In Ms. Mays classroom we preferred using positive reinforcement and praise when students followed rules or went above and beyond rather than negative reinforcement when rules were broken. We used the app Class Dojo to give students points when they did things like helping another student or being on task. When they got to a certain number of points students had the opportunity to pick a prize. This kept students motivated and listening.
However, there are occasional behavioral problems even when using incentives and praise. In situations when students were doing things that were unkind to others or disrupting the class, we occasionally encouraged those students to do a “walk and think.” This is when students walk the perimeter of the playground a few times so they are still getting their energy out, and students must come back with 2 things that they will do differently if they get into that situation again. This helps students make a connection between what they did wrong and the consequence, rather than students just sitting through a time out and not coming up with any ways to solve the problem.
I also believe in using “natural consequences” in the classroom. This means that the consequence that students receive should be related to what the student was doing. If a student is not completing their work, an appropriate punishment would be for them to finish their work while the other students move onto freetime, and then have them join freetime once they are caught up, rather than taking away their recess for a week, as those are unrelated.