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behavioural reward chart in reception

(26 Posts)
tiger66 Tue 18-Oct-11 16:25:18

My little boy has just started in reception -well 6 weeks ago. They have a rainbow system whereby if they do positive things they get moved up to silver and then gold for further good behaviour. If they are naughty they get moved down to orange and then further down to red. In the first week it appeared that everyone in the class managed to get at least up to gold and get a sticker at the end of the day, however since then my little boy hasn't moved. I am pleased to say that he hasn't moved down but neither does he ever seem to move up.

I did approach the teacher and she said they get moved up for kind behaviour, sharing, politeness etc. That day my ds got moved to gold but since then not moved again. I spoke to my ds who said that it is still good not to move at all but I notice every day a lot of children coming out having moved up at least one or two places. He says that he is kind and shares and polite but never moves. He doesn't seem bothered by it but I am. Maybe I shouldn't be. He is generally a very lovely boy(in my opinion!) so I wander where he can improve to get moved up! I don't want the teacher to feel that I am a pestering mother but wander how important is it? I want to help him but anything that I suggest that he does at school to help him get moved up doesn't seem to work!

Maybe I should not care and be happy as long as my little boy seems happy at school. Helpful comments would be appreciated.

2BoysTooLoud Tue 18-Oct-11 16:39:50

Reward charts can be strange things. You may find if a child is boisterous one day and less so the next they may 'move up'. Different rules/ expectations for different kids within the class I expect.
A 'good' kid may get overlooked but shouldn't.

Seona1973 Tue 18-Oct-11 16:50:14

we have a traffic light system so everyone starts off on green and tries to stay there. You can be moved to amber but if your behaviour improves then you can move back to green. If your behaviour is particularly bad then you move from amber to red. Children than have managed to stay on green for the majority of the school year get rewarded with a trip somewhere e.g. last year dd went to a soft play centre.

academyblues Tue 18-Oct-11 16:57:48

I can't stand these behavioural reward chart things - there's a thread about their injustice every few days throughout the academic year.

What on earth is wrong with just talking to the children?

grumpypants Tue 18-Oct-11 17:00:53

stupid question, but how does he move up from gold?

Seona1973 Tue 18-Oct-11 17:04:27

is gold not the top level then?

grumpypants Tue 18-Oct-11 17:06:33

that's what i meant - if its red, orange, gold, silver, gold, then what?

DeWe Tue 18-Oct-11 19:45:10

I suspect it's the same system that dd2 had only with Sunshine going down to storm cloud, about 5 levels in all.

Most of the time all the children were on the second level. Each got about 3 turns (not one at a time) on the top level and if they were still on the top level at the end of a week got a special sticker. For bad behaviour them moved down, if they ended up on the thunder cloud on Friday they missed some or golden time.

It did actually work quite well, because they didn't want to move down, they treated going on the top as great, but wasn't OTT (as it was basically a turns thing wink) and if they moved down it did motivate them to try and behave (and there were a few "challenges" in that form) so they would move back up by Friday.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 18-Oct-11 20:04:00

I think these kind of behavioral charts are awful. If my child went to a school that had one I would complain. I would never have one in my classroom, and I have well behaved classes.

tiger66 Wed 19-Oct-11 18:45:01

Sorry grumpypants - the colours are red, orange green silver gold.

2Boystooloud - I think that is probably it - he is a good little boy and will always do as his told and do his best. He isn't top of the class and I am not bothered by that but think that as you say, he behaviour is consistant so he probably doesn't spark the teachers attention in a bad way for her the overly notice when he is being especially good.

Spoken to my husband who thinks that I shouldn't care and just ignore it - ds enjoys school and is keen to learn so that is all that matters.

Thanks for all your commments, very helpful to an anxious overly sensitive Mum!

ellesabe Wed 19-Oct-11 20:44:25

Academyblues - teachers do have to spend some of their time teaching!

olibeansmummy Wed 19-Oct-11 21:08:43

If he's not worried about it then I'd really leave it. Infact, by talking about what he can do better, you are putting more pressure on him, by making it seem really important, when it's not. He won't have to put 'got put on gold x amount of times in reception' on his CV!

