My ducklings, as I like to refer to them, are 44 fresh faced, energetic, and yet very loving 1st graders in the state of Delaware. My students come from an extremely diverse set of homes that deal with their own problems that students may sometimes bring back into the classroom. 99% of the students at my school come from low income homes where they basically all receive free school lunch. With this in mind, I sometimes know that resources may not always be available at home and that I must try my best to mold my students into greater future individuals.
With this in mind, it is my job to model how to behave as an individual in school, in the community, and to any person they may meet in the future.
We generally start the day off by giving each other handshakes and saying good morning, because this is such an important manner needed as they grow into adulthood. My school emphasizes character traits that are important for any individual to have. However, a lot of these basic skills are not being seen in their homes, and it is reflected through their behavior throughout school day.
My students come from households were a lot of manners and proper behavior are not exhibited at school. Me and my co-teacher decided that we needed to find a positive reinforcement method that we could use between our two classes to help students earn rewards for doing the right thing on their own. We use Class Dojo, where the students can earn or lose points. We realized it does not teach the child to enforce positive behavior on their own. So, we want to put punch cards in the lanyards so that whenever we see a student do the right thing because they KNOW it is the right thing to do, they will get a punch.
We want students to earn and not take away any punches, to increase positive behavior in the classroom, school, and in the community.
For example, if the student walks correctly in line on their own, they will get a punch in their card. If a student helps a friend in need at recess, they will get a punch in their card. If a fidgety student is able to self-control for 5 minutes, when we know it was hard before, they will be rewarded with a punch in their card. However, students will learn that they will not always be rewarded in life for good things. So, they should not ask for or expect a punch. Instead, teacher's will be vigilant to see positive behavior the student may show in all areas of the school. At the end of the week, students will choose a prize from the treasure box if the card is full. Eventually, if this shows improvement, I would like for this to extended to a school wide reinforcement strategy where all teachers and staff are vigilant on all students' behavior.
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