I've never been too good at this - in fact I stink at it. Luckily, I haven't had to defend myself to parents/principal/etc (a post elsewhere made me think of this). I'd like to have a way to document behavior that isn't too time consuming. I teach 4th grade and am constantly on the go in my classroom. I do not have time to sit down and fill out a 3x5 card or form every time a child breaks a rule or doesn't complete their work. Ideally, I'd like to have a notebook that I fill out and the child signs or visa versa. I was thinking about creating some type of template for the week or month. I'm just not sure what it would look like. Any ideas? Have you created or used something similar? Or do you have a better suggestion? Thanks!!!
Idea: Make a numbered list of infractions (1-fighting 2-taunting 3-talking in class, etc.), put the list at top of a notebook page. Your class list should also be on the page, in table or ledger form. You can use other abbreviations of your own choosing. An example on your class list might look like this:
Joe Jones 9/23-2TSaM JJ nts NR nor PH...10/02-5RLr
This tells you that on Sep. 23, Joe Jones (2)was taunting (TS)Tony Smith (a)in the morning ["a" for a.m., "l" for lunch, "r" recess, etc.]
(M)in math class. The action you took: "JJ nts"--Joe had to write a note about his behavior and have it signed and returned next day, "nts" meaning "note to be signed". Results/further action: "NR nor PH". This means the note was not returned (NR; "OK" if returned), so you had him stay in during recess (nor-"no recess") and phoned (PH) his home later that day. You could write a short note about the call if you felt it necessary. And then, on October 2, he... and so on (I hope not!).
I had something similar, but without so many abbreviations. I know it would take me a WHILE to get used to all the abbreviations...but it could work. I need something and I am willing to try just about anything. One day not documenting behavior will come back and bite me you know where. Last year there were so many behavior problems, I would have been documenting most of the day. It usually isn't like that.
Last year we were told over and over to cover our behinds and keep up with anecdotal records. I was so overwhelmed with it that I got myself a voice recorder. It is as small as a cell phone and very easy to use. I think it can be hooked up to the computer to transcribe messages, or maybe save them as a recording. I gave mine to my husband several times and he did something with it to save it so I could clear it out again. I haven't checked what he has been doing though. The kids didn't like when I was recording something telling what they did. I told them it is an "official documentation now" and they'd get a bit flustered and that alone caused them to take stock of themselves and quit it.
I have my own set of 6 infractions with the ever wonderful "other" category. I keep a mini clipboard with me and it is easy to document. Don't get too hung up with very specific behavior unless it is something that has hurt someone else physically or emotionally. It's amazing what falls uncer "off task" or "not following directions".
I also have a great difficulty keeping documentation - and when I start, I too often might lose that notebook I'm using! What has worked best for me the last two years is to set up a folder on my computer. I have the folder right on my desktop, then a word document for each child. At the beginning of the year, before 1st conference I tried to take quick performance notes. Later, it was just when there was a behavioral issue. But, I can type SOOOO much faster than I can handwrite notes out. Also, it's always right there for me to use - no search and rescue for the missing notebook!
I use a red one subject spiral notebook. It's easy to carry around, and it lasts all year. Every morning I date a new page and jot down notes throughout the day. The kids know what it's for, too, because I've noticed that some will straighten up when they see me start writing in the notebook.
I keep discipline notes in the front of the notebook and parent contacts in the back. I also have a red folder that I use for saving notes from parents, discipline slips from the office, and copies of notes I send home.
I teach first grade now but when I taught 2nd grade I came across this from a teacher website. I used a notebook at a "think about it" desk. If I needed documentation, the child would write an entry into the notebook, sign, and date. There was something about showing a parent in the child's own handwriting what they admitted to. It also gave them a chance to write it as they saw it which often became teachable moments.
Thank you for this idea. I wish I could just have no discipline plan and yet have all students behave. I know this is wishful thinking. At my school we have a star plan-each student gets two stars and with each infraction they get one taken away. Once they have lost both stars for the day and they still misbehave, they get 15 minutes detention, then 30, then a phone call home. Finally, 30 min detention and a meeting with the principal. I wasn't too crazy about this plan, because it didn't provide a way to document what the infraction was. I really like the notebook idea and will implement it at the beginning of next school year.
When I was a sub, a teacher I subbed for had the student write what they did on a scratch piece of paper with the date on it. I'm not sure what the teacher did with these, but I'd say 4th graders would be able to do something like this. Just another idea!
I have a notebook that is seperated by student. The first page is used to document when phone calls are made home. I can check who I talked to and what the nature of the conversation was. This is just realy brief. The 2nd page is cardstock. I keep white peel-off stickers ( the large kind) on my clipboard. When I need to do I can write a short summary of whatever it is I need to note about a particular student. These are peeled off and kept on the card stock. It is super easy to keep up with.
I use a spiral notebook that the kids write their behavior inside if they misbehave. That is my documentation and it saves me time from having to rewrite anything. I just check to make sure it is accurate. I also send a weekly behavior report home so there is NEVER any questions about behavior.
