After being a tent camper for years and years, I recently purchased a teardrop camper. I bought it mainly for security and safety while traveling. I hope to join some communities of women campers to make more friends and connections.

I am a reader and a writer; a momma and a grandma; a sister and a daughter. I have been a teacher and librarian for over 25 years. I used to blog here for new teachers, but now I have changed to blogging about my travels, and just for fun.

I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rewarding Students

I just finished reading this article about rewarding students. The author does a good job explaining what it is to reward students either intrinsically or extrinsically. Over 20 years of teaching, I have used both to varying degrees of success. Sometimes you have to take the "easy" way out and give them little stickers, toys, treats, etc. just to get through the day. However, I do know that intrinsic rewards are longer-lasting and positive ways to reward students.

When I first started teaching, I gave the students sticker sheets and they got a sticker every day that they didn't get their name on the board or their card turned or their ticket taken away, or whatever. (Those are behavior management tools I have used at different times.) After an established number of stickers, the student got to choose their reward. I had a metal ring that held together laminated circles with writing on them. The choices were a mixture of rewards such as "being first in line," "free drink pass," "piece of candy," etc. You might be surprised that the most requested reward was this: "positive note home to parents." Believe me, sometimes it was hard to come up with something positive to say if it took the kid 3 weeks to get 5 stickers, but I did it. The thing was, that after those notes went home with a particularly difficult child, their behavior changed positively! Now that's a reward (for me)!

My first year of teaching I was blessed with a great bunch of kids and didn't have many discipline problems. My second year was in my top 5 worst challenging years, though. I learned a lot from those kids. My third year was my dream class... I still keep in touch with many of the kids from all my past years of teaching. I was even able to teach with one of my students from my first year of teaching! What a great experience! Who knew back in fourth grade that the girl who played with "Kleenex dolls" would end up a teacher!? LOVE it! I'm always surprised when one of "my kids" wants to be friends on Facebook, but I always "friend" them. I'll love my kids forever.

Anyway, I'm rambling and reminiscing. Reward yourself today by taking the time to read this little article and do the short exercises at the end. It's an eye-opener! You might also read this one too, as it contains valuable advice as well.

I bet you earned a sticker today!

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