This is my first year teaching 1st grade and to put it nicely my class is comprised of an increidbly challenging bunch...
The K-2 team at my school has always used green, yellow, and red cards in pocket charts as their classroom management system. Every child begins the day on gree, and moves their card if they make "bad choices" or break rules. (We also have a double red card and a white card added to the traditional 3 color system)
Truthfully I hate this system. In reality most of my kids should be on red or worse by the end of the day, but I don't want to over use it. Also, for the kids that regularly have to flip cards, I know they don't like it but they also don't seem affected by it. It certianly has not proven to be a behavior modifier for most.
I also use a positive behavior system where students earn +5's and once they earn a certian number of +5's there are varied rewards. All the kids love this. Once they earn a 5 they cannot lose it, it is theirs to keep and accumulate over time!
I am all about positive reinforcement but I do feel there needs to be a system for consequences to poor behaviors as well. I want something like the green, yellow, red system - but something different!! I want to have a new system running when we return from break. Any ideas & things that you can share are very appreciated
I've successfully used for 6 years now (after 6 years before that of also hating the green/yellow/red system!) a system in which the kids can move up and down for choices they make.
They start out on green, in the middle of a vertical chart, each day. As soon as I notice them doing what they're supposed to I move them up to yellow. If anything happens above and beyond normal good behavior I move them up one more, to blue. If a student is not following the rules, they get moved down to orange, a timeout at recess to discuss the problem. If there is another problem they move down one more and we then meet to discuss what should happen - parent phone call, lose an entire recess, apology to a student or me, etc. If they end the day up on yellow or blue, they earn small privilages like use my chair, go to lunch a bit early, stay in at recess to play computer with a friend, eat lunch with me, positive phone call home, etc. The very top one up is a Paw Praise, where they get to go to the office and get recognized by the office staff.
I like the system because no one is stuck where they are during the day - they have the chance to move back up after making bad choices, and often just reminding them that I'm waiting for the chance to move them up motivates them to move up. Oh, I forgot to say, when anyone moves up, they get a 1 second noisy cheer (Whole Brain Teaching)
This year I have an very challenging class, and about 4 weeks into the school year I started the color card system, because nothing else was working and the kids were used to it in their previous grade. I did modify it so it had blue (excellent), green (very good), yellow (good), orange (warning), red (consequence). Every day they started on yellow, and could move up or down throughout the day. If I saw the child improve after the warning, he/she had a chance to move back up. I rarely had a child reach red. I only used the system for about 6 weeks, but it did help some of the more impulsive ones. I now only have to use it once in a while, as the kids have matured somewhat.
Everyone starts out on green. If they are working hard, they can move up to Purple and they are outstanding they can move up to Blue. If they end on green, they earn an x towards their lucky day at picking out of the prize box, if they end up on purple, they get a sticker at the end of the day, if they end up on blue, they get a stickers and a pencil, or small reward.
If they end up on yellow, they don't get an x. If they end up on red, they usually have lost a recess or some other consequence.
My students do get to move back up to green if on yellow. They don't if they are on red because that is usually something pretty serious.
The students like knowing they get a second a chance, otherwise I would have about 3 done for by 9:00 am. Parents also appreciate that their child can improve their choices.
Each of my students has a frog (die cut, laminated, name on, and velcro dot on back) on a giant lily pad. Bad choice is a warning, 2nd time they move their frog to the yellow line. (Yellow sentence strip below the llily pad also laminated and has velcro dots on it). Frogs on the yellow line owe 5 minutes of recess and must complete a think sheet. Think sheet list our 5 expectations.- they circle the one they didn't follow. They write what they did and a better choice of behavior, sign and date it. I also sogn and date it. If they get moved to the red line they owe an entire recess and the think sheet goes home for a parent signature.
