I do not currently use the color card system or really any other tangible consequence behavior system in my first grade classroom (I didn't in 2nd grade either). Currently, these are my only two "systems":
- I have raffle tickets that I call "Fish Tickets" because they are deposited in a fish bowl. Kids earn these randomly for doing kind deeds or being good role models. There are random drawings on Fridays for little prizes. (But this is usually more a focus on character than behavior-- although "listening" and "being ready" can count too)
- If something truly disruptive happens in which I feel the parent needs to be aware, the child and I together fill out a Stop and Think form, that is signed and returned by the parent.
I notice that most people on this board use the color system or some other system with set consequences. I always subscribed to the idea that if you set up a warm and caring environment and use logical consequences when needed, then you don't need an external behavior system in place. I don't understand how having a color card system would work because what do you do for the kids who absolutely can't control themselves? Kids who are immature or diagnosed? If I moved a color for every behavior, they'd be negative. Where do you draw the line? Are you more lenient with certain kids, or do some kids go to the worst color every day? (I know that can't be it, because then it's not working) I'm wondering if there is ANYONE out there who runs their classroom my way, or am I alone? Can you help me with some of the above questions? Should I think about reforming my practice?
I was using a card system when i first started teaching, but it was the same kids over and over changing their cards. I have a much more peaceful classroom now using natural consequences and the children know that we are a classroom making good choices and if a choice is made that affects others negatively we "stop and think" Having an assistant is the only was I can give instant feedback, otherwise I would be giving feedback at other times during the day. I use a rewards too. We have a bee hive. When the children choose to "bee" respectuful, thoughtful, honest, kind, etc we put a bee on the flower and when we reach 50 the children get to choose something off a Yea for Us chart, like video, extra centers, extra recess, lunch on the picnic tables, or outside garden time.
It has made me a much happier teacher and the children much more responsible and an active part of the classroom rather than taught at and lectured too all day.
I completely agree with your way of doing things and I would recommend not changing a thing.
I agree about the positive reinforcement. I have never used the color card system and feel as if I will spend my time flipping cards. I found a good idea on Ms. Powell's website (http://mspowell.com/tokensystem.html) It's a token system. I am going to use it with my first graders this year.
I stopped using the colored card system and I'm glad I did. I have three rules in my classroom.
1. I show caring.
2. I make the right choices.
3. I solve my own problems.
If a student breaks a rule then I have them stay in at recess (only as long as neccessary) and practice the appropriate behavior. I tell them that they are not in trouble but that they obviously need to learn how to __________ and that it is my job to teach them what they don't know. This is much more effective than flipping a card.
our principal likes the color card system. I used it because I did not want to rock the boat, especially my first year. However, it was always the same kids turning their card, so obviously that was not working. I will probably have it up in my classroom, but I am considering some alternatives. During the last 3 months of school I started something to try to motivate the kids who were always having trouble. I would select an item of the week (like cereal, crackers, skittles, m&ms, sticker, etc.) and when I noticed good choices a student would get a piece of whatever the item of the week was. This really helped some kids. All the students were rewarded, not just the ones who were causing the most trouble. There was always anticipation on Monday to see what the new item was. Gold fish crackers, skittles, and marshmallows were a few of the favorites.
I teach in a PBIS building and we are required to use a color card system. Personally, I have taught with and without. I agree it's usually the same kids turning cards for the same behaviors. Occasionally someone will have a bad day and the color system seems to help them get back on track. I have used an "accountability log" in conjunction with this system. The students wrote in the log the reason they had to turn their card. I could share this with parents or discuss with the kids if they kept repeating the same types of misbehavior. The reality is that the school I teach in runs on positive reinforcement to "control" behavior. The kids get rewarded all day long for things they should do as a matter of course (walking quietly, listening to directions). We give out "gotcha" slips which are collected and prizes are awarded schoolwide during weekly classroom drawings. In addition, we have classroom incentives for our color card system. I currently award classroom dollars for each day kids remain on green. Twice a month, they shop the classroom store using these dollars (I keep them in a "bank" so noone worries that their dollars are missing...). I also send home weekly progress reports and one section tells parents how many days their child was on green, yellow, etc. for the week.
I wish I knew the answer. I work in an inner city environment and the kids come to second grade expecting to be "paid" for good behavior. Is it fair to expect them to "work" for nothing? Should rewards be random so that the message is that proper behavior and work ethic are the norm and rewards are to show we care?
The card system works for most kids (if I adjust expectations for kids with ADHD, OCD, etc.), seems to be an incentive for some but is completely ineffective for troubled kids. I'd love to throw it out the window, but can't. So I use the card system and try to create the type of classroom environment you do. I also sprinkle in my own positive motivators (i.e wirte extra recess on the chalkboard, erase letters through the week if many kids are off task after a reminder, if letters remain on Friday we have the extra recess/ collect compliments to earn a reward activitly like dessert for breakfast...brownies, strawberries and milk first thing in the morning... or wearing slippers to school all day/ giving out "smart treats" like Skittles during lessons and activities to honor those kids putting forth good effort). I do often feel like all I do is bribe the kids despite my best efforts to develop caring and responsible behaviors.
