4 WAYS TO DEVELOP POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT AT HOME WITH YOUR CHILDREN
by I Can Read Singapore on 22 Feb 2022
Positive Reinforcement at I Can Read
As parents, we often hear about how sparing the rod may spoil the child, but in this day and age where corporal punishment is increasingly frowned upon, how should we teach our children to behave?
At I Can Read, we pride ourselves on encouraging our students to work hard and enjoy the benefits of their own hard work.
Our teachers use positive reinforcement with our students to reward them for working hard and trying their best. Essentially, this helps to motivate our little ones to strive for improvement.
In fact, we’re such proponents of this method that we’re going to share some tips on how you can replicate it at home.
1. Reward good behaviour
When we see our students performing positive behaviour, praise is immediately offered together with little rewards like stickers and chops.
This is typically followed by authentic and meaningful praise to tell them why they deserved it, and why such behaviour is expected and encouraged of our students.
Small words of encouragement and recognition help to reinforce these behaviours, which is why it’s important to reward the actions and behaviours you want to see more often.
2.Promoting good behaviour by becoming an example to follow
By praising actions like sitting well at the table, waiting for their turn attentively and participating proactively, a teacher helps students understand the classroom expectations so that they can adhere to them.
Such descriptive praise not only gives them affirmation, attention and confidence, but also raises awareness about behaviours that are socially well-received.
By seeing how other students are acknowledged for their good behaviour, other students will also model after them. Those who have consistently behaved well will also take pride in their actions and be motivated to continue leading by example.
3. Encourage students to help each other
When students make an effort to offer help to others, teachers also focus on such behaviour and offer praise to encourage such behaviour.
When students initially come into class feeling upset or have first day jitters, we lead with positive acknowledgements of what is expected of them in class.
We praise them for simple actions like placing their bags in the right place, sitting in their seats nicely and participating during class activities.
We want them to feel connected to the classroom environment and giving them such positive acknowledgements will always make them feel a lot more at ease from the beginning.
Changes in behaviour can be encouraged by using praise and positive reinforcement techniques. It's a way to get students to learn the rules and feel motivated in class.
4. Positive reinforcement in education
Positive reinforcement is also used to emphasise learning outcomes in our classes.
Starting from the Pre-Reading level, we provide students with the support and encouragement they need to build a strong foundation for their pronunciation and general skills.
Eliciting first, last and middle sounds, blending and segmenting skills and other general skills taught in class at the Pre-Reading levels is achieved when students understand what they are meant to do through prompt praise and encouragement.
When that has been established and the students have achieved the target skill, our heaps of praises can help them better to understand concepts, gain confidence and achieve success at a better pace thereafter.
With a strong belief in how positive reinforcement is beneficial for our students, we use the same form of encouragement and motivation in our Reading classes and Primary classes as well.
How to use positive reinforcement
When and how positive reinforcement is used is very important when trying to emphasise desired behaviours.
Here are a few things to take note in its execution: The reinforcement must be age-appropriate
- Understandable by the student
- Done in response immediately after the child’s actions
Switching up your positive reinforcement methods is also very important. It helps keep students motivated and engaged with what they need to achieve.
Here are some of the Positive Reinforcement methods used in our classes:
- Social Positive Reinforcements like praise, smiles, compliments, nods and high fives
- Activity-based Positive Reinforcements such as games with classmates or being a leader in an activity in the class can be very effective.
- Tangible Positive Reinforcements like stickers, stamps and even small prizes or gifts.
- Tokens or points can also be used to motivate students to work towards a goal or prize.
Recognition and acknowledgement is a big part of positive reinforcement. It makes the individual that receives the recognition happy and it encourages them to work harder for the benefit they may receive.
It ultimately shows appreciation for previous work and future achievements.
As parents, it might be useful to consider some of these methods used in class for your own interactions with your child.
Rewards work wonders!
When a child does something you really appreciate, show your appreciation with a reward. Always keep in mind the kind of reward they would appreciate.
Your child might like a trip to the park or a new book. You know them best!
We are big fans of praise at I Can Read.
Praise the behaviours you want to see more of and your child will quickly learn what you would like.
- When they do a task well, tell them what a great job they’ve done.
- If they have made a mature decision, tell them how proud you are of them.
Praise, praise, praise! We are all about the praise!
Above all, be consistent in your communications with your child. Children really benefit from one of the most important aspects of positive reinforcement: consistency.
The more consistent you are with reinforcing positive behaviour, the more likely you are to see that behaviour repeat itself.
Keep up the praise, the rewards, and the attention to positive actions and you're much more likely to see more and more positive results.
We hope that we have given you an idea of how important positivity is to children and how to use positive reinforcement to keep your child happy and motivated to learn.