Saturday, June 1, 2013

Chapter 21: The Bulls Eye Game

Compare and contrast the Bulls Eye Game with any other method you have used, or have observed, for dealing with a challenging student.

Pages 134-138

Full credit: 25 WBT Certification Points
Partial credit: 10 WBT Certification Points

39 comments:

  1. I read the five pages about The Bulls Eye Game as if it were an intense mystery novel…hanging onto every single word. The beauty of the behavioral principles involved is that the teacher is training the student to monitor and control his own behavior. The student chooses his behavioral goal and works on only one goal at a time. The teacher and student work together taking turns rehearsing appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. The student and teacher rate the behaviors independently and at the end of the day they discuss the reasons for the differences in the scores. They also talk about ways to improve the behavior and hit the target. The teacher and student quickly become a team. The positive behavior is reinforced with points.

    Contrast the Bulls Eye Game with the typical way a teacher attempts to change a student’s inappropriate behavior. There are colors, sticks or marbles that the student starts out with at the beginning of the day and for any inappropriate behavior he loses a token. In the classroom, there are multiple rules the student is expected to follow. When the tokens are all gone the student is out of luck. If this should happen during the first part of the day, the student will freely engage in off-task behaviors at even higher rates since he has nothing to lose (or gain). Often before the end of the day, the student has been exiled to the hall or the principal’s office. The teacher is frustrated and the student has learned no good replacement behaviors and the cycle begins again the next day. Negative behaviors lose tokens but positive behaviors don’t earn the student any more than he begins the day with. Attention is drawn to the negative behaviors as tokens are being taken away.

    It is no wonder that teachers across the world are excited about WBT and are thrilled about using The Bull’s Eye Game. Any time an inappropriate behavior is extinguished it must be replaced with an appropriate behavior. This new behavior must be taught to avoid having the student continue to use previously learned disruptive behaviors. The ultimate comparison is The Bull’s Eye Game works because it’s individualized for the student and the other methods do not work because one size does not fit all.

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    1. Kathy,
      Well said! The individualization of this program gives it strength, and positive results! Here are 25 points and a 5 point bonus!

      Delete
  2. I have not used the Bulls Eye Game in my classroom yet, but I can see that it would be a great improvement over some of the other methods I have tried and seen in the past. First, the entire focus of the Bulls Eye Game is to reward the student as he makes self-improvements. This is helpful when working with those challenging students that have pushed the teacher to the point of complete frustration. Rather than wasting time finding meaningful punishments and seeing them through, the teacher spends the time developing a positive relationship with the student as they work through the Bulls Eye levels.

    In many classrooms, behavior management is based upon the students earning tickets for positive reinforcement of a behavior. Then, they are often allowed to purchase items from the teacher. This is similar to the Bulls Eye Game when the student is allowed to buy stickers with points he received in the game. But, in contrast to the Bulls Eye Game, the traditional classroom students are often penalized tickets for poor choices or inappropriate behavior. With the focus remaining on rewarding and not punishing the child, the Bulls Eye Game monitors the stickers the students earn through a collaborative effort with honest feedback between the student and teacher. The student always retains the stickers earned; the teacher does not remove them for inappropriate choices. Instead, the teacher uses this as a learning tool, assisting the child as he reflects upon his behavior and rehearses a better choice.

    One of the stark contrasts between the Bulls Eye Game and the ticket/token method is the importance placed upon these rehearsals. Coach Biffle stresses that rehearsals are “…powerful alternatives to scolding”. (138) Within the other methods, the teacher generalizes what is expected and then moves to the step of reward and punishment. When I read this chapter I realized how important it is to be specific with our students. If we are too vague with our expectations, we are not providing them the best opportunity for success. With the Bulls Eye Game, the student is given time to rehearse appropriate and inappropriate behaviors with the teacher. The one to one aspect of this not only helps develop a bond between the student and the teacher, but it allows the student to clearly understand his individual goals. This repetitive rehearsal will help the student be able to recognize the types of behavior he is striving to achieve. I haven’t seen any other method that allows time for the student to critically evaluate their own behavior in such a manner. I can see that this level would be one of the most effective ways to reach those most challenging students.

