When can reading and and writing change behavior? When you use a Wow Book, that's when!I totally believe that you get what you reinforce. That sword cuts both ways. Some kids are more than happy to get attention by acting like fools. When they get that negative attention, it's just as powerful as a pat on the back....only in a bad way!
So, what to do? I have noticed that when kids get an unexpected positive note from me, or from parents, it really makes their day. In fact, it changes behavior. To harness that power I made "Wow books".
How does it work?
There are two notebooks (click below for the freebie covers), one for the teacher, one for students. Each book is for writing about the positive things kids do during the day. The teacher may write about how Fred shared his pencil with a neighbor and made him smile, or helped a teammate out during cooperative learning. If one or two students get a positive note each day (keep track, so you get everyone included), the Wow book will be the first thing kids look at each morning, hoping they are the one caught being good. Then other kids in the class can add their comments about that great action.
The students' notebook works the same way. Kids keep a lookout during the day to find other students doing positive things. Then they can write about them in the book. Other students can add on with their comments.
The classroom community grows stronger because kids are focusing on positive behavior of others, rather than finding things to tattle about. Plus they get the glow of being the one found doing positive things. All the while, they are reading and writing. If you want to know what spelling words you need to work on...check the students'
book. That's their authentic writing.