This is officially my 3rd Friday of summer! We get out a little earlier than the other schools in my area. Today's my handsome's official last day with his students. Yay for being married to a teacher!! It's almost time to start our 3rd summer of love! :o)
I wanted to show you my behavior management system. I've used four different systems in the past 6 years. This one seems to work the best...but as usual, next year I have a few tweaks to make.
To understand where I come from when speaking about discipline (and by the way, "discipline" is defined as a way of teaching the consequences to our actions, both good and bad), here is our class philosophy that I wrote this year and kept in the student homework folders. The first two pages are kept in homework folders to remind parents of the rules, what colors mean, and the consequences for the colors. The third page is posted in our room directly above the behavior chart. Feel free to use it or to adapt it to your own philosophy! :o)
Classroom Rules for Folder
Each student in the class has a pocket with different color cards inside. Everyone starts on green each day and moves up or down the color system according to behavior. We use a calendar packet that has extra work for each day of the month. The students record the day's color on the front page of the calendar (calendars are adapted from Kelly's Kindergarten CLICK HERE to go there!). Here's a picture of our pockets in our classroom...they are attached to the side of my large filing cabinet.
The way our system works is that you can move down if you break a rule, but then go back up if your behavior improves. I've only done this for kindergarten. In first grade, you didn't move back up at ALL!! But with the color system, if a student has a warning and then breaks another rule, even if s/he improves the day, the highest color s/he can go to is green. Purple is reserved for those students who go above and beyond and do not need any warnings for behavior.
I will say that the downfall to this approach has been successfully communicating the ENTIRE day to the parents. A student would get down to blue, but then have a great rest of the day and end up on green. Unless it was an honest child, the parent potentially never knew there was a problem. THAT is a problem for me. I feel like it taught my students that they could mess up but then if they corrected it, no one would ever know and they could continue to act out... Did I communicate this to the parents? Yes. Did it improve these students' behaviors? No. Keep reading if you can...I have a solution... ;o)
I don't know about you, but I LOVE pinterest!! It is so cool! So in my surfing of the site, I found this fabulous tool that I'm going to start next year. I'm going to adapt it to my own classroom rules and colors. PLEASE check out the link to see.
If you click it, you will find a wonderful send-home note that is not only extremely informative, but it is super quick to fill out at the end of the day. I didn't have pre-written notes, so I would DREAD having to write out a note at the end of our busy day.
For next year, I'm thinking that I will create one of these notes for each "bad" color (blue, yellow, and red). They will all look the same as far as the behaviors they list, but the heading will be different. Even if a child is on green at the end of the day, if s/he went down because of a misbehavior, a note will go home to alert the parent. The reason why I love the choices to check on this specific note home is the way it's worded. "I CHOSE to blah, blah blah..." Every single one is "I CHOSE." Because it's true. I (as the teacher) didn't choose to act that way...the child did! No one took control over the student and MADE him/her make that choice... I love the wording!! :o)
The unfortunate reality is that as sweet and caring and kind and loving and ADORABLE as these children are, they learn to LIE!!! They learn to lie so quickly!!! They are SO SMART, and they totally understand that if they did something wrong at school and their parents find out about it, they are going to get in trouble at home. This sucks!! And they know it.
I had several students who rode the bus home in the afternoons, and if there was any kind of note in their folders, a select few would hide them in the crease of their seats on the bus! So I started recording notes home on carbon copy paper. However, this paper is expensive...so one of my moms in my class had an absolutely brilliant idea! Listen to this: write a note home and make sure it goes home with the student. BUT, before you put it in his/her folder, take a picture of it with your camera on your phone (don't tell me you can't do this - it takes 2 seconds and is VERY affective). Email or text message it to the student's parent either right that second or after school (I know some schools are strict about cell phones, so you could do that OR ask permission from your administrator). That way, the parent knows something is coming home AND their child has to be responsible to give it to mom or dad. LOVE IT!!! Thanks again to that mom for the suggestion. :o)
So I think that's it...we go to the treasure box every Friday afternoon. Only the students who had purple EVERY DAY get to go. I'm obsessed with John Rosemond, and he is a stickler for not rewarding bad behavior. It seemed to work well, because we have super great treats in the treasure box, and the students who didn't get to go truly seemed to work harder the next week.
It's not perfect...if you have any further advice or suggestions, PLEASE let me hear them!! I need all the feedback/constructive criticism I can get!
...be at peace, and all will be well...
Oh, PS: 36 weeks preggo!!! Only 2-6 more weeks till we meet baby Nate! :o)
Pinterest inspired "mobile" above his crib - Handsome worked hard to put these up and I am in love!!