Saturday, July 7, 2012

Stoplights and marbles

There's a new sheriff in town:

Our refrigerator chart

Here's how it works: Every morning, the kids all start out on green (happy face). Throughout the day, bad behavior such as talking back or not listening can get you moved to yellow (worried face). You have two chances to make a better choice before you land on yellow, but some infractions (such as hitting) will land you directly on red (sad face). You can get back on green by being obedient, kind, helpful, or otherwise having a better attitude.

If you are on green at the end of the day, you get to put a marble in a jar; landing on red at any time, however, means that you must take a marble out of the jar. When the jar is filled, you get a big prize! Right now the kids are working toward a trip to a cafe (something that they've been begging to do after seeing one on TV) and they are almost there:

Our marble jar 
(full for the purpose of demonstration)

Lucy, Jude, and Dahlia are highly motivated by this system because it's what their teacher used in preschool last semester and they understand what the stakes are. Since Isaac was in a different classroom, however, he is still learning just what this green/yellow/red business means. He does get a kick out of putting a marble in the jar, though—so much so that, even though we have not yet formally tried to potty train him, he now goes #2 exclusively in the potty just for the chance to "putta narble inna jar":

So proud of himself!

And I think that, alone, makes our stoplight system a resounding success!

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