Behavior Management: Individualized Behavior

I know this is shocking, but kids don't always behave like I would like in our classroom 100% of the time. In fact, some continually make choices that I am not crazy about even after reminders and consequences from our class behavior system. Gasp.

I know I am not alone in this area (Unfortunately, the world would be a much better place if people just did what I told them to do! This goes for my sweet hubby and daughter too!). When students in my classroom are still not meeting my expectations of behavior and the class management system is not working, it is time to move on to a new system. If the card flipping, stick pulling, ticket losing system didn't work the first 20 times then it probably won't work the next 20 times!

Most times I have moved to an individual behavior sheet. I used this sheet last year and this year and I have been really pleased with the results. It is nothing ground breaking or even earth shattering, but I like it. It is a typical system with the time periods broken into subject area times. I like this because it is easy for me to remember (or usually remember) to mark the sheet during the day. The sheet can be changed to other time periods. The more severe the behavior and less control the student has the smaller chunks of time you will want to use. Hopefully they can experience success in a 5 minute or 2 minute period.

What I like most about this form is that it requires the students to reflect on their behavior within each recording period.  I have found that most students don’t even realize they are blurting out, not listening and following directions, etc.  Then after the students has marked their number, I mark what I feel they have earned and we do a quick 30 second check in to discuss any differences in score.

Students choose their reward (both times I have used this, the students wanted candy.  Go figure) and I set the minimum number of points needed to reach the goal.  I try to set the goal so that they will be successful the first few days/ weeks and then up the points to help and guided students into modifying their behavior.  My score is used to determine if the students made the goal- this keeps things fair and accurate.  I also send this home daily for parents to sign and make any notes of what may have triggered a lower score.

There are some pros and cons to this system.  I like the reflection piece for the students and it really does reinforce and make them more aware of their behavior.  It has made students more successful in my classroom.  It is also great for RTI if I am tiering a child for behavior...VERY easy to graph and our RTI team LOVES graphs!!!  HOWEVER, there are several cons.  First, I hate it that a child is being rewarded for simply doing what they should be doing in the first place.  I know that each child is different and we need to meet all needs and blah blah blah.  But still, it’s not fair to the rest of my well behaving students.  My coteacher/ partner in crime are looking for a way to even the playing ground. More to come about that later.  Also, I have yet to have a student ever come completely off a  behavior chart.  Ever.  Although students may have become successful with the chart, I have never been able to make the jump to being successful without the chart following the class behavior system.  Maybe this is just my experience. 

I believe I have linked to a copy of the behavior sheet in Word.  If I did this correctly, you *should* be able to download the sheet and then change it in Word as needed.

I would love to hear any feedback with individual behavior sheets.  Has anyone ever had success completely moving students off of the sheet?


Behavior Management: Postive Behavior for the Whole Class

Since I am focusing on behavior this week, I would like to discuss positive behavior management.  I find these much more motivating and successful than the negative.

Click here to download the cards. There is red, yellow or turquoise set  to match your classroom's color scheme! They are all on the same document.

In the beginning of the year (when I am still molding and shaping student behavior) I use a system I call "Compliment" (what can I say, I stink at creative names!).  Very simple and easy but it gets the job done.  Whenever I notice that the whole class (or the vast majority) is making the correct choice they earn a letter toward the word "compliment."  They could earn a letter for hallway behavior, following a direction quickly, cleaning up quickly and quietly, being silent during a fire drill or being silent when an adult comes in to speak to me and so on.  When students spell the entire word then they can vote (democracy and majority rules are third grade concepts) on a reward.  I often list examples like Popsicles, extra recess, computer free time, etc.    Then we vote as a class, majority rules.  I warn the students of this before we even vote to make sure to avoid the "whines."  I hate the "whines."

I used die cut stars with the letters on them but I made these super cute letters. I may have to print these much cuter than my stars.  You can either magnetize the back and add the letters to the white board as they are earned or you could clip them on the white board backwards with magnetic clips.  As students earn letters you can flip the next letter.

Another similar ( and way too cute) concept is the "brownie points" system which is super cute.  You can read about this idea at here at First Grader at Last or here at What the Teacher Wants.


Behavior Management: Class Behavior Management System

Today I am going to write about the dreaded behavior management system. Interviewers always ask about it and we are supposed to have a system that is clear and concise to communicate to parents.

The truth of it is, I hate this whole thing. Yep, I just said it aloud, or typed it. Whatever. I really feel that if students are trained well, the instruction is engaging, teachers really have little need for this system. If a particular student is repeatedly (and I mean habitually) having to pull a ticket, move clip or whatever, then a new system for that child is needed because the one in place obviously isn't working. I am NOT saying that my perfect angels never have a consequence; I am just saying that it is infrequent in our classroom. We *rarely* have 3 students misbehave enough for a consequence on a given day. Often, verbal reminders are enough.

So here is how it all boils down in our classroom...

