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Lesson Plans

Re:Point systems

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Gary Bogus (gbogus)
Mon, 23 Feb 1998 12:47:28 -0800

I would like to hear more opinions about behavior systems. I taught in
locked psychiatric settings for many years, all of which had highly
structured behavior systems. While I felt that they were necessary for
EXTREMELY (incarcerated) behavior-disturbed children, I think most teachers
miss the point on the systems: the ultimate goal of a behavior system is to
eliminate the need for it; i.e., that children internalize the behavioral
expectations and are able to monitor and moderate their own behavior. All
too often what we are doing is teaching them to behave for rewards and not
internalize the behavior standards.

Personally I hate these systems and agree with Fred that it is impossible
for a specialist who sees all students to cooperate with a dozen different
systems. I don't use them unless I have a truly terrible class. I then try
to identify a reward they may want to earn (free choice, working outside,
pizza party (!!)). Then I may construct a way to track the type of behavior
I want improved (call-outs, throwing, foul language) I let kids chart their
progress to the goal (50% reduction in call outs, etc). I resent the time
it takes away from art, but I really only use it as a last resort. For most
kids just telling them that they get no materials until they demonstrate
appropriate behavior is enough to bring the class around. I also make sure
they know how well they are doing, and how that is reflected in their work.
(I teach K-5)

Other opinions?

J. in Berkeley