Keeping kids motivated to make positive behavior choices can be the biggest challenge teachers face. Token boards are easy-to-use tool to give students the visual supports they need to make positive choices.
Keep the Token Board Simple
The biggest mistake teachers make when implementing token boards is making things overly complicated. Token boards do not have to be complicated. Keeping things simple and straightforward helps to keep expectations consistent. And consistency is the key to any successful behavior intervention.
Focus on One Goal at a Time
Start with one goal. To effectively improve a behavior, you need to stick to a single goal. For example, if a student repeatedly calls out and interrupts class but also refuses to complete work, you’ll have to choose which behavior you want to focus on first. Once that behavior has improved, you can move on to the next goal.
Depending on the frequency or severity of the behavior you are trying to eliminate, you’ll want to choose how many tokens your student must earn to earn a reward. If a student is working on staying in his own space but he is currently out of his seat or invading other’s space 80% of the time, you may want to start small and build up.
Give Students Visual Reward Choices
Allow your student to choose his or her reward. It’s important to give students a choice to help them to buy in. Using a visual reward menu can help students to understand their choices and truly pick their favorite. You may want to consider taking pictures of the reward choices to present to your student. If your short on time and need a reward chart and token board now – check out my printable options here on TPT.
Another note about rewards, you’ll want to only give reward options that you student can earn and get immediate access to. Giving the student a chance to play basketball with the principal is great, but the principal will need to be available at a moment’s notice (unless you know you have a student who can wait for their reward). Rewards (and consequences for that matter) are much more effective when given immediately.
Teach your Student How to Use Token Boards
Take time to introduce the token board to your student. Make sure they understand that when they do X behavior, they earn a token. Then when they earn X amount of tokens, they get their reward. Try your best to reward the student as soon as possible once the reward is earned. This keeps the student’s trust in the process.
You can read more about using visuals in the classroom here.