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    1. Michelle,
      Very good explanation of the Bulls Eye Game! I appreciate your comment, "This repetitive rehearsal will help the student be able to recognize the types of behavior he is striving to achieve. I haven’t seen any other method that allows time for the student to critically evaluate their own behavior in such a manner." Here are 25 points and a 5 point Bonus!

      Delete
  3. In a traditional classroom, when a teacher has a really challenging student, a behavior plan is usually put into effect. Now, a behavior plan and the Bullseye Game of the Scoreboard have some similarities and some differences.
    Let’s look at the similarities first. Both the behavior plan and the Bullseye Game are a way to change the behavior of the student. Both focus on a particular behavior or behaviors. They are done over a period of time, and each of them have some sort of reward.
    Along with the similarities of the two, there are several differences. In a traditional behavior plan, not only are there rewards, there are also consequences. The Bullseye Game does not have any punishment, only rewards. A behavior plan can focus on more than one behavior, whereas the Bullseye focuses on one behavior at a time which gives the student time to practice it and become successful at it. In addition, in the Bullseye Game, the student chooses which behavior she wants to work on. On a behavior plan, the teacher tells the student what to work on. With the Bullseye Game, the teacher and student rehearse the goal appropriately and inappropriately, thus making it very clear what the teacher’s expectations are. They also discuss several times a day how the student is doing towards the goal. With a behavior plan, there is no rehearsal and little or no communication discussing how the student is doing except at certain assigned times, such as once a week.
    In conclusion, I personally prefer the Bullseye Game over a behavior plan. The Bullseye Game gives the student some responsibility in her own behavior change, and it builds a rapport between the student and the teacher.

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    1. Cheryl,
      Nice job of comparing the two plans! The behavior rehearsal is key, and a common thread through the other levels of the Scoreboard! Here are 25 points!

      Delete
  4. I am comparing the Bull’s Eye Game to Behavioral Punch Cards that I previously used to use with disruptive students.

    The Bull’s Eye game is an extremely efficient recourse for teachers to use with students who seem to conventional forms of correction. In this game, there are only two players, the teacher and the student. Both players will grade the participating student’s behavior for that day. Grades will be on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest. At the end of the day, if the student’s grade matches the teacher’s grade, the student gets 2 points. If the student misses the teacher’s grade by 1 point, then he/she gets 1 point. Points are accumulated over a set period of time for an already established reward. Examples would be stickers, sodas, dance passes, etc. The Bull’s Eye Game challenges students to objectively evaluate their own behavior. When the game ends, an invaluable opportunity to do one on one counseling presents, allowing a discussion of the student’s behavior to occur in a non-threating context.

    Behavioral Punch Cards are given to students who have continually behaved in class. The Punch Card is a simple index card with boxes drawn around the outside of the card. Each time a student behaves as directed, the teacher punches a box on the card with a single hole punch. When all the boxes have been punched, the student earns a reward. This establishes time for the teacher to counsel the student on their behavior. Once all steps have been completed, another card is issued to the student and the process begins again.

    Both the Bull’s Eye Game and the Behavioral Punch Cards reward student’s good behavior over time. However, the Bull’s Eye Game is more efficient than Behavioral Punch Cards because the student is assessing his/her own behavior instead of the conventional “teacher only” assessment. With the Behavioral Punch Cards, the student is not assessing his/her own behavior and may not get any punches on a given day. This can and often leads to more disruptive behavior. Both strategies give the teacher time to counsel the student on their behavior. The Bull’s Eye Game is set in a non-threating game context, while the Behavioral Punch Cards uses a traditional lecture format.

    I will undoubtedly be incorporating the Bull’s Eye Game when needed as it is proven to be superior to what I have chosen in the past to deal with disruptive students.
    Debora Manuel

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    1. Debora,
      Very good post comparing the Bulls Eye Game to your Behavioral Punch Cards! One of your final statements really stands out, "The Bull’s Eye Game is set in a non-threating game context, while the Behavioral Punch Cards uses a traditional lecture format." Here are 25 points and a 5 point Bonus!

