Thursday, September 26, 2013

How I motivate and reward my kindergartener’s good behavior at school…

Batman's KG classroom has a color coded behavior chart.

Pink – seriously awesome super duper job!
Blue – above expectations
Green - everyone starts their day here (if they come home with this color, it is all good!)

Red – big no no!

So green is good. Anything above green is better! The problem is keeping him there with consistency, and  motivate him to stay there.
He is the proverbial Curious George. He needs to know everything about everyone! So one of his challenge is not talking "too much". The other is the normal energy level of an active kindergartener, which is not conducive to sitting down for long  any period of time quietly. The third is being ahead of the curve. He finishes his work early, but does not necessarily think it is a fun or complimentary to him if he is given challenge work. His point - why do I have to do it when no one else has to do it? 

Strategies that I  have come up with:
  • Humor - works great with boys - so what happened? Your butt got too fidgety, and would not stay put on the carpet? Tomorrow if it happens again, we will have to come up with a special booty dance, and we get to do it only if you manage to keep it parked in place correctly :)
  • Save your words at school, and you can use it all up on someone in the family when you come home - which pretty much means he gets to talk UN-interrupted for 10 minutes!
  • Little reminder notes in the lunch box and snack packs (write it out the night before)
  • Loss of one privilege if it is yellow, two if it is orange etc. 
  • If he stays on green, he always gets to choose his snack (from a selection) for the next day. 
  • Now to the motivation part. It is his job to stay at green. But if he does better than expected, we have decided to go on a date (on his half day at school, when Spiderman will still be in preschool). He needs 15 points for a date. Blue counts as 1 point, purple as 2, and pink as 3. He can choose to go on a date every 5 days if he gets all pinks :) I might have to make it 20 points as we progress through the school year. 
  • Small treats from a special "treasure box" if he gets pink, purple, or blue in a row 2 or more times.
 Suggestions are very very welcome. What has worked for you, and what does not work from experience from our collective mommy wisdom please :)

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