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Behaviour strategies for Year 5/6

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by jjcool, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. I used to take in raffle tickets and have a raffle at the end of the day/week. The first thing to do was always Ok this with the HT-I would say something like I have my own special reward system that I would like to ok with you. Some HT's may not be happy with the idea of gambling (if so for your schools, stop reading here!!!); one HT in a school where I did regular supply was so pleased with my system that he insisted I claim the money for the prizes from petty cash!! I was even more pleased when I went into the school the next term as an outreach teacher and found that the whole school was using raffle tickets!!
    Personally I felt that even if the prizes and tickets cost me £5 a day (which they didn't) I would have been happy to pay it if it meant that the class worked well and behaved for me all day and because they got such good feedback the school would ask me back regularly (I only stopped doing supply in July 2007 and up till then had as much supply as I wanted-usually 3 days a week with odd full time blocks of 2 or 3 weeks which was about the max I was prepared to do).I have to mention that I also used to stay until all the marking was done and also left complete handover notes-with post its with names of pupils who had/had not achieved lesson objectives etc
    The prizes were never sweets (healthy schools and all that) but things like gel pens, mechanical pencils, highlighters, little note books, rubbers (and anything else I could buy extremely cheap at places like home and bargain-gel pens used to cost me 38p for a pack of 10). I also never allowed any pupil to win more than one prize even if their tickets came out several times-that way even the poor kids with only 2 tickets still had a decent chance of winning something (but you have to make sure that every pupil has a couple of tickets in the box by the end of the day.
    I just used pre perforated raffle/cloakroom tickets and had them torn off in strips ready to tear one off as needed; the pupils wrote their names on the back, folded them in half so you couldn't see the name and we put them in a box/jar/bag ready for the end of the day. I would make sure that everyone got at least one ticket each quite early on ( e.g. I thought you sang the best in assembly so I'm going to give you all a ticket now) so they all felt that they had some ownership and motivation. Everytime someone is doing exactly as you want, you say in a loud stage whisper so all the class can hear e.g.'Well done .X., you've already written the date and the title and your first line, this is excellent work, have 2 tickets. At this point loads of others will tell you that they have written more so you can say well X was the first one I saw, but you can all have one each etc.
    The one thing you have to watch out for is them getting out of their seat to put tickets in the box, so you have to stress that they stay in their seats and you will send someone round with a bag to collect the tickets (I used to send first finisher/monitor round with a little Boots carrier bag at the end of every lesson during clearing up time).
    When I had my own class, I used an old plastic sweet jar (got free from a sweet shop-[I was doing this 20 years ago when there were plenty of such shops] and washed and dried out and placed somewhere in the classroom where all could see (had a slit cut in the lid to post tickets in). I would often use different colours of tickets on each day-what is amazing is how many children can tell you exactly how many tickets of which colour that have got that day/week (and in those days I taught Y1/Y2.
    Now for the refinements to stop anyone playing up-you can't have just out and out positive reinforcement for it to work. If I was doing supply with a particularly difficult class that I knew & who knew me, I would sometimes start with the number 20 or 30 in the top corner of the whiteboard ; each time one child or the class played up/behaved unacceptably, I would reduce this number by 1 and give my reasons-they soon got the message (some times exerting a bit of peer encouragement on the naughtier pupils); -the number on the board at the end of the day was the number of prizes I would draw out of the jar-they never sussed that I usually only planned to give out between 5 and 15 prizes nomatter what number i started with (though I always had 20-30 with me in case they called my bluff!).
    The other thing I had was 2 boxes on the lower corner of thewhite board one with a sad face and one with a smiley face-the rule was that anyone whose name was in the sad box at the end of the day would not win a prize even if their name was drawn out-we would just draw again and give the prize to the next person (look what you could have won !!!). If their name was already in the sad box and they played up again, you put a cross by their name-then when they do something right-you make a big thing of crossing out one of the crosses, or if no crosses then their name comes off. Obviously as you get towards the end of the day, this is when they are at their most restless, so there's a bit of encouragement for every one to get their names out of the sad box and win extra tickets!
    Anyone who had their name in the smiley box at the end of the day could get an extra number of tickets 5 /10/ or whatever you feel like. I think the record number of tickets any pupil got in a day was about 38-they beauty of the system is nomatter how many tickets you give out ;there is still the same number of prizes to be won; the books of 1,000 cloakroom tickets (500 tickets and 500 counterfoils) used to cost me about £2 so they lasted a while.
    In one particular year 6 class (DH's) who had proudly already seen off 4 supply teachers by the end of September before I first met them; I also used to play the tables off against each other-top table at the end of the day would get 5 tickets each, second table 3 and third table 1 each-usually meaning that 2 tables got none (but obviously you adjust this however suits)
    I used to always draw out the tickets myself-the winning pupils would be busy making their choice from the goodies on offer-laid out on a table near the front, so if there was someone I felt needed to win a prize, it was always possible for me to say their name when I pulled a ticket out-I always used to put all the tickets in the bin and so that noone could catch me out I would wait until after all the pupils had gone home to cover my tracks-If I was coming back the next day we used to just have maybe only 5 prizes and leave the rest of the tickets in the jar-in that case I would take the winning tickets home if I had in any way tampered with them!!
    The other important thing is to make sure you have enough time at the
    end of the day to draw out names for prizes-when the kids knew me well this was easier to organise; it was usually
    that they had to be ready for home (coats on , chairs on tables, book
    bags handed out or whatever else needed to be done etc before we drew the raffle-if they wasted too much
    time, I have been known to draw the raffle after they have gone and
    left prizes and a list of winning names for their teacher to give out the next day -often with a surprise prize for one
    of the naughtier ones-so hopefully all the naughty ones will learn the benefit of behaving for me next
    So that's it, the system is still alive and well in this area-one of the HLTA's I mentor now uses this system at my recommendation-I even gave her all my old unused tickets! The main challenge as far as I can see is to find cheap enough prizes that the pupils want to win!
    Feel free to pm me if you have any other queries; like ideas to deal with toilet breaks in lessons etc
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Brilliant post jjcool.
    I've also been using raffle tickets for years albeit in a slightly different way & yes year 6s do still love them.
    I also have a couple of 'stampers' with me to stamp their books/homework diaries saying 'What a star', 'Excellent work', 'Superstar' for those schools who don't like the raffle ticket idea, & I don't award prizes but refer them to their in-house reward system.
    The countdown timer (on smartboard or actual sand timer is useful) to add up time owed, inform them of 'time's up' (such as you have 2/ 5 mins to complete this activity/discuss the answer)
    I also carry feedback pro-formas to feedback information to the class teachers.
  3. I have just found the guidance notes I wrote when I was 'ementoring' a student in the USA and remembered the home made stickers-I had forgotten about them, so thought I'd paste that in to save time
    Try to find an original reward system that will appeal to your pupils. In the UK many schools seem to think that collecting enough stars to get different colours of certificates is sufficient encouragement-I find that parents are a lot more excited about certificates than the kids ever are (here is where I get the image of a child looking so bored and thinking ‘big deal’ as they go up to collect yet one more bit of card).

