Good Behavior Game – A Tried and True Method to Improve Classroom Behavior
Anyone who has ever worked with children, especially in the schools, can testify that it is hard to teach when students are exhibiting problem behaviors. Teachers have to identify what is causing the problem behavior then somehow address it. There are a variety of classroom management strategies that can effectively manage the behavior once it has been identified. The Good Behavior Game (GBG), which is described further in the Evoke Classroom Behavior Management modules, has been shown to be very successful at addressing issues with 80% of students having improved behavior. By implementing the GBG in their classroom a teacher can improve the learning environment for the vast majority of students and more easily identify those who are at-risk and may be in need of more support.
What is it?
The Good Behavior Game emphasizes frequent behavior-specific praise, teamwork between students, teacher monitoring of students, and promotion of appropriate behavior in the classroom. This helps students better understand what is expected and gives the teacher an opportunity to reward those behaviors. Students earn points for their team when they exhibit the appropriate behaviors. To motivate actually adhering to the desire behaviors students can win things like candy, extra time for arts & crafts, or other things that they desire.
In my experience as a behavior consultant, the Good Behavior Game, has always either solved the problem or helped significantly. Here’s how I teach the game and what I have observed. In schools I use the “I Do, We Do, You Do” format – I model the game, the teachers and I implement the game together, then I observe the teacher implementing the game and provide constructive feedback.
How To Implement the Game
I teach the game in an “I Do, We Do, You Do” format – I model the game, we implement the game together, and then you implement the game independently and I will provide constructive feedback. During the “I Do” stage, I explain that teams can earn points by following the behavioral expectations (i.e., classroom rules) posted in the classroom.
When I explain that winning teams can earn access to a “mystery” reward students start to get excited and want to begin. During the game, students’ eyes light up when it is announced that their team received a point. They are having fun, and because points are paired with behavior-specific praise, they continue to engage in that exact appropriate behavior to continue earning points. It doesn’t take long before students are whispering encouragement to each other to exhibit the desired behavior!
The Results Speak for Themselves
It’s not just the students who are excited, it’s the teachers too. Teachers start to smile more, and experiment with movement around the classroom to monitor the students. As they are looking for reasons to give points to the students it becomes more intuitive to give behavior-specific praise further encouraging students to behave. Teachers look forward to implementing this independently and communicate positive observations of their students, including greater on-task, positive interactions between students, and more work being produced than before.
Have any of you tried something like this and if so what was your experience? Do you use something else (ClassDojo, table points)? Let us know in the comments!