Great Ideas for Managing Classroom Behavior

The Question:
Do you all have any ideas for weekly behavior forms to send to parents? My school doesn’t want us to use the “stop light” red, yellow, green method.
I’ve started giving cards out daily and if it’s still white at end of day, they can get a prize and stamp, smiley face or sticker to take home on their card to be signed.
If they have a rule infraction, I write it on card to be signed and returned.
This is a lot to keep up with, although it has seemed to help. Plus, I’m going to run out of prizes if I keep doing it daily!
The Answers:
Lorena Molina Verdial
What we do in our school is almost the same. The difference is that we send cards on Fridays. And the color of the card represent performance and behavior. Categories are; white, green, pink and blue cards. A white card represents excellency, green satisfactory, pink (oops) something bad happened. And blue is not that often. Those are given away for some really bad and mean behavior.
Cathy Howell
You can do a calendar in their take-home folder where they color each day the color that they were on. Then, if they went to yellow or red you can write on it the reason why. To help cut down on the expense of prizes, I use the punchcards that you can get at teacher stores or on Pinterest. I punch it each day they stay on green, then, when it is completely punched, they get to pick from the prize box. That way they are motivated to stay on green to get their cards filled up faster.
Carmen Hathcock
Look on Pinterest! There are lots of ideas to be found there! Can you still use colors? Just not “stop light” colors?  I have seen ideas where purple or blue are the “bad” colors and red is the “good” color.
Monica Hegwood
We use the “red, yellow, green”. I only give a prize on Friday for greens all week. Daily greens get a sticker or candy jar treat. Maybe that would help.
Bethany Charlebois Arsenault
 I have a sheet where the kids color in their behavior color for the day and they take it home. I also use a weekly sheet where they put 2 stickers for green, 1 for yellow, and zero for orange/red. I can post it on my blog and put a link here.
Heather Milesi Emerson
I do purple, green, blue. Outstanding, very good, good. They get a prize after five outstanding days (some it’s every five days, others it’s once a month) if they are good at recess time or centers time they owe me five minutes. they can change it back during the day if they are following directions.
Cecilia Doyle
I have used numerous behavior plans this year due to the group of students I have….google behavior mangement or motivation. I use charts that go for 1 to 2 weeks before “earning prize.”  I started a 1 week, then increased the increment. I chart their progress/standing each day and then after x number of days they earn a prize. We also do whole class incentives for extra recess, free choices, music & movement, etc…students that have not been on track for the week do not get to participate…this usually results in improvements for the following week. I have had pads of paper printed with simple behavior “infractions”/reminders that I can just check off to send home…I also have ones for “Awesome Day”…We have a print shop through our high school that will print these. There are many good ideas on Pinterest, TPT, and Teachwithme.com…Good Luck… It is frustrating when so much time is spent on a handful of students behavior which takes away form teaching & learning for the others.
Cheri Dodson Smith
We use “caught you being good” slips….our school mascot is the Grizzly, so we call them bear paws…it reinforces positive behavior. I hand them out when I catch good behavior….and when they have 10 they can trade them for a prize. For my kids with more serious behaviors, I target the behavior I want to see…such as sitting quietly during instruction. I have a small card, the size of a raffle ticket, that has a circle on it. I either put a smile, a straight line, or a sad face to indicate to the parent how the child’s day has gone. For a sad face, I jot on the back what the problem was. I have these pre-printed, so at the end of the day, I just jot the face, and send it home. I usually try to set up a home reward system with the parent so that I am not supplying all the prizes! The parents know to look for the little card each day.
Beth Fischer-Wojciechowski
You need to check out kinder gals blog. They have a wonderful behavior system that is animals, not the stop light thing. It is broken down into right on rhino, terrific tiger, look out lion, sad snake, and others. I think there are seven total choices. I am planning on using it next year. She also explains how she uses it and has a weekly chart that the children take home where they color what animal they ended their day on.
Erin Walter Lloyd
Try www.classdojo.com.  It is an amazing and FREE discipline website!  I love it, and so does my class! I even have it on my iPhone, so the “dojo” goes with us all over the school! At the end of the day, you can email student reports directly to parents! It’s a great visual display, and it is a great positive reinforcement tool!!
