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When we reward kids for behavior change, we are essentially bribing them to behave the way we want. We forget about the values and the lesson we are teaching our children, which is:. A chore chart is a specific type of behavior chart focusing on getting children to do chores at home. Children usually get privileges or allowance for compliance. While no studies have been found to support this assumption, several studies have uncovered negative side effects of getting children to do chores using external incentives.
Results showed that children who were promised a reward at the beginning made less toys in the first period, and were less likely to continue making the toys in the second period when no further rewards were offered. This is not surprising at all because similar experiments have been replicated over and over again in other contexts, proving that external rewards can undermine intrinsic motivation and the quality of work. But what is more surprising is that researchers also found that children who were rewarded to do chores at home were less likely to help make more toys when given the free choice to do so.
In fact, the more frequently the mothers used external rewards to motivate at home, the less likely their children to help in the experiment. So using rewards to motivate children not only undermine their intrinsic motivation to do a particular task, but it also reduces their altruism. The use of token economy systems is widespread and used primarily with captive, dependent populations such as patients in psychiatric hospitals or children in school.
However, in , the first systematic review of the research on token economies revealed otherwise:. In other words, when the rewards stop, people revert back to the way they acted before they started. By rewarding children to adopt a certain behavior, we are signaling that the behavior itself is inherently undesirable or we would not need to bribe them. Using a token system, not only are we demotivating children to adopt the new behavior naturally when the tokens are removed, but we are also unintentionally causing other problems.
For example, in one after school program, students are given points for good behavior in class or good performance in tests. At the end of each week, points are tallied up and the student with the most points can pick a prize from a pile. Then the student with the second highest points can choose and so on until everyone gets a prize. It sounds like a win-win situation because children are motivated to do well and every child will get a prize.
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So no one is left out. When a first grader gets more points than her friends, the friends were sad making this girl feel guilty for saddening her friends. When this student received less points than other students, some of them would tease her. So this simple token economy not only has questionable effect on improving learning, but it also creates a lot of social tension among children, especially the more sensitive ones. In school, taking points away on behavior chart for misbehavior can also amount to public shaming of the child in front of the whole class. Well, we should motivate kids the right way , or some refer to it as the hard way.
It can be hard for some parents because it feels like some children are just too stubborn and refuse to learn to behave. Third graders know how to do addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, but do you expect them to therefore know how to do calculus? Here are several proven strategies to teach children how to behave without the drawbacks of bribing or punishing. Chores — We are a family.
In a family, we all take care of each other and help each other out. We all do things for others, e. Imagine if we all only care for ourselves and not help each other out, what would happen to the family? Positive actions such as admitting mistakes and taking responsible for our actions allow us to be honest with others and ourselves.
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Positive actions such as goal setting lead to personal growth and improvement. Step 4 - Help Students Develop Intrinsic Motivation Feeling good about themselves is an intrinsic motivator to students—especially elementary age students—and postive actions help children feel good about themselves. Step 5 - Reinforce Positive Behaviors Recognizing and reinforcing positive behaviors is one of the most effective ways to produce positive actions in students, strengthen intrinsic motivation, and create a productive and positive learning environment.
Step 6 - Always Respond With Positivity Positivity is a key component a positive learning environment. Simple Tips and Strategies for Building Positive Learning Environments The Positive Action strategy we introduced above is one of the few character education programs recognized by the U. Relationships first, school second. Don't jump straight into school work the first day of school.
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Break the ice and help get students out of their comfort zone at the onset by playing some interactive games and holding some team building exercises. This helps students get to know each other on a personal level, and experience the "human" side of their teacher. Share some stories from the summer. Before you transition into the school year have the students share some of the fun things they, or their families did over the summer. Also, take a moment to share with your students what you did over the summer.
This helps the students get to know each other and their teacher, and helps you build rapport with your students. Get to know each student. At the beginning of the new year, or term, ask parents to write a "in a million words or less" letter describing their child. Once you have received letters from all the parents, take some time to read each letter and learn about the unique character, desires, needs and talents of each child.
Reading these letters at least once, if not regularly, will help you see each child in a different light. Write an introduction letter. Get to know your students and let them get to know you through introduction letters. Write a letter telling your students about yourself, your likes, your hobbies, loves and aspirations. For their first assignment, have students write a letter about themselves for you.
Create an Internet Meme. Internet memes are a fun and effective way for communicating important expectations, rules and concepts with students without coming off mean or overbearing. They can include media, catch phrases, jokes and funny images. Lean on Your Colleagues. Being a good teacher and creating a positive learning environment takes a lot of work—so don't go at it alone.
Reach out to other teachers, educators and people who will support you, build you up and who have been successful at creating positive learning environments. Plan for the Future, Live in the Moment. As you work toward creating a positive learning environment for your students, stay focused on the present. Creating a positive working environment is a process, it won't happen over night. Don't get so caught up with the end goal that you are not able to savor the moment.
Get Students Involved in the Process. Creating a positive learning environment should involve all your students. Have students help decide how to design the room , where pictures should go, what pictures should be used, etc. Allow them to take ownership of their learning environment. Create a Creative Bookmark.
Create a laminated bookmark with your contact information on it. This is a fun way to invite your students to stay in touch with you. Include your email address, school web page URL or any other info you want students to have at their finger tips. Create a Classrom Newsletter. Having your class develop a newsletter is a great way to keep students engaged, entertained and parents involved. But don't you do it!
Have your students do it. Make your newsletter a student driven project and you'll engender a positive classroom learning environment. Connect Using Social Media.
Social media can be a great way for teachers to connect with students—especially given the propensity that kids have these days to access social media. Take pictures of class projects, awards, activities and events and post them on instagram for kids and parents to enjoy. Or maybe you can set up a class twitter account to keep students and parents up to date on what's going on in the classroom throughout the year. Create a Blog.
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Create and maintain a classroom blog. This is another great way to keep students and teachers up to date and involved in what's going on in the classroom. It's also a great place to post upcoming projects, guidelines, study guides and resources for students and parents. Keep it Green. Use digital technology to decrease reliance on paper products and to facilitate online communication between teachers and students, and their parents.
Much of what was traditionally communicated using paper can now be communicated digitally online using Twitter, Facebook, or a class web page. Going digital saves time, is more effective than paper which can be lost , foster a positive learning environment, and protects our world's environment. Start with Relationships.
As tempting as it is to get a headstart on academics, keep the focus of the first day of school on establishing relationships and building a sense of community within your classroom. Let each student know that the most important part of their education is them. Do some team building activities. Show students that they are valued for their contribution. There will be plenty of time to focus on academics tomorrow. Be Enthusiastic. Be enthusiastic! Let your students know that you're excited to be there and that you're excited they're there.