February 05, 2003
I recently augmented the behavior management system (token economy) in my classroom. All students at my school (K-12) have daily behavior charts. Their teachers are to keep the charts with the students at all times. These charts show the students' behavior in 5-minute intervals throughout the day and a section for fines and bonus points. The students in my class are beginning readers, and for the most part are unable to read the important things on their charts. I came up with a system using base ten blocks and colored unifex cubes. Students have a cup Velcroed to their desk. Every 5 minutes the student is working, I put a base ten block (1 unit) in their cup, each time the student receives ten blocks, they must come to the bank (me) and exchange them for a rod (10 units). If the student earns a fine, they must pay the bank with their earned points. They also have the opportunity to earn bonus points (color coded for each teacher in the classroom-use unifex cubes). The bonus points can be used to buy computer time during breaks. The base ten blocks can be used to purchase larger items from my store (toys, stickers, etc.). I still have to use the behavior charts in addition to the cups, but this works out great for the students. They are beginning to understand what the behavior management system is all about. Of course, they get angry when they have to pay their fines off, but it has reduced the number of times they act inappropriately in a given day!