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Hi,

We have used a star chart in our nursery room for the past few months (5 stars = a sticker and 10 stars =a certificate). The children don't seem that enthused by it anymore and was wondering whether anyone can suggest any tried and tested reward systems.

Thanks for your time.

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we have a golden book and any child that does anything nice, helps out, is friendly etc gets a golden sticker and put in the book. Then at the end of the session they can choose from the golden board things like line up first, chhoose a story, shake the tambourine etc :o

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Am I having a Bobby Ewing in the shower moment? Weren't there other posts in this thread? Or is there another similar thread going alongside this one? I'm remembering something about trees and leaves and plastic parachuting men or bouncing balls...

 

I've finally lost the plot, I fear!

 

We don't have a sticker system or reward system at all. We used to, but found that children were continually asking "can I get a sticker for that?"

 

Now we just target our praise very carefully, and specifically as appropriate. If someone does something particularly kind or helpful, we do celebrate it at snacktime, if the child welcomes the attention.

 

We also have "I'm so proud of ......................... today" certificates which we fill in and send home so that the child's family can learn about what their child achieved/did during the session. They are signed by the individual practitioner which is lovely for the child to know who was proud of them, and why! Often we've heard parents say delightedly to their child "ooh you got a sticker! What was that for?" only to be rewarded by a shrug!

 

Maz

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I agree with happymaz.....we don't have a reward system either. We od have a kindness tree where we often put a hand on there with writing to explain the reason i.e Jonny was kind today because he shared his toys with Fred. We found by using stickers the children were just doing something to get a sticker.

 

I give out stickers to the whole group for say, doing a fire drill practice well and listening well but not individually.

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not a Boobby Ewing in sight.. another thread same topic...

 

we too have no reward system other than praise.

 

My own son was one of those who did as he was told, behaved well despite finding it very difficult ( he was and still is hyperactive to a mild degree) and never had a reward for it UNTIL he had a revelation ( He is bright!)

 

If i behave badly - and then behave well - I will get a reward.

 

His behavior got really bad in a short space of time and when we finally got to the reason he told us that others who were 'naughty' (his word not ours) always got something special and he never did... had to work twice as hard to get any recognition for his behavior.. and he was 4 at the time!!!

 

Hence my / our no reward except praise system.. works well for us and all get some praise during the day and everyone tries hard for a comment about how well they are doing.. they love it.

 

Inge

Edited by Inge
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agree with the above. We don't use rewards either in our Nursery, just lots of praise, positive thanks and encouraging children to articulate why the thing that they have done is good. We talk about how it makes ourselves feel and how others feel as a result of what we have done. For indiviual acheivement in very concrete terms- like fastening your own coat up for yourself, we celebrate how independent we are getting by doing things that we couldn't do before.

There is a really good section in Raj Persauds book "The Motivated Mind" all about the double edged effect of rewards.

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Montessori believed that children are satisfied in a job well done and did not need "empty" praise children who hang on the "well done" given by their caregivers dont learn to do tasks for themselves but for others because they know it will result in praise. Also such children will not become independent learners who love what they do because they are not doing it for themselves. Well theres a lot more to it then that but. We do use sentences such as " i,ve watched you drawing your picture and you have spent a long time creating it havent you, did it turn out as you had hoped it would". perhaps not the best example to use but its will do x jojom x

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No, that explains it perfectly, jojom. I don't think I could expect you to sum up the whole of the Montessori philosophy in one paragraph!

 

You have provided a very eloquent argument against the use of a reward system based on adult values - very thought provoking!

 

Maz

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I endorse the 'no sticker' policy. I just think that it encourages dependence on adult motivation rather than self motivation.

 

I also wonder, what happens when the stickers stop?. When does the child get an opportunity to feel self satisfaction if they link success to the receipt of a sticker rather than actually recognising the actual skill / attitude / knowledge they have further developed or succeeded in.

Also in a staff team, one member of staffs values of what deserves a reward may vary from another member of staf, thus sending out inconsistent messages.

 

HOWEVER, I have used, for a short period of time, for a clearly indentified goal, a sticker system at home for my son, it worked in the short term, mainly it enabled him to focus and place a sense of importance on the one specific skill aimed at. I then went on to discuss with him how well he felt about the achievement and that he would still feel the same even if he didn't get a sticker, and that the sticker really just marked the 'time' in which he had achieved it. ie: if you remember to do......... every day for a week, we put a sticker on the chart ( not given to him to wear).

 

I also think if stickers are not over used then when they receive one from the dentist / doctor etc it means more to them, these people are just transient in their lives so the sticker symbolises a one off event of say bravery.

 

Peggy

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