Website of the Week

Positive reinforcement is a classroom management strategy that I use as often as possible.  Recent research solidifies my reasons for using these techniques.

I have one particularly challenging class this year and all my tricks of the trade have not been working. As a result of my frustration, I developed the “Website of the Week” positive reinforcement program to motivate students to behave appropriately.

I started by gathering a list of fun websites appropriate for students to access independently.  I created a slip of paper for each site that included a compliment on their excellent behavior, the web address and an image from the site.  Since the “website of the week” is only given to students who demonstrate good classroom behavior, I needed to create a system that was easy to track, but also respectful to all students.

My tracking system involves keeping a sheet of paper with the homeroom teacher name on it on my desk.  If a student acts innaproiately (talks while I am talking, runs in the room, etc.) I quietly ask the student to write their name on the sheet of paper.  At the end of class, I only give the “website of the week” to students whose name did not appear on the list at my desk.

Additionally, I have a built-in consequence (loss of recess) if a student’s name appears more than once on the paper during a class period. 

Also at the beginning of each class, to generate excitement, I ask the students what they thought of the site from the previous week – knowing very well their answer would be positive. (Any child without computer access I allowed to come in for a few minutes during lunch to try it out.)

I went from about 10 students a month ago who did not receive the “website of the week” down to one last week.  This once challenging class has transformed into one of my easiest to manage while also using technology to learn and reinforce art content!

Here is a list of fun websites you might like to use for “Website of the Week.”

Learn how to shrink or customize any of these URL addresses with Tiny URL.

Theresa McGee

Hello! My name is Theresa McGee and I am a National Board Certified Art Teacher and Apple Distinguished Educator teaching in Hinsdale, Illinois. My curriculum is structured around creative thinking and technology integration into the learning process. I have authored eighteen articles for the Tech4ArtEd Column in SchoolArts Magazine and several iTunes U courses for professional development. I've presented at the state and national levels including several online webinars for art educators. In 2010, I was awarded Illinois Elementary Art Educator of the Year and in 2011 I was awarded the national PBS Teacher Innovator award. I love to share ideas that contribute to the art education profession!

1 Comment

  • October 31, 2008

    James Metcalfe

    Thank you for listing our website; it is always gratifying to find out that people appreciate and use it. I would like to suggest the National Galley of Art a great web site for kids, full of interactive creative art making programs.

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