    I tend to use more tangible rewards-which the pupils will actually want to win. The basic is stickers, which also tie in to the school reward system [we are talking about 11 yr olds and younger here]. If the school give out merit points, then every one of my stickers equals one merit point etc and I have been known to give one child up to 10 points in one day whereas they might normally only get 2 or 3 a week from their own teachers. My stickers are homemade using printed labels-with room for the pupil to write their name-and then I have taken time to stamp a star on each one with metallic ink. They seem to like to stick them onto their clothes so that if they have lots of stickers, the other teachers around the school can see they are having a good day.

  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Absolutely brilliant! Knock my mini merit cards in different colours into a cocked hat!
  5. with 65 labels on a sheet (bought when Staples have 3 for 2 offers) probably cheaper too![​IMG]

  6. Thank you so much for all your ideas. Definately looks like the raffle tickets are a great way to encourage children to behave. Thanks again, I shall start hunting for cheap stationary now
  7. Glad I could be of help. It's often useful to remember with Y5 or 6 that some of the most restless children will often behave better for their peers than for the supply teacher.
    I can remember one particular boy who just would not contribute to being the first table ready-so a couple of the other darlings (mercenary dears) asked if said child could be removed from their table because he was costing them points.
    The best way I found to handle it was to offer said boy to become a table 'all on his own so that he could earn his own points'. -I don't think we even bothered moving any furniture, I just added another table number/letter to the tally charts on the board and let him go ahead and earn his own points-it worked a charm-suddenly he became so attentive and competitive and actually did well with stickers and tickets by the end of the day.
    As they say teachers are great masters in practising the art of diplomacy-as in
    'Diplomacy-Letting others have your way!!'

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