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Behavior System

New Clip Chart!

Behavior System, Clip Chart

I finally have made my new Clip Chart for my new classroom.  I went simple with just the traditional colors, but I love how it turned out. There’s just something about a fresh new Clip Chart – weird I know, but it must be a teacher thing.  This year instead of clothespins with names on the side, I’m going to use student numbers.  So, I’ll put the odd numbers on one side and the even on the other, so there is enough room in the “Ready to Learn” section.  Still need to laminate the chart, but here are a few pictures below..

To find out more about how I use the Clip Chart, see this blog post here.

Colored paper all cut and glued!
 

Brand new Clip Chart.  Sorry at home so all I had to hang it on was the door to the garage :-).
 
Hope everyone has a great Saturday!

Teacher Week – Thursday – Taming the Wild

Behavior System, Clip Chart

I’m back for Thursday’s link-up for Teacher Week. This week I’ve been linking up with Blog Hoppin’ for Teacher Week 2013. Today’s installment is another one of my favorites…classroom management.

 
My favorite tool for classroom managment is…the Clip Chart! I know many of you use it and I’ve seen many cute versions of it, but I tend to go for the plain and simple.  This is mine from a few years ago… (I still need to make my new one for this year. That’s one of my weekend goals.)
 
One addition I’ve made to the chart is an additional positive level. Between “Great Job” and “Outstanding,” I have added “Role Model” as one of the additional positive levels.
 

Here is what the clips look like.  When a student reaches purple, I add a jewel to their clip. When their clip is full of jewels they get to take it home and get a new one.  They love getting a jewel and love when they finally get to take it home. It’s funny how a simple jewel from Michaels that probably cost a penny is like gold to them :-).
 
 
I love the Clip Chart for many reasons and blogged about exactly how I use the Clip Chart in my classroom here.  But to give you a quick snapshot, two of the main reasons I love it are –
 
1. Kids who make good choices get to move up and be rewarded.  Before I had the traditional green, yellow, red stoplight system. This worked ok, but I felt bad for those kids always on green who were always doing the right thing and who were even going above and beyond sometimes. The Clip Chart addresses those good choices and provides teachers a chance to not only positively praise the student verbally, but also let them clip up, which is an added step of recognition for that student. 
 
2. Kids aren’t stuck on a certain color. With that stoplight system, once a kid was on red, they were on red.  What was bad about this is they knew they were on red and they couldn’t move up – so my day with them tended to be poor because they figured I’ve already ruined the day why not continue my bad behavior.  With the Clip Chart, students aren’t stuck. If a student makes a bad choice and clips down, they have the chance to make better choices and move their clip back up throughout the day. No one is stuck one way or another.
 
I have seen super positive results from using the Clip Chart and received positive feedback from students, parents, and administrators.  It’s definitely my favorite behavior management tool!
 
Can’t wait to see some new behavior ideas through the linky party. Make sure you link up and share your wonderful ideas!


Voice Level Chart – Early Monday Made-It

Anchor Charts, Back to School, Behavior System, Classroom Voice Level, TPT

Since tomorrow is the first day I get to start working in my classroom, I decided to post my Monday Made-It a little early!  I’m linking up with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics for another round of Monday Made-It!

Today I made a Classroom Voice Level Chart. Normally I just do an anchor chart, but this year I decided to make it a little cuter and then I’ll put a clothespin on the Level that I want kiddos to be on.  I’ve put my chart signs on TPT as a freebie here.  It is pretty simple, but I like to back things with scrapbook paper which is why I don’t tend to do a ton of clipart. 

Here is the finished product:

 
Thanks for checking out my Monday Made-It! I’m excited to see all of the other awesome projects in the linky party!
 
 To get the freebie Classroom Voice Level Chart signs, click here.
 
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TPT 

Safe Place – Ideas for Students with Extreme Behavior

Behavior System

I’ve always had the typical behavior kid like I’m sure most of us have ever year – blurts out, is impulsive, doesn’t listen, doesn’t follow directions, etc and feel like normally I’m pretty capable of handling most behavior issues in my classroom.  Welcome to school year 2012-2013 and it is a whole new ballgame.  My typical behavior strategies haven’t worked on two of my students who have some extreme behaviors – disruptive, running away from adults, hitting, kicking, screaming, extreme definance, etc.  Now, I’m aware this is starting to sound like a pity party (and I’m past that stage lol), but this isn’t what the post is about.  I wanted to share some ideas that we’re trying with these two kiddos in case it might help some of you with difficult kiddos. I can’t take the credit for most of these ideas because they were a team effort.  I’m hopeful that those of you who also have difficult kiddos have a great administration supporting you. I’m very lucky to have the principal and assistant principal fully backing me along with the Behavior Intervention Teacher who we brought into the mix a few weeks ago.   I’m also attending PBIS training tomorrow for my school, so I’m hoping to have some other new ideas soon too!

One of the ideas that my fantastic assistant principal suggested was having a “Safe Place” available in the classroom.  “Safe Place” is a designated spot where students can go (either on their own or sent by the teacher) to calm down.  Since space is limited in most classrooms and I wanted “Safe Place” to be in an area where I could always see what the child was doing, I ended up taping off a large rectangle towards the back of the room.  Far enough away from the direct instruction area that students can’t be too distracting, but also within eyesight so I see what they are up to.  “Safe Place” works sometimes and doesn’t work others.  I also have found that a number of kids can use it.  I have a few kids who when they have a rough day, they throw a temper tantrum. “Safe Place” has worked extremely well for those students as a place to take a few minutes to calm down and get back on track.  Now, for the two extreme students, “Safe Place” works sometimes and doesn’t work others.

