Lindsay here . . .
Tonight we are linkin' up with the peeps over at Blog Hoppin' once again for Teacher Week! Woohoo!
Tonight's topic: "Taming the Wild" (a.k.a. Classroom Management).
This is an easy topic to blog about tonight, because I love, love, LOVE the behavior system that Kerri and I use in our classrooms. It's easy AND effective!
Part 1: The Behavior Clip Chart
I'm sure many of you have seen (or have yourselves) clip charts of all different shapes, sizes, colors and themes. My clip chart has seven levels. Each day my students start on GREEN, which means they are "Ready to Learn". Throughout the day I move pins up AND down. The first time a student pulls their pin down, they end up on YELLOW, which is "OOPS!". There is no actual consequence for having your pin on OOPS, but for MOST kids the mere thought of having to get up in front of everyone and go pull you pin down is enough to keep them in line. Most of the time.
The ORANGE, RED and PURPLE levels on the chart are for the other 5% of the kiddos in your class who will need more of a consequence. The second time a student pulls their pin, they "LOSE 5 MINUTES" . . . this can be 5 minutes of Free Choice Time, Recess, etc. It is really up to the teacher's discretion. Another pin pulled equals "LOSE 10 MINUTES". And finally, at the bottom of the chart, is PHONE CALL HOME . . . which in my classroom, students know will be made from the Principal's Office. I think I could probably count on one hand how many times I have had a child move their pin all the way down that far . . .
On the other extreme, I also am busy moving students up on the behavior chart throughout the day. I honestly think I probably spend MORE time "catching" students being good and making a big deal of moving one or two kiddos up (so that the rest of my little wiggle worms snap to attention!) than I do of pulling pins. If I student gets moved up to BLUE (a.k.a. "Totally Awesome"), they earn a sticker. When a student earns 5 days worth of stickers in their folder, they get to move their pin to RAINBOW, or "WOW". When a student is on RAINBOW, they get to pick a prize from the Prize Binder.
The thing that I truly L-O-V-E about this behavior system is that students ALWAYS have the opportunity to turn their day around and improve! When I have a student who has pulled their pin I like to give them reminders throughout the day for them to make better choices. I am so proud when kiddos take pulling their pin seriously and really put in effort to change their behavior for the rest of the day!
Part 2: The Behavior Log
In order to help me keep track of students' behavior on a daily basis, AND to help keep students accountable to mom and dad for their behavior as well, I use a behavior log. The behavior log tracks students' behavior and classwork every day. (Warning: Having 30 five year olds fill in their behavior sheets the first six weeks of school is hellish. HELLISH I TELL YOU! But . . . it DOES get better!)
At the end of every day before I have my kiddos pack up to go home (or before we clean up for Choice Time) we review the Behavior Chart. SOMETIMES I have kids who had pulled their pin earlier in the day and reeeeeeeeeeeeeally tried hard to have a better day, so I might move them back up to GREEN. Other kids might stay where they are. Or I may have one or two more kiddos who I want to move up to BLUE. It just depends on the day.
Then, I send ALL of the kids to take their behavior log out of their folders at their table, color the little behavior bubble at the bottom whatever color they ended their day on (using the Behavior Chart), and they get to give themselves a happy face for "Classwork" if all of their work is finished. (More on that tomorrow when Kerri talks about teaching tips & tricks!)
Part 3: The Prize Binder
The Prize Binder was not always the Prize Binder. Once upon a time I did have a "Treasure Chest" full of all sorts of odds and ends and random things that my kidlets always thought were cool. But over time I felt like I was spending too much time and money keeping my treasure chest full and exciting.
Sooooo . . . Kerri and I created a Prize Binder! :)
This is the cover of my classroom Prize Binder - pretty darn cute if I do say so myself . . .
Inside the Prize Binder are also different prize choices for students to choose from when they get their 5th blue day (or 10th, 15th, etc.). The beauty of the Prize Binder is that all of the prizes are absolutely free for the teacher to provide and usually pretty easy as well. And there are so many choices! Here are just a few . . .
Ball Boss - a good choice for all those boys that ALWAYS want the ball first! :)
Stinky Feet - Kinda gross, but usually a kid favorite . . .
Swip Swap - Kiddos LOVE switching spots for the day in class. So exciting, right?
And finally . . . Scout Out. For whatever reason my class last year LOVED to help me scout out good behavior. We give out "Best on the Beach" certificates, and my little "scout" would be in charge of catching people showing our schoolwide character traits to get a Best on the Beach. It was so sweet to watch - the biggest prize of all to them was to catch OTHERS doing nice things.
Sigh. I love THOSE kind of teacher moments. :)
In order to make the prizes a bit more tangible for the kids (and to keep track of who picked what prize) we shrunk the prize choices down to be coupon-sized . . .
And this is what all of the different prize coupons look like in the front of the prize binder. Once a student makes their choice, they can take their coupon home to show mom and dad! :)
So there you have it folks! All you need is a Behavior Chart, Behavior Log and a Prize Binder and you are set to go!!
Well, I am off to bed. Goodnight friends!