Now and Then

I’ve had an interesting time with some of my students at school so far this year as they need lots of small frequent incentives to get things done.  A technique suggested by one of our brilliant Image

Special Ed teachers was to have a laminated card with “Now and Then” on it.  Then set one small task followed by something a bit more favorable to come next.  So it might be -

Now: complete a page in your handwriting book

Then: choose a book for Mrs Mc to read to the class.

It works well because the student is just looking at one task and one good consequence and I’ve got myself into a pretty good routine with it.  I keep cards on “certain” desks so I can swing by and remind them of what they should be focused on and positively reinforce their choices when they have done what was required.

Interestingly I have found during the school holidays a similar technique works here.  My boys are not always the most willing helpers and are a bit too distracted by screens.  In order to get things done and get them on board I’ve been using “Now and Then” a lot.  I’m not saying “now” and “then” but when asking them to do something or telling them something that is going to happen I include what will happen next.

For example:

  • Please get dressed and brush your teeth then we’ll take Bronco downstairs for a rumble.
  • When the dishwasher has been unloaded you can ring up X to arrange that play date.
  • After we’ve done the grocery shopping we can do some cooking together.

And on the topic of cooking we’re doing a bit more of that too. Eric and his best mate made Butter Chicken and homemade naan bread last night.  It took the best mate about 20 minutes to cut up a small pile of beans but he got it done and was pleased with himself.  I’m giving them as much choice as possible so the meals are a bit different – nachos, butter chicken, sausages and mashed potato, ravioli.  It is really gratifying to see their skills improve. Eric can now do a cake from scratch and use the stand mixer and Daniel is getting better at cutting up things.  Dan’s original food prep specialty was mushrooms because I could let him loose with a dinner knife and he couldn’t do too much damage but we are moving onto other tools bit by bit.

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2 Comments on “Now and Then”

  1. Lizzy says:

    Brilliant! love these ideas – may just employ some of them here ;)

  2. Angela says:

    yes – excellent ideas – I use these strategies quite a bit myself……seems to be the go with boys :)


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