|My clip chart, minus the clips!|
It was pretty much exactly this time last year when I was researching behavior systems for the coming school year... (You can read that post here... It's actually one of my most popular posts ever!)
I apologize in advance that this post is going to be kind of a rant... Sometimes I "think out loud" on my blog.
I used the clip chart system last year and overall I liked it, but I really struggled with staying consistent with it. I feel like sometimes the day gets too crazy and I forget to reward students for their good behaviors. Does anyone else feel that way? I think it just needs to become more of a conscious effort for me.
For this coming school year, I'm considering what behavior management system I would like to use. I know that this new class is going to be mostly boys and that they need a lot of structure and consistency. While I really did like the clip chart system, I have a very strong feeling that unless I get super consistent with it, that system just isn't going to be effective with this new group of kids.
My previous behavior system was an adaptation of a system I observed in at 5th grade classroom in college. in a pocket chart, each child began the week with 5 stars. They got one warning for misbehavior before they had to "pull a star" and at the end of the week the number of stars that remained determined the amount of extra recess they got. (This class didn't get a second recess in the afternoon like we do.)
I ended up adapting that to be more on a daily basis, since adding extra recess every Friday just became too difficult. Eventually it got cut to 3 stars a day... Pull one star for a warning, pull 2 stars and lose 5 minutes of recess, and pull all 3 and lose all of recess and complete a "think sheet" that goes home to parents to sign. It was super easy for me to manage and the kids were so honest and self sufficient they'd be pulling their own stars when they knew they had messed up! (How's that for management?!?)
The only problem? No rewards! Now, we had plenty of rewards for good behavior as a whole school, but I really didn't have much going on within my classroom. Other than getting all of recess, the kids that didn't pull stars didn't really get anything out of it. I think sometimes kids get over-rewarded and we shower them with too much for just doing what they should do regardless, but at the same time I think they should get something out of it.
So, I'm debating. I'm leaning more towards going back to the star system for this group of kids and then using the school-wide ticket system for the rewards part. (Unless our PBIS team happens to change things up a lot...)
I'm also one that makes adjustments to my behavior management system as I get the know the group of students. I had one year where I think I tried 3 or 4 systems with a group of kids before I found something that was halfway effective with them. (You know that group of kids... The group that causes you to consume what was probably an unhealthy amount of ibuprofen because you have a raging headache at the end of each day and hate the teacher you are with them. Thankfully, I've only had one of those years.)
So, there are my thoughts on behavior management! I feel like I'm not going make a firm decision on this until I get back to school and we start our inservices. Thankfully, I'm pretty much prepped for both systems!