Strengthening Desirable Behavior

Strengthening Desirable Behavior – 5th Grade When considering room discipline, many educators think first of consequences to give who commit infractions of the rules. But a teacher’s ability to provide reinforcement to strengthen desirable behavior in students is even more important than the ability to administer consequences for rule infractions. A variety of reinforcement systems are available to suit different teachers, students, and styles.
1. To encourage students to participate positively during large-group discussion, verbal praise is an effective reinforcement system. It offers several advantages in the classroom. First of all, it calls positive attention to students for meeting behavior expectations. This shows that the teacher is noticing when students do and do not conform to the expectation, and that a reinforcement will be offered to those who meet it.
Also, verbal praise is immediate in nature. Students do not have to wait days to learn what the teacher appreciated about their contribution. Next, verbal praise is highly adaptive and specific. It can be used in a variety of academic and behavioral situations, and tailored to a precise individual student (Marzano, Pickering, Arredondo, Blackburn, Brand, and Moffett, 1992, p. 8).
2. Students who arrive to class on time may receive an activity reinforcer to strengthen their positive behavior. For example, all students in the 5th grade who are complete a whole term with no tardies can get a simple reward, such as a 20-minute mixer in a common area, inside the school or outside, where they can have a cookie, some juice, and some relaxing conversation for a short time as a reward for the diligence in getting to class on time.
Other activity reinforcers might be time allotted in class for the student to undertake an on-going independent study of an approved topic, such as music, history, or technology.
3. Encouraging students to turn in assignments on time can be accomplished by using public display of good work. Teachers can group students within a class, or track the progress of one class against others, using a graphic display that shows how successful each class is in getting its assignments in on time.
4. Students can be encouraged to be prepared with all class materials suing tangible reinforcers. Tangible reinforcers include small treats, small prizes from a box, and similar items. Students who meet the behavioral expectations receive a tangible reinforcer, given to them in front of the class, so all students are aware of the rewards for appropriate conduct.
A teacher might decide to award one lottery ticket each day to students who come with all materials. At the end of the week, there is a drawing to see which students may claim a treat or prize. The more tickets a students has in the lottery, the greater their chances of winning. Teachers can also offer lottery tickets as rewards for achieving other expectations.
5. For an individual student who has been struggling, the best reinforcement system may well be giving plenty of attention. (Marzano, Pickering, Arredondo, Blackburn, Brand, and Moffett, 1992, p. 6). By communicating regularly with such a student, a teacher can make such a student feel like an accepted, welcome member of the class, as well as stay informed on the student’s progress.
Teachers can make these connections by establishing relationships with every child in the class. Positive methods include engaging in informal conversation with students about their outside interests, before, during and after class. greeting students by name when you see them, whether inside or outside of school. and recalling important facts and details about your students lives so they can be inquired about in conversation. For students who do extra-curricular activities, teachers should try to attend them and cheer for students.
Marzano, R., Pickering, D., Arredondo, D., Blackburn, G., Brandt, R, and Moffett, C. Dimensions of learning. Aurora: CO: MCREL Institute, 1992.