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Becca

 Wilson  
EDEC  50663  
Application  Assignment  #1  
 
A.  Classroom  Context  
• This  classroom  is  a  5th  grade,  general  education  class  that  is  primarily  middle-­‐class,  
with  students  of  diverse  races  and  ethnicities.  The  class  is  mid-­‐sized,  with  about  25  
students,  and  the  students  switch  halfway  though  the  day  to  another  classroom  for  
English  Language  Arts.  This  classroom  specializes  in  math  and  science,  splitting  
instructional  time  in  half,  with  math  being  first.    
 
B.  Classroom  Organization  
• Seats  will  be  arranged  in  a  modular  format,  with  4-­‐5  students  per  group.  Since  most  
teacher-­‐led  discussions  will  take  place  at  the  side  whiteboard,  the  groups  will  be  
arranged  so  that  students  are  parallel  to  the  whiteboard  and  if  there  are  5  students,  
one  will  be  facing  the  whiteboard.  In  other  words,  no  students  will  have  their  back  
to  the  whiteboard.  Arranging  seating  this  way  will  prevent  students  from  having  to  
turn  all  the  way  around  and  get  behind  taking  notes,  and  will  accommodate  the  
group  discussions  that  take  place  during  instruction.  Since  science  lessons  are  based  
mainly  around  experiments,  this  desk  arrangement  also  allows  experiments  to  be  
done  in  small  groups  so  that  each  student  can  participate  fully  in  the  hands-­‐on  
activities.  
• This  classroom  will  use  a  magnet  board  with  numbered  magnets  to  indicate  when  
students  are  leaving  and  entering  the  classroom.  This  board  will  be  divided  into  
fourths,  with  two-­‐fourths  being  for  restroom  (girls  and  boys),  one-­‐fourth  for  nurse,  
and  one-­‐fourth  for  office.  Students  will  move  the  magnet  with  their  assigned  
number  into  the  section  to  which  they  are  going.  This  will  indicate  to  the  teacher  
that  there  is  a  student  missing,  give  their  location,  and  keep  only  one  student  out  of  
the  classroom  at  a  time.  Since  this  is  a  routine  procedure,  it  also  eliminates  students  
from  having  to  ask  the  teacher  and  interrupt  class  or  work  time  any  time  they  have  
to  use  the  restroom.  
• There  will  be  a  missing  work  bin  at  the  front  of  the  room  with  a  file  for  each  day  of  
the  week.  Students  know  that  when  they  miss  a  school  day  they  need  to  go  straight  
to  the  bin  and  find  the  papers  they  missed  from  the  correct  file.  The  teacher  will  
automatically  put  papers  in  the  bin  as  they  pass  them  out  to  the  class,  so  that  it  is  a  
seamless  process.  
• In  the  middle  of  each  group,  there  will  be  a  bin  that  will  house  any  papers  that  
students  need  to  use  for  the  day.  These  will  be  filled  before  students  enter,  so  that  
less  instructional  time  is  wasted  passing  out  papers.  If  needed,  these  bins  will  
contain  any  extra  supplies  students  may  need  to  complete  the  class  activities,  such  
as  scissors,  glue,  etc.  In  addition,  these  bins  will  be  used  to  collect  homework  and  
any  other  papers  that  need  to  be  collected,  as  to  maximize  instructional  time  once  
again.    
 
C.  Encouraging  Appropriate  Behavior  
1.  Token  economy  
a. Students  collect  tickets  for  participating  in  academic  discussion  and  completing  
homework  on  time.  For  example,  if  a  student  submits  homework  on  time,  they  
earn  1  ticket.  If  they  fail  to  submit  homework  on  time,  they  do  not  lose  any  
tickets,  but  they  do  not  get  any  either.  If  a  student  is  called  on  or  volunteers  to  
present  their  work  during  math  and  they  do  an  excellent  job  justifying  and  
explaining  their  thinking,  they  earn  2  tickets.  If  a  student  responds  to  that  
student  using  “accountable  talk”,  they  earn  1  ticket.  The  tickets  are  only  used  for  
academic  contexts,  such  as  presenting  work  to  the  class,  doing  homework,  or  
asking  academic  questions.  There  are  various  rewards  for  certain  amounts  of  
tickets,  with  fewer  tickets  earning  a  piece  of  candy,  to  more  tickets  earning  a  
lunch  with  the  teacher  or  wearing  a  hat  in  class.  
b. This  system  will  encourage  students  to  be  active  participants  in  the  classroom.  
This  not  only  makes  them  excited  to  share  thinking,  participate  in  discourse,  and  
ask  questions,  which  will  facilitate  their  learning  and  make  the  classroom  
environment  more  rigorous,  but  it  will  also  enable  them  to  earn  rewards  by  
doing  so.  This  type  of  system  is  also  age-­‐appropriate  because  it  challenges  
students  to  use  their  thinking  to  earn  rewards,  not  just  their  behavior.  Students  
want  to  earn  tickets  because  they  want  to  earn  the  rewards,  so  they  will  be  
motivated  to  collect  tickets  and  inherently  use  these  academic  skills  to  do  so.  
 