      Delete
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  6. When comparing and contrasting the Bull’s Eye Game to methods I have used and observed when dealing with a challenging student, it does have several qualities that make it worth using when needed. I teach sixth grade, and strategies that once worked in elementary school, do not work at the middle school level. During my teaching career, I have taught several students that have refused to complete tasks. They seem immune to any consequence. In my opinion, nothing their teachers, including myself, ever did changed their behavior or encouraged them to participate and work for any good length of time. I have seen students given desk checklists and behavior trackers, candy, stickers, and play money. I have participated on teams where we discussed behavior with individual students and created behavior plans. One time, a plan was even created for a student to give him individual “free time” at the end of the day if his behavior “tracker sheet” totaled X number of points per day. Unfortunately, none of these methods were successful. Taking into consideration the aforementioned failed plans, I enjoyed reading about the Bull’s Eye Game. I have never tried this strategy, but I can see the bull’s eye target, itself, making a big statement to the entire class. Just like playing an electronic game, students love to earn points, so it holds the “fun factor,” too.

    Compared to other methods, I see several important features of the Bull’s Eye Game that were missing in strategies I have previously tried and observed. First, the child is involved in the assessment. I like the fact that the student scores him/herself and compares that to what the teacher was thinking. The closer their score is to the teachers, the more bull’s eye points they score. Second, this strategy involves frequent student and teacher reflection. By meeting with the student several times a day, they are really thinking about their actions and overall behavior. Finally, the Bull’s Eye Game is goal specific. Small, easily attainable goals are targeted, and the challenging student knows, specifically, what is expected in order to gain points. In the long run, many small achievements would improve overall work ethic and behavior during class time.

    My only concern at the middle school level is with the stickers. In my opinion, stickers will not motivate most 11 and 12 year olds. This could be remedied, though, as our team could easily choose another incentive that would hold more value if necessary.

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    1. I forgot to sign my name. Sorry.
      Melinda Sprinkle

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    2. Melinda,
      Nice work comparing and contrasting these behavior plans. When you set the reward,you will base it on the individual involved. It needs to be something of interest and value to that student. Here are 25 points!

      Delete
  7. In the past I have used behavior plans, awarded “bucks” for positive behavior and participated in a grade-level silent lunch policy for dealing with challenging behaviors. In my opinion, none of these strategies worked for any significant amount of time and were not successful in eliminating frustrations in the classroom. The Bull’s Eye Game seems like a most effective strategy in which I am excited to have in my back pocket in time of need this upcoming school year! Unlike the strategies that I have used in the past, the game focuses on one behavior goal at a time and facilitates a positive rapport with the student who has become challenging. I like the student’s involvement in the process and the frequent self-reflection. The idea of a game and earning points and rewards makes the process fun (or at least more fun than behavior plans and silent lunches)!
    I personally, do not agree with giving students silent lunches as a punishment. It is really the only “down” time the students have and taking that away seems to cause more friction than making the behavior improve. Behavior plans seem to work for a few weeks, but fizzle with time. The Bulls Eye Game fosters the opportunity for success even on a bad day, giving the student motivation to keep trying! “FMS bucks” have its positives, but I find are more motivating for the students who are already successful and find pleasure in following rules, unlike the students who are targeted in the Bulls Eye Game.

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    1. Amanda,
      As you noted above, WBT believes in rehearsal and not punishment. The Bulls Eye Game offers an individualized plan to help a student, after the other Scoreboard levels have been used. Nice job! Here are 25 points!

      Delete
  8. Oh, the Bull’s Eye Game, the stuff dreams are made of. Not only would this method work for my general education students but also for my special education students. Part of my teaching load includes student who are labeled as Emotionally and Behaviorally Disabled. The Bull’s Eye game is PERFECT for these type of “tier 3” students. These students often come to me with a point system in place that is more punitive than rewarding. Our assistants are forever telling these students that “you’re not earning your points” and boy, does that make them mad. Their goals to earn points are usually generic and difficult to attain. With this point system, a bad morning can destroy their whole day’s total. Plus there is no reward for recognizing poor choices after the fact. This system relies totally on the choices made in the heat of the moment.

