Q: I feel negative if I give frownies, how do I go about this?
A: Avoid putting too much negativity on it, and consider it the "honing" of skills. I recommend putting up a frown when you see that behavior that is what you would expect of "younger" students" THEN right away stop what you are doing and practice it the RIGHT way. Then you can give a smile for improved behavior. Rememer the +/- 3 rule! There should never be a HUGE discrpency between smiles and frowns.
Q:When do they get the reward and what should it be?
A: First of all your answer right now should be BRAGGING RIGHTS! That is it! Not a party, not a video, not extra story time, etc. Its a LONG year. I don't even tell my kids that there are more levels until they need it! If I make it until November without any rewards GREAT if its earlier well then we know what kind of class it is.
Second, once you start the level the 2nd level is a TINY reward like 1 min break, a gonoodle movement break, 1 problem off homework. Not a BIG reward. Don't tie something you intend to do anyway to the scoreboard. IE Friday movie, recess etc. If you are not willing to cancel it because they didn't win then don't do it.
Q: How often should I be using tally marks?
A: Coach B says ALL THE TIME! It took me awhile to get the hang of it and honestly some days I forget all about it, but try for 30 per day. That is 5 per hour which really is not very many. Once you get used to using it that many times go for more.
Use the scoreboard to practice the rules! You should still be practicing the rules everyday! This is not a first week plan it is all year!
If you want more info on scoreboard be sure to read Chapter 11 of Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids. There are copies in every building. This will be a book study option soon.