Sunday, February 10, 2008

Levels 3 and 4

Yesterday I talked a bit about Levels 1 and 2 in identifying classroom behavior. Both Level 1 and 2 allow kindergarten to unfold successfully. The important difference is the motivation:

Level 1 is internally motivated positive behavior;

Level 2 is externally motivated positive behavior.

In kindergarten we talk about two more levels of behavior: Level 3 and 4. Both of these levels interrupt the flow of kindergarten.

Level 3 is the classification for annoying, bothersome behavior.

Level 4 is the classification for dangerous behaviors.

I like the simplicity of this way of thinking about behavior. There are two kinds of behavior, not good or bad, but instead:

Behaviors that promote getting along together (Levels 1 & 2)


Behaviors that disrupt getting along (Levels 3 & 4).

It's a system that is simple enough for kindergartners to understand. At the same time, it's sophisticated enough to be useful even to adults.

When I came up with this system my kids were teenagers. They loved to apply it to their parents. They might say something like,

"Hey, look! Dad's on Level 1. He's doing the dishes even though no one asked him."

The whole family would apply it to our dog, may you rest in peace, Champ. When he would bark at school girls walking past our house we'd say,

"Champ, you're on Level 3! Stop barking."

Or, when he curled up with a kid home sick from school, we'd note his Level 1 behavior.

It was fun to talk about our behaviors with each other this way.

I know parents find it helpful, too. If you search in the Important Book index for Bud's page, you'll see reference to Bud's being on Level 1 at home.

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