    EBD students are met at the door with a system of rewards and consequences. However, all they can focus on are the negative consequences. With the Bull’s Eye Game, there are no penalties. Recognizing that you had a bad morning is regarded as a good thing. I have heard so many EBD students asked at my door if they had a good day in music. When they are honest and say no, they are immediately told they’re not earning their points and that sets them up for bad behavior the rest of the day. If the teacher was using the Bull’s Eye system, the student would still have to recognize that the hadn’t done their best but they would also get patted on the back for seeing that. This gives an opportunity for dialogue and much needed practice.

    I do see that these kind of hard core students may not be motivated by stickers. However, if I were their classroom teacher, I would create a menu of choices that they could use their points to purchase. I see a list with simple, no teacher cost items such as a morning with no shoes on, sit in the teacher’s rolly chair for reading time, no homework cards, or maybe even a high points prize like ice cream from the cafeteria- teacher’s treat.

    All in all, compared with our usual points system, the Bull’s Eye Game allows students to critically evaluate their own behavior and compare their perceptions to that of the teacher. I see that this system would be considerably more effective for helping curb these kinds of behaviors.

    Gwenn Weston

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    1. Gwenn,
      Isn't it great that we now have a way to get kids to see things from our perspective? Here are 25 certification points!

      Delete
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  10. When dealing with my most challenging students I use a Behavior Rubric which incorporates our PBIS program. The Bull’s Eye Game and the Behavior Rubric both focus in on specific behaviors. One difference is the Bull’s Eye Game focuses on one behavior, whereas the Behavior Rubric focuses on up to four behaviors. Another difference is the Bull’s Eye Game has the student choose the focus behavior (which then must be agreed upon by the teacher), while the Behavior Rubric most often includes behaviors the teacher feels the student needs to focus on (but are discussed with the student before they are implemented).

    Both methods have the student involved continuously. When using the Behavior Rubric a conference is held with the student before putting into play the behavior plan. Throughout the process, the student will meet with one teacher or a team of professionals (principal, check-in…check-out adult, school counselor) who are involved with the student. Adjustments are made throughout the implementation as needed and always with the student present. The Bulls Eye Game starts with the teacher and student meeting one-on-one to discuss the game rules, pick a behavior, and rehearse the behavior goal. They continue to meet during brief counseling sessions where the teachers can refocus the student on the behavior goal.

    Another similarity is both programs have a record of weekly progress. The Behavior Rubric is a wonderful record that can be copied and sent home with the student. It is often made available to other professionals who work with the student and is given to the administrator who collects behavioral data. The Bull’s Eye Game has the weekly calendar which provides a quick way to check student’s progress.

    One big difference between the methods is the rehearsal stage that takes place when incorporating the Bull’s Eye Game. This helps build a bond between the teacher and student, in addition to imprinting the student with the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behavior.

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  11. Catherine,
    Very thorough comparison of Bulls Eye and The Behavior Rubric. The rehearsal element is very important in Bulls Eye, as it has been through all the levels of the Scoreboard. Students need to understand what the expected behavior looks like. Here are 25 points and a 5 point Bonus!

