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Motivation and Classroom Behavior January 22, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — caffeinatedteaching @ 11:33 AM

I was so excited to watch this RSA Animate on the book Drive by Daniel Pink! It coincides with the classroom management plan I use, so I thought I would share it. I find it very successful. Watch the video and then come back and read about what I use in the classroom and then share your own ideas!

In the past I use to reward behaviors in the classroom. You know – like holding a carrot out to be eaten once the goal is achieved:

These incentive programs took a lot of time for creating, implementing and following through with. I also found that the same students were achieving the rewards for the group as a whole or for themselves and the students these programs were put in place for really didn’t care about the reward.

One reward “event” I will always remember was a Pajama Day…there was a student in tears because they did NOT want to wear their pajamas to school! Now, how is that a reward?!?!

So, what to do?

As a teacher, we have to create an atmosphere where 20 or more students participate, learn and get along with each other within our classroom.

Our school guidance counselor shared the following information with our staff and I have used it ever since!

I base the behavior management in my classroom on the hierarchy of social development as defined in the book, Discipline without Stress, Punishment or Rewards by Dr. Marvin Marshall.

Within this structure, there are 4 basic levels of behavior:

D – Democracy – Just Do it or I Did It Myself
This is when we follow a rule because we know it is a rule and it’s the right thing to do. (internal motivation)

C – Cooperation – I Care Enough To Follow The Rules When Asked Or Reminded
This is when we follow a rule because we were reminded of the rule or when someone was watching our behaviors. (external motivation)

D and C behavior levels are the expectation of all students in my classroom.

B – Bullying, Bothering, Bossing and Blurting
These behaviors bother others and stop learning from happening. Bossing is defined in my classroom as making your own rules as well as telling others what to do.

A – Anarchy – Not Doing It At All
This is when rules are repeatedly not followed even with reminders and redirection.

I model all of these levels for my class in various ways from how to ride on a bus to blowing your nose and brushing your teeth. We also discuss them as we see the behaviors from characters in books that we read. They learn them so quickly because they make sense.

We all make mistakes! If a child needs reminders and redirection, I always give that in a positive manner. If a child needs constant assistance, they describe for me their current behavior and then make their own plan for getting back on track in the classroom. I find this to be extremely motivating for them.

Daniel Pink stated, “…treat people like people, not horses.” I agree with this and believe the research translates from the business world into the classroom. He outlined 3 factors:
Autonomy: Self Directed; More Engagement

Mastery: Getting Better at Things

Purpose: Make a Contribution

Wow! If we build more and more upon intrinsic motivation and less on rewards, I believe students will achieve higher results for their own mastery and purpose and by teaching in new and innovative ways allowing for autonomy and creating more engagement is part of this!

Ideas? What works for you and your students? Please share!

Thank you to homeschooling-paradise for the clipart. 🙂


One Response to “Motivation and Classroom Behavior”

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