Wednesday, September 22, 2010


We're successfully implementing TRAIL Cards at Sioux Trail. This is a project focused on intermittent positive reinforcement. As adults we are very good catching children at making mistakes, but we're not as good at recognizing and reinforcing positive choices. All staff have TRAIL cards with them and can give them to students at any time they are "caught" making a good choice or going above and beyond. I have had students stop me in the hall and share what they got "caught" doing and are really proud of simple things. At the end of the day today a student stopped me and told me that he received a TRAIL card for clearing the lunch table in the cafeteria, another student got a card for going back and cleaning up a mess that she didn't make, a second grader was "caught" holding the door open for her class. The intent isn't to recognize students every time they follow directions or make a good choice, because we expect that, but instead we're trying to reinforce those good choices, with intermittent reinforcement. There are lots of choices for students when they have a TRAIL Card including entering it into a drawing for a monthly lunch with me (I call these TRAIL Blazer Club Meetings), reading the Pledge of Allegiance on Monday mornings or simply keeping the card to remember their good choices. Today I just added some plastic "charms" in school colors. I'm hoping that students will wear these with pride and spread the word about making good choices at the Trail!

You might be asking - why does he keep capitalizing TRAIL? Because I turned "trail" into an acronym or acrostic poem. On the first day of school I invited students to share what TRAIL means to them with me. I told them that to me TRAIL means:
T eamwork
R esponsibility
A cademic Excellence
I ntegrity
L earning

What does TRAIL mean to your student? Have them write it or draw for me and I'll add it to the bulletin board in the office.


Kari said...

Great Ideas!

phil413 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
phil413 said...

Agree. Excellent (creative) idea!