Pamela Boulter Patrick
I use a “Drop-A-Clip” chart. A large circle is divided into four sections: blue, green, yellow, red. Each child has a clothespin with their name on it and they start on blue every day. Negative behavior results in their clip being dropped to green, and they lose 2 minutes of recess. Additional infractions get dropped to yellow with a loss of 5 minutes of recess and a note sent home. If the student is spoken to again, they get dropped to red, lose all of recess, and get a phone call home. I have a relatively small class (private school) but I rarely have to drop anyone’s clip. Sometimes all I have to do is stand near the chart and they shape up. Works great!
Lynne Peake Hatchell
I started a new behavior management system about 8 weeks ago and love it! I found it on pinterest at these sites: littlestlearnersand http://sunnydaysinsecondgrade.blogspot.com/2011/07/clip-it-up.html. It has worked great with my kiddos. It is very visual. I send a copied note home if they are at the top of the chart each day. Since I already had a “treasure chest”, I let mine go once they fill up their clip. I will probably start out the year next year without the treasure chest and see how that goes. The treasure chest is just one more thing to keep up with. I have gotten a lot of positive feedback from my parents.
Lyndsey Lykes Gates
We use the color change where they start on green and when they make inappropriate choices they get a color change and we send a slip home with them if they get a color change that explains the behavior. There are consequences like walking at recess or calling home to tell parents about their behavior and eventually detention… which I have had to do twice this year : ( To reinforce good behavior I carry stickers with me EVERYWHERE)  and when they are following expectations, are trying really hard, being nice or helpful, using manners or other positive behaviors they get a sticker on a piece of paper that is seasonal cutouts or those cute notepads from teacher stores. When they get 10 they get out of the treasure box. They are responsible for counting their stickers and we only turn them in at the end of the day. It is amazing the motivation of a sticker!! I am adjusting the color change system so that my kinders can move up the chart too and earn extra stickers!
Sarah Hudson
I use the stop light colors and record each child’s color on a chart at the end of the day. Whenever a child reaches 8 greens, he/she gets to pick a prize from the box. It’s great because it ends up being staggered, if a child is absent or gets on yellow or red, it takes him/her longer to get 8 greens, although they don’t have to start over. So after a while you end up with a few kids each day reaching their 8th green, and getting a prize, and it’s nice to cheer for them, with the others knowing how many more greens they each need. It also helps with math because they know how many more they need to reach 8! I only send home a little card with the color on it for yellow or red, and the parents have to sign it, and a few other parents who request the actual card daily even if it’s green.
Amy Hefton Mielechowsky
I use a calendar in the take home folder. Our school rules are numbered. I copy that and put it in the folder too. They get a number in the block for the day if they break that # rule. Prizes are not individual. We decide on a group prize and earn it together. If everyone is quiet in the hall they earn a point on the prize poster. When we fill the poster we have the prize. They can earn points if everyone has a good calendar day, if everyone is quiet for a story or during classwork time…etc…
Heidi Cox
I also make a calendar and staple in their take home folder. I call it their “Behavior and Responsibility” folder. If the child “behaves” and remembers to turn in things such as homework, library books, etc, then I stamp a happy face for the day. If the child misbehaves, I stamp a sad face and write the reason in the day’s box. If the child behaves but forgets to turn in homework or library book or whatever else is due then I don’t give a happy or sad face but I write in the box for the day, “Library book not returned” or whatever else was not turned in on time (When parents see this, the child always will turn it in the next day). On Friday, students who earned 5 happy faces for the week get a trip to the treasure box. I used to do the green, yellow, red color change charts and that never seemed to work for me. This happy and sad face system is easily understood by the students and parents and has worked wonders in my classroom!
Jenifer Richards Orthmann
 The prizes don’t have to be things. We use earning lunch together, computer time, or special reading buddy time.
Susie Stoutenburg
I have thought about using the punchcards yet this year as my class is very talkative. I wondered if there were too many punches for Kindergarten. Will it lose its effectivness if it takes too long to earn a prize?
