How it Works
The Scoreboard is a great classroom management tool and class motivator! Simply make a Smiley/Frowney diagram on the front board. (Tip- Use Teacher vs. Students in secondary school.)
The students earn Smiley points or Frowny points depending on their behavior; and compete with their teacher for a reward. In our classroom this reward is usually a 2 minute dance break or 2 extra minutes of Mind Soccer.
When the students are on-task, they earn a smiley point and the teacher will place a tally mark on the smiley side of the chart. Once the marker is lifted from the mark, the teacher points to the students and they scream out, “Oh Yeah,” as they clap their hands once with excitement. This Mighty Oh Yeah is introduced to them as a 1 second party! (Who doesn’t love a party?)
If the students aren’t following expected behaviors, they then receive a Mighty Groan. A tally mark is placed on the frowny side of the chart, earning the teacher a point. Once the marker is lifted the students give out a Mighty Groan – they call out in unison “ughhh” and shrug their shoulders up to the ears and quickly back down.
Keeping score continues throughout the day, or for a predetermined amount of time. It is important to never give out more than 3 frowny points in a row, without giving out a smiley point. Tip– Never let the difference between Smiley and frowny points be greater than 3. If you reward too much, students lose energy – the game becomes too easy. If you punish too much, students become unhappy – the game is too hard! Keep it in balance and you will be amazed at how well it works!
Also, once the Scoreboard is established, work with the kids to come up with the rewards they would like to work towards, as well as consequences for the times that the teacher wins. This way you can create excitement and buy-in.
The Science Behind It
The Scoreboard is directly linked to the limbic system’s emotions and the amygdala which registers pleasure (Mighty Oh Yeah!) and pain (Mighty Groan!) as students accumulate rewards and penalties.
Why Use It?
Goodbye stop lights, goodbye clip charts, and good-bye classroom management tools that require too much teacher input. The Scoreboard does it all, in a quick and easy to use format. I have found that with the Scoreboard I no longer need individual classroom management behavior plans, and that is why I will always keep it around. In the event you have a student who just will not fall into line, then check out this article on the WBT site which explains how to address these very students effectively: The Guff Counter
Keep It Fresh
The students might not react to the same motivator after it loses its novelty, so it is important to keep it fresh! Here are some ideas on how to switch it up: Scoreboard Variations
Check out the Scoreboard in our 3rd grade classroom!