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Bonus Board

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A workable classroom management program (K-5) for dealing with minor problem behaviors.
Submitted by Linda McElroy, Oklahoma Department of Education. 

Are you a new teacher? Are you an experienced teacher with classes that have minor behavior problems? Or, are you just looking for a new way to motivate your students for that extra bit of good behavior? If so, try a “Bonus Board”!

Here’s how it works: Choose an appropriate class chart from a local school supply store or create your own with poster board. List all of the classes by their teacher’s name on the board. The students are allowed to earn up to two points a day. Points are awarded for either or both of the following:

1. Entering and leaving the gym (including walking in the halls) appropriately.

2. Good class behavior. Listening to instructions, staying on task, good sportsmanship.

The class either earns a point or not. If there is any doubt, a point is not awarded. Students soon begin to remind each other and encourage others to get “on task” so that they can earn points. As the points are earned, you just write in the date and the points on the chart. Using a transparency pen on a laminated chart allows for easy clean up and re-use.

Rewards you might use could be a “Choice Day”, or a special certificate. To facilitate the “Choice Day”, hold the earned choice day until the end of a unit.

Then you can set up a wide variety of “choice” stations using the equipment and skill building activities to naturally culminate the unit. The children understand and respond well since they are allowed to begin work towards the next reward time.

One key to the success of this program is consistency. You will find that the children will respond in the desired way if you remain consistent in the application of the Bonus Board. After a couple of years use, I found I did not need the extra management boost as the children automatically acted as they should!

If you allow two points per day to be earned, have at least ten points needed to win. Use a minimum of eleven columns across your chart. Ten spaces for the points, and the last column when they reach the goal.

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