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Clip Chart Behavior Management System

Posted 07-08-2010 at 08:45 PM by Mariely
Updated 07-09-2010 at 05:06 PM by Mariely

I would like to thank my fellow PT'ers for sharing their comments, thoughts, and info. on the Rick Morris' Clip Chart behavior management system. This system has given me new insight on how to manage behavior. I'm going to be implementing it this upcoming school year with a few minor changes.

To start, I decided to flip the colors and not use pink or purple. Instead I will be using the following colors (in parentheses you will find the conduct grade I will use for each level):

BLUE: Outstanding (A)
LIGHT BLUE: Great Job (A)
GREEN: Ready to Learn (A)
YELLOW: Think About It (B)
ORANGE: Teacher's Choice (C)
RED: Parent Contact (D)

I will only give an "F" in conduct if the student is constantly and severely disruptive. Also, if a student moves their clip down to Teacher's Choice and/or Parent Contact, he will complete a small slip with his name, date, and check off what he did to move his clip down. This way I will have documentation on behavior. It's important to note that students are able to move up and down the chart during the day. They move their clip one space at a time and are not stuck on a particular color for the entire day. However, if a student makes it to Teacher's Choice or Parent Contact, they still have to serve the consequence even if they are able to move back up the chart.

The following consequences will be in place:

YELLOW: Think About It

ORANGE: Teacher's Choice
(I will choose one of the following)
Behavior Journal
Lose Recess Time (I choose how much time)
Clip Down (depends on how severe the behavior is)

RED: Parent Contact
(Parent's will be contacted in addition to another consequence listed below depending on what the student did.)
Call Parent
Remove Student from Class (Send to another classroom or the office)

As for the REWARDS, this is what I have in mind:
  • REWARD TICKETS: Students will earn 1 ticket each day their clip stays on OUTSTANDING or higher. Their names will be written on the tickets
  • MYSTERY PRIZE RAFFLE: I will draw 10 student reward tickets at the end of every week. Students who are called will have a chance to select a random reward coupon from the Mystery Prize Box.
  • GLIMMER & SHINE: Students will receive a small stick on jewel to place on their clip each time it's on OUTSTANDING or higher
  • POSITIVE PARENT CONTACT: I will give an award certificate to students who make it to OUTSTANDING or higher. I will also call or write a note to their parents to share the great news.
Additionally, since I am doing a camping theme this upcoming school year, I went ahead and created two Vista Print Small Car Magnets to display information about the chart's colors, consequences, and rewards. I call it the "Wanna Behavealot Trail" and "Behavealot Trail Rewards." Here they are:

I went ahead and created a sample clip chart to give me an idea of how I was going to set it up. I'm attaching it as an attachment to this post. I'm going to make the chart myself using colored cardstock which I'm then going to laminate. I'll place the chart in an area where I can also display the car magnets along side.

I'm looking forward to implementing this system. If you would like to learn more about Rick Morris' Clip Chart, check out this free e-book about it:
Attached Images
File Type: pdf Clip Chart Sample-Sanchez.pdf (92.0 KB, 3851 views)
Posted in Teaching Related , Classroom Management
Comments 22

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Total Comments 22


  1. Old Comment
    Lynnteach2's Avatar

    Clip Chart Ideas

    Thanks Mariely for sharing your ideas. I'm ready to start the Clip Chart Behavior System this coming year.

    Posted 07-09-2010 at 08:54 AM by Lynnteach2 Lynnteach2 is offline
  2. Old Comment
    76lake's Avatar

    Thanks for sharing!

    I've been looking for a different behavior management system to use in my classroom that focused more on good behavior and rewards. I definitely think I'll give this a try!
    Posted 07-09-2010 at 10:04 AM by 76lake 76lake is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Mariely's Avatar

    You are most welcome!

    I'm so happy to be able to share ideas with other teachers. I too thank all the teachers on PT who started sharing this idea. It's a wonderful idea and I look forward to implementing it.
    Posted 07-09-2010 at 11:07 AM by Mariely Mariely is offline
  4. Old Comment
    hvlawson's Avatar
    I can't see your .pdf for some reason. Can you put it on your sample on your website?
    Posted 07-12-2010 at 01:58 PM by hvlawson hvlawson is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Iluv2talk's Avatar


    I really like what you have done, it looks awesome. I also love the colors. I am confused about one thing. Students can earn a reward for being on Outstanding or higher. What is higher than outstanding?
    Posted 07-12-2010 at 06:17 PM by Iluv2talk Iluv2talk is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Mariely's Avatar

    Higher than Outstanding

    If you read the e-book on the Clip Chart you will learn more. Basically, if a student is already on Outstanding and she does something which you want to reward her for by asking her to clip up, you will ask her to change her clip from the side of Outstanding to right on "Top of the Chart." If a student is on "Top of the Chart" and he clips up, he will be "Off the Chart" which will mean that you will wear his clip for the rest of the day or until he clips down.

