Learning environment

Gates Elementary uses positive reinforcement to create a healthy learning environment

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) – Gates Elementary School on Grand Island uses a research-based positive support system to help create a healthy learning environment for all children.

One of the methods used is what they call Gator Bucks, when a staff member sees a student doing something good they will give those Gator Bucks to those students. The Gator Bucks were a big hit with the Gates Staffers.

“We have Great Gators tickets that our teachers and all of our staff give out and these are for respectful, responsible and safe behavior; students can demonstrate it in class, in the cafeteria, and in the hallway,” said cognitive learning specialist Kashi Velasquez.

And for students who need a little more behavioral help, the school now employs a second level of the program. This includes practices such as checking in and out of students and giving students breaks so they can resume more focused learning.

Gates principal Joe Eckerman says this program doesn’t just benefit students, it also benefits teachers.

“The real key to both of these interventions is that they’re positive interventions, where we’re just creating a structure for the teacher to provide that feedback, so they get more feedback on what they’re doing. good and about the things that they need to think about and really think about so that they can make those changes in the future,” Eckerman said.

Velasquez complimented this style of dealing with bad behavior, saying it helps keep kids in classrooms, where they belong.

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