TuftyFinch Wed 19-Oct-11 21:27:30

I dislike these charts and I'm really glad my DS's school doesn't use them. I wouldn't have chosen his school if they did use them. I don't think they are helpful and can be quite divisive as a behavior management tool for reception aged children.
Ds's school use positive rewards and reinforcement. They have a trophy that each child wins for a week for being 'Star of the Week'. I think rewarding primary aged children with a reward of a trip that is so far in the future is unhelpful and reinforces negative feelings towards the children that don't get to go on the trip. Have a trip that everyone can go on or don't have one.
Excluding a child for 'bad' behavior isn't very inclusive.

TuftyFinch Wed 19-Oct-11 21:31:00

Sorry got on my horse there and completely missed the point! Sorry tiger66 but as was said up ^ there then if he's not worried I wouldn't make an issue of it with him. I would speak to the teacher informally and ask what he can do to move up - although where do you go from gold?

vesela Wed 19-Oct-11 22:27:36

I would ignore it. If it does start to bother him, say that as long as he feels inside himself that he's being kind, then you're happy. And that if he did a kind thing and the teacher didn't notice, then not to worry - because it's important that people should carry on being kind when the teacher isn't looking.

nailak Wed 19-Oct-11 22:31:39

i think they put them back on to green on monday, and give the sticker on fri, so they have the whole week, my dd came home very excited on fri to tell me she was on silver...

howtocalmachild Wed 19-Oct-11 22:49:14

It's interesting how this year my child doesn't seem to be settling as quickly. I never heard last year of what happened if a child didn't do as they were asked because they just seemed to award "star of the day". This year it's sad face and happy face. For one of my children it wouldn't matter what is was they'd still be ok but the other one definitely sees the sad face as how the teacher feels about him/her etc which is a shame.

amistillscary Wed 19-Oct-11 23:29:22

I hate this type of thing.

It is too competative and relies on the teacher noticing each child and all their behaviours, which is impossible. Only the children who are always around the teacher will get moved up or down the chart-the ones who quietly just get on with it will be ignored. Whether they are quietly getting on with good work, kind behaviour or bullying in the toilets-so long as they are out of sight they will be off the chart.

I have not taught for 6 or 7 years, but never found it necessary to publicly advertise where my children were on a sliding scale of behaviour. In the schools where I taught, the children would have pulled such a thing off the walls and burnt it!

We relied on having relationships with the children, and knowing their personalities and strong and weak points, in order to encourage them and build their self esteem. We had respect for our children, and this built respect in them for us (respect for teachers was not, and should not be a 'given', it should be earned, IMO).

We made sure our teaching was accurately tailored to match the children's needs, and did not expect children to sit and listen to long lectures, or complete meaningless worksheets as 'time fillers'. The children felt challenged, but not out of their depth, and found school interesting, in the main.

My children do not go to that sort of school. At my children's school, they have the children sitting on the carpet for long periods, listening to the teacher talk.They are given photocopied worksheets from generic 'what to give them in this Yr Grp' books, with no differentiation bar a TA to sit next to a child with SN and tell them what to write, letter by letter. They expect the children to be 'good' without defining what 'good' is.

My youngest DS is 4. He is in Reception. He knows how to be 'good'. He folds his arms and tries to get his finger on his lips at the same time. My darling, vibrant little boy has learnt that it is 'good' to shut up and stay still. He has lots of stars and is near 'gold'. He has no idea what the stars are for, except 'being good'.

My middle DS is 5. He is in Y1, in the same class as his brother, as it is a tiny school. He may have an auditory Processing Disorder, and certainly has some form of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) due to bearing the brunt of DS1's difficult and challenging temper over the years. He does not sit still and listen. He has nervous tics and he doesn't easily process what he hears.
He is not 'good' in this teacher's view, although he is the kindest, gentlest little soul you could hope to meet. He has, in the 6 weeks since this teacher started, become withdrawn, depressed and stopped doing the things he enjoys.

He is not near gold. On the chart on the wall of the classroom where everyone can see, he is way down at the start. This embarasses him and makes him feel 'bad'. He tries to get smileys, but gets despondant when his teacher doesn't notice him and quickly gives up. On the rare occassions when the teacher does reward him with a 'smiley', he runs out of school, shouting out to me about it. Most days he slouches out dragging his bags.

