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After reading many versions of "Rules and Regulations", I haven't noticed
Positive Reinforcements being included in the written text in the classroom.
I like to state the rules as simply as possible (3-5 seems to work best for
me). Next come the Consequences. Then, equally important in my classroom, the
Rewards are posted. I find that by posting the rewards (and a reward can be
as simple as a nice note home or a "great-news phone call home) I am putting
an equal emphasis on the positive. My "rules" are simliar to Maggie's;
Respect Yourself, Respect Others, Respect Art Supplies. The other "R" word I
stress is Responsibility- I want the kids to know that each person is
responsible for his or herself. This is also in writing in my classroom. When
I 1st began teaching years ago, I had probably 12 rules that rambled on and
on. Not as effective as a few chioce words- who read all those wordy rules?
Until you got through it all.....!
I am very interested in what others are doing for rewards; always looking for
new ideas. My philosophy is, if it works for you, do it!
One of the most effective and fun "rewards" I have is a giant clear plastic
jar (shaped like a teddy bear) sitting on my desk which contains animal
crackers. Got it cheaply at Costo. I put a sign on it that reads in big red
letters "Cookie Compliments" . Often, when I catch a child following a rule,
being kind to another child, for example, I will ask him or her to take a
"Cookie Compliment". The idea that everyone wants to be "caught" following a
rule works so well with this reward business! I also do magic tricks as a
class reward and everyone throughout the year gets to be my Magician's
Assistant. So far that's worked great, grades k-5. Hey, they don't call me
Mrs. Magic Menkes for nothin' !! Susan on Long Island
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