Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Behavior Management Thoughts and a Freebie

Wouldn't it be dreamy if all students did exactly what they needed to do, made good, kind choices and respected the learning environment? 

In years past, I have used a token economy, rewards, praise, incentives, special tickets, coupons and more.... the popular red, yellow, green color changing cards in a pocket chart and table cards and points, marbles in a jar, the traffic light reporting system and all sorts of plans and combinations of plans. Last year I found this cute We Show Great Bee-havior chart by Really Good Stuff and decided to try that out. 

I loved the fact that the bees were magnetic, that it was cute and it worked out perfectly on my whiteboard. I was excited too that the colors went with my traffic light take home card and chant for the end of the day:

Red on Top
Green below
Red says stop
Green says go
Yellow says wait
Even if you're late

 I wrote each student's name on the bee with a marker as recommended and all went well for a few days....

A side note;
I have a thing with displaying names on a behavior system. The counselor in me wants to protect the self-image of all of my little ones. Even if it is posted in an inconspicuous place, everyone in class knows every bee that was moved. A few students who had difficulty on a regular basis almost seemed to relish in the attention of moving their bee. 

 But in a matter of time, the names began to rub off anyway. I really did not want to have to purchase replacement magnets year after year, so avoided writing on them with a sharpie. Instead, we had nameless bees and the students were required to take responsibility for remembering which color they were on at the end of the day. This worked out pretty well and my little ones were very honest, so that part was not an issue.

Once their bee had moved, I struggled with the decision to let the children bargain, as they tried to do, for a chance to improve and move their bee back to green. (I am thinking that they may have been able to do this in kindergarten). Part of me thinks that in real life, the choices we make, good or bad, have consequences. We do not always have the opportunity to make amends, especially when our choices affect or hurt others and the damage is done. Everyone needs to stop and think about those consequences before acting and that is something that has to be learned.  The problem with not allowing my students to move back was that some "frequent fliers" lost motivation to make better choices and "gave up" for the day. I hated to see that happen and then created a separate plan for those children. 

 I still would highly recommend the chart to anyone who loves their red, green, yellow behavior system! 

After doing some reading and research, I've decided that I like the philosophy on behavior management offered by Rick Morris and want to give it a try. I think my second graders next year will like it too! You can read more about the clip chart behavior system at his site:

The only downside I can see is that many students will be moving clips up or down throughout the day and that takes the focus of some students away from the task at hand as they are watching others at the chart. We will have to see how that goes.

I made a clip chart for my room similar to the one Rick recommends. I've added it as freebie on Teachers Notebook. You can grab it there if you'd like to get in on the clip chart system! 

The last last line is for students to reflect on choices made during the week and to set goals for themselves. I am a firm believer in learning from mistakes:)

***I'd appreciate it if you could take a minute to rate it if you like it!

It coordinates with my new Classroom Decor Set~ Classroom Colorful Swirls and Curls! This is the one I'm leaning toward...

Here is one that I made to match the polka dot owls set:

I found some cute ideas for decorating the clothespins that I thought I'd share! I think we'll have a clip decorating day at the start of the year. Each child can decorate their clothespin however they like. They will know which one is their own, without a public display of names. Eventually, I will know the owners of the clips I need to know! Names may go on the back side just in case!

It would be easy to glue a doodad or two on them and make them more special! I'll start with colored clothespins and go from there! 

These images are from the public domain.

 If you are using a clip chart, I'd love to hear how it has been working out in your classroom as well as any helpful hints you'd like to share!!

Enjoy the freebie!


  1. I found you at Christina's blog. I'm your newest follower. You're doing a great job. What part of Michigan are you in? Are you going to the blog meet up in the end of July? I think it's in Novi. I live in Sturgis, which is in south west Michigan. You can take a look at my blog if you're bored. I have a few freebies, you might like. Patty

    Second In Line

  2. Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog so I could find yours :) My first attempt at Rafflecopter went well. I plan to use it again once I decide to have another giveaway :) Your decor looks wonderful! Where did you get the graphics?

    Stories by Storie

  3. I love using the clip chart now! In the beginning it was very difficult, but after a small getting -used-to period I found that it was so much more effective than the system I had been using (similar to red, yellow, green) I do like the idea of having anonymous clips though - something I'll need to think about this year, although I have my kiddos earn new clips after reaching the top of the chart a certain amount of times.

    Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten


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