My eldest child has ASD. He started at this 'caring, family friendly' school just over a year ago. They knew all about his disability when they took him, and also were made fully aware of the implications (he is incredibly bright and becomes bored in seconds. He is atypical of most kids with ASD in that he hates routine and likes surprises!). They refused to take him full time, and made him sit in the storeeroom to do his meaningless worksheets because he disturbed the teacher and other children with always knowing the answers. They wouldn't let him play out at all in case he ran away (which he never had), so he had to read in the hall all playtime and lunchtime. When he became upset and angry they held him down on the ground until I came for him.

He never got any smileys. I didn't even see his name on the chart, and he was not allowed in the classroom long enough to get one anyway.

Luckily, he now goes to what he says is 'The Best School In The World'. They do not have individual children's names on the wall with stars or smileys next to them. They have lovely teachers who care about the children and treat each one as the individual he or she is.

The classroom behaviour charts are just a 'fluffy' version of the dunces cap. They are devisive and will cause low self-esteem in some children and over-inflated egos in others. They rely too much on a teacher noticing behaviours, and if the teacher is inconsistant in that, the chart will soon lose its power and become ineffective. If, on the other hand, the teacher is absolutely and scrupulously fair, he or she will be too busy noticing behaviours and moving children up and down charts to teach effectively anyway. They are a load of rubbish borne out of the SuperNanny school of childrearing and the last bastian of teachers with no skills.

TuftyFinch Wed 19-Oct-11 23:41:08

amistillscary I agree completely with everything you say. I'm so glad your eldest child isn't in that school any more. You sound like the kind of teacher my DS now has. She relies on her ability to know the children and works hard on differentiating and working to their strengths. It made me sad to read in your post that your DS has learnt to sit still with his arms crossed and a finger on his lips.

FannyNil Thu 20-Oct-11 00:05:36

Tiger, the chart may be valued by some parents but it is clearly a failure for you as it is causing anxiety to both you and your son. He is very young for such close scrutiny of the nuances of his behaviour. Looking back at the school days of my 2 DDs and DS, they have all gone through (for them) good and difficult phases but are all living happy and productive lives. Your son's teacher should know him and be able to bring out his strengths and help with his weaknesses. To have behaviour so obviously described on a chart may be fine for those who are permanently at the gold level but can be highly demoralising for others who basically don't measure up. There is also the thought that you have to develop trust in your child's teacher and perhaps after a longer period in the class, your son will settle to her way of doing things. If he remains unhappy and you think, for example, that he lacks 'friendships you could raise it with her.

tiger66 Thu 20-Oct-11 14:32:46

Fanny Nil - my ds is very happy at school and doesn't seem to care that he doesn't move - it is more that I get bothered by it and I wander how long it will take before he does get bothered by it.

Thanks everyone for responding, really has helped.

Amistillscary - you sound like an amazing woman, what a lot to deal with, my hat goes off to you and makes my post and worry seem quite insignificant. Glad that your eldest has found a good school that he is happy in

tiger66 Thu 20-Oct-11 18:53:03

Ds came out today so excited that he got moved up to silver - funny that it was a different teacher today!

amistillscary Thu 20-Oct-11 23:34:12

Tufty and Tiger thanks for your kind words. I am doing my best to redress the balance by making things at home as good as I can.

I wish all the boys could go to 'the best school in the world', but it is a good 40 minute drive away. DS1 gets transport there as it has an asd unit (which he doesn't access because his ASD is atypical, but we're not telling transport that! grin )

Tomorrow the 2 little ones are off school for a training day, so we're having a day out together, and not a 'smiley' in sight! smile

kipperandtiger Fri 21-Oct-11 01:44:38

If he's not worried about it, and you know (more or less) he's behaving well.......don't worry!! Hard as that may be! (I've been there!). It's meant to motivate the children, not stress out their parents. Save your worry for GCSEs!! I personally think (having seen cousins and own offspring go through this) that it's more important that the child enjoys Reception and year one, and has a positive view of school. He can be a high achiever when he gets to Year 4 or 5 onwards.

Dadofdylan Mon 18-Dec-17 10:51:51

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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