motivate and reward your students
There are so many different ways to motivate your students and curb defiant behavior before it becomes a problem. Most SLPs I know use some sort of sticker/prize box system. And I am no different :)
First of all, I make my expectations known from the beginning. The first session of the year with my students I go over my "speech room rules". I keep them taped to the table to serve as a reminder throughout the year. My rules are simple: 1) listen with your ears; 2) watch me with your eyes; 3) no interrupting while others are talking. Sometimes I use that last picture to remind them to always be talking with their best speech/language skills.
If my students follow all these rules during their session, then they earn a sticker. I let them choose their own sticker sheets at the beginning of the year. I got most of these from preschoolprintables.com. I keep them in a word document on my computer and can easily print off more as I need them. My students get to put on one or two stickers every time they come to see me, and when the sheet is filled up, they get to pick a prize from my prize box. I keep the box full of pencils, toy cars, plastic bracelets/rings, bubbles, and other small trinkets from the dollar store. I never put in candy - just personal preference.
Another thing I started this year was a bonus prize jar (idea from here). Students who achieve an goal in their session, have an exceptionally great attitude, try their best, or do something kind get their name put in the jar.
Every two-three weeks I pick out a name and that person can choose their prize. They almost always choose to pick a prize out of the prize box. I really need to stock up that box again!
So there it is. Quick and easy - these methods do not take more than a minute at the end of a session to complete.
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