Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Positive Behavior Support

This particular post is directed towards my colleagues.

As you know, we've been working on a system for Positive Behavior Support. We're at the stage where I simply cannot do everything that needs to be done, and make it work well. So I'm asking for your help. Below are some of the things that I could REALLY use your help with. Please let me know in the comments if you have any ideas you can share with us, or if you want to get back to us on something.

1.) The whole idea behind School-wide Positive Behavior Support is that we let students know when they're doing well, not just when they're behaving incorrectly. Praise and high-fives and the like are an important part of this. But the research suggests that some sort of tangible reward is an important component. To that end, I'd like help coming up with an awards system. I think it should have the following components: a.) Something to GIVE the students, in the moment we catch them behaving. It seems like a good idea (and common practice) to tie it into the mascot of our school--"Bobcat Bucks" or "Paw Prints" or something. b.) Some way of turning this token reward into a tangible reward. I thought it could be like what Mrs. Conklin does with her MP3 giveaway for attendance, and exactly what Mrs. Everitt does for her Positive Behavior Support--a periodic drawing for a prize of some kind. How often? What kind of prizes (inexpensive ones, obviously)? c.) This drawing or giveaway or whatever it is should come tied to a school-wide recognition--a ceremony or celebration, like 10 seconds of classroom applause or a PA presentation.

Bear in mind that I broke this into pieces because it would be too much to do all at once. If you have any thoughts or suggestions about ANY of these elements, please let us know in the comments.

2.) Would somebody be willing to design or produce signage? I think it should have the following elements: a.) A tie-in with Bobcats, our school mascot. b.) The words GOOD CHOICES: Be safe! Be respectful! Be responsible!

This design (and we had some really good ideas for it in our initial meeting last year) will go on posters to help remind students of what we expect from them in school. It might go on the tokens or tickets mentioned above.

If you can help with any of these things, or have some suggestions, please leave me a message in the comments. At the bottom of this post it says, "1 comments." Click that. It will take you to another screen with a place for typing. Underneath that, it will say, "Choose an Identity." Click the circle next to "Anonymous," and you'll be able to post your comment. Please put your name in the comment, though, so I know who I'm talking to!

Thanks a million for your help and your dedication to our students.

--John Cosby

Edited, or possibly re-posted, to reflect actual time posted, instead of when first draft was saved


Anonymous said...

Hi John! This is Jan. Thanks for all your hard work on this! I was talking to Tyler about their magic tickets they get in Colon. The tickets have a place to circle where the student got the ticket (hall, classroom, outside ...) why they got the ticket (helpful, respect, kindness ...), a place for students to write their names and the teacher initials it when they give them out to prevent theft. I can attempt to come up with a rough draft that we can make changes to. No guarantees on greatness but I will play around with the ideas and Tyler can help with it also. Let me know what you think!

Ray said...

I will be willing to help in any way I can. Remember our disciplinarian has been laid off and we will need to replace his position on your committee. My opinion is we need to teach what we expect and once everyone knows what is expected we need to reward expected behavior. Rewards need to be intrinsic to have long lasting effect. Extrinsic rewards will only work on a short time basis. Making someone feel good about themselves and how they behave will be more long lasting than giving them a dollar. That is not to say extrinsic rewards shouldn't used. It just means to be careful and not put the emphasis on the reward.

JohnCosby said...

Jan--sounds like exactly what we need! As Peg keeps reminding me, this is a work in progress. We'll do the best we can between now and the beginning of the school year and we'll check up on it every month or so to see how it's working and how we can improve it.

Ray, I quite agree with your intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation argument. Peg has given me research that suggests that if used appropriately, extrinsic motivators can help encourage intrinsic motivators. In Art and Science of Teaching, Marzano suggests that this is the most easily abused aspect of celebrating success in the classroom (p. 15-7, according to my notes)--your concerns are rightly founded. So as we're setting up the system, we'll have to be careful not to overuse it. At our meeting in June, Peg mentioned that every student should receive a concrete recognition of their success, as part of the support aspect, about once every two weeks and not too much more often than that. She also said that you should support positive behaviors about 5 times for every time you correct a behavior. That support includes (by my understanding) positive statements, high-fives, all the other positive support we all use and Marzano mentions, as well as the extrinsic component. So I think we're on the same page with this.

Peg said...

You guys are on the right track. I'm interested in seeing your outline for the day. It will help me better put together my notes for PBS 101. I'll try to have a draft finished in the next couple of days.