Token boards are an awesome way for our students to visually see immediate rewards and consequences of their behavior, whether it’s for a session, specific class, or an all-day reflection.
But let’s face it – we all have those days where we’re ready to earn our stars, and others where we just want to hang on to them! So here are three tips to help make your 1-2-3 token boards a success.
A simple 1-2-3 token board should be flexible, reinforced and personalized.
1. Build in FLEXIBILITY with your token boards.
Take a moment at the beginning of the day/session to see how your student is feeling. (You can incorporate your assistants and co-teachers with this!) For the most part, we can tell early on what kind of day our students are going to have – and that gives us an opportunity to be flexible with our demands and their needs.
Then, decide which token board to use – “I can earn my tokens” or “I can keep my tokens.” Your student should be used to using either one. Make it a surprise in the beginning and remember to be very positive for both actions – keeping and earning!
This flexibility can make or break our student’s path to a successful day.
2. Use an immediate REINFORCEMENT at the end of the session/class/day.
Have a reinforcement ready at the end of each session/class/day. It should be small, like a goldfish, sticker or gummy bear – ask the parents for their support in providing it, if possible. It is very important to choose a highly-preferred item!
Once your student has experienced success earning immediate rewards, you can move to a delayed reinforcement system, if applicable. For a school week, have the student track his successful token days in order to receive a delayed reward at the end of the week. A great way to do this is to have a small container that can be completely filled up. (I use glass baby food jars and big marbles so the students can see their progress.) For many of my students, I continue both immediate and delayed reinforcements. So they may get all 5 gummy bears, plus 15 minutes of computer fun on Friday.
3. PERSONALIZE the token board.
Often, this is as easy as adding a sticker to the board and tokens. It is very important that it is truly an interest of the student. The good news is that most of our students have a favorite character or item we can incorporate. If not, be colorful and creative – your enthusiasm for their success will set the tone!
Here’s a great way to involve a parent, if you desire. I once had a student that loved Target, so his three tokens were Target bulls eyes and if he kept/earned all week, Mom took him to Target.
Here are the templates for the 1-2-3 keep board and the 1-2-3 earn board. As always, these resources are FREE and please contact me if you have any questions or concerns!
Thanks to you – together, we DO make a positive difference in so many lives!