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So in my last blog post, I promised a follow up on the topic of classroom management. Today, I am going to share the "meat" of how I manage behavior in my classroom. If you missed Part 1, you can find more info on this topic by clicking HERE.
In my classroom, I use a behavior chart very similar to the popular "clip" system. The card system has gotten a bad rap for being negative, but with a few tweaks, it is every bit in line with positive discipline as a clip chart. So here are some pics of my very boring, needs a makeover, behavior chart area from last year. (I've got a plan for this - see the end of this post.)
So, everyday all my students started with a green card, which corresponds with "Ready to Learn." Kids may change their card throughout the day, depending on their behavior. If they forgot homework, or were off task, or did not follow the rules on the playground, they would change their card to orange, red, or - heaven forbid, blue. Orange was really just a warning. Red was a loss of recess time, and a note home in their behavior calendar that required a parent signature. Blue was "Teacher's Choice" and could involve a variety of consequences depending on the "crime."
On the other hand, if a student went above and beyond, they could switch their cards to yellow. Students with yellow cards get to pick something from my "Treat Jar" at the end of the day, and get a ticket in our classroom raffle that is held on Fridays. The winner of the raffle picked something from my Treasure Chest, which contains a collection of small toys and items that kids love, but I didn't want cluttering up my already too small home.
Everyday, before we went home, kids would color in a box on their homework calendars informing their parents of their behavior for the day. Kids who received a red card had to present their calendars to me. I would make a small comment regarding the child's behavior, and request that the student bring it back, signed, the next day.
One reason I prefer cards to clips is because I can see from across the room where a student is on the chart. When it comes time to give extra privileges, or ask for a helper, or even dismiss for recess. I can take a glance at this chart and know right away who I might need to single out.
Another reason I like this card system is that it helped me monitor student trips to the bathroom. While I strongly discourage my students from using the restroom during class time, reality - parents - and my administration dictate that students be allowed to go, as needed. So, what I did was stick in that 6th card I mentioned earlier. I chose purple, and that became our "bathroom pass." This pass bought students one free trip to the restroom during class. There were some additional rules like: 1) you could not use your pass within 30 minutes of a recess break, and 2) you could not use your pass during direct-instruction. If students needed a restroom break during one of those times, they had to change their card down one level. They had to make a choice. Often, my students chose to wait other than move down. Offering children choices and consequences develops their sense of responsibility for their actions. I really had very few children leave class to go to the restroom. So, victory goes to ME!
I mentioned in Part 1, that I use differentiated behavior cards in my classroom. These tied in perfectly to my behavior chart. Each day that a child ended on a green card or higher, they would turn in their behavior card to a small container by the door, as they walked out. I would sign, stamp, or punch (I went through several stages) these. When their card was full, they got to pick a small treat, treasure, or reward coupon. It was very motivating!
Here is a pic of my 20-box my FREE polka dot/apple card. Remember though, that one reason these cards have been so effective for me is that they are differentiated. Some of my students needed more immediate reinforcement, so they got a 5-box card, others a 10-box card. The key is to choose the card that is right for each student, and then gradually move them up towards the 20-boxed card. I only had one student last year that did not end the year with the 20-boxed card. Click on the image to download your copy.
Alright, so I mentioned that I had plans to update my behavior chart. Well, I have made 3 new Behavior Clip Chart sets (all of them contain the option of using a Behavior Card Chart, as well). I will be using the Owl & Chevron set for the upcoming school year. Take a look! Click on any of the images to find out more!
This set is editable. So you can change the wording!
This file also includes some of my favorite management tools like Behavior Tracking Sheets, Behavior Calendars, Think Sheets, a mini-version of my Differentiated Behavior Cards, reward coupons, other class incentives, and lots of tips for making this the best school year ever! These are on sale now for early bird, back-to-school shoppers thru the end of June, 2013!
If owls are not for you, I also have two more themes available:
Alright, I know this post has been crazy long, but I couldn't leave without sharing that Ashley over at The School Supply Addict is having an insanely awesome giveaway for reaching 4,000 followers. Yes, 4,000! Click on the image below to participate!
Bye for now friends,