Sticker chart

A couple of weeks ago, someone left a soccer table (fooseball?) at the freecycle area. Wow! It was in good condition, so I brought it home. Richard had been having trouble getting his schoolwork done in a reasonable amount of time without tons of frustration and pestering by me and my husband. He’s also been wanting one of these tables. Aha!

Well, I brought it home. My husband had a small fit until I explained it’s purpose. Richard had to earn it. Until then, it stayed in the garage. If he failed to earn it, back to the freecycle it would go. Here’s how he earns it:

1. The next week he had to complete his school by noon 4 out of 5 days. If he did, we’d take him to the school supply store to buy stickers of his choice for a sticker chart.

2. After earning the stickers, he then has to get 15 stickers before the end of November. To earn a sticker his school must be finished by noon. If he still hasn’t finished school at 3pm he gets a strike. He can only get 3 strikes before he forfeits the game.

3. Time may be adjusted if our work interferes.

He started earning stickers last week. He choose little ladybugs. There are over 500 of them in the package. You can’t buy just one sheet of them. He made a chart on an index card and taped it on the wall near his desk. It still took some prodding. He only got 2 stickers last week. He also got his first strike. Still, he did manage to complete all his work at least.

This week is a little better. I noticed Friday that he’d been using a mechanical pencil he found somewhere. I told him if he earned 5 stickers in a row, that I’d get him a package of them.

Staying on task and getting started are still problems we’re working on. Giving him a deadline attached to positive reinforcement has helped somewhat. Monday he had his unit tests. I made the mistake of giving him a break. He had trouble starting again, but finally settled down again. Yesterday was lots of fresh snow. I let the kids have the morning off then did school in the afternoon. The times threw them off a little, but they got it done.

Today was a struggle getting started. He goofed around half an hour so my husband told him what to do first (language arts) rather than making a list. Richard started handwriting instead. My husband kept telling him do language arts. Richard threw a fit then made his own list. I got mad at them both and told Richard his list was fine. I wasn’t going to pester him but gave him a choice. Either he got busy or he could have the day off and another strike which would forfeit the pencils. It was now quarter to ten. He quickly got to work. Well, he squeaked by with less than 5 minutes until noon to earn his third sticker this week.

So, overall, the sticker chart has improved his work motivation. It gives him positive physical reinforcement for completing his work on time. It is helping in goal setting by tracking his progress toward the reward for completing the goal.

Согласен, что пост получился удачным. Хорошая работа!

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6 Responses

  1. What a great idea! I hope he continues to be motivated. Are you going to have an on-going plan if he earns the table as far as usage? (Knowing how well you run your household, I’m sure you already thought this out.)
    I have a couple of kids who are “motivated” by things like this, too. But we’ve never tried anything big or too long term. Our motivations are usually things like being able to go to an indoor pool during the winter or watch a movie on the weekend. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Actually, no. We don’t have anything planned after the table is earned. One thing at a time. This morning he counted his stickers and asked when the deadline was. I told him and he grinned saying only 8 more stickers to go. Plus if he gets one today and tomorrow he’ll get the pencils. He’s been busy this morning with no complaints. Yeah, I think this is starting to work.

    We figured 6 weeks was the longest he could handle right now and allowed for almost half misses. That way if he’s very diligent, he will get it sooner. Plus we made the daily time a short amount (3 hours) to reward hard work, but set a cutoff to stop goofing off all day. He starts at 9. We tried to start him sooner on the day after his strike but he threw a fit. He didn’t understand or make the connection that the earlier start gives him more time because the end is still noon even if he starts at 7am.

  3. That is a good idea!!! My kids don’t understand the concept of delayed gratification yet. If they have to wait for it- even if they accumulate stickers, they still don’t quite get it…and I’m not usually consistent enough to keep up with it!

  4. Kristi,
    That’s part of the reason I decided to add the intermediary goal of 5 in a row to earn the pencils. BTW he did it! What ages/grades are your kids? The younger kids need shorter time before getting to the goal. I will say they’re keeping me on track. Yesterday I forgot his sticker and he reminded me at bedtime. He really wants his prize.

  5. My kids are young- barely old enough for school. My daughter is 5 and my son is 3 (will be 4 in Jan). How old is Richard? We have tried sticks and stickers, candy and all sorts of things. The only thing that has really “worked” is just praising them when they’ve done well. It’s much harder to forget. 🙂 I have a hard time finding suitable rewards for my children too.

  6. Kristi,
    My son is 7 and doing third grade. My daughter will be 5 just after Christmas only doing kindergarten a few days per week for an hour or so. Praise is still the best reward, but doesn’t help toward keeping track of goals. I wouldn’t stress too much over getting school done at that age, especially with the youngest. Just find things that are fun. We were on our boat when my son was 3 and invented preschool things like Macaroni Math, matching games, and coloring books. I also found a basic kindergarten readiness skills workbook we did a few pages a week. Nothing too formal.

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