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  12. Last year, I created an individualized behavior plan and contract for one of my challenging students. He did not respond well to any other forms of feedback, peer pressure, or scolding. Sitting out of recess only fueled his anger. So, this new plan was more focused and positive. The behavior modification I sought was a more consistent compliance of Rule One: Follow directions quickly. The plan involved setting a baseline, coloring in a rocket ship, tangible rewards at the end of each day, and evaluating progress together through discussions. Needless to say, it lost its pizzazz after a month and the reward needed to be increased. Looking back, I can see that my plan was overly complicated and left much to be desired.
    The Bulls Eye Game is a breath of fresh air! While I read this chapter and watched the webcast, I was shocked by its affect on children immune to penalty and peer pressure. My plan attempted to be fun by having my student color a rocket ship. The Bulls Eye Game is inherently fun because it is an actual interactive game. My tangible reward could only be achieved through meaningless compliance. The Bulls Eyes Game’s reward is meaningful and creates good habits. Even if they have a rough day, they can still win by reaching conceptual milestones through accountability. The game allows them the advantage of objectively evaluating their choices and working with the teacher to self reflect. Both plans were one-on-one and reflective, but the game prevents the teacher or student from being dishonest in their evaluation. Sometimes these challenging students have it in their mind that they are “bad” because of the language used towards them outside of the classroom. These children are NOT BAD…their behavior choices are bad. They do not benefit from being hard on themselves by purposely lowering their score. Nor do they benefit from inflating their score. The teacher and student keep each other accountable and both opinions count.
    My plan faced a few problems I found difficult to combat, at times. The game faces similar challenges but it is well equipped to solve these problems. When dealing with other students who want to play, you simply state that everyone gets special attention but not the same kind of attention. When dealing with students that try to con or cheat the game, you can alter the bulls eye rings to better manipulate their con to work in both of your favors. The student may not be able to narrow down the focus of their negative behavior. The game allows for the student to work within blocks of time and focus on one of a small list of specific behaviors. Not that I want to have a challenging student, but I almost look forward to being able to use Level Six! I am guilty of making individualized behavior plans every year for my challenging students. I get so frustrated with the flaws in my plans and spend hours revising. Level Six gives me such hope for the coming year!

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  13. Jennifer,
    Level 6 is a breath of fresh air! I used this with a student this past year and it worked wonders. Eventually, she wanted to always match me because that had become her reward. It is an amazing system. Here are 25 certification points!

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  14. The Bulls Eye Game sounds like a very effective way to reach your most challenging students. As I was reading about the use of stickers, it reminded me of other systems I used in my classroom for those few challenging students. I have created special behavior charts for these students where I tracked their behavior on a daily basis. They got the chance to earn special rewards like Isham Bucks and prizes from the treasure chest. The Bully Eye Game uses stickers as rewards. Both strategies have some type of reward that students can earn for positive behavior.

    One thing I noticed about the Bulls Eye Game that was different from any system I have used is the setting of specific goals and rehearsing these goals. I liked how John chose specific goals to focus on. By having students choose their goals, they are more involved in this process. It is not all teacher directed. Mrs. Maestra and John rehearsed these goals so that John knew exactly what he had to do to be successful. It is important for students to see what following the rules and not following the rules looks like. Mrs. Maestra did all of this in private and even had secret signs that John would recognize. He was not singled out in front of everyone for his negative behavior. Mrs. Maestra did not waste instructional time during the day disciplining him.

    I think that the Bulls Eye Game is more effective than anything I have tried. This is something that I plan on using in my classroom for my challenging students.

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    1. Elissa,
      Nice comparison of two behavior plans. Here are 25 points!

      Delete
  15. Over the last 8 years of teaching, I have used a few different classroom behavior management plans for my students. I have used everything from sticker charts, colored cards, intense behavior plans, and classroom economics systems. WBT has shown to be the most effective in dealing with different kinds of intensive students. When it comes to getting the best out of a challenging student, you must have a large toolbox of strategies to motivate them.

    In comparison to the Bulls Eye Game, I used a behavior intervention plan for my more intensive children. The behavior intervention plans used a format, which targeted student’s individual difficulties. Parents and children are asked to attend a meeting with me so we can go over the expectations of behaviors. Each week the student would choose the action they were working on and I would rate their behaviors in the AM and PM with a notated happy, medium, or sad face for their parents to see in their planner. The parents were asked to discuss this with the child each night and sign the planner. Each morning the child would discuss, with another adult in the building, how they planned to be successful and what that would look like. They would go over the notes from the teacher for the previous day and set new goals. This would go on all year. The student may be assigned a ‘job’ around the school, not in punishment, yet to help them feel like they were contributing to a larger part of the school.

    The Bulls Eye Game is similar in many ways by targeting behaviors that the student needs to work. This helps the student build critical thinking about how and what behaviors help them attain that goal. Where the Bulls Eye Game differs is that the teacher and the student form a partnership where both practice the ‘right way’ and the ‘wrong way’ to act. The child may say a rule and the teacher will show both ways of acting. Then the student does the same. The student also has control of the behaviors they are going to practice. If they are struggling to meet the goals, they can change the plan to help them be successful. The involvement of the student in the classroom changes to an active, even positive, interaction. The student feels they are a part of a team.

