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As parents, teachers, and caretakers we are tasked with finding new ways to motivate children to encourage positive behavior. Behavior charts have become a popular way to help children visualize how their favorable behavior is rewarded but are behavior charts healthy for overall growth and development? Do they have a negative impact on the motivation of children later on or do they effectively teach the connection between hard work and subsequent rewards?
In daycare centers, behavior charts aim to assist in classroom management. Teaching preschoolers self-control can be a challenging task for teachers. Behavior charts act as a visual reminder of what is expected of them and can be a tool used to convert negative behavior. Behavior charts are effective in teaching good habits and the determination to learn and progress in new skills. You can use various types such as star charts, rainbow charts or a golf course style chart.
Advantages Of Behavior Charts
- It is a great tool for specifying expectations and acting as a visual reminder of these expectations. By expectations we mean good behavior, sitting still, listening to the teacher when they are talking, being kind to one another, etc.
- Having a behavior chart visible throughout the day aids in accountability because they can see their performance and how close they are to their rewards.
- Students that require extrinsic motivation will benefit from a reward system such as this.
- Teachers with bigger student groups are not always able to give each student individual attention to keep their behavior in line. The behavior chart reminds each student that they need to follow classroom rules throughout the day, even if the teacher is not directly telling them to do so.
Disadvantages Of Behavior Charts
- Some children are intrinsically motivated (motivated by internal rewards) and so visual trackers of progress are ineffective in encouraging the development of some skills.
- Students that are extrinsically motivated (motivated by physical rewards or to avoid punishment) might feel that there is too much pressure to excel and instead of benefiting from the system they will struggle to perform at all.
- Publicly tracking a child’s behavior has been shown to have negative effects on self-esteem because their success and their missteps are visible for all peers to see. This can sometimes make a student feel like they don’t want to participate in group activities at the risk of feeling embarrassed. This can lead to a negative relationship between achievement and rewards.
- The behavior of students is sometimes a reflection of other issues that they may be experiencing at home or internally. A behavior chart will therefore not change this negative behavior but rather act as a weight on their shoulders when they are already dealing with something that causes them to act out.
- A behavior chart does not automatically eradicate negative behavior in a classroom. It is merely a vehicle for encouragement. Aside from this, a teacher will still need to control the behavior of the students and instill a sense of respect without the behavior chart.
Behavior charts will not solve all problems. They are a great method for classroom management, depending on the level of your students. Each group of children will react and respond differently to methods of discipline and encouragement.
Paying special attention to the needs of our students to understanding what motivates them is important to us at Stone Brook Academy. Our aim is to seek out what exactly our students need to achieve and excel in areas they feel best. We aim to build unique relationships with our students through learning in a nurturing environment. Having a good plan for classroom management is part of a good organization and we believe that the students benefit most from a well-run, encouraging and motivational environment.