Looking for some new ideas on how to manage behavior in my classroom for the next year. I use a pocket system where students get one red card, then do a fix-it sheet, then have a detention. I'd like to revamp this, however. Sometimes, I think the kids think it's too babyish.
Our grade level is combining efforts to get behavior under control this year.
Each teacher has their own way of keeping track of behavior, but the ultimate consequence is study hall at the end of the day on Friday. On Friday, each of us will take turns hosting a fun activity for well-behaved students while another teacher runs a study hall. We will rotate this weekly.
I've tried a LOT of behavior management strategies and haven't found one that I've had a lot of success with in the upper grades. I run a very orderly classroom, but I have a hard time getting through to those tough cases that are bent on misbehaving. So...
I'm going through a routine this year:
- First misbehavior: Warning, reminder to follow the rules
- Second misbehavior: Loss of recess
- Third misbehavior: Note home to parent and/or phone call
- Any additional misbehavior is referral to the office and student may not return until administration has issued a consequence and/or phoned parent
This is basically what I've done in former years, but I'm really going to rely heavily on the administration piece this year. I prefer handling everything myself and I don't like for the student to be out of the room not learning, however, I'm really advocating for my behaved students' right to a quality education without the distraction of students who do not respond to my rules. I'm going to do my part, but when I've exhausted my means, I will ask for help.
...and there's a free e-book available at the same site.
I am one of three teachers new to my school this year, so I don't know if there will be grade-level-wide systems like detention at recess or during Fun Friday. In my previous school, my team did work that way, and it was extremely effective.
As for sending kids with severe behavior issues to the office, this is the wisdom my mom passed on to me in the middle of her 30 years in kindergarten: "If you keep the problem in your room, you keep the problem in your room." I am known for strong management, but when a child has issues that are beyond me, I know that I have to make admin aware so that they can find ways to help.
You and I are on the same wave length!! I too, am really advocating for my students who behave to have their right to a quality education. I had the roughest class I've ever had last year - our whole grade level did, it was so HARD. Two teachers asked to be moved to lower grades because of discipline issues and the lack of support our admins provide. I learned of the Clip Chart on this board and immediately went to the website. I downloaded and read the ebook on it. I am very excited about this approach. I love how it focuses on the positive, does not use rewards that I must purchase and takes advantage of the rapport between teacher and students. It feels like the perfect fit for me. I was able to keep most behavior issues contained... but it was exhausting and required me to spend so much time with those kids... while often ignoring the kids who were actually behaving.
A big thank you to everyone who shared their experiences with the Clip Chart
The "teacher's choice" portion is where consequences come in. Also on his website under "Classroom Tips" then "Talkative Students" you will find information about 'Yellow Slips.' They can be used as one of the consequences, or the 'Parent Contact' stage. I like how they offer documentation. I also read on the site, that as one of the teacher choices, students have to write a note explaining how they broke a rule. These can then be saved as documentation as well.
As far as rewards go... it's all positive reinforcement. One extension in the ebook and on the ebook page of the website is a teacher's idea based about adding some kind of recognition awards to students' clothespins whenever they've reached the top of the chart. She draws a stripe on the front end of the clip, then when they have 5 stripes the clip could then be retired for a new color of clip. I like the idea at the end of the ebook where a student earns a plastic sticky jewel (from craft store) to put on their clothespin. After 5 jewels, the clothespin is traded up to a different color.
In 28 years of teaching I know how powerful positive reinforcement is when used consistently - even with 11 year old 'tough guys from the hood'. I LOVE this plan because it won't cost me lots of money in treats. I feel sure that as long as I'm consistent and enthusiastic it will work. Of course the backup of one's admins is crucial when strict consequences are needed. I'm planning to work on obtaining that too. (I'm trying to be an optimist here )
I am new to 5th grade this year and I have been waivering between a couple of ideas. I think I might do the card system, but have the option of the students earning a "star card" which is for exceptional behavior. If they have earned a star card that day, they can choose from rewards like extra computer time, sit next to a buddy, etc.
Another idea was from some other teachers. They do a "1, 2, 3" system. 1 is the warning and losing 5 minutes of recess, 2 is losing 1/2 of recess, and 3 is all of recess. So when they are misbehaving, all you have to say is "1" and they know what is coming. No arguments, no getting up to turn cards, and it can work anywhere in the school building.
I know for sure that I will be doing a class discipline book. It is a book that has a section for each student. When they break a rule they must find their name and put the date, the rule broken, how they broke it, and their signature. It seems so official and serious to them, plus it serves as great documentation.
A reward idea is to do a class marble jar. I keep a jar and when the students are behaving well or get compliments from other teachers, they get marbles in their jar. Once it reaches the top, we vote on a fun afternoon of games, a movie, popcorn, etc.
I am pretty sure I will be doing the star card because I like the idea of putting a more positive spin on classroom management instead of feeling like a nag all the time.