When Dr. Cosgrave, Chief Academic Officer, made her instructional rounds at Slate Ridge Elementary, she came back with extra responsibilities, namely four "desk pets" that Superintendent Dr. Brown can award her with when she does a good job.
The desk pets came from Mrs. Keane's first-grade class at Slate Ridge, where she is working on PBIS, or Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports.
"In first grade, everyone in the classroom is working to earn points to have pets and supplies that come with a desk pet," Mrs. Keane said. "Students earn points by displaying positive behavior, such as working quietly, completing assignments and following our Portrait of a Graduate Framework. Our most recent POG competency focus is collaboration."
The students enjoy earning pets and caring for them, but a student can lose their pet for a short period of time. When students need to re-focus on learning, the desk pet is in the care of Mrs. Keane. Pets are returned when students show that they are focused on learning.
This idea of desk pets came from Mrs. Hammond, a second grade teacher at Slate Ridge, as her students have them as well.
"In first grade, we learn about wants and needs," said Mrs. Keane. "We talk about how our desk pets have wants and needs. Do they have hobbies? Do they need shelter? Students learned that if they do not have enough resources (points), to put the needs before the wants. For example, a desk pet needs shelter before toys."
The students have enjoyed this whole-class behavior incentive. The next time you see Dr. Cosgrave, tell her she has earned her pet hedgehog!