There are no two ways about it. If you give a child a compliment, you will have that child doing great things. My teaching partner and I have Compliments Charts in our rooms. This is basically a 100's Chart with a maakeover.
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Well, this is true with children's behavior. We begin the year with instructing our students that we will keep track of any unsolicited compliments that they receive during the year.
If they are quiet in the hall another teacher might comment on the fact that "they didn't know the class was even there". A teacher who teaches Art, Music, Gym, Computers, or Spanish might comment on "how well my class participated that day". A compliment from the principal become two compliments on the chart. The students have to be reminded that they can not beg for compliments. We mark these unsolicited compliments on our chart as they are received. You can see the delight in their faces when the children hear a compliment.
As the months go by, we tell the class that they need 50 compliments before Christmas to have a movie afternoon and a few treats. Our homerooms have never missed that prize!
As you can see, my homeroom has 62 unsolicited compliments as of February 8. I know my kiddos will get 100 compliments before the end of the year. Another reward will be on he way!
This is a much better way than constantly nagging kids to be good. Children will be good if you reinforce the fact that they are good. There are always the children who act out. Some reminders can be given to those few who might not get to participate in the reward if they continue the unacceptable behavior. Students learn very quickly that you mean business if you keep to you word. I am always their teacher not their best friend.
The compliment chart works for 5th graders, give it a try!
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Enjoy your day!