Local school partakes in state behavioral program

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By Tim McNicholas

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Updated: Wed, 27 Nov 2013 09:45:47 CST

It's called the good behavior game, and the name of the game pretty much explains it.

Behave yourself and your team will win prizes—

On this day, for second graders at Alcott Elementary the prize was candy.

Don't break the rules and you're a winner.

"You can't get a prize if you pass four or five,” Alcott second grader Cesar Flores said. “And if you get three that's still good."

Teacher Gina Andersen says she's implemented similar strategies in the past...

But it's the teamwork element of the good behavior game that's working.

"If one of their team members breaks a rule, you'll see them,” Andersen said.  “They'll be like, oh don't do that, or, be quiet. Because they want to win. They all want to be winners."

The game is only played for 10 to 15 minutes a few times a week...

But Andersen says the good behavior carries over outside the game.

The good behavior game is aimed at shaping students' basic social skills.

A well–mannered classroom isn't the only benefit Andersen sees from using the game.

Each teacher who successfully completes a school year using the good behavior game receives a 500 dollar bonus.

Alcott Elementary is one of just three schools partaking in the state program.

When the Nebraska Department of Education reached out to them...

Alcott jumped at the opportunity.

The school now receives an 11 thousand dollar grant each year to pay for expenses like teacher training and transportation—

As the training takes place in Omaha.

The teachers say it's paying off.

"I was amazed. I've really been impressed. It's helped my instruction. It's kept the kids on task and focused,” Andersen said.