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The effects of positive reinforcement in a 4 th grade Yeshiva Classroom . Patrick Attio Brooklyn College CBSE 7202 Professor - O’Connor- Petruso. Table of Contents. Abstract Statement of Problem Review of Related Literature Statement of Hypothesis

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The effects of positive reinforcement in a 4 th grade Yeshiva Classroom


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    1. The effects of positive reinforcement in a 4th grade Yeshiva Classroom Patrick Attio Brooklyn College CBSE 7202 Professor - O’Connor-Petruso

    2. Table of Contents • Abstract • Statement of Problem • Review of Related Literature • Statement of Hypothesis • Methods: Participants, Instruments, Experimental Design, Procedure • Threats to Internal Validity • Threats to External Validity • Data Analysis: Survey Correlations • Data Analysis: Results of Observations • Discussion and Implications • References

    3. Abstract This study focuses on the use of positive reinforcement as a tool to gain desired classroom behaviors with 10 4th grade students in an all boys Yeshiva during an after-school program The instructor of the class is not from the religious culture of the school. This study records the number of undesired instances and class-time that was taken during a two weeks while using negative reinforcement. It then conducts the same study utilizing positive reinforcement. It then compares the findings. This study shows a positive link between the use of positive reinforcement in diminishing the amount of undesired behaviors and, reduced the amount of time spent addressing negative behavior. Furthermore, positive reinforcement was found to have an area of effect and thus more beneficial.

    4. Statement of the Problem I have been working as a 4th grade afterschool teacher in an all boys yeshiva. In my time there I have found that my students my students display much off-task behavior; because of this, a lot of class time is lost as well. I wonder if using positive reinforcement, exclusively, will weed out those undesired behaviors and yield a more productive and manageable classroom environment.

    5. Review of Related Literature • Cihak, Kirk and Boon (2009) addressed behavioral modification method of teaching 3rd graders “pro-social” behaviors by honoring the good or desired behaviors exhibited by their students. They called this “tootling”. • Wilmot and Pond (2012) stated that the success or failure of a group mimics real life because we will all need to co-exist and work together. • Morrison and Jones (2007) Addressed the topic of Positive Peer Reporting. This positive action of saying positive things done by their peers reduced tension, negative feelings towards classmates and encouraged positivity amongst all students.

    6. Statement of Hypothesis I hypothesize that the implementation of positive reinforcement will reduce the number of interruptions in class because, the students will desire the positive reinforcement and so, will act in a way that allows them to receive it. I also believe that the use of positive reinforcement will reduce the amount of class-time lost from dealing with disruptions.

    7. Methods • Experimental Design • Two(2) One-Shot Case Studies OXO + OXO then comparing results • Procedure • - Permissions and Consent • Pre-survey • Negative Reinforcement - 2 weeks • Positive Reinforcement – 2 weeks • Post-Survey • Participants: • 10 4th graders from an all boys Yeshiva • Instruments • Introduction/Consent Form. • Pre-Survey • Post-Survey • Observation Logs

    8. Threats to Internal Validity History - After school program is from 4-4:45. Children may be restless - This is in a Yeshiva which has a culture that I am not familiar with Instrumentation - The surveys will be created by myself and not have been tested before. - My own experience as a teacher Mortality - Students may be absent. - Absentee records will be kept to see if there is a correlation between an absent party and the behavior exhibited. Statistical Regression - The mood of the students or time of day may effect the data recorded. Differential Selection of Subjects - All students will be male and come from a religious background. Selection-Maturation Rate - Different students will have different levels of maturity. - Outbursts may be caused by restlessness or the inability to be still for prolonged periods of time.

    9. Threats to External Validity Selection Treatment Interaction - The results of the study can be generalized however results are not guaranteed. Specificity of Variables - All boys school - Yeshiva school (Religious) - Time of day 4-5:30pm Multiple Treatment - Dependent on student. If the student has gotten used to the positive reinforcement if is up to him or her whether it is something to still be sought out or something that has become boring. Treatment Diffusion - If a student sees that another student is receiving praise, that student may be better behaved because he or she wants the same praise. Experimenter Effects - Experience level of the Instructor in classroom management - Relationships built with their respective students Reactive Arrangement/Participant Effects - Hawthorne Effect - If the students are aware that their behavior is being evaluated they may act differently . - Compensatory rivalry effect - Each student potentially will want praise so they will be trying to work and behave better than their peers which, would help the study to reach a positive conclusion. - High novelty effect - Depending on teacher bias. A student that is continually behaving admirably and receiving positive reinforcement may see it as a norm for him and may no longer feel that he or she needs to practice good or pro-social behavior to receive praise.

    10. Data Analysis: Pre vs. Post Survey Results Correlation = .4979353 Correlation = .748251748 • Interpretation of Data • After the introduction of positive reinforcement the correlation between these two questions improved. • More students were listening to me and/or their parents

    11. Data Analysis: Pre vs. Post Survey Results • Interpretation of Data • More students believed it was important to raise their hand in the post survey. • Much less disagreed in the post survey • Interpretation of Data • 7 out of the total 10 students strongly agreed that their teacher deserves respect. • 1 funny man disagrees

    12. Data Analysis: Negative vs. Positive Reinforcement • Interpretation of Data • Using Negative Reinforcement yielded an average of 9 disturbances each day. • Expected disturbances range from 3 to 15 daily. • Interpretation of Data • Using Positive Reinforcement yielded an average of 6 (33.3% Less) disturbances each day • Expected disturbances range from 1 to 11 daily.

    13. Data Analysis: Negative vs. Positive Reinforcement • Interpretation of Data • Average amount of time lost: 5 Minutes daily • Expected losses range from 0 – 11 minutes daily. • Interpretation of Data • Average amount of time lost: 3 minutes daily (40% less) • Expected losses range from 0 – 7 minutes daily.

    14. Discussion and Implications • Positive Reinforcement reduces both the number of interruptions and the amount of time lost. • Positive Reinforcement has an area of effect which addresses multiple undesired behaviors at once and remedies them. • I.E. “I like how nicely Student A is sitting” • Positive Reinforcement avoids conflict. • Positive Reinforcement becomes desirable and helps to reduce undesired behaviors if used effectively and consistently.

    15. References • Cihak, D., Kirk, E., & Boon, R. (2009). Effects of classwide peer "tootling" to reduce the disruptive classroom behaviors of elementary students with and without disabilities. J BehavEdu, doi: 10.1007/s10864-009-9091-8 • Wilmot, P., & Pond, K. (2012). Multi-disciplinary peer-mark moderation of group work. International Journal of Higher Education, 1(1), 2-13. doi: 10.5430/ijhe.v1n1p2 • Morrison, J., & Jones, K. (2007). The effects of positive peer reporting as a class-wide positive behavior support. Journal of Behavioral Education, 16(2), 111-124. doi: 10.1007/s10864-006-9005-y • O’Connor-Petruso, S. (2010). Descriptive Statistics Threats to Validity [PowerPoint sildes]. Retrieved from http://bbhosted.cuny.edu/webapps/portal/ • Pictures from: • https://www.marketcircle.com/blog/positively-positive/ • http://www.c2mclean.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Elementary-school-students-raising-hands-in-classroom_.jpg • http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dZdA6_JFEyk/UE1p9fULdDI/AAAAAAAAA6g/ZqOThpeyDL0/s1600/crazy+classroom.jpg