    The key to both interventions are to partner with the child and provide behavioral support so the student may be more productive in school and in life.

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    1. Krystal,
      Good job of comparing the different behavior plans. Here are 25 points!

      Delete
  16. The past six years of my teaching career, I have used ineffective behavior plans for my challenging students. These behavior plans included coloring a calendar with their clip chart color for the day, using classroom money to buy items out of the classroom store, and having the P.E. teacher mentor a defiant student. The students were told the reward they would receive if they behaved appropriately and also the consequence for breaking the classroom rules. None of these past interventions focused on including the student in deciding how to behave in the classroom but rather made me out to be the mean teacher who wanted all my students to behave the same way.

    After reading about the Bull’s Eye Game, I feel the last six years could have been more triumphant! The student who is playing the Bull’s Eye Game gets to choose the behavior they want to focus on as their goal for points on their bull’s eye. To begin, the teacher meets one-on-one with the challenging student to rehearse the appropriate and inappropriate behaviors expected. Rehearsal occurs several times throughout the school day and includes the student practicing the behavior as well as the teacher practicing the behavior. This allows the student to watch and act out the behavior they should/should not be doing. These meetings offer important bonding time between the teacher and the challenging student which increases the individualized attention the student receives and boosts the bond between student and teacher. Next, the teacher will meet with the student to get their opinion of their classroom performance for the day. The student will tell their teacher if they think they should receive a score of a 1-5, with 5 being a bull’s eye. The teacher will then display the score he/she has written down. Based on how close/far away the student’s opinion is from the teacher’s, the student may receive points on their bull’s eye chart for the week. The student can use these points to buy stickers, which should include stickers of something the child has a vested interest. To further the child’s success, the teacher can use hand signals with the student so they will be able to quickly know if they are on the right track for the day. This does not draw attention to the challenging child but instead makes them mentally aware of their appropriate or inappropriate behavior.

    I believe the most effective thing about the Bull's Eye Game is involving the student in making the decisions about their classroom behavior and allowing them to set goals for themselves. This small step will help students begin to be self-confident and prepare them for their future.

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    1. Laken,
      Nice description and reflection on the Bulls Eye game! Here are 25 points for you!

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  18. I read this chapter with one clear thought in my mind: So this is the straight path to reforming the behavior of challenging students! This is how you do it! There are so many behavior modification systems out there that only seek to fix the problem in the moment, short term, instead of seeing big picture and focusing on the whole child. The Bull’s Eye Game gives troubled children exactly what they need and crave: one on one, scolding free, loving, quality attention. From the child selecting the specific goal, to the fun and engaging rehearsing of what proper behavior should be, to the way the student is trained to evaluate their own behavior; this method of behavior reformation is, in every essence, remarkable. I think I might start shouting it from the rooftops!

    When dealing with challenging students in the past, I used a variety of modes to motivate my students to reach the goals that I set for them. I’ve used behavior modification charts, point systems, tickets, prizes, etc. I always chose two goals, without the involvement of the student, that weren’t necessarily specific. I never took the time to rehearse what the appropriate behavior should look like; I simply explained to the child the kind of behavior I expected of him. In addition to this, my challenging students never had the chance to be successful on their off days. If the challenging student was successful in meeting his goals for the day, he received a sticker on his chart and if he was not successful, the square for that day stayed empty.

    Compare this with the Bull’s Eye Game. The child chooses his behavior goals, maximizing student involvement. The goals are specific and only one behavior is focused on at a time. The teacher takes the time to counsel and refocus the student on the behavior goal and rehearses the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behavior. And here is my favorite: The challenging child can feel successful, even on his worst of days, just by matching the teacher’s
    low score! Brilliant!

    I had a real “aha moment” when reading this chapter. I just kept thinking to myself: How did I not see this before? How did I not realize that having the child choose the goal would deepen his involvement and commitment? How did I not come to the realization that rehearsing the proper behavior in a fun way would be an incredible bonding experience that would set this challenging child on the road to success? Why, why, why?

