The Scoreboard is your class motivator, a team game in which your kids advance to higher and higher levels of academic and social behavior. Think of the Scoreboard as a video game with morals!
Astonishingly enough, you don’t provide material rewards for positive behavior. Forget lottery tickets, play money, candy, weird stuff you bought from Oriental Trading Company. Throw away that Treasure Chest! The reward for excellence should be being recognized for excellence, not receiving a caramel.
When kids ask, “What do we get for winning?” You grin and reply, “Just like a video game, win enough times on the Scoreboard and you climb to a higher level.” When students inquire, “How many levels are there?” You respond, “How high can you count?”
When your class is doing a good job, following classroom rules, treating each other with respect, performing transitions quickly, staying focused on tasks, mark a positive tally. Kids clap their hands, a One Second Party, and exclaim, “Oh, yeah!” When students are off task, behaving rudely, breaking class rules, mark a negative tally. Your students quickly lift their shoulders and utter a Mighty Groan.
Repeatedly practice the Mighty Oh Yeah and the Mighty Groan. Student response must be instantaneous … as fast as humanly possible … otherwise, Scoreboard marking becomes nothing but disruptive noise making.
Keep the following in mind:
- For the initial levels, the difference between positive and negative tallies should not be more than 3 points. Reward too much and students become lackadaisical. Over penalize and risk rebellion.
- Use the Scoreboard in place of scolding or redirection. Chastising kids never works. If it did, we’d give scolding seminars. Ten to 15 total Scoreboard marks per hour is a reasonable target. The Scoreboard works to the degree you work it.
- Never make a negative tally for individual misbehavior. The class should not penalized for an off-task student. However, do record positive marks for individual kids who are performing superbly … or, even better, showing improvement in behavior.
- At the end of the day, more positive than negative tallies scores a Class Win. Ten Class Wins moves up to the next level.
- To introduce the incredible power of Uncertain Reward, the element of chance, occasionally introduce a dice roll. Ask several improving students to pick a lucky number. If the lucky number comes up, mark, with fanfare, a “bonus” positive mark.
- All the Scoreboards in this series are set up for third grade. Mark the positive side two grades higher than your grade; the negative side two grades lower. Every kid is motivated by trying to perform like upper grades and avoid the behavior of lower grade.
- Most important: to maintain emphasis on Character Education approximately half of your Scoreboard points you award to the class should be determined by the presence or absence of the Five Virtues: Glorious Kindness, Leadership, Courage, Invincible Grit, and Creativity. Note the Bonus feature of every Scoreboard.