Outside of the booming farming city of Wenatchee, Washington, Orondo Elementary and Middle School has been pioneering innovative approaches to motivating their students and addressing student behavior.
We talked with Mark Shorb, the fifth grade reading, language arts and math teacher, about one of their awesome rewards used for the behavior points students earn.
We’ve heard about the legendary Soccer Game incentive for your students. What is it?
The soccer game is a fun way to reward students while building relationships with teachers. We have some very talented soccer players, so we decided to create an incentive in LiveSchool where students could use LiveSchool points to join the student roster. Only our 7th graders (our highest grade) were eligible and they could sign up during lunch. The game was after lunch, during recess.
It was 7 teachers versus 11 students, with two 6th grader referees. It was a 15-minute game with no halftime. The teachers won 1-0 :-). It was such a close game that we delayed the start of the period after lunch a few minutes for the teachers to recompose themselves.
That’s amazing. What else makes Orondo Middle School special?
We just received the Apple Ed Tech Grant. We will be receiving enough Ipads for each student at our school to use them in class and hopefully at home. We’re very excited about that. We’re a very small district with a committed administration and staff. Our small size and trust in each other allows us to implement far reaching and systemic changes without getting bogged down in bureaucratic channels that might hamper larger districts.
Why did you become a teacher?
I became a teacher because I love learning. I wanted to see others, especially in underserved populations, develop a love of learning and become successful for themselves, their families, and their community.
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Motivating positive student behavior starts with rewards and incentives that matter to kids. Orondo Middle School has got that part down!
School-wide behavior management can be tough to implment, but can change the trajectory of a school. What level would you rank your school?