Have you ever tried to complete a new skill but struggled immensely?
- Complete a Praise Challenge
Challenge another classroom to a challenge, whichever teaching team has the most counts after a week or even 2 has to do something for the competing team. Whether it’s being them coffee, or pick up their recess duty. Make it desirable. If you win, you and your students will be rewarded.
- Get Your Students Involved
Play the teacher/student game. Explain to your students what you want to see. We have even done this in our MD classes. We lead by example and give students several chances to watch specific positive praise being implemented in the classroom, then we point it out to them. Once the kids get what it is, challenge them to praise off. The teacher verse the students. Every time the teacher says a Positive Praise Statement, they get a point, if the students say them, they get a point. Points are tallied and at the end of the day see who wins. You can determine ahead of time what is on the line. Are they working for no homework? extra recess? Getting them involved will create an overall better classroom environment and students will be encouraging more positive behavior and good academic performance.
I tried for the longest time to remember to implement more specific positive praise statements, but I failed miserably. My paraprofessionals and I had a joke at the time about how I would sometimes jump from one student to the next and sometimes would completely blank about what I was doing. It didn’t happen all the time, but I’d have those “oh, shoot!” moments on occasion. They would always whisper “squirrel!” when I did it. I decided to put up a picture of a squirrel in my classroom. The picture was to remind me that I needed to give my students specific praise more often. Because of the pictures my parapro’s started to do it too. It’s sounds silly, but I promise it is effective.
- Create a List
Think up a list of areas in your classroom that you feel like you are always correcting yourself with. Type or write out that list and laminate it. In fact, make two. Put them in places you will see them, so you have a quick and easy way to remember specific statements. That’s my short list on how to improve positive behavior in your classroom through using praise.
I’d love to hear what you do in your classroom! Drop me a line in the comment section below.