A Great Classroom Management Strategy (My Point/Your Point)

October 3, 2013


I really like this class management strategy which has a number of variations in how it is implemented by teachers.  It’s a simple but effective technique that most kids buy into, and that requires no preparation time. Basically, the way it works:

The teacher keeps a visible tally (e.g., on the board) of teacher points versus student points. When the kids are on-task (or demonstrate any specific target behaviors the teacher wants them to improve), they get a point. When the kids are off-task or fail to demonstrate the target behavior, the teacher gets a point.   At the end of the day, class period, or other designated time,  if the students earned more points than the teacher, they are rewarded in some way.   If the teacher had more points/tallies than the students, the kids would lose out on the reward/privilege.

In her blog  DownEastTeach , Cathy shares how she uses this technique in her classroom:


When students are on-task, she just walks over and puts a tally mark in the student column.  If they are loud, off-task, or not following directions, she makes a tally under the teacher column.  She says that often all she needs to do is walk towards the scoreboard if the students are being too loud, and they immediately quiet down without her having to say anything.  At the end of the day, whoever has more points earns 5 minutes.  If students win, they get to put the 5 minutes toward Friday afternoon’s Choice Time.  If the teacher has more points, she keeps the 5 minutes for learning (as that means the class had been off-task during the day and had lost learning time they need to make up).  Sometimes she allows individual students to earn a point for the entire class.  I love this option of enabling individual students (e.g., those with ADHD) to be a class hero and earn a point for the class.  Read more at her website:  (http://downeastteach.blogspot.com).

Individual/Group Post-It Tally  vs  Teacher Tally

One variation of this system was shared with me by Glenda S., a university student of mine.   Her students are seated in table groups.  The students each have a 2×2 or 3×3 post-it note on their desks with a T-chart on it.  On the left side of the “T” is their name and the other side of the “T” is their group number.  Throughout the period when an individual or the group demonstrates “on-task” behavior, they get a point and can put a tally mark on their individual or group side of the “T”.   If an individual or group is off-task,  a teacher tally mark is put up on the board.  The goal is for each student to have more tally marks (individual and group tally marks combined) than the teacher.  When introducing this strategy and teaching her expectations for on-task behavior, Glenda awards points/tallies very frequently and for short segments so students experience success.   Then gradually the criteria gets harder and she scales down the frequency of giving points.




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