6b: Following Up When Students Aren’t Meeting the Expectations

We set up expectations for lining up, and most students are on top of it. But there are 1 or 2 students who are just keeping the whole class from earning stars. What do you do? Yell at them? Hold them in their spots in line?

Nope..you should follow up with them. Instead of holding back the class if there are a few students, you can adjust the requirement to 80% of students doing it. That will take the pressure off the students who are struggling. There’s nothing worse than having a hard time, and having everyone hate you for it.

T: Johnny, come have lunch with me today. We need to check in.

J: But why? I don’t want to! I hate getting in trouble!

T: We need to check in about lining up. It’s been hard, so I want to work on it. It’s not punishment…you can still go to recess.

[after whatever it takes, Johnny comes to you for lunch]

T: Hi. What’s going on in line?

J: I hate lining up. I don’t want to be quiet and just stand there. And XX keeps poking me, because she knows it makes me upset, so I just yell.

T: I want you to be able to stand in line and help earn those stars. What do we need to do?

J: You can move me next to YY! We’re best friends, and I’ll do great there!
T: I don’t know about that…you may talk there too. I can move you to another spot, next to LL.

J: I don’t like LL. I don’t think that will work.

T: Well, LL won’t bother you though. Let’s do this: if you can help earn stars 5 times near LL, then you can earn a separate reward (break, toy, candy, etc). I know you can do it – you control yourself the rest of the day.

J: Whatever.

It may not sound like it’s going to work (Johnny isn’t that excited). Will he self-sabotage? Maybe. But right before the next transition, check in with Johnny. Remind him that he’s working for his own separate reward too. If it works, keep it up! If not, try a few more times.


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