There are many reward systems and strategies out there that claim to improve classroom behaviour. One system that comes with a bulk of evidence to support its claim is The Good Behaviour Game. This is a system which is proven to increase the desired behaviours and is relatively easy to implement: a win-win for teachers.
How to play
- The teacher displays the list of desired behaviours in the classroom. As per best practice, these are few in number and positively phrased. They might include rules such as raising your hand to speak, eyes on the teacher when they are talking etc.
- The teacher divides the class into groups with an even distribution of personality types (disruptive children, withdrawn children, studious children etc)
- The teacher initially plays the game for ten minutes daily for the first week. Teams get a point if they break a rule. If they have 4 points or more, they do not receive the reward. Visibly display the points so children can be reminded of the score and what is and is not acceptable.
- The teacher builds the amount of time the game is played for week after week.
- The teacher slowly changes the rewards from immediate rewards – such as jellies, stickers or stationary – to deferred rewards such as additional free time at the end of the week, stickers, extra PE, access to iPads later in the day.
Ensure that your rule list is small with simple-to-follow instructions. Ensure that the reward on offer is genuinely motivating to the target audience.
Do not overuse the strategy straight away, building up time slowly is essential to its success.
Changing the teams, times and rewards can manipulate the game to maintain interest over the course of a full-term if this is your desired strategy.
The beauty of the strategy is it can be explained in a very short time, does not require huge resources to implement and has research to back its effectiveness.
Add it to the toolkit and pull it out when required. Enjoy!