Research on Token Economy
This paper will address the different behavioral issues that teachers are facing in their everyday classroom activities. Along with that is to develop a token economy program that will serve as a positive reinforcement in order to maintain appropriate classroom behaviors among students. The grade level focus of this paper is the preschool level. One or another, children below the age of seven is not pretty much serious enough yet to attend school and some of them are still not aware of how important it is that they attend school. Tendency is, children act inappropriately showing tantrums and disinterest to listen to the teacher. Teachers on the other hand cannot do force retaliation, otherwise the law states it is illegal. There are also children that are uncomfortable with other children and some are shy enough not to participate. Common scenario in a pre-school class is children not paying attention. The only positive way of engaging the children to take schooling seriously and behave properly inside the classroom is to impose a token economy program. Much like bribing, children are offered with something they would be much interested with, small toys, snacks or what not. Generally, children are likely to follow the rules of engagement when they know that they would benefit something from it or a sort of realize objective. The initiative of token economy program is to motivate students to do perform at their best at school and control their negative behaviors as well.
Token economy is an intensified reinforcement to build up appropriate classroom behaviors and improve performance of the students. When needed token programs can resolved issues within the classroom and with the use of positive reinforcement selective students that requires close attention are being motivated. Such programs are also beneficial in taking care of children with ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder. Some children act differently from home and different at school. There are those that are called hyper children and dealing with such is truly an exhausting business, it I also associated with ADHD which is a minimal brain dysfunction manifests in the child as a very active and hard to control child behavior (Directorydolphin.com N.D.).
When a child displays a kind of hyperactive behavior inside the classroom it creates a stressful environment for other children and to the teacher as well. Such cases of child behavior are just one of the many that teachers are battling with everyday inside the classroom. There are children that were not getting enough attention from home that they tend to show their true nature in school. On the other hand some children are less active at school, normally the silent types, but extremely active at home and they are otherwise known as socially inactive children. Another prominent behavior teachers are encounter are children that are not much interested with the academics and their attention is either to their classmates talking or playing around. Teachers are facing of so many burdens in the classroom with only just dealing with the student’s behavior. Token economy program aims to minimize chaos inside the classroom and to keep the students at their best during class, which in return would not only make them brighter but would also earn them a few knick knacks. It is proven effective because despite the differences in the kid’s behavior patterns the token program targets the common denominations among children.
Token Economy Program
The most powerful tool of intervention that teachers can use to improve the children’s school behavior through the use of incentives that children are very much interested with, it is like having them to participate in a game with corresponding prize. Although referred to as effective, token economy program also has its limitations. In a formal token economy programs it is proven to have increased student performance from just a little to not at all. This is an indication that not all token programs will work to the general classroom population or otherwise it is selective. Experts also call it time consuming considering the number of task that the teachers are responsible with. Because of that teachers are also encouraged to take additional training in behavior management and intervention in order to device the program effectively (Popsmin.tripod.com N.D.).
It is mentioned in the first part of this paper that the grade level that token economy program would be most effective is in a pre-school classroom. Fist step is to narrow down the prominent and most common behavior occurrences in most students. The Yale Child Study Center found that in the United States preschoolers are likely three times more possibly to be expelled from the school rather than K-12 students. The findings also concluded the reasons for that is the common drastic behaviors among the preschoolers like tantrums, verbal and physical aggression, disruptive motor and vocal behavior, destruction of classroom properties, noncompliance, self injury and withdrawal (Witting, Nancy N.D.).
Below is the step by step plan for a proposed token economy program.
Step 1: Behavior targets
1. Non submission of assignments on time
2. Not participating in class recitations
3. Low reading proficiency
4. Class room rules compliance
Step 2: Tracking Method
1. Use stamps and stars as record tracking for the token economy program.
2. Students will be provided with a small stamp notebook that will be kept under their desk. Each time the student earns the token, the notepad will be stamped with each page of the notepad designated for each day of school. It will be easier to count the number of stars per day if all of them are to be placed in a single page per day. The use of stamp is cost effective rather than purchasing stickers and it is tamper proof. The problem with stickers is the children might play on it and peel it off unintentionally.
3. Stars on the other hand will be awarded everyday for the student with the most stamps earned.
Step 3: Rewards
1. Rewards should be something appealing to the students and something that should motivate them more because they perceive the reward as worth working for.
2. Rewards have to be in kind or something that will allow the children to participate in chores or take a leader responsibility.
3. In kind rewards are snack packs, small toy, school supplies and a little bit of healthy sweets.
4. Opportunity rewards includes allowing the student to play in the playroom for a longer period than usual, they can also loan a toy bring it home and return it the next day, participate in school chores like, feeding the school pets, watering the plants, allow them help in the school canteen and act as teacher assistant.
5. Leader opportunity as rewards involves appointing them as the class leader for the day; meet the important personalities in the school like the principal, lead in the morning flag ceremonies and intercom message announcer.
Step 4: Mechanics
1. Based on the behavior lists, if the student showed compliance in one or more behavior from the matrix, they will be acknowledged by the teacher and their stamp notepad will be stamped with. The process continues until the end of the school day, while the children are putting away their things the teacher will count the stamps and whoever has the most for that day will earn a golden star.
2. The golden star will automatically earn them a leadership opportunity rewards and select from any of the given options. The teacher will also need to do a weekly count, each page will be marked with the number of stamps and at the end of the week the numbers will be added together.
3. The weekly tally of stamps will be compared with among the other students and whoever earns the most tamps in a week will automatically earn the opportunities reward and select among the options available for them. At the end of the month all of the student’s stamps will be tallied based on the weekly count, this time the student will use it as school dollar that they can use to buy from the class store. Things like snack packs, cookies, small toys and what knots are available for them to get.
Step 5: Goals
1. The goal is to improve academic and behavioral performance of each student through the use of token economy and providing rewards.
I (student name) and (parent’s name), agree to terms and conditions stipulated in this agreement in relation to the Token Economy Program set forth by the teacher in order maintain appropriate behavior of the children while inside the classroom and to improve their overall academic and behavior performance.
As a student I am obliged to follow the classroom house rules and to adhere to the assignment requirements and schedule. Improve my reading skills and comprehension readings, in return I will be awarded with stamps and star achievement that will earn me school dollars which I can use to buy my favorite things in our classroom store or have the opportunity rewards.
As a parent I will make sure to check his day lessons and check assignments to make sure that my child would be able to submit them on time. I will also help my child in reading and do my best teach him with the proper behaviors so that my child can have the chance to improve behaviorally and academically.
Popsmin.tripod.com (N.D.) Classroom Token Economy Web Retrieved March 3, 2012 from http://popsmin.tripod.com/classtokenecon.html
Directorydolphin.com (N.D.) Coping with Hyper Children – Children’s Health Web Retrieved March 3, 2012 from http://www.directorydolphin.com/articles/article-31.html
Witting, Nancy (N.D.) Preschoolers and Bad Behavior Web Retrieved March 3, 2012 from http://school.familyeducation.com/preschool/behavioral-problems/56510.html