Kylea Scott
We use a ladder system at our school and students can go up the ladder for positive or down the ladder for negative. I then send home daily a sheet that shows where they ended their day on the ladder with a comment section to write if they went down…Not sure this makes sense but it really works well in our classrooms. I am the only one who sends home a daily report but my parents have LOVED that communication!
Dana Pawlak
I used a Behavior Bucks program. At the beginning of the year we make a social contract that we hang in the room. I write all the student’s suggestions about how to behave in the classroom around a border of a poster that really summarizes the ideas of respecting yourself, respecting others and respecting our environment. Then the students create a wallet they keep in their cubbies for the rest of the year. Every day a student has a chance to earn a Behavior Buck. They save up to 10 to earn a “prize”. They “purchase” the prize from the prize box, or a lunch with the teacher, etc. This teaches organization, counting and responsibility. I have a premade form with our student suggestions from our social contract on pink paper. If a student did not earn a behavior buck that day, I simply check which area they had trouble with and they need to discuss it at home with their parents. There is a “homework” section on the bottom that the student and parent fill in with suggestions on how to improve the behavior as well as a parent signature.
I personally prefer the ones where they are not displayed out in the open. I love the idea of a calendar in a folder! Thanks for the idea. I have found that the ones like the stop lights out in the open promote a lot of tattling, whether to a teacher or to parents at the end of the day, “So-in-so was on RED again today”. While the visuals may help a student who needs them, they also promote visuals for the rest of the students as to who is the “bad” student who moves often.
Karen Burkel-Spaventa
I agree with Erin. Classdojo.com is great. I use to have the daily charts for all 30 kids and it was very time consuming. I started using Classdojo a few months ago. The kids love it! You can tailor it to your class by adding any behaviors, positive or negative. Then you can set up some type of prize system, based on how many positive points they accumulate.
Margaret Johnson
Ladder this year. Bottom is red, up is orange  yellow  lime  dark green  blue  purple. Notes home for top or bottom. Red is detailed. Purple says I deserve an extra hug. Calendar square stamp means I looked at it. We write yellow note on square so they know to look, sign,& return. Really good can go off chart to teacher shirt or head. They love it. You get to wear a purple necklace til we leave when you are purple. Special offers of lunch & movie in room if blue or better x out of y days. Covered yard sticks with colored duct tape. Next year will add jewels or decor to clips for milestones. Love the portability. Kids love mo img clip.  Moving clips back to lime for new day. I keep a chart to track, too.
Terrie Taylor Jordan
Class DoJo is the coolest thing ever! Google it. It is FREE. Since I started using it a few months agao, No behavior problems! Now you can even email reports home to the family as often as needed. I do it every Friday afternoon unless I need to notify a parent of a specific problem. I keep DoJo up on my Smartboard all day. Check it out.
 I use Class DOJO in conjunction with PBIS. I personally think all this color changing stuff, daily record keeping, keeping track of who gets prizes and who doesn’t is CRAZY! My Montessori training taught me that “children can and will do the right thing because it is the right thing to do”. I do not bribe my kids to behave. The DOJO points do convert to PBIS tickets (because PBIS is a mandatory school wide plan) and the students do get to spend the tickets at the PBIS store, but even if they didn’t earn a prize, kids will still behave if they are positively MOTIVATED and that does not necessarily mean extrinsic rewards. We really needs our students to be intrinsically motivated–even little ones.
Debbie Kramer 
What ever happened to expecting students to be their best all day, every day? I think we do more harm than good with behavior charts and daily reports. The ‘good kids’ will be good and the ‘bad kids’ don’t have the maturity or skills to change without specific interventions. My son was so stressed out in Elementary school because kids were always ‘turning cards’ . He was well behaved but felt the pain of those around him. I have ‘caught doing good’ slips and class prizes such as a trip to the park. I make a contract for a student if he/she can’t follow class rules. There are 3 goals: use kind words, follow directions, keep a good attitude. Students get a star for each area at the end of the day if they were successful. Positive reinforcement is the best, and it is free!
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