I'm going to be in my 2nd year of teaching next year, but 1st year with a full class. I'm afraid of starting off too "nice" and not being strict enough. I would love to not have a benavior management system in place, but I'm afraid to go without one. I've been wanting to do a different type of card system, which expects the child to think about what they were actually doing wrong. It's like the card system, but it's more for the intermediate grades. I'm teaching 4th. Do you think it's too much to start off the year with something like this?
We do PBIS in middle school, and it REALLY stinks up here! I swear, if a kid brought a gun to school, our vice-principal would handle it by giving a Falcon medal (gotcha slip) to everyone standing around that DIDN'T have a gun. Positive reinforcement is great, but....you're right; they expect to be paid for behaving and doing what they should do as a matter of course.
The same kids get all the Falcon medals and the mess-ups rarely get even one. I hate PBIS.
MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY! Why should we be rewarding kids all the time for doing the things they SHOULD be doing anyway?? Will they get a reward all the time in life? Rarely more than simply not getting in trouble. I am all for praising children for doing positive things and making good choices...even rewarding them OCCASIONALLY for such things. I am really skeptical of school-wide positive behavior support systems and am really nervous because the school I will be working in this coming year uses them. I really do think they send the wrong message to the children who would do the right thing, regardless. Then, their focus shifts from, "I do the right thing because it's the right thing to do" to, "I do the right thing because I can go to the school store and get a really cool prize!" Then, where will those good kids be when they get into the real world (possibly even MIDDLE SCHOOL) and realize that there are no more fun prizes for making the right choices? I am so glad that I am not alone in thinking that it's okay to EXPECT children to have high standards for themselves and to simply help them work toward those standards and learn from mistakes along the way using logical consequences.
By the way...have any of you read Teaching with Love and Logic or heard about it? It deals with these same issues and I'd love to find others on this board who have read it and will be trying out some (or even more ambitiously ALL) of its techniques! Just wondering
I am not quite sure that I'm following what your system would be? I'd love to hear about it. I will be teaching fourth this year, as well, and I enjoy hearing others' views and systems of behavior management!
I have the Love and Logic book, which complements the Behavior Plan that I have used the past five years in my classroom (Raise Responsibility System). My classroom has been positively transformed, and I can honestly say that I do not have the emotional and mental stresses that many teachers experience when dealing with behavior issues.
You may find this site about the Raise Responsibility System helpful:
I will check out the Raise Responsibility System, as well! I see so many posts where it seems that SO MUCH effort is placed into behavior management. I think that is great if a teacher truly wants to spend her time doing those types of systems but I get exhausted reading about them!
I used to be a big fan of the whole classroom economy thing...and then I realized during one of my brainstorms about it how it would dominate my time as a teacher. Then I started hearing all sorts of different systems and strategies. In a summer class last summer, the professor always spoke of "logical consequences...logical consequences"...and it never made as much sense to me as it did when I started reading Love and Logic. I am really looking forward to checking out the site on Raise Responsibility.
In the meantime, could you tell me, do you communicate about kids' behavior to their parents? I did this everyday last year in my second grade class, but that was before my whole Love and Logic discovery. I am not sure that daily communication would really fit that whole approach. Just wondering how you handle that! I'd love to hear your feedback!
I let the parents know in the beginning of the school year about my behavior plan (newsletter and Back-to-School). They know about the “pink self-reflection” form the kids will need to complete when they have become set in the ‘A’ or ‘B’ level (explained in Dr. Marshall's website and book). These incidences don't happen very often
This reflection form is available through the Marvin Marshall resources and is suitable for all grade levels. The student takes the reflection form home to discuss with the parent, have it signed and then returns it the next day. In other words, the kids take responsibility for letting their parents know about their behavior and coming up with a plan to modify it. Some parents request that I keep them informed of their child's behavior, so I'll have the student write a note home with my signature added.
My students and I spend meaningful time in the beginning of the school year to discuss and agree on the different levels of behavior and what is expected. The kids totally buy into the system because they like the idea of not having rules but rather “standards.” I have incorporated the concept of being self-directed (which is the ‘D’ level), meaning self-managing, self-monitoring, and self-modification. The kids understand that if they aren’t going to be the boss of themselves, then they are asking me to be their boss. Kids definitely want to be their own boss!
On the positive side, the kids set behavior standard goals for themselves at the beginning of the week the first half of the year, and we revisit those goals from time to time. Throughout the year, my students have opportunities to share with me in their journals how it’s going for them and if there’s anything I can do to help them reach their goals (academic or behavioral, like blurting out answers). Our report cards also have eight Personal Development outcomes that the students can consider for their goals.
There is so much more to say about this approach to discipline...The Love and Logic book is perfect (I think the dialogue examples are great!), and you will gain more insights as you read about Raise Responsibility on Marvin Marshall's website.