Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Silly Ban on Silly Bandz

It's 9am morning announcements and what did they just say? Silly Bandz are now banned in school? (picture of silly bands on right comes from their website)

This is the trend. As children get excited about the cute rubber bracelets made into shapes, the schools are suddenly banning them. Why?

From the Denver Post : "What was happening is in the classroom itself, kids were more preoccupied with who they were going to trade with, and what they were going to trade, than the teacher teaching," said Jonathan Wolfer, principal of Douglass Elementary School in Boulder. Read more: Despite school bans, the Silly Bandz fad plays on - The Denver Post

So let me get this straight, teachers are having difficulty getting students to focus on their work because of a bracelet. Now that we have banned the bracelets, the students are suddenly more focused on their school work, right? WRONG! Despite the ban, those classrooms aren't going to be any better for it. If a teacher has an effective management style, that should transcend any fad or general student misbehavior.

Recently in my course work I read a statistic that really bothered me: praise of students occurred only once every 15 to 30 minutes while reprimands occurred once every 2 minutes (Yell, Meadoes, Drasgo, & Shriner, 2009). Talk about negativity in the classroom. However, everything I have been taught about being a teacher in my undergrad and my graduate work so far indicates that positive interaction in the classroom is the way to prevent behavior issues. Unfortunately, I think this is a societal tendency, in that we are quicker to complain about something than to praise.

By the way....for those of you who are clients of ours, Bolder Tutor will continue to use Silly Bandz as an incentive for student engagement and achievement.