The Practical Teacher
The Good Behavior Game
The Good Behavior Game is an effective strategy for managing a classroom-but don't overdo it! Allow breaks from the Game during the school day. A caution should be kept in mind when involving your students in the Good Behavior Game: Generally, the Game should be scheduled for a maximum of 1-2 hours per day in any classroom. After all, students will need some time to relax, socialize, and "be kids." Of course, minimum standards of acceptable classroom conduct remain in place whether the Game is in effect or not.
The Good Behavior Game is an approach to the management of classrooms behaviors that rewards children for displaying appropriate on-task behaviors during instructional times. The class is divided into two teams and a point is given to a team for any inappropriate behavior displayed by one of its members. The team with the fewest number of points at the Game's conclusion each day wins a group reward. If both teams keep their points below a preset level, then both teams share in the reward. The program was first tested in 1969; several research articles have confirmed that the Game is an effective means of increasing the rate of on-task behaviors while reducing disruptions in the classroom (Barrish, Saunders, & Wolf, 1969; Harris & Sherman, 1973; Medland & Stachnik, 1972).
The process of introducing the Good Behavior Game into a classroom is a relatively simple procedure. The focus of this issue of the Practical Teacher is to present and explain the five steps involved in putting the Good Behavior Game into practice.
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