In my opinion, behavior management is the MOST important aspect of a classroom. If students don’t know expectations or are in an environment that is not structured, it will be very difficult to facilitate any learning.
In my classroom, I use three different behavior management systems: whole class, table groups and individual. I think it is important to have multiple behavior systems as different situations call for use of different systems.
Whole Class: “Eye Like What I See”
For this system, two large eyeballs sit at the top of my whiteboard. I draw a T-chart with a happy face on one side and a sad face on the other. Whenever students are showing good behavior as a whole class, I give students a “happy face point”. On the other hand, when students are not listening, they receive a “sad face point” as a class. At the end of the day, we count up how many happy vs. how many sad face points and if they earned more happy face than sad face points, they receive a pair of eyes that I draw on the white board next to our big eyeballs. I set a number of eyes to aim for and once they get that many pairs, they earn a reward as a class. Usually in the beginning of the year, I set the number of pairs at 10 in order to get a reward and then later on in the year, students have to earn 15 or 20 eyeball pairs in order to receive a class reward.
Table Groups: “Quit Monkeyin’ Around”
I use the table group system when I notice certain tables showing a desired behavior. I like to use positive reinforcement and compliment one table to encourage other tables to then want that reinforcement also. For this system, I give “table points” by hanging a monkey on the corresponding table’s hanging sign. Whichever table has the most points at the end of the day (before free play) gets to start free play first. This system is important as it encourages students to work together at their tables.
Individual: “Roarin’ to Learn” Clip Chart
For individual behavior, I use a popular system, a clip chart. Every student has a clip and begins each day on green. As individual students are following rules, trying their best, etc, I ask them to move their clip up. They can move up three times on my chart. At the top of my chart I have a ribbon and when students move their clip up to the ribbon, they have reached the top of the clip chart and had the very best behavior for the day. Students get to the ribbon when they go above and beyond normal good behavior. On the flip side, when students need reminders and warnings, they are asked the move their clips down. The first time they move it down, it serves as just a warning and no consequence is given. When they get to orange, they miss five minutes of free play and red is when I contact their parent. What I love about this system is that students are never stuck on one color of the chart. If they’ve needed a couple warnings but turned their behavior around, they are asked to move their clips back up and can end the day on a good behavior color. I consider green and above a good behavior color. At the end of the day, we record our color and at the end of the week, I send the slip home for parents to see. Students really respond to this system and are proud when they work hard to get to a top chart color.
What behavior management systems work best in your classrooms?