    I hope this makes sense. For further reference, read the e-book by following the link I provided on my original post.
    Posted 07-13-2010 at 05:20 PM by Mariely Mariely is offline
  7. Old Comment
    hvlawson's Avatar

    Your Clip Chart

    Would it be possible for you to put your clip chart on your website? I'd love to see it and I can't access it at the moment with my membership level. Also, do you think you'll make a behavior note or chart like you have in the download cafe? Your work is INCREDIBLE! Thank you so much!
    Posted 07-13-2010 at 05:50 PM by hvlawson hvlawson is offline
  8. Old Comment
    hvlawson's Avatar

    D.O.L.P.H.I.N. Binders

    How has this worked for you and your students? Do students tear out sheets easily? Do other teachers use this in your school? If so, what do they think of them? Thanks for your input!
    Posted 07-13-2010 at 06:01 PM by hvlawson hvlawson is offline
  9. Old Comment
    Mariely's Avatar

    My Clip Chart Sample

    Here's a picture of the sample Clip Chart I will be creating:

    Posted 07-14-2010 at 03:39 AM by Mariely Mariely is offline
  10. Old Comment
    Mariely's Avatar

    D.O.L.P.H.I.N. Binders

    How has this worked for you and your students?

    DOLPHIN Binders have worked well in my classroom. There's a section in my website that talk more about this. I use it as a type of reference organization tool. It's filled with educational references students can use in the classroom during instruction.

    Do students tear out sheets easily?

    Students do not put any work in their binders. No papers are torn out at all. The binder is only filled with information sheets that are placed inside sheet protectors and serve as a reference for each student.

    Do other teachers use this in your school?

    Yes, other teachers in my school use variations of it, but not all teachers use them. Additionally, the teachers that I've noticed using them, don't actually use a binder. Instead, they use a folder. I don't really know what they think of them. I haven't really asked them.

    Thanks for your comments and questions!
    Posted 07-14-2010 at 03:43 AM by Mariely Mariely is offline
  11. Old Comment

    Ah-Ha Moment

    I've used the card chart for years and have always thought of it as the 'gold standard'....that is until you shared the clip chart. I love the power of positive reinforcement that it affords and I'm eager to use it this year!
    Posted 07-14-2010 at 10:17 AM by Teachzm Teachzm is offline
  12. Old Comment
    Mariely's Avatar

    Re: Ah Ha! Moment

    I'm so glad that by sharing Rick Morris' Clip Chart on my blog, you were able to have your Ah Ha! moment. That was me a few weeks ago. I too have been using a color card chart since I started teaching in 2001. I'm going to try the Clip Chart this upcoming school year and I'm looking forward to see how the students respond to it. Thanks for your comment!
    Posted 07-14-2010 at 10:36 AM by Mariely Mariely is offline
  13. Old Comment


    What would a student do to move up?
    What is higher than outstanding?
    If every student is moving every day doesn't it take a lot time out of the day?? If you get busy and don't have time to move everyone up is that fair?
    I don't mean to sound negative. . . I'm actually very interested.
    Posted 07-16-2010 at 10:34 AM by tchhz tchhz is offline
  14. Old Comment
    Mariely's Avatar

    Answers for tchhz...

    What would a student do to move up?
    Here are some ways students can "clip up:"
    • After student "clips down," I will try to look out and see if the student makes a good choice (i.e. completes a task quickly and without reminders; behaves for a long stretch of time without reminders)
    • Student helps clean up a mess that wasn't theirs
    • Student helps another student without being asked
    • Student does something kind for another student
    • If a student team is following directions and rules more quickly than other teams, the entire team would "clip up."
    • Students who are working quietly
    • Students start their assignments quickly after directions are given
    What is higher than outstanding?
    If you read the Clip Chart e-book that's attached to the link I placed in my original post, you will learn more about this. Basically, if the student is already on "Outstanding" and she does something which you want to reward her for by having her "clip up", the student will move her clip from the side of "Outstanding" to the TOP of "Outstanding." This new level is called "Top of the Chart." If the student is on "Top of the Chart" and again you want to reward the student by having her "clip up", she would go from "Top of the Chart" to "Off the Chart." This means that her clip will come off the chart and the teacher will wear it for the rest of the day or until the student clips down.

