Monday, March 11, 2013

March Motivation - Race to 100

Here is my 2nd installment of March Motivation, Race to 100.  As we march through the month of March, motivation wanes in the classroom and behavior can be a challenge.  Changing things up a bit can make all the difference in the world for students, and making a race of it can turn apathy into excitement.

Race to 100 is a simple hundreds chart that an elementary class can use to earn a class reward for their great behavior.  Each time the class displays a specified appropriate behavior they can color in a square colored on the chart.  Once all 100 squares are colored in, the class earns the reward.  For middle and high school classes, teachers can identify learning behaviors that they would like to see improve.

Here is a link to a word document that you can edit to meet the needs of your class.

Before Getting Started

The teacher should review their discipline data to see which behaviors are in need of improvement.  In addition to discipline, teachers should identify the locations in the building where the students struggle with their behavior.  Last, teachers should ascertain if students are having difficulty in places where they drop their class off with another adult.

Create the Criteria

Once the behaviors, locations and situations have been identified that need improvement, teachers should set criteria for students to have a square colored in for displaying appropriate behavior.  For great behavior in the classroom, all students could be expected to have no one move to the worst level for classroom consequences.  In the cafeteria, the class could earn a square for a report of good manners and behavior from the cafeteria monitor.  When the students go to music or art, they could earn a square for a positive report from the teacher.  In the hallway during transition, the class could earn a square for earning a compliment from another teacher or 2 squares for a compliment from the principal.  The key behind the criteria is that it must be specific and attainable by the class.

Communication is the Key to Motivation

Once the criteria is set and the chart is created, it is time to motivate the class.  Pump them up.  Let them know what the reward will be and how they can earn it.  The manner in which the teacher communicates this motivational plan will be the deciding factor in whether or not the students get on board.  In addition, the enthusiasm in which the teacher use to communicate the class' progress each day will be the key to whether or not the class fills the chart in quickly or not at all.

Celebrate the Data

When the class fills in the 100s chart, it is time to celebrate their success, but teachers shouldn't forget to acknowledge the hard work that the class put in to earn the reward.  Reviewing the behavior that warranted the reward is critical.  Teachers should review the number of times the class had great classroom behavior, earned squares for behavior when they were with another teacher or received compliments from others.  This is more important than the reward itself, and it will help reinforce the behaviors desired from the teacher.

If you have ideas to make Race to 100 better, please drop a comment. Good luck!

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