Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Behavior Management

I've been contemplating trying out a new or modified behavior management system in my classroom for next year. The problem I find is that you really don't know what system works until you meet your students and get a feel for the personalities and dynamics that you have in your classroom. For example, my class my second year of teaching was, well to put it nicely, not the best behaved and I could have paid them with $100 bills for good behavior and they still would make horrible choices. Then my class this past year was wonderful... The best behaved group of kids I've had and I really had no need for any system. They were so good they'd rat themselves out for minor things because they'd feel so much guilt. (Don't we wish we could have those types of classes every year?)

Through my lurkings around Pinterest and various blogs, I've found a lot of teachers using a colored chart where the students have a clip and can move up or down depending on their behavior throughout the day. In fact, this system is ALL over the place, so it makes me think there's something good about it! It seems fairly easy to manage and a great idea for classroom management. I love the idea of rewarding kids for not just being good, but going above and beyond. I'm all about having high expectations and I can see this really working well. (I think it would have been a fantastic system for last year's class that was so good.)

Here are a few links to this behavior management system and some of its variations. There are some awesome ideas on these sites!

I've used a "star system" as my primary behavior management model over the past few years. The kids start the day with three stars in a pocket chart. For each misbehavior they "pull a star." One star is a warning, two stars is 5 minutes lost of recess, and three stars is all of recess lost where the students fill out a "think sheet" about their day to share with their parents a and a possible trip to the office. I've really liked this system and feel like it's been pretty effective, but I get bored with things after a while... One of my favorite things about my job is that I get a fresh start each year and can switch things up when I want to!

Had you noticed that I don't give the kids anything for being good? Trust me, I do give my kids plenty of rewards and incentives, but I've been trying to figure out a way that I could add more in with the whole star system and now possibly with the colored clip chart system. Here's the issue... I'm not made of money and it can get really expensive constantly buying rewards for students. I did a monetary system with my "bad" class during my second year and felt like I spent tons of my own money on prizes each month. I also attempted to do extra recess at the end of the week, but that was difficult to keep track of who earned how much time, being stuck inside during the winter months, dealing with short weeks, and just plain finding the time to fit in extra recess!

I've always liked the idea of using coupons for classroom priviledges, but I've always struggled with coming up with fun ideas. And so, to the internet I went... Here are a few things I've found.

I hope these links help any of you who are looking for ways to reward students without breaking the bank. As I said, sometimes you really don't know what works until you meet your students, but hopefully you find something fun and effective that will help them stay motivated and well behaved!


  1. I had always used a whole group program (marble jar - some people are against taking them away for misbehavior) and an individual program (Battista Bucks for good behavior / hard work). One thing I picked up from another teacher was a balance scale. When students make good choices as a group, they get a poker chip or marble in the "positive" side and bad choices got a chip in the "negative" side. That way they were able to see how they could balance it out by learning from their mistakes and fixing them instead of focusing on what they did wrong. I have also used Lee Canter's Assertive Discipline. Hope that helps!

    Miss B, Busy Bee

  2. I'm also a big fan of having both a whole class and an individual behavior management plan. I was always that kid that never got in trouble and HATED when the whole class had to pull cards or something like that. For the whole class, I've typically done a paper chain in which the kids earn links for getting good reports in specials or compliments from teachers or subs. When the chain reaches the floor, they get to vote on a special celebration. Last year I did the same thing, but with some cute tickets I bought, laminated, and made into a poster.

  3. Class Dojo is another really great behavior management site that I have recently been using! You pull it right up on your projector!

    I love your blog! I am your newest follower!

    Ginger Snaps


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