Punch Me! and PBIS

Our school has rolled out a new PBIS system this school year, and we have really worked hard to fine tune it, and really get all faculty and staff on-board.  We have gotten rid of our security guards, and instead, hired two “Student Development Coaches” who not only perform in the regular roles of a security guard, but also redefine the role a completely different way.  They de-escalate situations with students, which is essential, and also are seen in after school activities acting as a model for our students.  Our school has a marked improvement in student tardies, dress code violations, and overall student behavior.  Part of this can be attributed to our punch cards.

Students are given punch cards where in they can earn a punch (all teachers have whole-punchers on them) for certain deeds.  If a student is on time, they get a punch.  If they are in full uniform, they get a punch.  If they are seen assisting another student or staff member somehow, they can earn an unspecified number of punches.  This system has really worked well with trying to positively reinforce student behaviors and also curb negative behavior.  Once a student accumulates a certain amount of punch cards, they can redeem them in the school store.  Sort of like Chuck-E-Cheese.

I know many argue against this form of extrinsic motivation, but for our population of students, its encouraging for them to have this positive reinforcement in their lives.  With this positive, and instantaneous positive behavior reinforcement, our school has seen a significant decline in the amount of teacher referrals that are logged with the office, and detention is on the decline.

So I wonder, do other schools have similar punch card systems for instantaneous, positive feedback?  It has worked really well for us, but there is a key component in this.  Staff buy-in.  If not everyone is on board and participating with the program, this will fall apart within a week of its launch.

What does your school do?

About Pat

Pat Riley is student teaching at Amundsen High School in Chicago's Lincoln Square neighborhood for the fall of 2010. He will be teaching Contemporary American History, starting just before the Civil War, as he works towards his Type 9 certificate with an endorsement in History and hopefully Business. Previously, he worked in public relations and business development for a law firm in Chicago, but decided his passion was education. Prior to working in public relations and business development, Mr. Riley received a B.S. in Kinesiology with a focus in Sports Marketing from Indiana University. Follow his blog at Musings on Apples and Education.
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