Want to promote positive behavior and develop good character among your students? A combination of PBIS and a house system in schools is hard to beat! A house system gives students an opportunity to work collaboratively, develop relationships, and establish a stronger connection to the school community. The advantage of a house system in schools is that it dovetails nicely with a PBIS initiative. PBIS establishes the expectations of positive behavior in a variety of locations throughout the school. Grouping students within a house system can rev up excitement, foster a competitive spirit, and reinforce positive behavior. Spoiler alert: using PBIS Rewards in a house system can make it even easier!
Who Came Up with Houses, Anyway?
The concept of houses within a school isn’t new. In fact, they didn’t originate from a story about a certain boy wizard (ahem) and his friends. Houses within a school are a common feature of boarding schools, particularly in Great Britain. Students typically live in groups in individual houses and are often identified by the house in which they reside. The identity and relationships formed within this house often carry forward into post-graduate life.
The sense of belonging associated with houses isn’t limited to British boarding schools, however. Public and private schools all over the world have embraced the house format as a way to build school culture.
Utilizing a house system in schools connects students independent of grade level, allowing older students to develop into leadership roles. House activities and competitions encourage students to come together to support and cheer one another on while having fun. Students who struggle in the classroom can also benefit from being a part of a house, particularly when behaviors are the focus instead of grades. A house system also enables students to develop socially and emotionally, reinforcing the concepts taught as part of an SEL curriculum.
Placing students into houses can boost your PBIS initiative, and PBIS Rewards can help you to recognize students in house activities. Here’s how:
Houses = Groups
When you fold a house system into a PBIS initiative, you not only make both systems stronger, you also make everything more efficient for your staff. Your behavior matrix does double duty as students receive points for positive behaviors individually and as a group. Students who may be struggling behaviorally receive a lift from the positive recognition of their house. Positive peer influence within a house is a powerful tool to improve behavior across the board.
There are two ways to add houses to your PBIS roster:
Create an Artificial Student
If your house system encompasses the entire school, creating artificial students within PBIS Rewards can be a useful way to track house activities. You can add an artificial student in the same way you add a new student. This artificial student account records points awarded to a house. The house decides, as a group, how to redeem these points. A single artificial student account for each house is useful for redeeming large group activities or events. In some schools, the points earned by the house are duplicated for each student in that house. It’s up to you to decide how to handle points awarded to a house.
Create a Group
If you are using houses within a classroom or grade level, you can create houses in PBIS Rewards by using the Groups feature. Simply create a group for each house. Creating a house group and then adding students to a group allows you to recognize each student in a house individually. The points assigned to the house are duplicated in each student’s account.
Using PBIS Rewards With Houses
Once you’ve set up your houses within PBIS Rewards, recognizing houses is super simple! You can create QR codes for each house to facilitate a quick scan to award points. These codes can be supplied on a roster, added to individual house banners throughout the school, and/or added to student IDs. Need to quickly find houses that you’ve added as artificial students? Use a unique naming convention to group artificial students in one place on a class roster, such as beginning the first or last name with a “Z” and letting the system sort students by name.
Remind your staff that they can award points on the fly by using the staff app on their mobile devices, both for individuals and for groups. You can award points to houses during schoolwide events as well as over the course of a typical school day.
Want to know more about setting up a house system in schools? PBIS Rewards makes it easy to manage your PBIS initiative and seamlessly integrate a house system. Request a demo today!Request a Demo