I incorporate character traits into each of my classroom guidance lessons. I’ve mentioned before that my school district focuses on eight specific character traits. I discuss a different trait each time I visit classes. Each trait is assigned to a particular month. So, when I visit, I bring a “scoop of ice cream” with the character trait on it. I begin all of my guidance lessons by discussing the character trait with the class. During our discussion, students are able to make connections and share examples of how they show the character trait in their everyday lives.
After sharing the character trait, we talk about my behavior expectations during the guidance lesson. I remind the class that they are working to earn a new scoop for their ice cream cones. I give each class a cone to display in their classroom for the school year. By the end of the year, they have an eight scoop high ice cream cone. Many teachers display the ice cream cones on the outside of their doors. Others have special spots in their classrooms to display the cones. If students become too talkative during a lesson, many times I only need to remind them that they are working toward earning a new scoop for their cone. It’s just a small incentive to keep students on task throughout the lesson and to give them something to show for doing their best.
I also have an extra large ice cream cone to display outside my office door that grows each month as well. I’ve used it for so many years that it’s a little faded, so I’ll need to make a new one soon.
Do you have a behavior incentive you’ve incorporated in your school counseling program?
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