Guilt Points

In my class, we have students divided into table groups.  The groups can earn points for good behavior, academic achievement—lots of things.

My best invention ever was Guilt Points.  I use Guilt Points to alleviate my guilt over an injustice or indignity my students have suffered.  Guilt Points give compensation to the wronged party and let us all move on.


* I said the wrong name.  The two students I confused each earn a Guilt Point.  (This is the most common reason for earning a Guilt Point in my classroom.)
* I mixed up the identical twins—again!
* You raised your hand, and I just didn’t see you.
* Thanks to your contrition, I feel bad about making you refocus.

Guilt Points give students an appeals process, which is often necessary in the fast-and-furious world of classroom justice.  I love it when students ask for guilt points for another student: it shows that kids look out for each other.  It is also interesting when students tell each other that a consequence suffered was deserved and that there is no merit for their Guilt Point plea.

I think Guilt Points say something about our classroom system of justice.  Guilt Points tell students that I have their well-being at heart, and that I always try to be fair.

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Posted in Classroom Management,Tips for Teachers by Corey Green @ May 2, 2011


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