I teach 4th grade. I have a 3-ring binder that is named "The Discipline Book." I run copies of the pages that list the student's classroom number. Beside the classroom number is a long box for their signature, the next three boxes are there to write the number that corresponds with the rule that was broken, and one box on the end for me to add notes. When a student breaks a rule he or she must sign their name and write the number that matches the rule they broke. At the end of the day I check the book to see if I need to send a PA Form (Parent Alert Form) or make a phone call (if I have not already done so). This has been wonderful because parents realize that their child has taken some responsibility for their actions. Moreover, parents do not go into a defensive mode. The students know to sign by their number which makes it a snap to scan for their behavior. It has worked for me, 9 out of 10 years in the classroom. I keep the book close at hand, so as to prevent students from editing on someone else' number.
I use a notebook for the students to sign when they break a classroom rule. They also have to put the number of the rule broken by their names. If I can't get to the notebook at that moment then sometime before the end of the day I write a brief summary of the incident beside of the student's name. I call this notebook my "Oops" book.
We were having some behavior problems last year, so we implemented this during the 2nd half of the year. It REALLY worked well!!
Once a week, each student in my class gets a 1/2 sheet of paper with a chart on it and the dates of the current week. The chart has three columns: Date, Teacher, and What Did I Do?
The students write their names on the top. Every time they have a misbehavior, missing assignment, etc... I tell them to sign their chart. They fill in the date, the teacher whose class they were in (they switch classes) and what they did to have to sign the chart. I walk around when their is a break and sign their charts next to the behavior. At the end of each week, students must take their sheets home and have parents sign it and return it the next day.
We do this from Wed-Wed. This is our way of communicating to parents what their child's behavior was that previous week (serious infractions get a personal note or call home). We also file away each week's charts in our student's confrence folders. This way, we have written documentation throughout the entire year of what that child's behavior was. Each child is responsible for writing in their chart when asked to, so that cuts down on our work and gives the child the responsibility of acknowledging their behavior. It also give credibility to your side of the story since the behavior is written in the child's handwriting.
We have special rewards for those students who have blank sheets at the end of the week. There are 12 lines on the sheet. The last 6 lines represent 30 minutes of our Big 5th Grade Friday Recess (the whole grade is out on the playground at the same time). Every line that is written on represents 5 mins off this 'special' recess.
I have a behavior form, too. It's a half-sheet of paper that I hand to kids who aren't doing what I need to be doing. It's very simple, and I made it on my computer.
"I am ________________, and today is _________________. I have chosen to _______________________________ _________________ when I should have been _____________________________ because _________________________. By doing this I have ignored these guidelines for success _______________________________ _____. As soon as I finish this paper I need to _____________________________ so that __________________________."
I don't use these for every little thing, but for the more disruptive and chronic offenders. I also leave them for substitutes.
I date stamp them and put them in my discipline folder.
notebook for student teaching last year and it seemed to work very well. I had the students write the date, their name, and why I had them write their name in the book. Then, if I had to call home I would make my own note in the book with a star by the student's name so other's wouldn't know. At the end of the week, I would fill out Forms to be sent home and would include any of the incidents that the child had written in the book. They would also write down when they had not done their homework, so that was a good record for that as well.
I did have one student who would not write his name in the book so when this would happen, I would give him the option of writing it, or I would write it. Either way, it was going to get done, but maybe not in his handwriting. Eventually, he got the hint that he wasn't getting around it. I hope this helps!
We use it in kindergarten, but since they can't write well enough to put it down, I write on address labels kept on a clip board throughout the day. After school I put the necessary info written on the labels into the book. This keeps me from having to rewrite and not have to decipher abbrviations. Our notebooks are divided into sections for each student. The front page of each section has the contact numbers and addresses for easy reference.
I also use 'the book'. I have students record the date, their name, the inappopriate behavior, and the desired behavior. If it is their second signing in the day they also check the box marked SB, meaning that they have written a Student Bulletin to their parents telling them they signed the book twice in a day. I always follow up with a check of the book and a quick contact discussing the behavior and a better choice.
One time, (I have used this system for 7 years,) I had a repeat offender and he had his own page in 'the book.' On Fridays he would go down to the office and have 'his page' copied and take it home for a signature.
I have weekly raffles for those who did not sign the book, trimester recognition for those never signing, and end of the year recognition for not signing the book.
I love it! The kids do the documentation and I am not having to duplicate or record the behaviors.
I will repeat, that you need to follow up to make sure they sign the book and counsel them on the behavior and the appropriate choice for the future.
I like the voice recorder idea. I've tried the notebooks several different ways but always seem to get behind on writing it down. I'm also bad at remembering details at the end of the day or when I finally get the chance to make it back to the notebook. A small voice recorder could be small enough to carry around. I would love to know more about a version that would download to my computer.
Good idea! I like the log. It's easy to maintain. I'm thinking of modifying it a little as we use an agenda to send home notes to parents and homework assignments. I can write a note home as the first communication option, and if no parent signature is received then using another communication option would be documented.