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Do you improve behavior by teaching delayed gratification?

Date: October 20th, 2016
By: Polly Bath

Polly Bath: Delayed gratification is huge. A lesson I do in my classroom is I put something up on the wall and I say, on Monday… If it’s with really small kids it might be only a day, but with older kids I’ll say on Monday, “Hey, on Friday at 2:10, we’re going to do something absolutely phenomenal. On Friday at 2:10.” All week, what are they doing?

“What are we going to do, Miss?”

I keep it on the board, in colors, so it’s really in their face.

They’ll be like, “What are we going to do? What are we going to do? What are we going to do? What are we going to do? We’re being good. Give us a hint. Give us a hint.”

I’m like, “Friday at 2:10, Friday at 2:10.” That’s all I say all week. Then, of course, I get in my car and go home every day and try to figure something out. I’m like, “I got nothing right now, but I’ll figure it out before Friday.”

By Friday, I come up with something fantastic and wonderful, and then we do it then. I will not reveal it until Friday at 2:10, because I clearly know that we have got to actually teach that skill, by presenting that skill.