When a Clip Chart Isn’t the Answer

Clip Chart

The Question:

I need some advice. I need an alternative to the clip system that still allows parents to know how student behavior is daily. 
I’ve used the clip system and a flip chart in the past, but when certain students get their clip moved or card flipped it causes major meltdowns.

The Answers:

I’m going to do class dojo this year.
Class dojo is great. I’m going away from the clips too, because it just can cause more problems.
That’s why I like the clip chart where they can move up for good behaviors. I use moving up much more than down. I try to catch those kids doing good things early. Even with kids who move down, if they start to pout or melt down, I remind them they can move back up as soon as they make better choices. I also reset all the kids under green back to green after recesses.
So on Dojo do you give parents access? Does it send them something or do they just have to check it daily on their own? I downloaded it but haven’t had a chance to play with it yet.
I got rid of clips about 3 years ago. Now it is all positive based to earn “treasure sticks”. The kiddos can trade in for in class prizes-sitting by a friend, bringing in a stuffed animal, no shoes in the classroom, etc. Most kiddos don’t need the clips, so behavior charts with tokens for those that need it. We make goals to follow each day and they can lose a token for not working toward the goals. Chart sent home and parents can know how things are going.
Lisa Marie
I use a half sheet if paper with smiley face, straight face, or frown…it’s visual, I have students tell me where they think they are on the chart. I have a space for notes if needed and a signature line for parents (they sign and return, so I know they’ve seen it). Not all kids use it; also, there are times, so the day is broken up and students can evaluate their behavior throughout the whole day. It works and is private (unless they choose to show their friends). Forgot to mention, it’s quick, just hi-light the face.
Class dojo. you can opt to only show positive points to the whole class but when parents login they can see both positive and negative and you can leave comments.
I used class dojo last year. I loved it! It sends an email to parents every Friday.
Miss Night’s Marbles
What perfect timing – I’ve just started a series of blog posts about how to manage and communicate children’s behavior without using a chart system. It will include a post about parent communication. The introductory post is below, and you can follow along by liking my Facbook page.  I’d also be happy to share each post here, as they are completed!
I’m required to use a school-wide clip program. However, the children can move back up.
I used class dojo for whole class behavior. Everyone got points together. But for individual behavior, a few years ago, I moved away from a point system. I have the kids take a break (move away from the group) and model/teach that taking a break is not getting in trouble. It’s taking time to calm down and then rejoining the group. Melt downs happen much less often. Personally, I don’t like the clip systems because it’s always the same kids moving down (even if they can move back up) and everyone knows who the “bad” kids are. Teachers talk so much about avoiding public shaming but continue to use a point/clip system for everyone to see. Try to avoid it if you can.
Oh, one more idea….work on a compliment goal….a paper chain that starts at the ceiling. Everytime the class gets a compliment (from another teacher who sees a quiet line in the hall, the gym teacher said they showed great teamwork, etc) a link gets added. When they chain hits the floor, they get a party.
Try the super improver team technique from whole brain teaching. ..focus solely on improvement and not ability! It works!
The problem with point systems, such as class dojo, the students who have difficulty will continue to have difficulty. Those students will continue to sabotage themselves over and over again. It does not teach them how to manage their challenging behaviors. Approaches like Nurtured Heart are proactive approaches to recognizing each child’s individual greatness. Also look at Alfie Kohn as well as Rafe Esquith’s positive reinforcement. No one behavior system is going to work for the whole class. Trick is to find something that works for you and fine tune it so that all children have opportunities to learn, feel safe, and be successful! Good luck!!
 We do “Great Day Awards”. Anytime we see them following the rules or doing a good deed the get a “Great Day”. We have a chart on the board with everyone’s name. At the end of the week they can cash in their Great Days or save them for something big!!!  All positive management!
Dojo points! They are on the computer or iPhone and parents see how their child is doing!
 I don’t use a “system” per se. I focus on hard-work, kindness, and a positive attitude. I follow Love and Logic and often let things play out naturally. The way I see it, it’s no one’s business how a child in my class is behaving (clip charts allow any volunteer etc. to see who the” naughty”kid is). I do my best to “catch them being good”. A class that needs extra support sometimes prompts me to create a kindness wreath, a board with kindness slips of things I’ve noticed particular children doing, etc. My focus is on what each child is doing correctly and how it benefits the class as a whole. Works wonders with children of all backgrounds. My hope is that by showing them what TO do, they will learn to modify their actions based on social norms and natural consequences vs. a prize or punishment that won’t be there after they leave my classroom.
Take a look into Whole Brain Teaching and The Daily Five.  I am worn out on the moving clip / card stuff It was the BIGGEST part of our day. I am going in a different direction.
Class dojo!
The problem that I have personally experienced with class dojo is those kids who never break rules are always following at 100 percent…then her teacher quit after about 6 weeks…what about kids that will always be at the top of the chart…they quickly lose interest in performing better at all…EVERYONE has room to improve! !!
 Matt Gomez – a K teacher from Texas, has written a number of posts on why he doesn’t use behavior charts on his Facebook page and blog:
Teacher resources, tech integration, humor and sometimes inspiration from the mind of a Kindergarten teacher! Join the fun – Matt Gomez.
Class Dojo is also a behavior chart – simply in an updated,techie form. Don’t do it.  Relationships and explicit teaching of routines and procedures with ongoing revisiting of expectations is the way to onside classroom behavior.
Try class dojo app
I like the idea of Whole Brain Teaching, but I’ve used colors or some sort of behavior chart for so long it is hard to get away from that.
I don’t use class wide systems other than marble rewards in the beginning for each table to help develop good habits. They are so time consuming and don’t work for the kids who really need them. For those few kids that struggle with behavior I try lots of different strategies depending on their behavior and needs.
I use the clip chart but leave off the bottom portion. Kids in my room know that if they have behavior issues, I’m going to talk to their parents and that’s that.
Conscious Discipline videos about using concrete representations of good behaviors and deeds, not bad ones.
 I like using class dojo, but not using it to mark the negatives. I only add five positives ( ex I listen and follow directions the first time). Then when I see learners listening and following directions I can select one, multiple or all and give them a point. I do make sure every child, every day, is recognized in positive ways so they all get points.
I love this blog post. She also has other posts that offer alternatives.
I love using class dojo.

One thought on “When a Clip Chart Isn’t the Answer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s