Our students earn bird bucks - one a day for following school rules and sometimes they get an extra one for going above and beyond. The collect BB for a month and shop from the PTO store monthly or they can save their BB for a bigger reward the next month. Anyone getting a BB everyday earns a special reward from the principal - extra 5 BB, 15 minutes of extra recess etc.
and have been searching AND searching but nothing seemed to
fit the bill. It is so individual, what is a good fit for you, may not
be a good fit for others & vice versa. But I would like to recommend
the 1-2-3 Magic system. It has all of the positive components that
I was looking for as well as the accountability. A psychologist named
Thomas W.Phelan wrote the book. The subtitle reads "Managing
Difficult Behavior in Children 2-12."
The system emphasizes positive interaction between adult and child.
When a child does not follow a rule, you calmly say "1" and the student
moves his/her (in my case a clothespin) to the next color--I have three
green, yellow and red....but they are not used in the same way as the flip
chart. That drove me crazy and I vowed not to use it again. If the child
does not follow a rule again or continues the same previous behavior
so that you look at them and CALMLY count "2." They move their clip over
to the next color. Once they reach "red"/count of "3" you tell them to
"take five"/time out or any appropriate response activity for them to do
to respond to fit "the crime."
They do not like moving the clip, nor do they like being separated from
the group. Somehow it works with a concerted effort to be positive.
I bought the book at B&N with my teacher's discount and am pleased
with it. I started it about three weeks ago just to see the response
of the kids before I notified parents of the system...which
I'll do after break.
So far, i have found that I need to balance the positive and the
"count"...which is the accountability component and when I do not,
that is the only time the system does not work. When I stick to the
"plan," I ENJOY my students instead of being a drill sergeant.
I plan on sending s-o-m-e type of weekly report to parents, but have
not yet figured out what. It is a very simple system, basically, and
I do need to tweak it a bit to fit my needs, but it is the best and
easiest that I have found that also fits into a busy day. It is
late & I'm tired, so I hope that my explanation is understandable.
Our guidance counselor also uses the system with her own kids.
She gave a workshop on the system to parents and lent me the DVD
(which I intend to watch during this snowstorm!)
Best of luck on your quest!
Look up 1, 2, 3, Magic in the archives for more info:-)
These are all really great suggestions!! Most of you have mentioned the idea of using colors in a vertical system which is something I have never seen before but think the concept can be much more rewarding than the stupid cards. Knowing they can go up and down in accordance with their behavior puts a more positive spin on things. (We allow the kids to 'flip back' a card at least one time a day if they are not past red, but honestly I usually forget to give them the chance until the end of the day) I also like the idea that kids can move up from their starting point for additional motivation. I can tie this system in nicely with my current +5 positive reinforcement too!
I have somewhat dabbled with refocus/rethink sheets this year but never on a routine basis. Having them take a 5 min timeout AWAY from the group to fill one out will provide both a consequence and process time for them. Also, having them possibly have to take one home is good accountability and an easy way for me to keep parents up to speed- without phone calls on a regular basis!
I appreciate everyone who took the time to share your ideas and hope they keep coming for me and others out there who also hate the cards
This is my 2nd year of teaching and I have a difficult group of kids as well. I used the color cards last year and was told not to by my principal. My school is a PBS school (Positive Behavior Support) and when we are asking children to move their cards it isn't a positive thing. They are singled out and shamed for their behavior, so nobody in my school can have a behavior system that is visual or in front of anyone to see. I do something similiar to the +5's system. My theme is the beach, so my kids are trying to be super swimmers, not super sinkers. If they make it through the whole day and are still a super swimmer they get 5 points to accumulate and buy things with. If I have to talk to them individually I give them a warning and write it down on my clip board. At that point they can still move back up to the super swimmer area, but if they get a 1 or a 2 they lose that right. If they get a 1 they lose 5 minutes of recess, if they get a 2 they have to move to a quiet zone in the classroom, and if for some reason they get a 3 they would go to the office to speak to the principal. I keep track of everything on a clipboard on my desk so it's not in front of everyone to see. The tricky and time consuming part is talking to the kids individually and not calling them out in front of the group. Parents and other children were talking about other kids' behavior and rumors were spreading about children. I work in a small school if you hadn't guessed by now. This system has worked pretty well for the few weeks I have been using it. I have some pretty big things for those students who are following directions to aim for and I have some smaller ones that the troubled ones can attain as well.