2.  Chant  responses  to  quiet  
a. When  students  are  too  loud,  the  teacher  will  yell,  “Shark  Bait!”  and  students  are  
expected  to  respond,  “Hoo  ha-­‐ha!”  and  then  immediately  be  quiet.  The  teacher  or  
another  student  can  give  this  cue,  if  the  noise  level  is  too  high  or  if  the  teacher  is  
trying  to  talk  but  students  are  talking  over  her.    
b. Students  of  this  age  will  enjoy  the  response  because  they  have  most  likely  seen  
or  heard  of  Finding  Nemo,  where  this  was  taken  from.  In  addition,  since  most  
students  will  participate  in  the  response,  it  will  be  very  obvious  if  a  student  isn’t  
participating,  since  there  is  silence  following  the  response.  This  eliminates  the  
teacher  having  to  yell  over  students  to  get  their  attention,  and  is  something  that  
fifth  graders  will  still  participating  in  without  feeling  like  they  are  being  babied.    
 
3.  Jar  of  rocks  
a. A  large  glass  jar,  labeled  “Class  gems”  will  start  completely  empty  at  the  
beginning  of  the  year.  When  students  are  on  task  or  quiet  for  an  entire  lesson,  or  
when  other  students  hold  each  other  accountable  to  be  quiet  (e.g.  a  student  
leading  the  shark  bait  chant),  the  teacher  puts  a  handful  of  rocks  (gems)  in  the  
jar.  These  gems  can  be  removed  on  especially  rowdy  days  when  the  teacher  has  
to  use  the  chant  response  more  than  three  times  in  a  class  period.  This  is  a  group  
contingency,  so  gems  are  only  removed  or  added  when  the  majority  of  the  class  
is  participating  in  the  behavior.  When  the  jar  is  full,  students  get  a  pizza  party  
during  their  last  class  period  on  the  Friday  of  the  week  that  the  jar  was  filled.  
This  reinforcer  focuses  only  on  classroom  behaviors,  such  as  staying  on-­‐task,  not  
talking  out  of  turn,  and  accountability.  Also,  since  students  switch  classrooms  for  
half  the  day,  the  jar  is  only  used  for  the  homeroom  class.  
b. A  pizza  party  on  a  Friday  is  something  all  students  will  definitely  look  forward  to  
and  want  to  earn,  and  even  just  getting  gems  put  into  the  jar  will  be  exciting  for  
them.  Since  students  know  that  their  gems  are  reliant  on  the  fact  that  they  
demonstrate  appropriate  classroom  behaviors,  they  will  be  motivated  to  stay  
quiet,  respond  to  chants  the  first  time,  hold  each  other  accountable,  and  staying  
on  task  during  instruction  time.  The  gems  are  earned  when  students  
demonstrate  positive  behavior,  encouraging  these  behaviors  to  occur  more  often  
over  time.  
 
4.  The  discipline  book  
a. At  the  front  of  the  classroom,  there  is  a  folder  with  papers  in  it  that  are  used  for  
discipline.  There  is  a  column  for  the  student’s  name,  a  column  for  the  discipline  
code  they  have  violated,  and  a  column  for  teachers  to  use.  The  discipline  codes  
could  be  DP  for  disruption,  OT  for  off  task,  NFD  for  not  following  directions,  and  
DR  for  disrespectful.  When  students  violate  a  rule,  they  are  asked  to  sign  the  
book.  Students  must  write  their  name  and  discipline  code,  and  the  teachers  go  
back  and  review  the  book  to  determine  punishment.  If  students  have  to  sign  the  
book  more  than  one  time  during  a  class  period,  they  must  walk  laps  during  
recess.    
b. This  is  an  age-­‐appropriate  way  to  keep  students  accountable  for  their  own  
individual  behavior.  Not  only  will  students  not  want  to  receive  a  punishment  
such  as  walking  during  recess,  but  in  fifth-­‐grade  it  will  also  most  likely  be  
embarrassing  to  them  to  have  to  walk  to  the  front  of  the  class  and  sign  the  book.  
To  avoid  signing  the  book,  students  will  want  to  demonstrate  correct  behaviors.  
 
