Walden Work App2

Two Strategies and how they are Related to Behaviorism

The first strategies that we were to explore this was called reinforcing effort. This is an effort to try and teach or reinforce students how to manage how they think about effort.  Often students don’t understand how important effort is. The students are shown a rubric that has various levels of effort and asks the students to self reflect on their effort. The example in the book seems like it might be a good idea. It however would not work in my classroom. I can’t imagine asking third graders to gage if they have paid attention 95% of the time in class. This would have to be greatly adjusted for a younger group of kids.

This is similar to behaviorism because it stresses the uses of positive and negative reinforcement.  It shows that the higher the effort the higher the grade. This is positive reward for a positive behavior. It requires students to reflect and reinforce their use of effort in the class.

The second strategy that we explored was the use of homework and practice. This chapter was a very exciting chapter to read. I found it hard to get through though because I was stopping after every new website they gave us to go and check them out. The book offered many options to improve how homework can be run.  These websites are used to help add more to the curriculum that you already teach. I have used BrainPop before; we have an app for out iPads that has the random clip of the day. I have explored a few more of these and really think they could be helpful tools. Iknowthat.com is a site that has skill building games that include help with multiplication facts; this one will be on my parent letter this week. We also study the solar system so the web site called Stellarium. This website allows students to explore the solar system in a fascinating way. These seem like they might be very helpful tools to be using in the classroom.

This has very direct links to the behaviorist theory. These tools are most often a new version of B.F. Skinner’s teaching box. They give students a question, then they give them options for answers and then most of the games give some type of reward. This is exactly what B.F. Skinner’s teaching box does.


Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

2 thoughts on “Walden Work App2

  1. I agree that it would be difficult to have third grade students judge what percent of time they pay attention or study at home; however, you could perhaps use a color system of green, yellow, and red. They could then chart their color types and look for patterns that way. You could then transition into colors and numbers, such as having green represent 80% to 100%, yellow being 50% to 80%, and red being 0% to 50%. This could then help with their understanding of target percentages. Regardless of the system, the feedback is important for the student and the correlation between effort and grades is something that needs to be presented at a younger age. I have many students at the high school level that tell me that they don’t have to study for tests. Most of these students get B’s. Once I implement this effort rubric, I am hoping that they are able to see that there is a correlation and begin putting forth that extra effort.

  2. I too like the effort rubric. For third graders, perhaps you could use a picture version. You could find four cartoon images showing progressive amounts of effort. Maybe the first one would be a guy sitting on the couch and the last one could be a weightlifter dripping with sweat. The kids could decide which picture represents the amount of effort they put into the assignment. It’s going to be subjective anyways, but the real idea is to motivate students by helping them correlate the amount of effort they put in with the grade they receive.

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