Teaching Ideas

Happy and Sad Face Board Yr 1/2

Submitted by Bianca (11-10-2012)

I have a poster with a happy and a sad face column. All the children's names start in the happy face column. When a child is seen making a right choice I give them a tick next to their name. If they accumulate 3 ticks next to their name over a whole week they get a prize from the prize box (pencil, rubber...)

If a child is seen making a not-so-good choice their name is moved to the sad face side of the board. If they continue a cross is put next to their name and they sit on the bench at lunch time (school policy).

I always let the children know that they can earn their name back to the happy face side by turning their not-so-good choices into good choices.

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What others are saying...

sad face mum (24-11-2012)

My child only 4 years old has just started Primary School, and had the sad face on the board. I'm not being a protective mother in anyway but I feel so so sad myself now. It's so negative for a child of that age, and it reflects at home too with the family. I am now considering taking this further. I feel this is mental torture. I think they need to implement different procedures.


Anonymous (16-11-2012)

This approach is widely used in the UK with their national curriculum. It worked well for me in the NT working in a remote indigenous community . I get a bit annoyed when it's always about the badly behaved kids and never about the good kids...yes technically the badly behaved kids COULD feel a bit of 'shame', but they should. I really didn't see that they felt that badly about their behaviour nor did it reinforce their behaviour when putting them on the sad face. They were genuinally disappointed in their behaviour and of course had the chance to get off the sad face..which 9 times out of 10 they did. This was used in an extremely low ability upper primary years 4-9 class.


Anonymous (29-10-2012)

This sounds like a wonderful idea, and I bet it works, but has anyone given any thought of the side effects of the public humiliation that the child feels by everyone in the class knowing and seeing all day long that he/she misbehaved? Isn't this re-enforcing giving in to peer pressure on some level? The system is a good one, but the idea that it is on public display I have a bit of a problem with. Would you ever display all the children's grades on a test for everyone to see? Why do it with their behavior?


Anonymous (03-10-2012)

I don't think moving a child's name to the sad face side of a chart is doing them any harm. All the other children are already aware there's a problem because that child is probably disrupting the class with their inappropriate behavior. By seeing that it is inappropriate they can better understand they need to make some changes.


Anonymous (18-03-2012)

I think its a ridiculous idea, a child always on the sad side because a teacher can't see beyond is always given negativity which in itself causes negativity


Anonymous (13-02-2012)

My daughter has just started school. She comes home crying because her name was on the sad board. Her name is the only word she can read. She used to feel proud when she read that word. Now, in her first days at school, she sees that familiar, once happy word, and she feels embarrassed and ashamed, angry and alienated. I cannot think of anything good to say about this careless and oppressive form of discipline.


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