Thursday, January 22, 2009

Caught You Being Terrific

I don't know about your class, but about this time of year my students start arguing and generally feeling comfortable enough to drive each other CRAZY! I noticed that I was falling into the habit of trying to scold them into good behavior. Hmm, not really working all that well for me. So at a recent AKTM* I dawned on me to bring back a behavior strategy that I learned during my brief stint teaching in middle school. C.B.T. or Caught You Being Terrific. The basic idea is to notice when students are behaving positively and doing kind things for each other. When "good" behavior is noticed the student get a small slip of paper on which they write their name. The student then puts their name in a designated container. At the end of the week the teacher draws out several names and those students receive some sort of prize. I usually limit the names drawn to 5 names per week and I give out donated items as prizes. Prizes don't have to be "things" either, 10 extra minutes of choice time or even getting to choose which song to sing for group time can be a prize. I also only give a C.B.T if I notice the "good" behavior or a student tells me about something nice someone else has done. I don't give C.B.T's to students who say "I did ..." Because I am an avid recyler I make sure to cut up already used paper slips as C.B.T.s and I made my container out of a hot cocoa container covered with construction paper and stickers. I cut a slot in the lid for inserting C.B.Ts.
This strategies has made the kids look for ways to help each other and has helped me look for positive behavior in my students. Over all it is a way to improve the overall classroom climate in a fairly simple way.

*Archdiocesan Kindergarten Teacher's Meeting