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Book Club - Reviews / Suggestions What books and stories do you like best. Reviews are welcome.

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Old 07-07-2015, 03:47 AM
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Default Alfie Kohn Books?

Just came across his name on pinterest; has anyone read any of his books? If so, which would you recommend?
He's all about stopping rewarding kids with stickers, 'good job', etc.
I found him interesting and will have to check what he has to say out more thoroughly.
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Old 07-07-2015, 05:09 AM
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"Unconditional Parenting" really rocked my world.

I'd recommend starting with his article about five reasons not to praise.
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Old 07-07-2015, 02:21 PM
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I read 'Punished by Rewards'. I enjoyed it. I do agree with much of what he says. I read it many years ago and I still have to think of more practical ways to work with large groups of kids by myself and still maintain the type of approach Alfie Kohn teaches. My son goes to a great charter school that I love where there are no grades and homework is optional. Those are some of the practices Kohn would like to see in all classrooms. He believes people will succeed by acting on their own inside motivations rather than by others praising, threatening, begging and pleading!
So an intrinsic motivation like the enjoyment of flying down a slide will be more motivation to continue to work on large motor skills (climbing) then an adult's commentary on the sliding (good job, great climbing). And not only does the praising not create a positive benefit to the child but it actually is a detriment. There were studies sited in the book (Punished by Rewards) that showed children repeating the same actions LESS often if they had been praised- those who had received no commentary from adults continued to repeat positive actions just for their own enjoyment. Those children who were praised, and did continue to repeat the action, did it to receive attention from the adults and thus did not enjoy it anymore. They only begged for an approving audience.
I could go on and on! I did like the book. I love the idea of only giving natural and sometimes logical consequences. But, when you have a large group of young children, by yourself or with one other teacher, it can be hard to do what's best. (It's hard enough to do what's easiest!)
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Old 07-08-2015, 03:40 AM
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Thanks for the recommendations! I'll have to visit the library this weekend and see if they have either of those. Thanks for sharing the article, I do agree with much of what he says but as unreg. noted, it gets busy enough in our days to use his tactics, at least until they become as much of a habit as saying Good Job.
Absentmindedly telling kids good job all the time...it feels so fake and condescending to me. For some things I do try to stress teamwork or helping our group get outside faster, etc.
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Old 07-08-2015, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
until they become as much of a habit as saying Good Job.
Absentmindedly telling kids good job all the time...it feels so fake and condescending to me.
After reading the article the first time several years ago, my co-teachers and I decided to help each other break the habit by doing one of the things he says (as an example of how condescending it is) in the book--praising each other every time we did it: "Good praising!" It was totally fake and condescending, as you say, and it broke our habit fast! If you don't have a co-teacher, a friend or spouse could be a partner after hours.
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