 
5.  Screens  down  
a. Since  the  class  uses  iPads  for  a  majority  of  their  instruction  and  learning  
activities,  they  need  to  be  on  their  desks  during  class  time.  There  is  a  poster  on  
the  board  at  the  front  of  the  room  at  all  times,  and  it  is  a  traffic  light.  On  the  
green  light,  it  says  “Tech  on”,  the  yellow  light  reads,  “Tech  later”,  and  the  red  
light  reads,  “No  tech”.  When  the  teacher’s  magnet  is  on  the  green  light,  students  
can  have  their  iPads  out  and  screens  up,  since  that  means  they  are  using  them  
for  instruction.  When  the  yellow  light  is  on,  students  may  have  them  on  their  
desks  but  they  must  be  screens  down.  When  the  red  light  is  on,  the  iPads  are  
either  locked  in  the  cart  or  they  must  be  put  inside  students’  desks.  Students  
know  that  if  the  light  is  yellow  or  red  and  they  are  caught  using  the  iPad,  they  
have  to  sign  the  book.  
b. This  encourages  students  to  obey  the  technology  rules  because  they  will  not  
want  to  sign  the  book.  Rather  than  the  teacher  having  to  dictate  whether  they  
can  use  their  iPads  or  not,  or  where  they  should  be  located  at  any  given  time,  the  
visual  of  the  traffic  light  makes  it  very  easy  for  students  to  know  what  is  
expected  of  them.  This  decreases  down  time  and  puts  responsibility  on  students  
to  pay  attention  to  the  state  of  the  traffic  light  throughout  class.    
 
6.  No  homework  pass  
a. Students  can  receive  a  no  homework  pass  if  they  complete  all  of  their  homework  
and  turn  it  in  on  time  every  day  for  an  entire  week.  Additionally,  students  must  
have  no  signatures  in  the  discipline  book  in  order  to  qualify  for  a  pass.  This  pass  
can  be  used  on  any  homework  assignment  with  the  teacher’s  permission.  If  the  
teacher  gives  permission  she  will  sign  and  date  the  pass,  and  students  will  turn  
in  the  pass  instead  of  homework.  If  students  do  not  complete  their  homework,  
depending  on  the  assignment  they  may  have  an  alternative  punishment,  but  
generally  the  only  punishment  is  that  they  do  not  qualify  for  a  no  homework  
pass  that  week.  
b. This  is  an  excellent  incentive  because  students  will  love  not  having  to  do  a  
homework  assignment,  so  they  will  do  their  homework  every  night  for  a  week  in  
order  to  earn  this.  In  addition,  this  reward  ties  in  behavioral  expectations  as  well  
because  in  order  to  receive  a  pass,  students  must  avoid  signing  the  book.  Since  
students  also  receive  tickets  for  completing  homework,  this  is  just  a  further  
reinforcement.  In  essence,  the  positive  behavior  of  completing  homework  every  
night  will  be  encouraged.    
 
D.  Expectations  Matrix  
 
Expectations   Hallways   Group  Work  
Students  will  show  respect   1. Keep  your  hands  and   1. Use  appropriate  
for  others   feet  to  yourself   language  when  
2. Keep  a  quiet  voice   responding  to  your  
and  use  only   peer’s  thoughts  
appropriate  language   2. Participate  fully  and  
actively  in  your  
group’s  activity  
Students  will  demonstrate   1. You  should  only  be  in   1. Do  your  own  work,  
honesty  and  integrity   the  hallway  if  your   keep  your  eyes  on  
magnet  is  placed  in  a   your  paper  
square   2. Be  kind  to  all  
2. Help  others  in  the   members  of  your  
hallway  that  may  be   group  
in  need  
Students  will  be  on  time   1. Walk  directly  to  your   1. Be  in  your  seat  before  
destination   the  bell  rings  
2. Keep  moving  and  stay   2. Come  to  class  with  a  
to  the  right  of  the   pencil  and  other  
hallway   necessary  materials  
 
 
 
