A big part of my job is working as a consultant in different school districts. More times than none, I will observe in a classroom filled with students who could use a little extra motivation to do the “right” thing. Here’s an easy fix for that, based off the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis!
According to Cooper, Heron, & Heward (2007), an interdependent group contingency is “a contingency in which reinforcement for all members of a group is dependent on each member of the group meeting a performance criterion that is in effect for all members of the group.”Cooper, J. H., Heron, T.E., & Heward, W.L. (2007). Applied behavior analysis: Second edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc.
Often times, teachers are already applying this contingency in different ways (i.e. filling a jar up with marbles). What I like to do, is inspire the teacher to get a little more creative. In turn this motivates the students EVEN MORE!
Here are some easy steps to follow:
- Have your students get together and pick a reward to work for
- Create a simple design based off what they are working for *see above designs & descriptions*
- Hang the blank design in your classroom [have “tokens” nearby]
- Discuss the goal(s) with your students and define the behavior(s) you want to see [i.e. the entire class walks quietly in the hall or the entire class follows directions without having to be told twice]
- Encourage your students & begin
Here are some important reminders:
- There is no deadline on how long it takes for the students to reach their goal
- Hang this front and center in the classroom
- Once a goal is reached, you can start another
- Give “tokens” immediately after targeted group behavior occurs
- Verbal reminders, behavioral priming, and specific praise all pair nicely with interdependent group contingencies
With this, the possibilities are endless… Now, go out and motivate your kiddos!
Thanks for reading! ~E~