    If every student is moving every day doesn't it take a lot time out of the day??
    The students are responsible for clipping up or clipping down. It doesn't take a long time to recognize a student and either tell them verbally or give them a hand signal to clip up or down. The purpose of this system is not only to recognize negative behaviors but to reward positive behaviors. Again, the e-book talks about this as well.

    If you get busy and don't have time to move everyone up is that fair?
    There are various times during the day that we can easily recognize those students who are doing more than what is expected of them. For example, following directions quickly, starting assignments on time, working quietly, demonstrating core values, etc.

    I hope to have answered your questions. You may want to browse through the PT boards to look at other answers teachers have given with regards to this management system. I haven't implemented the system yet and will not implement it until the beginning of this upcoming school year. If you want to learn more, I suggest you ask similar questions to other teachers who have implemented the system.

    Take care and thanks for your comment.
    Posted 07-17-2010 at 11:00 AM by Mariely Mariely is offline
  15. Old Comment
    hvlawson's Avatar

    My Clip Chart Sample

    Are you going to use VistaPrint to make your banner?
    Posted 07-17-2010 at 07:36 PM by hvlawson hvlawson is offline
  16. Old Comment
    Mariely's Avatar

    Clip Chart Banner

    Actually, I'm going to make the banner myself using colored cardstock.
    Posted 07-17-2010 at 07:54 PM by Mariely Mariely is offline
  17. Old Comment
    hvlawson's Avatar


    How have you uploaded things to Vistaprint? Have you just used their templates or have you made your own? If you've made your own, has it been with using Word?
    Posted 07-17-2010 at 08:17 PM by hvlawson hvlawson is offline
  18. Old Comment
    Mariely's Avatar


    I actually just use their templates and then I go to advance editing to change the fonts, colors, graphics, etc.

    I haven't uploaded anything to Vistaprint. I haven't tried that yet.
    Posted 07-18-2010 at 05:47 AM by Mariely Mariely is offline
  19. Old Comment

    Clip Chart

    I used the clip chart this past year and it was fabulous. Students knew I meant what was asked of them and it allowed for every child to be successful by improving their behavior each and every day. Children who had behavior problems loved it too. If they had had to move the clip down, I kept watching carefully for them to do something right so I could immediately have them move it back up. Some days it was up and down all day, but everyone responded well to it. What fun to see the behaviors change as I would recognize one student or two-three who were working quietly as the rest of their group was off task or to even ask the entire group to move the clips up. It truly shows children that we have many times across the day to make good choices. I also ask often is it ok to make mistakes? Children often will respond yes, everyone makes mistakes and mention that we all have opportunities to fix them too. Awesome!
    Posted 07-10-2011 at 07:06 PM by ljsplmi ljsplmi is offline
  20. Old Comment
    Mariely's Avatar

    Clip Chart

    Thanks for posting your wonderful comment about your classroom experience with the clip chart. Simply marvelous. I tried a version of the clip chart this past school year with my students using the color cards instead of the clips. It worked beautifully and I had similar experiences to yours. I will be posting soon about the version of the clip chart I used in my classroom on the blog soon. Thanks again for sharing your wonderful comment.
    Posted 07-12-2011 at 07:50 AM by Mariely Mariely is offline
  21. Old Comment

    parent connection

    What do you send home to the parent as communication for that day?
    Posted 07-22-2011 at 07:35 AM by walkingdi walkingdi is offline
  22. Old Comment
    Mariely's Avatar

    Parent Communication

    Thanks walkingdi for your post. I now use a modified version of what I posted here on my blog. If a student lands on yellow, they fill out a Think Sheet. This sheet is then reviewed by me and the student and we both sign. If the student goes to red, the Think Sheet is sent home so the parents may review it with their child. The parent signs it and returns it on the following school day.

    On the positive side, if a student lands on Blue, they receive an "OUTSTANDING" postcard to take home. I created this postcard on Vista Print.

    I will be posting more information about this modified clip chart I use in my classroom to my blog soon. If you have any more questions, please feel free to let me know. Have a great day!
    Posted 07-31-2011 at 03:23 PM by Mariely Mariely is offline

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