I also do not use the stoplight system in my room although I used to. It works very well in my partner teacher's room and would likely work fine in my room too but we have a pretty good bunch of firsties this year.
I actually don't have a specific management plan in my room. I deal with things as they come and try to use only logical consequences in my room. If you haven't read Teaching with Love & Logic by Jim Fay it's definitely one you should get your hands on.
I have been using the token system for the first time this year. I really like it and it helps for things to be more positive. I have it set up just like mspowell. I do have to remember to pick for the bucket for things like lining up first at lunch etc. I need to look over her list again. I do still use the cards but have more steps. yellow=warning, orange=removed from group, blue=note home & lost recess time, white=time in buddy room, red=principal visit. Hope that helps!
is to get rid of a token economy or behavior modification program for your entire class and use the Responsive Classroom Approach. As we all know, there may be a few children that may still need a behavior modification program, but those are the children who really need it. Then you can tailor your program to those specific children and target specific behaviors. I would encourage you to do some research into RC and feel free to come on over to the Magnolia Room where we chat about RC all the time!
I've done the green, yellow, red for a few years and am finding as well that it doesn't work much for my chatty bunch who are done listening by the afternoon. My 2 co-workers use it faithfully. This year I made 3 large stars - green, yellow, & red. Each child has a number on a clothespin - not their names. I also made a behavior punch card on Vista Print (a postcard with a Star border). If the child is still on green or has gone back to green by the end of the day, they get a punch the next morning. 5 punches earn a trip to the treasure jar, 20 punches and then a full card earn a trip to the treasure box (rewards that don't cost anything -- like cpis listed). I also make them a special award when their card is full. Sometimes I give out extra punches for other daily good deeds/listening or to motivate ones who are having a hard time listening -- for example tomorrow I promised one young man 2 punches at lunch if he stayed off yellow all morning.
I agree with Socks. I don't have a master plan for all students. I reward and show displeasure as I think it will benefit each student. Pulling cards doesn't do much for the constant violators. They get their rewards from something else, and losing a recess isn't a big deal for them.
I also began my school year with the traditional color chart, and didn't like the way it was going. Why did students end up on the top color with no effort at all? So, in October I changed to having them start at a lower color and have to move UP the chain by positive behavior.
The change in behavior was FABULOUS! It makes the children be constantly aware of their behavior, because they are focused on MOVING up on the chart, not focused on remained status quo.
I downloaded the e-book at the website, and I'm going to be making the changes it suggested. I'm actually looking forward to returning from winter break now!
I decided to give PowerTeaching a try with my first graders, and I LOVE it. On the website there is a management system (which could probably be adapted) that I've been using. It's worked so well, I"m going to incorporate it with all four of my classes (I do pullout GT) when we return in January.
I believe this clip chart is exactly what I have been looking for. I have such a wide array of behaviors and this will allow me to really reward those kids who follow the rules all the time as well as give a chance to improve for those who do not. Love it, love it, love it. I have got to tweek it to fit my needs by adding one more level of down (maybe) but really excited to put this into place right after the break. Thanks for sharing.
As with the Clip Chart, Rick Morris has compiled and created many fantastic ideas. I highly recommend perusing his site and even buying one of his books. I stumbled upon New Management years ago and highly recommend it.
My curiosity is peaked!!! I think I want to order the clip chart but I was wondering about his other books. The excerts I have read look like they are for older kids. Are his things appropriate for first graders? Should I buy all his books or which ones work well with first graders?
As a first year teacher, I know you are bursting at the seems with ideas. I remember feeling that I had all the right answers. My big suggestion for you would be to follow what the more experienced teachers are doing, at least for the first year or two. When you have a class or two under your belt, then venture off and start adding your own ideas. Like it or not, older experienced teachers usually know what they are doing.