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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Thinking Ahead... Table Points

Next year, I'd like to change up my behavior management strategies.  I've begun thinking about it so that I can gather some things from my classroom to take home as I plan.

I've been reading Building Literacy in Social Studies (see the picture below or click on the link).
  What does that have to do with behavior management, you ask?  Well, this book is not only rich with ideas on improving comprehension in Social Studies, but also includes some great ideas how to get small groups of students to work together in the most efficient manor.

This book calls it PODS (Performance Organizational Design System) rather than Table Points, but I think I will stick to calling them Table Points for now because students have background knowledge of that terminology from previous classrooms.

Each student within a table is assigned a number that corresponds to task they will have to complete during the learning block.  For example, all number ones are the group leaders.  The numbers are randomly assigned by handing out index cards with Social Studies terms written on one side and a number on the other.  For example, while studying the Civil War, there might be 5 cards that read "industrial," with a number 1 on the back 5 that read "agricultural," with a 2 on the back, and so on until you have enough to give each student a number within their table.

The teacher could ask all the number threes to collect materials for the group, or the number fours to summarize the information their group discussed during think-pair-share.  Since the numbers are constantly changing, no one knows the task for which they will be responsible.  This should help keep them on their toes and engaged!

Now on to the points.  The book assigns points to desired predetermined behaviors.  For example:
No absence: 5 points
1 absence: 3 points
Homework: 5 points
Materials: 5 points
On-task: 5 points
Assignment: 5 points
Behavior: 5 points

Bonus points are awarded for the following.  This helps compensate for missing homework or absences.
Sharing information

Points are tallied daily and weekly to help motivate students to do their best.  The book calls this "positive interdependence" (members of a group realize that each must contribute for the sake of others).

I love this idea.  The one thing I wanted to change was how the points are displayed.  Elementary students need visual representations of their effort to help motivate them.  So, I found some great ideas on Pinterest. 

First, this great idea for keeping track the points earned at the end of the day.  It puts the table's desired reward at the bottom of the strip on a sticky note, and the points are shown by moving a paperclip down the strip.  The group earns their reward once the clip makes it to the sticky note.

The next idea comes from Stephanie Moorman.  She uses algebra to have students calculate their table points.  What a great way to get some math in!

Whew!  What do you think?  Do you use anything similar to this?  I'd love to hear some ideas before I get started.


Brandee Green said...

Great book suggestion. I found your blog via a such for Social Studies picture books. I'm your newest follower.
Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

Heather said...

Love your blog and started following it as well, Brandee! I've been concentrating on Social Studies recently and I'm always happy to get more resources!