Sharing my ideas with the boss

It’s been a crazy week working with 21 kiddos of a wide range of ages, ability, and familiarity. I had other difficulties as well that you can read about here. One thing I did finally do was offer up a couple of ideas I had that were a little more obtrusive to Mr. K’s style. The first idea was that we the teachers would choose partners for the students. This was a diverse group of builders, and I thought we could make our jobs a little easier by choosing partners for them. There were really only a few changes that needed to be made so most kiddos ended up with someone they’ve worked with before. However, since I made little post-it seating arrangements for everyone, there was no fuss. I think it went better overall, but there seemed to be the same few builders who took a lot longer than the others and needed more help. Still, there were no tears today.


My other idea was a special case, which worked and did not work all at the same time. There was a boy in this camp who needed a lot of help and encouragement to participate in the motorized build activity that is the main focus of these camps. He always wanted certain things, to sit in a certain place, and easily cried or threw himself on the ground if things didn’t go his way. I’ve learned that students like that need an incentive or reinforcement. If the behavior we want is that he builds his dinosaur, then there needs to be some kind of reinforcer for that behavior. The neat motorized dinosaur at the end is not incentive enough so there needs to be another. One of the things he has wanted all week is to build a car. So, today, he worked by himself and was told that if he built his dinosaur, he could then build a car. He definitely still needed a lot of help and attention but there was also an increase in initiative. Plus, after the build was done, and I said he could build his car after the dinosaur was put away neatly— wow! That dino was gone!

Free building with the motorized kits has come up before as an idea, and it’s something I would like to keep in mind for future use. It seems like quite the incentive.


Do you know students or other kids who need reinforcement for certain behaviors? What do you use? What has worked? What has not? Let me know in the comments below!



No comments so far.

Leave a Reply

(will not be published)