Saturday, February 9, 2008

Level One and Two

The images above are posted on my classroom wall.

They identify two levels of behavior, Level 1 and Level 2.

One of the most important things we can do as teachers (and parents) is to help our students and children learn to distinguish the two.

Level 1 is doing "the right thing" without being asked.

Level 2 is the same behavior, but motivated from outside.

The difference between the two is motivation.

So how do you get there? By talking about it. Simply put, if you take the time to discuss the feelings (yours and your child's) behind showing a little kindness or showing a little responsibility, your child and you will naturally discover that there's no need for any other incentive (like a treat or money). Doing the right thing feels good!

That's why, in my classroom, we talk about "Level 1" behavior when students do something helpful or responsible without being asked to do it.

"Level 2" behaviors are the same behaviors, but the motivation is extrinsic: they've been asked to do it, or perhaps they may expect some praise for doing it.

tomorrow Levels 3 and 4

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