    Oh well, what can you do? The past is the past. Here’s to the future and all of the challenging students who will be sent my way, lovingly reformed through the Bull’s Eye Game.
    Rivky Greenberger

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    1. Rivky,
      I love your enthusiasm! I can tell you are going to have a great year with this tool in your belt! You are right, by allowing the child to choose their goal (with teacher guidance), he will be more involved and committed to the goal. Here are 25 points and a 5 point bonus!

      Delete
  19. I have used behavior contracts with students before. We isolated some key behavior concerns, I made the student in charge of tracking his behavior, and we evaluated at the end of the day to determine whether he met the criteria for an agreed upon prize.

    There are similarities between the contracts I used and the Bulls Eye Game. First, the behaviors we wanted to work on were very specific. With one student, he would never pull out the appropriate materials when I asked. One of his behaviors to work on was pulling out all the materials needed when asked the first time. Second, the student and I had very good rapport. It was easy to talk and joke with him outside of class, and he was able to understand the importance of needing to do what I asked of him. What he craved most was my attention, so meeting with him regularly was a huge incentive.

    The differences between these two methods are huge. I made my student 100% in charge of his own behavior tracking. I never thought to also have a score in my mind of how he did. To defend myself, I had a hard time keeping track of his behavior because there were nine other children with aggressive behaviors, his was more passive, I needed something that would be minimal for me, and it was my first year teaching! I was overwhelmed, but now I see the stupidity of not tracking behaviors for myself and talking with the target student about them. Also, my prizes were much more time consuming than stickers. Since that student, and most students I’ve encountered who act out, mostly craved my attention, spending a moment with him, talking about the day, and choosing stickers specifically picked out for him probably would have met his need. Live and learn!

    Meredith Pearson

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    1. Meredith,
      First of all, don't think of it as "stupidity" on your part, just look at your efforts and appreciate your growth! We were all just treading water our first year teaching. Just think how many headaches we all could have avoided if we would have used WBT! You are right, most of the students are craving attention. The Bulls Eye Game is a great way to meet that need with those challenging students. Here are 25 certification points for you!

      Delete
  20. The Whole Brain Teaching Bulls Eye Game is based on a positive approach in which the goal for the rebel student is to improve his or her behavior. On the contrary most schools have an approach of 3 strikes, in-school suspension, out-of school suspension, and expulsion. This approach is rather negative and focuses on “not repeating the problem behavior”, in order to avoid the next step of punishment. We all know there is a vast difference between “not repeating” and “improving” a behavior. “Not repeating” a behavior only suppresses the underlying root of the problem, rather than teaching and guiding the student to overcome the problem.

    The book states, that to build a bridge of trust, the teacher needs to precede the Bulls Eye Game with open and honest communication. This authoritative approach is based on warmth, respect, and encouragement. Not only is there a mutual respect in the Bulls Eye Game, but as the teacher and student take turns rehearsing acceptable and unacceptable behavior, they also build a bond. The usual school system has a more authoritarian approach in which the desired outcomes can be at the expense of the social and psychological development of the student. Sometimes communication, respect, and trust are neglected for the sake of obedience with no input from the student. I firmly believe that if we want to help the “whole” student our approach needs to be authoritative.

    Another difference with the Bulls Eye Game is the student’s involvement when he or she picks the behavioral goal to work on. This is a way to get the student to “buy in”, since it gives him or her a voice in the process, a sense of control, and thus a higher likelihood to participate. The authoritative approach gives the students no opportunity to be heard or make decisions, in a sense it disregards their opinions and their individuality for the sake of conformity to a system. In my opinion this only pits the rebel student more strongly against the teacher, who is seen to uphold or represent the system.

    Both the Bulls Eye Game and the typical school’s system have rewards in place for improvement. In the school’s system it might be freedom to participate in an activity again, such as recess, or rejoining the class for lunch time. The Bulls Eye game has a personal touch by rewarding individualized stickers to each student, and I am assuming stars on the Super Improver Wall. Even though both have reward systems and various ways to track behavior, the focus of the Bulls Eye Game is much more positive since the goal is behavioral improvement. Compared to the usual approach with rebel students, the Bulls Eye Game teaches a powerful life lesson about controlling one’s own destiny, through daily choices, as well as the power of relationship that is positive and supportive.

