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Age Appropriate Reward Systems


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Hi, it looks very much like I will be moving to our 1-2 yr room soon. :)

 

Having always worked within the foundation stage and above, I kind of have some swotting to do!!

 

One area I know I will be asked to tackle is the reward system in there at the moment. I need to find an age and developmentally appropriate reward system :o

 

In preschool, I made individual sheets for the children and they would get a stamp or sticker on the sheet for personal achievements, of any description, not so much as a reward but for something they have been working towards. I would date it and write on the back what it was for so the parents could see also. For example, one little girl would really struggle at meal times, to try other foods, (she had been used to a very bland, mushy diet) so for her to try a mouthful of a new food was a big achievement for her.

 

Anyway to get back to the main issue! :(

 

Does anybody have any ideas for the 1-2 age group xD personally I'm not sure how much they would understand.

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I was told aeons ago that we couldn't have sticker charts with all the children's names on (and their stickers) on display because it would 'upset' some parents, so I did the similar to you Trish. I used to photocopy certificates for the children, write their achievements on and put a sticker on them for them to take home so the other parents didnt get upset. The children much preferred these, as they didn't lose their stickers, and to a certain extent some parents preferred them, especially those parents who liked to save their children's achievements!

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That was exactly the same for us Clare, I didn't like the wall chart being on display, some children were there more than others and gained more, and parents seemed to think it was for being 'good'!! rather than an actual achievement. Our children have their own named tray, so we ask them to collect their chart, (it's A5 size) and we fill it in on a personal level, sometimes the whole group would get one and they enjoyed the event of it all.

 

I'm still stumped as to what to do for the 1-2 yrs though :o

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:( I can't get round the fact of them understanding what it's about and why they have been given a 'sticker' :o

 

As is the current way!! It seems the benefit is more for the parents at the moment rather than the child xD

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I find that with our reception children Trisha - they can choose between a sticker team pints or smiley face board. One child did well reading her high frequency words i let her choose her reward and she chose team points. The next day her mother wrote a note saying she thought her duaghter deserved a sticker for her efforts. I wrote back saying ****did extremely well ih her words and she certainly did deserve to be rewarded and her choice of reward was team points. Her mother wrote back saying it ould have been more appropriate for me to make her choose a sticker so others could see how well her daughter was doing. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

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:o that is exactly why i wanted the chart on the wall gone. The charts are more personal now and they have room for about 12 stickers/stamps, then we laminate it and send it home. Underneath I date it and on the reverse i re-write the date to correspond and write a small note about the achievement. They do work for preschool.

 

Now for those tot's!! :D:D:D

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Having read this thread, my mind was initially blank too, however, just a thought....

decide the purpose, like you say is the chart for the benefit of the child or the parent? Is it a reward system or a recognition of individual achievement, or both?

 

I agree that 1-2 yr olds won't understand them in the same context as staff or parents, however any parent will appreciatte an achievement record.

 

I personally feel that we have to be careful about how we put an emphasis on achieving awards due to specific acts / skills or behaviours. I like to acknowledge children at the times when they are just being themselves, to teach them that they are valuable, worthy, lovable just because they are and that they don't always have to earn this acknowledgement by doing anything specific. They are just being. It is the personal, physical smiles, gestures, cuddles, individual time that we give the children that is most important to them for raising their esteem and self worth. Once we start measuring and awarding them, they will feel that they have to perform in a certain way to please, to be valued etc.

 

I remember reading in the forum about a boy who when asked how he got his sticker he said something like " If I cry then stop, I get a sticker"

 

I used to use stickers 'ad hoc' in my preschool, awarding them for specific behaviours that I wanted specific children to change / develop, however, it came to the point that they would ask for a sticker, showing that without one they didn't feel as valued as other children who got one. They would think up reasons such as "I've tidyed up can I have a sticker", well no, you've tidyed up for your benefit, so that the toys are looked after and you can find the toys when you want them again, not to 'earn' a sticker. It was our fault as adults that the child had learnt this message, because we had previously awarded stickers for tidying.

 

I have used stickers for children to award to each other, this helps them to consider others points of view and helps them to put their points of view across to others ( their peers and adults). The child giving the sticker has to tell everybody why they think another child deserves it. I've used this method when children are falling out with each other, not getting along, they award each other stickers for being friendly, helpful and kind to each other, it's a more focused peer pressure I suppose. It helps the children see how their attitude affects their peers and how their peers feel about them due to their behaviour. However, this is supported with discussions and helping the children understand how it feels when an award is not given.

 

So, for under two's ( and older) I'd say, yes, an achievement record, for parents benefit, but for the children just lots of "I like you because you're you" attention. Don't teach them they have to 'earn' value of others until they have learnt to value themselves and have the beginnings of self identity and self worth.

 

Peggy

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Lot's of helpful thoughts there Peggy, Thankyou :D

 

I have been thinking along the lines of what you said about the parents benefits. So far I have come up with making a sheet similar to the pre-school ones but a bit bigger, A4, and putting them in their 'All about Me' folders that the parents get sent home at the end of each month with information about the past months' activities and also achievements their child has been doing. That way the child's parent/s see it only and for their benefit really. And as you say cuddles etc for the child. :)

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I agree with Peggy's comments. In my experience children younger than 3 or 4 dont always understand why they got a sticker or other reward, they can say they've got one but it doesnt change the behaviour or make them do something again. I remember one little girl who would approach any and all memers of staff throughout the session and tell us that she'd done this or that and could she now have a sticker. I have thought about it for extreme challenging behaviour, but even then I cant see it working with young childen, and what about if you give a sticker and other children want one, how do you say no to a 2 year old? Well I never could so they all got one and made the exercise pointless. :D

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Trisha, I like your idea of using "all about me" books to record the achievements, one for confidentiality and to stop the my child's better than yours syndrome, and because the achievements noted, even if it is just "Amy was good company today :)" , they are so more personalised. I wish I'd got one when my son was at preschool, but then I worked there as well so I saw what he did every day :( , plus it was so long ago we didn't do records like we do now. It would have been nice to look back on an achievement book now, just to remind myself ( and him for that matter) of how cute he was 20 yrs ago xD:o

 

Peggy

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We were always taught that intrinsic rewards (praise etc) built self esteem, while extrinsic rewards (stickers etc) build dependency. I do give stickers etc. but don't attach a great deal of value to them :o

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