In the back of the room (I firmly believe a behavior system should NEVER be posted in the front. Why broadcast who is the "bad" kid? The other students know who misbehaves and it only draws MORE negative attention-which they may be happy to have if it is the only attention they feel they get- to the misbehaving students. It is not okay to "shame" students into making good choices) I have a sheet of laminated poster board with library pockets. On each library pocket is a number that corresponds to a student number in the classroom. Each student has their own pocket. If the pocket is empty then they are doing great! Under the chart is a set of color coded library pockets with color coded craft sticks. The pockets are labeled with behaviors: listens and follows directions, shows respect, controls talking, etc. I tried to label these in a positive manner so students would know what they need to specifically work on.
This is the chart I used several years ago in second grade.
If a student is not making a good choice, I give at least one reminder. Since some of our students are special needs their IEP may list that they are given verbal redirections/ directions multiple times. These students may get the warning two times, even three depending on the child and their specific needs. If the behavior continues I ask students to pull "a yellow stick" or whatever the behavior is that matches the stick color.
At the end of the day it is MUCH easier to glance at the chart and write in each student’s agenda. Students that did not pull any sticks get a "Super Day" stamp (self inking to make it easy on the teachers!) from Vista Print during their free shipping sale. Students that did pull sticks get a specific note in their agenda. For example "Bobby had a hard time with talking in the hall. He had several reminders but had great difficulty following the school procedure of being silent in the hall." This helps parents know EXACTLY what is happening in the classroom and also can track behavior to see if any specific behaviors patterns emerge.

It is not a perfect system, but it works well for me. There is also a corresponding positive behavior system, but more about that later!



Back to School Freebie: Introducing Graphing

This year our grade level decided to use graphing as our first unit in math. We decided this because there are so many fun, hands on activities that can be done with graphing to engage and excite the children about math. Also, there are so many beginning of the school year things to graph: how children go home, birthdays, and other ideas as we get to know each other.

This year we started out graphing our favorite apples. This was a VERY telling activity because it required using glue, scissors and following directions. I learned about my students...I learned .A.BUNCH. It gave me a good clue of their strengths and weaknesses this year. In this activity students taste test apples, create a pictograph, bar graph, create a tally chart, create a glyph, and answer simple questions about both kinds of graphs.

Click here for this great pack of FREE math centers, plus get tips and updates from me!



Back to School: Lesson and Printable Freebie

This is an activity shared my my co teacher.  I LOVE working so closely with another teacher!  It is so much fun each day- it feels like you get to hang out with your buddies and teach your little kiddos!  What a great mix!

This is a beginning of the year writing activity.  You can use this as your initial writing activity, but we choose to use this as an activity to stress goals and use the squiggle writing project for the beginning of the year sample.  You can read more about squiggle writing on my website, here.

We have done this activity the last two years and it has been WONDERFUL.  Walk the students through the lesson and model the letter writing.  Give the students the letter and have them put them in sealed envelopes addressed to themselves.  At the end of the year pass the letters out and let the students open and read the letter to themselves.  They marvel at their handwriting, spelling and sentences.  It is a GREAT way to illustrate how much they learned this school year!

Please leave me a comment if you download it and let me know what you think!


Back to School Freebie: End of the Week Treat

I had posted earlier about an idea I found online here. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to use the labels I had planned due to severe allergies in my classroom. Instead of the yummy ding dong cakes, we used Scooby Doo graham crackers.
This ended up being a somewhat last minute activity because I was trying to accommodate allergens, BUT this ended up working in my favor! Instead of having to staple all the labels on and making it on cutesy, I ended up using labels on the cookies. IT was SO much easier and was SUCH a time saver. It was a HUGE hit and took little to no time! Next year, I will watch Publix's buy one get one free deals and buy the cookies ahead of time and save money!

I printed these on address labels (Avery 5160).  Enjoy!


Back to School Freebie: Guess Who?

I found this idea in the Really Good Stuff catalogue and modified it to fit my classroom. This is a "Guess Who" activity that will go out in the hall to display for the first PTA/ Parent Orientation in September (about 6 weeks into the school year).  I liked the activity because it was a great, easy to explain activity the students could complete independently while I completed reading assessments.


The students get each of the two copies and a large sheet of construction paper.  The students then complete and color in both sheets.  Then they fold the construction paper in half like a large greeting card.  On the tip of the greeting cards they glue down the "Guess Who" sheet.   On the inside of the card the glue down ht "Surprise!" sheet.

These will be perfect for our hallway display along with our squiggle writing project!


Day Three of Organization Week: Guided Math

Today I am going to write a quickie post about how I am organizing guided math this year. I found and adapted this idea somewhere on Proteacher, but I am not sure of the original poster.  Please let me know if you know so I can give credit to the owner.

This year our math time is built around the acronym M.A.T.H.

M is Math Games
A is All By Myself (independent work)
T is Teacher Time (small groups)
H is Helping Others with Math (partner work completing Exemplars and journals)

At the front of the room there is a pocket chart with all the groups and icons. 

On the math shelf there are labeled plastic drawers with matching icons.  Students know to match their activity to the drawer and select from these labeled drawers.  I will try to do a more detailed post about the items in the drawers in the near future :).

Click below for all the downloads- it is math freebie labels galore!  Enjoy!

We have done LOTS of training and practice but so far it is running very smoothly.  Maybe someday soon I will type up the first 20 days of guided math.

Click here for this great pack of FREE math centers, plus get tips and updates from me!


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