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    1. Mariaan,
      I appreciate your comment that the Bulls Eye Game teaches the child to control their own destiny through daily choices. It looks like you had one vocabulary mistake in paragraph 3 (The authoritative approach gives the students no opportunity to be heard or make decisions), I think you meant to put authoritarian there. Here are 20 points, plus a 5 point bonus for a thorough post!

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  21. Chapter 21 – The Bulls Eye Game

    Last year I felt like I tried all the behavior strategies out there I could find, and still ended coming up short with one of my challenging kiddos. The original strategy I used was the famous clip chart seen all over Pinterest. Students that are following class expectations moved their clip up, the ones not following class expectations moved their clip down. This strategy didn’t change behavior, it only made the students that had to move their clip down mad. The Bulls Eye game gives the teacher and the student an opportunity to have a discussion regarding the behavior. Discussing the behaviors with a challenging student and allowing them to choose the behavior to work on gives the student buy in and they will be more eager to work on it. This creates a bond between the student and the teacher. When I used the clip chart, there were no discussions started by me only the student arguing they didn’t do anything wrong. I also tried to use a “dinosaur” jar. When the class exhibited good behavior, we put a dinosaur in the jar. This would have rewarded the whole class with a celebration. Unfortunately, the whole class was punished due to the inappropriate behavior of a few students. The Bulls Eye game targets the reward or practice need of an individual student. Taking the challenging student out of the whole class scoreboard allows those that are consistent with rules and expectations to be “rewarded.” I put up a behavior chart with the red, yellow and green cards. Students receiving a red card, had to take a note home to the parents telling them what rule the student was having problems with. The parents of my most rebellious students didn’t even bother to send the notes back. Sometimes neither the student nor I could remember why they were on red. The behaviors never changed. The Bulls Eye game provides opportunities for the student to practice the rule they are struggling with using appropriate and inappropriate examples. It can also be entertaining for the student to play the role of the teacher and watch the teacher play the role of the student. The line that spoke the most to me in the book is: You have to build a bridge to your most rebellious student before you can walk across it. That line is so powerful to me, I felt like I spent more time being angry at my challenging students last year and most likely drove a spike between us. I didn’t stand a chance of getting them to join the rest of the class in exhibiting appropriate behavior. I hope I will not have to use this level of the scoreboard this year, but it will definitely be in my back pocket in case of an emergency!

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    1. Terri,
      It is important to have that bridge between you and your students. The Bulls Eye will be an effective way for you to help modify their behavior! You had a couple of minor mistakes matching verb tense in sentences (Students that are following class expectations moved their clip up)- and (The line that spoke the most to me in...)Here are 10 certification points!

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  22. In the past, I have always tried to help students change inappropriate behaviors in a positive way; however, I also punished students who did not immediately adjust their behavior. In contrast, the Bull’s Eye game involves no punishment. It is a “game you play with one of your friends in class.” Students choose their own behavior goal which strengthens their interest in the game. Previously, I met with the student and their parents and we set the goal as a team. The Whole Brain Teaching method gives the student ownership of their goal and encourages them to set a new goal if they are not experiencing success.


    Another key difference is the one on one rehearsals which are fun, give the student a clear picture of the expected behavior, and are an opportunity for boding between the student and the teacher. I especially like the idea of the student giving directions and the teacher following or breaking them. This will be so much more enjoyable and productive for both the teacher and the disruptive student.


    Earning points and stickers will be motivating, but for my disruptive students, I suspect they will enjoy the game more than the prize. How wonderful to “play a game” that not only motivates a disruptive student to improve his or her behavior, but at the same time fosters a positive relationship between that student and his or her teacher.

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    1. Sandy,
      I agree, it is wonderful to foster that positive relationship between the student and teacher! You had one tiny spelling error "opportunity for boding between the student" (bonding). Here are 25 certification points for a great post!

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