of potential rewards so they are indeed reinforcing behaviors for individual students. Ensure that the rewards selected are more powerful than other competing reinforcers that sustain misbehavior.

• NEVER use access to basic personal needs as a reward (water, meals, restroom, etc.).

• Rewards can be used for the whole class or for small groups.

Encouraging Appropriate Behavior: Group Contingency

A group contingency is a group reinforcement technique that capitalizes on peer influence by setting a group goal and/or implementing a group consequence for behavior. The purpose of this strategy is to prevent behavioral problems, increase appropriate behaviors, and/or to decrease incorrect behaviors, depending on how the contingency is engineered.

Types of Group Contingencies

Dependent- One individual (or a small group) earns a privilege or reward for peers by behaving appropriately. (Example: Susan earns five minutes of free time for the entire class because she did not argue with her partner during reading.)

Independent- Individuals earn reinforcement when they achieve a goal established for the group. The same contingency applies to each student. However, one student’s behavior does not impact the group outcome. (Example: Every student who achieves 90% or better on the spelling tests gets a homework pass.)

Interdependent- The class, or a group within the class, earns a special reward when every individual in the identified group meets and established goal. (Example: When the entire class is on time and seated at the beginning of class for one month, every class member earns 10 bonus points on the weekly test.)

Each type of group contingency has possibilities and pitfalls:

Dependent groups contingency is helpful for a student with low social status because the student can earn rewards for the group. However, the student’s standing will worsen if he/she does not earn the reward; therefore, ensure that the student is capable of the behavior.

Independent group contingency has little risk of peer pressure. However, it also has minimal peer momentum, modeling, or camaraderie to support the target behavior.

Interdependent group contingency can apply positive peer influence. However, students may complain about sabotage or harass others if they believe there is unjust accountability for the behavior of others or uneven composition of groups in skills, abilities, etc.

Tips For Implementation

• Identify the Target Behavior & Contingency Type

a. Select the behavior that needs to be changed.

b. Select the appropriate and most advantageous contingency for the behavior.

- For changing a single behavior of one child, consider the dependent group contingency.

- For changing the behavior of a group, select the independent or interdependent group contingency.

c. Establish a reasonable performance standard for the attainment of the reward.

• Prepare the Plan

a. Identify the reward. Solicit student input in choosing an appropriate reinforce.

b. Schedule when students will receive the reward.

c. Communicate your plan with the class/group. Seek student commitment.

• Implement the Plan

a. Begin using the contingency plan, remaining consistent with your expectations and consequences.

• Evaluate and Adjust the Plan

a. Collect data on the effectiveness of the plan.

b. Determine how or it you will continue to use the plan. Ask yourself:

- Should I change the behavior(s) addressed? Decide if your plan has been successful in improving the behavior and consider other behaviors that need to be targeted.

- Should I adjust or change the contingency? Find out which students were successful in achieving your standards. If some were not successful, examine your plan carefully and modify it.

Good Behavior Classroom Games

Here are some suggestions that might be helpful.

kidssundayschool.com- Bible Bucks
Bible Bucks are a great way to reward kids for good behavior, completing memory work, bringing their Bibles to Sunday school or even inviting their friends to church.

Once the kids have accumulated two or more Bible Bucks they will be allowed to trade them in for assorted prizes or tasty treats from the "Bible Buck Market." Many inexpensive items can be found at Dollar Stores. You may like to offer slightly better prizes for more Bible Bucks, but always ensure that you have rewards available for two or three Bible Bucks so that children do not become discouraged.

iloveindia.com- Here are some games that you can play with your child everyday as a fun way of learning good behavior. These games are also quite helpful in making your child a lot easier and end many of the power struggles with your little ones and make them do things quickly and much more efficiently. Based on child psychology, they help you to raise well-behaved and happy kids.

In a place in the classroom away from little ones’ reach but so everyone can see, light a taper candle. Tell the class that when the candle burns down completely, the class will get a treat (ice cream, cupcakes, Holy Card, whatever). As long as the class is quiet and listening the candle will burn but if the class gets disruptive, the teacher will call on someone to blow the candle out (or blow out herself). I usually call on the one who is leading the disruption. Then the next class is the next time when you try again. Peer pressure will begin to work in your favor as the children quickly see that they must behave to have the candle burn down and then get their long anticipated treat. (Great idea from Lise)

interventioncentral.org- The Good Behavior Game is an approach to the management of classrooms behaviors that rewards children for displaying appropriate on-task behaviors during instructional times. The class is divided into two teams and a point is given to a team for any inappropriate behavior displayed by one of its members. The team with the fewest number of points at the Game's conclusion each day wins a group reward. If both teams keep their points below a preset level, then both teams share in the reward.

education.ohio.gov- The Good Behavior Game Manual

teacherhub.com- The Teacher/Student Game: Competitive Behavior Management

teachervision.fen.com- Variation of the “Good Behavior Game”

managingyourclassrom.wikispaces.com- Ideas to Encourage Good Behavior

theteacherwife.com- Behavior Game

teacherspayteachers.com- Behavioropoly Game and Cards (editable)

evidencebasedprograms.org- First-Grade Classroom Prevention Program (Good Behavior Game plus Enhanced Academic Curriculum) The Classroom Prevention Program is a first-grade intervention that combines (i) the Good Behavior Game – a classroom management strategy for decreasing disruptive behavior; and (ii) an enhanced academic curriculum designed to improve students’ reading, writing, math, and critical thinking skills.

The Good Behavior Game rewards positive group, as opposed to individual, behavior. The teacher initially divides her class into three heterogeneous teams, and reads the Game’s rules to the class. Teams receive check marks on a posted chart when one of their members exhibits a disruptive behavior (e.g., talking out of turn, fighting). Any team with four or fewer check marks at the end of a specified time – ranging from 10 minutes at the start of the year to a full day later on – is rewarded. Tangible rewards are used early in the year (e.g., stickers, activity books). As the year progresses, intangible rewards (e.g., designing a bulletin board), delay in reward delivery, and fading of rewards are used to generalize behaviors. The Game is supplemented by weekly teacher-led class meetings designed to build children’s skills in social problem solving.

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