In my last post you might have picked up that I award my 4-7 year olds “points” for doing well in an activity, winning a game or just behaving well. When I tell people about the “points”, they ask “What are the points for?”
Well it’s not like a credit card membership program where they can be redeemed for prizes… And it’s not like they can actually do anything else with the points… They’re just “points”.
They have no value other than the value the kids give them. So for a class of 4-7 year olds, man, points are cool! You should see their faces when they get awarded points! They love it.
Points are awarded for effort or great results.
But here’s the thing…
If you decide to use my proprietary point system =) then you gotta do it in the right way.
You have to award a HUGE number of points for the kids to get excited. You can just say, “Great job David – here’s one point.”
It’s got to be something to blow their minds, but at the same time a number that they can comprehend. I found that 5,000 points is a good number, 10,000 if you have an activity and it’s the “final” round, or if you really want to get them excited go bigger.
Points are a great motivator for bad behavior too. If you have a kid who is goofing off in class, simply take 5,000 points away from them. Within about 5 seconds their behavior usually improves 10 fold.
Now here are some things you need to know about points.
Warning #1 – The larger the number, the more excited the kids get.
Warning #2 – Points are a double edged sword. Kids who don’t get points can get upset.
Warning #3 – Points don’t usually work for older kids or adults. =)
Use points in your next class and see how it well it works. Be enthusiastic when you give your points and you’ll see the energy in the room rise instantly.