Thursday, July 21, 2011

Consequence Chart

I implemented a pyramid consequence chart in our home a couple of years ago to help with some discipline issues. Those issues resolved and we haven't needed the chart for quite some time, although it still hangs on the fridge in case that need arises again.

We've been having a bit of trouble with schoolwork this summer. It seems that spelling words are extremely difficult to write and so we end up spending over an hour (sometimes two) crying over our 10 words. Realizing that the reason for the fits steamed from laziness and rebellion and not the inability to write or remember the words, I decided it was time to implement the consequence chart once again. Only this time I varied it for school time.

Instead of a pyramid, I make colored pockets out of construction paper and adhered them by the edges to a piece of poster board. We made a marker with a dolphin sticker (per Chloe's request)and placed it in the first pocket, which is a wonderful place to be.

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Each time tears start, the marker moves up to the next pocket and thus the next consequence. If we can finish the school day with no tears or fits (which is a wonderful place to be) then she receives a Good Behavior Ticket which she saves up for a special treat.

The first week didn't work as well as I imagined it would. I thought up several "treats" and printed them up on slips of paper and placed them in a jar. The idea was that if Chloe could earn five tickets (one for every day of the week) at the end of the week she would exchange the ticket for a slip of paper in the jar. The treat would be a surprise. Some of the ideas I added were: go out for ice cream, have pizza at Chuck E Cheese, buy a new book, slumber party in Mama's room, Mama does 1 chore for Chloe, carousal ride at the mall, eat dessert first, etc.

After a whole week and not a single ticket in a wonderful place to be, I knew we needed a new motivator. I allowed Chloe to pick a treat she would like to earn herself, instead of a random treat that she has no clue what is. I figured if she knew exactly what it was she was earning and if she had picked it herself, she might feel more motivation to earn it.

She picked an Ariel (Little Mermaid) costume.

It worked.

We have seen no tears or fits since that day.

The only change I made though was that she needed TWO weeks of tickets (10 total) and two weeks of finished chore charts in order to earn the costume. (They are slightly more expensive than an ice cream cone from McDonald's.) But I must say that it worked. We are happy and she now knows her spelling words by the time we take our test on Thursdays. Hooray!

We will not be purchasing an expensive item every time, but I figured to get us started we could splurge with a bigger ticket item and next time she can pick a slumber party in my room or a chore she would like me to do for her.

What ideas do you incorporate into your classroom for discipline issues? How do you motivate your children?

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