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Behavior Management Tips: Using an Allowance


Encourage positive classroom behavior and simultaneously teach mathematical concepts using a classroom allowance.


School Allowance
Provide each student with a laminated piece of paper, divided into columns labeled with the days of the week, from Monday through Friday. Under each column, create five rows, labeled as follows:

  • Work completed accurately. (Assignments are completed in class with 85 percent or better accuracy.)
  • Work completed on time. (Given ample time, work is completed accurately.)
  • Appropriate seating posture. (Sits in the chair with all four legs on the floor, with no more than one warning.)
  • Positive attitude. (This category is used for students who have attitude difficulties.)
  • Super Student. (This is a bonus for having achieved all the above.)
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Looking for more information about token economies? Read Token Economies Yield Promising Results.

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Each day, place a star or checkmark in the appropriate boxes, and award students a nickel for each star or checkmark they earn -- up to $.25 per day or $1.25 per week. You also might give bonus money to students who do something exceptional. Provide each student with an envelope labeled with the student's name and the amount of money in the envelope.

Ring for Service
Set up a classroom store where students can purchase items with their reward money. Collect items from your basement, attic, and garage and solicit donations from children, grandchildren, neighbors, and friends. You also can purchase inexpensive items to sell in the store, including posters, pencils, erasers, notebooks, sharpeners, markers, and more.

Let's Do Lunch
For an extra-special reward, offer for sale a "Go Out to Lunch" certificate. Students who accumulate and save a great amount of cash can purchase the certificate, in which you promise to take them out for a (reasonably priced!) lunch.

Article by Linda Starr
Education World®
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