Now, in “Safe Place” the extreme behavior students and I have come up with a list of activities they can do in “Safe Place” to help themselves calm down. This was another idea from my fantastic assistant principal.  The two students and I sat down when they were calm and talked about some things they think would help them calm down when they are angry or upset.  Both students picked hugging a teddy bear, drawing a picture or writing words, doing a puzzle, reading a story, and taking deep breaths.  Now, in a perfect world someone could be back there with them directing them to pick an option when they go to “Safe Place.”  In the real world, that someone needs to be teaching the 20 other children in the classroom while the one child works on trying to calm themselves down.  Since I can’t be back there every time to help them through the process, I came up with “Safe Place” cards, which I adapted from this Power Card idea I saw on Pinterest. I tweaked the Power Cards a bit and also called them “Student’s Name – Safe Place Cards” and put the student’s picture on the front. See the images below to take a peek at the “Safe Place Cards.” I highly recommend putting them on construction paper and laminating them.  Mine didn’t last a week before the student tried to rip them apart so thank goodness for a strong laminating machine :-).  After laminating them, I hole punched the cards and put them on a ring so the student can flip through the strategies and pick the one he or she wants to use.

In addition to putting the specific student’s name on their cards I also put a picture of the student at the top.

We go over the Anger Rules a lot.  It’s important to go over them many times when the student is calm because when they’re angry they’re not hearing most of what you are saying. 

Since I teach first grade and most of my kiddos are still learning to read, I used words and pictures. I also used pictures of the actual items in the “Safe Place” box so the student would be familiar with what was on the card.

 
 

Hope these ideas might be helpful. If anyone has any other ideas they’ve tried with students with extreme behaviors, I’d love to hear them – add a comment below!
 
Thanks!

Classroom Voice Level Chart

Anchor Charts, Behavior System, Classroom Voice Level

Anchor charts are one of my favorite teaching things! At the beginning of the school year, we spend a lot of time making different charts to go over procedures and expectations. I was looking through my photos last year and found one of my favorites – The Classroom Voice Level Chart. Now, I’ve seen some cute ones made with VistaPrint and other companies, but there is just something about making it with your class.  It may not look as professional, but they kids take ownership when they help make it and tend to value it more.  Our school’s behavior expectations have taken on some very specific language to make it consistent class to class and grade level to grade level. One of the specific phrases we’ve taken on is “0 Voice.” We use “0 Voice” in the hallways, in the bathrooms, during fire drills, etc. This year, I decided to take it a step further and determine what different voice levels would like in the classroom.  Here’s what the chart looks like…simple, but effective

I loved having this chart in the classroom because we could easily say – ok, during math stations we need to use our “1 Level” voice – what does that sound like? And, the kids knew. We spent a lot of time setting up these expectations and practicing them, but I noticed the noise level in the classroom was more under control.

Clip Chart

Behavior System, Clip Chart

Another favorite thing, that I love, love, love is the Clip Chart.  During one of my most difficult teaching years with a rather challenging class, I used the typical old green, yellow, red stop sign system for behavior.  It didn’t work.  My kids that were difficult were on red by 8:30 and were stuck there so they continued to have a hard day.  This was rather frustrating as a teacher and frustrating for students as well. 

After this difficult year, I was having a hard-time getting in the teacher back-to-school spirit, so I started researching new behavior ideas.  While researching I stumbled upon the Clip Chart by New Managment.  I read through the e-book that is on their website and fell in love with the idea of the Clip Chart system.  Gone are the days of kids being stuck for making one bad choice. Gone are the days of the good kids always being on green when they are always the ones going above and beyond to make good choices.  Gone for me were the days of focusing on the negative behavior going on in my classroom. 

I implemented the Clip Chart system two years ago in my classroom and got one of the other first grade teachers on board. The main point of the clip chart is if a student makes a bad choice they clip down.  If a student makes a good choice they can clip up. Students aren’t stuck on one level or another and can move up and down the chart throughout the day.  Also instead of one or two levels, there are multiple levels above and below. And the best part of all – it works! Instead of focusing on what the kids are doing wrong, I was spending more time trying to find the positive and what the kids were doing right, which leads to clipping up.  I noticed a huge change in the kids too. They weren’t tattletaling as much (which is a huge step for first grade).  Instead of tattling to me about something they saw a student do wrong, kids were telling me about something good they saw another child doing. 

The beauty of the Clip Chart is you don’t need prizes or treasure box items. If a student reaches purple (Outstanding) on the chart, they get to add a jewel to their clothespin.  Once their clothespin is full of jewels, they get to take it home. Now, I know you’re probably thinking do kids really care about a jewel? They do! The jewel to them is like winning the lottery – they love it! 

This Clip Chart has changed the way I teach and manage a classroom.  Most teachers at my school have also started using it in all grade levels and also see the benefits.  I hope it can help you as well!

Below you will see a picture of the Clip Chart and clips that I use. I bought the stick-on jewels at JoAnn’s.