Thursday, February 9, 2012

Behavior, Bribes, Rewards, and Art Bucks

I hate feeling like I have to bribe my students to be good.  They should just be good.  But we all know they aren't always that way. 
My 5th graders are the worst.  Not only are they my largest group of students but they are a very social bunch.  They get quite chatty.  I also have quite a few lower level students in this bunch who are low on reading levels, take longer to process, and have behavior issues.  Basically they make me want to pull out my hair!
Overall I do a behavior reward system for each K-6 class.  If the whole class is good, they get to move their rocket ship to the next planet (this year my theme is around the world and into outer space).  Last year I had gumball machines and they added a gumball.  When they get to the end of mark, then we have a free day.  My free day consists of going out for recess if the weather is nice or getting out fun art stuff we don't usually use and having centers.  I don't particularly care for giving up one class period for recess, rather than art but I think it is worth it.  I bring out sidewalk chalk for an added option to the regular playground equipment that a lot of my girls enjoy.
I have some classes who are on their 3rd time around and I've been keeping track by adding different colored flames to the bottom of the class rocket.  Red for completing the first time around, yellow for the second, and I might do orange or blue for the end of the third time around.

Rocket Ship Bulletin Board for Good Class Behavior.

This hasn't really worked for my 5th grade because the majority of the class on one given day isn't that great.  But I do have a handful of students that are always working hard and listening to directions.  I felt as if I was punishing these students so I've decided to incorporate a new system into 5th grade along with their rocket ships.  And here is where Art Bucks come in...
I saw this idea on a blog and I wish I remember which one it was but I can't think of it for the life of me!  But anyway, I thank them for the idea!

I took one 30 minute class period to introduce the idea and have students draw a design for our art bucks.  This made it a competition, because I had my JH students and a few teachers vote for the best design.  The winning design is our art bucks design.  The students seemed to be buying into the idea!

I printed out a blank rectangle on a piece of paper for them to draw in and printed out a picture of the front and back of a $1 bill to give out some starting ideas.
Students will be able to spend their art bucks on a variety of prizes on the determined shopping day.  Prizes will include candy, pencils, pens, paints/canvas, small toys, etc.  Basically anything I can find for little money goes.  Each prize will be a certain price and they will have to buy the prize with their art bucks.

Here are the top winners based on my JH students votes.

And here is the winning design along with the different colors of paper I used when I copied them.

I also came up with a fun way for the students to store their art bucks until "shopping" day.

5th grade's got money in the bank - piggy banks they can put their art money in for safe keeping :)

How to earn art bucks...they are very hard to earn!

I am on week 2 of this behavior system and I'm not sure how it is going to work.  I gave the winner one as a prize for her good design and I've given out 4 other art bucks.  Overall, I'm hoping to reward those who are consistently well behaved and hope that this will rub off on everyone else.  So far the jury is out on if it will work or hopes are high!

1 comment:

  1. I have the same problem at one of my schools. I've tried everything. I actually give up one of my planning periods to take those students who are always working hard to come have an "extra art" I"m on the first 6 week rotation and I'm starting to have other students ask "How can I have extra art?" I ask "How's your behavior been during art?" I picked 4 students from each of the 3 classes to do this six week art. We are doing clay (always a hit). I'll let you know how this turns out but it seems to be working and totally worth giving up 30 minutes. I agree students should behave just because that's what we expect but some students have so many issues it's a tough battle. Good luck.