Sunday, 30 June 2013

School's out!

I'll do some more posting, but untill then...
Love to all!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Rounding up the year, part one: On how bottlecaps made my life easier

I've been an inconsistent blogger and I'm sorry for that. I think I'll remain inconsistent, so just stay tuned and don't give up, because as inconsistent as I may be I'm here to stay ;).

It's that time of the year when schools are all about summing up and report writing, so I've decided to draw up one or two of my own. Those who've paid attention will remember this post: On Antennae and Token Economy . It was a short report on something I've found and decided to give it a try - token economy. In short:

Within the notion of token economy, tokens are items (buttons, bottlecaps, stickers...) used as positive reinforcement. They are of no value of their own, but they symbolize praise.

In the classroom, tokens are used to acknowledge a good action as simple as it may be - opening a book, apologizing, writing something down, being patient in a game, waiting for one's turn, etc...

Open the book - get a token...

Raise your hand - get a token...

So I gave it a try, and expected the fad to last for a week, maybe two... Three, if I'm lucky. But my student really grew fond of it - collecting tokens became a kind of a game. The class was curious and supportive about it as well. And a week passed, and then another one, and then another... I decided to make a table, recording the number of tokens collected each lesson and placed it on a visible spot in the classroom. And then it went on for a bit longer than two months - right up until the school finished. And it didn't get boring, nor did it lose its power. It focused us all on the good and helped us set our minds on learning.

I made a little diploma and added the numbers of all of the tokens collected in the two months - it came up to 700 so I wrote:
 This certificate is awarded 
in recognition of
700 good things done during English lessons
from April to June 2013.
Thank you for your cooperation and good will!

I signed it and presented it and confused my little troublemaker, but it really meant a lot to him. 700 good things - sounds pretty great, doesn't it? Especially when all one hears is Don't!!, oh no!, why did you?!, how could you?!, stop it! and the like.

It's just a simple little thing.

And it sounds silly.

But really -
It worked.

Bye for now,