Friday, January 13, 2012

Change Up Time for the Smiley Face Positive Behavior Rewards

Some students do well with predictable reward systems and some students do better with systems that vary a little from time to time.  I work with a student who seems to figure out how to get around all my systems so I keep changing things a bit as the year goes on.

Initially, she had been doing well with me just drawing a part of a smiley face whenever my timer rang and I "caught" her working hard with her smart fingers.  Of course, all through our activities I use the phrases, "Your fingers are sure working hard," and "I see some smart fingers working."  I vary the intervals of the timer--sometimes 1 minute, sometimes 3 or 5 minutes--so the student can't predict exactly how long she has to "work hard with smart fingers" to earn another part of her smiley face.  When she earns the whole smiley face during one session I draw a smiley face on her Point Sheet, which she carries around school all day long.  Her homeroom teacher reviews her Point Sheet at the end of the day and reviews how many smiley faces she earned and in which classes (language arts, library, recess, lunch...)  But, she grew accustomed (and somewhat bored) to the system and her attention was wandering more and more during our times together.

So, in our last session I changed up the system so that now our sweetie earns one of these de-lish M & M's to put on her smiley face when the timer goes off and all is going well with her smart fingers.  Why the plastic baggie?  Well, it keeps the M & M's from popping into her mouth before the entire smiley face is earned.