Welcome to my blog. I see this as a place to reflect on my teaching practices and to share ideas and strategies with other teachers.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Behavior Management System

I have been asked by many teachers to share details about my behavior management system.  So, in an effort to keep from typing it many, many times, I thought that I would compose a post here with the details of my system.  If you have questions, please feel free to ask.
Modified Clip Chart:
I use a clip chart system that has been modified to fit my needs.  There are many of these available to fit different class themes in my TPT store.  I have used the star theme for the last 4 years a love it!  In the past, I have had all students start the day at 4 stars.  I am considering having students start the day at 3 stars so that they have the opportunity to move up the chart for good choices and down the chart for poor choices.  Here is a picture of my star clip chart:
I have mine displayed on the back of my door and a clip for each student (with the class number) written on the clip with a permanent marker.  I typically give warnings in the form of choices before having students move their clips down the chart.  For example, “Please either stop talking or go and move your clip down.”  This typically stops any inappropriate behavior of that student and all others.  If the student chooses to continue the inappropriate behavior after this, then a clip will be moved down the chart.
For each level of behavior, I have decided on consequences.  In the past, the consequences have been as follows:
·         4 stars – no loss of play time and chance to go to prize box on Friday
·         3 star - loss of 5 minutes of play time and a note home – smaller chance of visiting the prize box on Friday
·         2 stars - loss of 10 minutes of play time (total) and a note home
·         1 star - loss of 15 minutes of play time (total), a note home, and an out of class time out
·         0 stars - loss of all play time, a note home, and an out of class time out.
Obviously, I intend to adjust this if students begin the day on 3 stars (there would be no consequence for 3 stars and a very small reward for reaching 4 stars).
Daily Behavior / Parent Communication Charts:
I use a daily behavior and parent communication chart which matches my behavior management clip chart.  The back of the chart is used for a weekly newsletter.   If you purchase a set of clip chart posters at my TPT store, the daily behavior chart comes with it.  At the end of every day, I call out students’ names and they respond by telling me what level of behavior they had.  I circle the behavior level on the sheet, write a note to parents (if necessary), and the students place the sheet in their homework folder.  Here is an example of my behavior chart:
I ask that students get this sheet signed by parents every night.  There is no penalty for not getting it signed.  However, every Monday morning, I give students reward tokens (sticks) if they have had their behavior chart signed by an adult every night during the previous week and if they have brought all homework from the previous week to school completed.
If students lose their behavior charts, I make them buy a new one (using their reward tokens/sticks). 
If students routinely do not take their charts home and get them signed as expected, then I give consequences.  For example “if this isn’t signed tomorrow, you will have no play time until it is signed.”  This seems harsh, but honestly, when given this ultimatum, the sheet is almost ALWAYS signed the next day.  So, no further punishment is needed.  I do the same for those who routinely do not get other important things signed, too.
On Monday, after passing out reward tokens (sticks) to those who have gotten their behavior sheets signed every day the previous week, I keep the old behavior charts and file them away in a hanging file folder labeled with the students’ numbers.  This hanging file folder is also where I keep any other information about a child that I might need for conferences (notes from parents, testing referral documentation, etc).  Then, if I have a conference or meeting about a child, I can pull this folder and have a whole year’s worth of records about the parent’s communication with me, the child’s behavior, and any other info I need.
This system works because of a few things.  Parents expect to see a behavior chart every night.  So, kids cannot hide the behavior chart if it has a bad note on it.  Secondly, students know that they can earn rewards by getting their behavior charts signed, so they are pretty persistent in getting their parents to sign it.  Thirdly, students know that if they do not get their charts signed pretty regularly, I will notice and there will be consequences.
Token Economy and Class Store:
In my class, I use skinny wooden craft sticks as tokens earned for good deeds.  I have seen teachers use many other items as tokens (carnival tickets, “Caught Being Good” coins, board game money, teacher made money, green slips of construction paper, etc).  I purchased about 7 packs of these at Walmart’s craft department for about $3.00 per pack.  They are very durable and you rarely need to throw any away.  I keep them in a pretty Easter basket that I bought after Easter on sale one year.  This way I can hang the basket over my arm and carry it around easily.  Here are the skinny craft sticks I bought to use:

Sticks can be earned for having homework completed all week, having behavior chart signed every night, good behavior in the hallway, good behavior in the bathroom, following rules during partner work, having materials ready to begin quickly, etc.  I also sometimes use sticks as a reward for those who bring extra supplies when we are running low – like extra hand sanitizer.
Sticks can also be lost (paid) for different, minor offenses.  If students come to school with no pencil, they must pay me sticks to buy one from me.  If students lost their homework or behavior chart, they must pay me sticks to buy a new copy.  If students need to go to the restroom or get water and it is not one of our regularly scheduled times, they may pay me a stick to do so.  If students need to go back to their book bags after time for unpacking is over, they can pay me a stick and be able to do so. 
My students store their sticks in skinny sliding pencil boxes.  I bought these on sale from a Back to School sale years ago.  The boxes I have now have been used for 4 years and are still in good shape.  There are a few that got pretty ugly, so I threw those away and replaced them.  When I first purchased the boxes, I used a permanent marker to write student numbers on the top.  I found that a thin layer of clear spray paint made this last longer.  Otherwise, because of heavy use, the permanent marker will gradually fade away.
Sticks can be used on Friday to go to the prize box (see details below).  In my class, you have to meet certain criteria in order to be able to visit the prize box on Fridays.  My students must not have moved their clips on the behavior chart down more than 2 times during that week.  I look at their behavior charts that have been signed all week to see how many times they have moved their clips down. 
Prize Box:
I try to reward students in ways that are exciting for them, but inexpensive for me.  I have 5 prize boxes, worth different amounts. Here are some examples of my prize boxes:
“1 stick” box – stickers
“3 sticks” box - small pieces of candy, small cap erasers for pencils, plain pencils, bookmarks
“5 sticks” box – pretty pencils, decorative rubber erasers, small prizes purchased from Dollar Tree (4/$1.00, 6/$1.00 or better), teacher made reward coupons
Here is an example of my reward coupons:
You can also find some coupons I created for purchase here:  Set 1   Set 2
“10 sticks” box – slightly large prizes from dollar store (2/$1.00 or 3/$1.00) and teacher made homework passes
“15 sticks” box – paperback books, spiral notebooks, composition books, decorative 2 pocket folders
Emergency Passes:
In years past, I have also employed the use of Emergency Passes when students were asking to go to the restroom excessively.  The emergency passes were jumbo wooden Popsicle sticks with the students’ class numbers written at one end and “Emergency Pass” written in the center.  Students in my class were given two passes per week.  They could use the pass to go to the bathroom, get water, or go back to their bookbags with no penalty.  If they ran out of passes and still needed to do one of those things, then they would have to pay me a stick.
If students did not use their emergency passes during the week, then at the end of the day Friday (right before we went to prize boxes), students would be given an extra 2 sticks for each pass that they did not use.
Table Group Incentive:
One thing that I have not done in the past (and I would like to start doing) is to give an incentive to table groups.  Students who sit together in a group will be part of the same table group.  The system that I plan to use is the one which I read about on Christina Bainbridge’s blog.  You can read about her system here.
“Fill Me” and “Empty Me” Marble Jars:
The marble jars were used as a whole class positive incentive.  I have two jars labeled as indicated above.  If the whole class did something worthy of praise, then I would select a student to move 10 marbles (you can adjust this for the size of your jars) from the “empty me” jar into the “fill me” jar.  Once all marbles had been moved into the “fill me” jar, the class voted to select a reward for the whole class.  The rewards that I offer to students for filling the marble jar include:
·         One night with no homework
·         30 minute dance party
·         Read aloud a favorite book
·         Extra recess time
·         Board game party
·         Popcorn and a movie


  1. Will you share your behavior management chart with the stars?

  2. These documents are available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. You can find the link at the top as hyperlink text.