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Behaviorism in the Classroom

Teachers use behaviorism in the classroom on a daily basis. Homework is a great example of a behaviorist teaching strategy. Students practice a skill until they have mastered it. According to Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, and Malenoski, "students need about 24 practice sessions with a skill in order to achieve 80 percent competency" (Pitler et al., 2007, p. 188). During these practice sessions, teachers need to give timely feedback to reinforce the skill. It is essential that teachers recognize errors early in the process so students are not practicing the wrong thing.

Many students need to be instructed on how their effort correlates to their performance in class. This is another form of reinforcement. Teachers are able to have students track their effort using a rubric. They can graph their effort with their quiz grades to see the positive correlation. This correlation is another type of reinforcement for the student. If they are not putting in the effort, they will see the impact on their grade.

Once a skill has been taught to students, teachers are able to use technology to reinforce that skill. I have found that games a wonderful way to engage my students and have them practice a skill that I have taught in class. Math games are one way that I have my students reinforce their learning. http://www.coolmath.com/ is a great website for a variety of skills.

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). *Using technology with classroom instruction that works.* Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Kate, I like the way you make use of games to engage the students. Games give immediate reward and reinforcement to students thereby strengthening the correct behavior as well as challenging the wrong ones, so that students will quickly be encouraged or otherwise know where to make amends. Games bring fun to learning, while the students are engaged and motivated to learn even outside the school. Giving students these learning games as homework and practice will surely be rewarding both to the students and the teacher.

ReplyDeleteDamilola

Damilola,

DeleteI like that the games give immediate reinforcement. However, I worry about creating meaningful relationships for the students to learn the content and not just memorize it. Do you have any suggestions for how to make homework fun, but also rigorous?

Kate

Hi Kate,

DeleteThere is the fun part to games that keeps children busy and glued to their devices. As they play or do the games, they get rapped to it and will not give up until they have achieved their goal. This becomes easy because they derive fun doing it.

My school is subscribed to and registered with http://ixl.com and all the children have their individual accounts and the teacher can monitor each child's performance because they receive immediate rewards online. The other site we use for homework is http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/math.htm . They really don't have to memorize. They do their practice based on the connections they are able to make, thereby they become more proficient in the knowledge of concepts and their acquisition of skills.

Damilola

Kate,

ReplyDeleteWhat a great point you brought up that "students need about 24 practice sessions with a skill in order to achieve 80 percent competency" (Pitler et al., 2007, p. 188). I find this an eye opening statistic. With the pacing guides my county has in math we teach a new skill almost every day. This is not a sufficient amount of time for students to master and retain math skills. It is important that we continually review previously taught material through warm ups, group stations, etc., to ensure our students get enough practice. As you noted, it is also important that we catch students' misconceptions early. Using technology is a great way to do this. Through the use of Turning Point presentations and interactive math games students are given immediate feedback. Coolmath.com looks like an excellent resource to use at school or home to practice math. Another great math resource is http://www.ixl.com/math/grades.

-Chelsea

Reference for previous post

ReplyDeletePitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Chelsea,

ReplyDeleteIn our district we also have to teach a skill every day or every other day. It is difficult to teach the skill with enough meaning for the students to actually learn it and not just memorize it for the test.

I have found that doing an interactive review of "old problems" during the warm-up helps students stay engaged. I also use technology to during my instruction. There are ways to include technology that is not purely for remediation. My students enjoy watching BrainPop videos and Math Mansion. These introduce a skill in an exciting way. Going to Brainpop.com allows access to a lot of different subjects and ways to include technology. Math Masion can be found through Discovery Education.

Kate

Hi Kate,

ReplyDeleteI use Brain Pop a lot during science and social studies instruction. I have not utilized during language arts or mathematics yet. I will check out what it has to offer. I typically do I five minute check to review old skills in the beginning of my new math lessons. I will have five problems the students answer using Turning Point. This lets me see immediately which skills I need to do a more in depth review for and which one my students have mastered.

Chelsea