E.  Teaching  Behavioral  Expectations  
1. To  teach  students  the  expectation,  “Students  will  show  respect  for  others”  during  
group  work,  the  teacher  will  sit  at  one  of  the  table  groups  and  pretend  to  be  a  group  
member.  She  will  say,  “If  I  am  sitting  here  and  twiddling  my  thumbs  or  messing  with  
my  iPad  am  I  being  respectful  to  my  group?”  The  teacher  will  wait  for  students  to  
respond  and  then  ask  them  why  this  is  disrespectful.  The  teacher  will  follow  this  
discussion  by  saying,  “To  respect  all  members  of  your  group  you  need  to  participate  
fully  and  actively  in  the  group’s  activity.”  The  teacher  will  tell  students  that  all  four  
or  five  group  members  need  to  share  their  ideas,  and  they  all  need  to  contribute  to  
the  work.  This  will  lead  to  the  teacher  demonstrating  accountable  talk  and  using  a  
bulletin  board  to  reinforce  the  sentence  stems  that  make  up  accountable  talk,  such  
as  “I  agree/disagree  with  you  because…”,  “I  want  to  add…”,  “Another  way  you  could  
have  done  this  is….”.  The  teacher  will  remind  students  that  using  accountable  talk  
can  earn  them  tickets,  and  that  accountable  talk  is  respectful  and  helps  them  learn.  
To  further  push  this  expectation,  the  teacher  will  ask  a  student  in  the  table  group  
where  she  is  sitting  to  ask  a  question  about  a  math  problem.  The  teacher  will  then  
respond  to  the  student  with  disrespectful  language,  such  as  “Why  would  you  ask  
this?  It  is  a  dumb  question.”  Students  will  probably  think  this  is  funny,  and  the  
teacher  will  need  to  remind  them  that  this  kind  of  behavior  during  group  work  will  
result  in  them  signing  the  book.  Each  time  the  teacher  demonstrates  an  example  or  
non-­‐example  of  respect,  she  will  rotate  to  a  new  table  group.  At  the  end  of  the  
lesson,  the  teacher  will  ask  students  to  practice  using  accountable  talk  and  
participating  fully  with  their  group  members  by  presenting  a  two-­‐digit  by  two-­‐digit  
multiplication  problem  on  the  board  and  asking  the  students  to  solve  as  a  group.  
2. This  lesson  will  be  fun  and  engaging  for  students  because  they  get  to  be  a  part  of  a  
group  with  their  teacher,  and  she  is  actively  engaging  as  a  group  member  to  
demonstrate  respect  during  group  work.  In  addition,  the  scenarios  often  involve  
students  to  ask  questions  or  engage  with  her,  so  they  are  active  members  of  the  
lesson.  In  addition,  the  students  get  to  participate  in  an  activity  at  the  end  that  
demonstrates  their  understanding  of  the  expectation.  
 
F.  Group  Contingency  
• The  group  contingency  will  be  encouraging  students  to  be  in  their  seats  before  the  
bell  rings,  with  only  appropriate  materials  on  their  desks.  Appropriate  materials  
include  a  pencil,  iPad  if  the  bell-­‐ringer  is  on  the  iPad,  and  a  water  bottle.  Students  
must  also  be  quiet  and  on  task  in  order  to  earn  the  reinforcer.    
• The  reinforcer  used  for  this  group  contingency  will  be  a  counting  system  on  the  
board.  If  every  student  is  in  their  desk  when  the  bell  rings  with  appropriate  
materials,  the  teacher  will  write  either  a  1,  2,  3,  4,  or  5  on  the  board,  depending  on  
the  day  of  the  week  (1=Monday).  If  students  get  to  5,  they  get  a  double  recess  that  
day  (Friday).  When  the  bell  rings,  the  teacher  will  get  up  from  her  desk  and  scan  the  
room,  looking  for  every  desk  to  be  filled  and  for  students  to  be  quietly  waiting  for  
instructions  or  looking  at  their  bell-­‐ringer.  If  students  are  talking,  they  do  not  
receive  number  that  day.  If  a  student  is  missing  from  their  desk  and  not  in  the  
classroom,  this  does  not  count  against  the  class,  but  if  a  student  is  walking  around  
when  the  bell  rings,  this  will  cause  the  class  to  not  earn  a  number.  The  entire  class  
should  not  be  held  responsible  if  a  classmate  is  late  because  of  a  doctor’s  
appointment.  This  is  an  example  of  an  interdependent  group  contingency,  meaning  
that  all  students  must  demonstrate  the  correct  behavior  in  order  for  the  teacher  to  
write  the  number  on  the  board.  Students  will  hopefully  encourage  each  other  to  
demonstrate  this  positive  behavior  so  that  they  can  all  earn  a  double  recess.    
• In  order  to  fade  this  reinforcement  system  over  time,  the  reward  will  need  to  be  
tougher  to  obtain.  To  do  this,  I  would  extend  the  time  period  necessary  to  earn  a  
double  recess  from  5  days  to  10  days,  and  then  eventually  to  an  entire  six  weeks.  
Hopefully  by  this  time,  the  behavior  will  have  become  routine  and  students  will  not  
need  to  think  about  it.  I  am  not  sure  how  the  system  would  completely  fade,  because  
if  I  took  it  away  I  am  afraid  the  students  would  not  be  motivated  to  be  in  their  seats  
ready  and  prepared  and  I  would  have  to  resort  to  punishments  for  negative  
behavior  instead  of  rewarding  their  positive  behavior.