Peer Behavior Management
May 02, 2007
I find that children do best when they manage themselves and their peers rather than having the adults exert too much control. Peer pressure works wonders.
I set up my classroom in groups of six. Each of my tables is named with a color: red, yellow, blue, green. The kids at the table work as a team to earn recognition and rewards, which means that they police themselves. For each table, I make a set of letters (color coded to match the table colors) that spell something. I hang the letters in a group using a magnet on the chalkboard so they are visible by all. Only the first letter shows. Each time a table does something positive, I give them a letter from their set. They get a letter for things like being first to clean up, being quietest, being the best listeners, working cooperatively, etc. When a table earns a letter, I simply put it in the center of their table. Once they spell the word out completely, they get the reward.
Examples of rewards are popcorn, free time or computer. Other tables don't lose. They continue to try to earn letters and can also reap a reward, which prevents them from giving up. The group that earns their reward has their letters put back on the board and starts all over again. This technique works like a charm.