Well, I had one class that was having a particularly difficult time understanding and identifying the cumulative form and they were also having a big behavior management problem. This was a class of talkers who were constantly getting out of theig assigned spot and messing with the kid next to them. I needed an incentive to get them back on track and keep them on task for the whole lesson. Bonus points if it could help with teaching the cumulative form.
The next time my kiddos came through the door I said "I have some special prizes for kids today. I'm going to hand out these links to whoever is doing a great job sitting in their assigned spot and raising their hand to answer questions." Well, immediately a lot of the kids went to their seat and sat right down. I awarded one link to about 5 different kids who went and sat quietly. Then I said "I'm going to keep handing out links to anyone who follows directions and participates well today. I've got a couple options for prizes and whoever ends up with the most links at the end of class gets to choose whichever prize they want." (I didn't tell them, but I had suckers, pixie sticks, School Bucks, etc. These are sort of standard prizes at my school but the idea that they got to choose and that they didn't know exactly what they'd get was a cool incentive for them.
We went on through class learning and singing "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain," and adding in new actions with each verse. Along the way I tossed out links to kids who gave me answers, were singing, or maybe who needed the "attaboy" to get back on track. I made sure to give links to the kiddos who has some behavior problems and reward them doing the RIGHT thing. Right before the end of class we talked about the definition of cumulative form ad how you keep adding in new verses and words with each new time through. Then I made a connection between the words cumulative and accumulate. A kid raised his hand and said that he had been accumulating links just like we were accumulating new actions and words in the song. It was an awesome connection moment that he did all on his own (and he earned two or three links for that great answer).
At the end of class I gave out a prize to whoever had the most links and by the end everyone had at least one link. Many of my troublemaker kids felt great about this day because they earned at least a few links for doing a good job. To get them to line up I said, "Anyone with one link can come up, put away in the jar, and then be the FIRST in line." Kids with one link liked this because even though they had the least amount of links they got an award when lining up. "Anyone with two links can come up, put their links away, and then line up." I made sure to verbally congratulate kiddos for having so many links as we went on.
Compared to other little rewards that I've used in the past, I like this a little better because I don't have to waste class time peeling stickers off a sheet and I'm not giving away sugar to each one of them. I also like it because it's a reward that keeps on giving. They put the links away at the end of class and I can immediately reuse them unlike stickers, suckers, school bucks, etc. which have to be replenished at some point. I didn't care if a couple links "walked off" with the kids because I had a jar of 1,000!
Do you have any thoughts about how you might make this work in your classroom or ideas on how you would modify the reward system? I'd love to hear your suggestions so that it makes this behavior reward even better! Share in a comment below!