So on my Instagram a few days ago I saw someone mention on their post Why They Will Never Use a Behavior Chart Again. I really wanted to read their blog post but then I couldn't find the Instagram photo again to see which blog to refer to. Then on Friday a colleague of mine shared this blog post on her Facebook page. I doubt this blog post by Teaching in Progress is the same one that I saw on my Instagram since Nikki's post is back from 2012 but it was still an interesting post to read. And... this topic is something I agree with & can totally relate to.
It's not the best picture but this is what my behaviour chart looked like the first 2 years I taught kindergarten. I had a green monkey face, yellow monkey face & red monkey face (my classroom theme was a jungle theme). Every kindergarten classroom had a green, yellow & red behaviour chart and it was even encouraged by the principals. The principals wanted us to all be on the same page & reinforce the same behaviour management system.
Now that I look back at that behaviour chart I wish I would have taken it down from day one but you live & you learn, right. I even remember being encouraged by the principal to have a child move their behaviour clip (or monkey clip as we called it) from green to yellow if they spoke without raising their hand or got up out of their seat without permission after I had given 1 warning to the student. I now realize that too much focus was being given to the behaviours that were not desired rather than focusing on the behaviours that were desired.
As most of you know if you have been following my blog for a while I made a big move from Mississippi to Canada 2 years ago. When I made my first visits to the school that I now teach at one of my first thoughts were "Where are the behaviour charts & why don't they have any?" Of not all of the classrooms manage their classrooms without a behaviour chart, the majority of them do. The kindergarten classrooms do not have a behaviour chart up in every room like I was used to at my old school. I was super nervous about not using a behaviour chart & even made one in case I needed to add it to the classroom after the first week of school. I found that I didn't need to use a behaviour chart. When I would ask a student to correct their actions they did it for the most part. There was a "time-out" chair in the classroom though we did not call it that. I simply just called it "the chair", but it looked like all the other chairs. It was just by the window instead of at a table. There were a few times that a student needed to go to "the chair" but they were seldom & it was to allow the student to take a break & think about their choices.
No behaviour chart in my classroom this past year = no child went to the behaviour chart crying or screaming because they had to move their clip, no child was so embarrassed from moving their clip that they had a "bad day" all day, no child tried to hide his/her folder from their parents displaying their clip colour (green, yellow or red), and no child ever felt like they were a "bad student".
Now that I will be going from kindergarten to grade 4 I have a new challenge that I face. While I won't be using a behaviour chart of course, I am not sure a "take a break chair" is age appropriate for a grade 4 classroom when a student needs to think about their choices. What do you think?
I remember when I was in grade 4 my teacher would reward positive behaviour by letting us write our name on the back of a ticket. The more tickets you had your name written on meant the more chances you had that she would pull your name from the jar. And... if your name got pulled from the jar then you got to pick a prize from the bin of goodies! We loved it when our name got called. But then I got to thinking... what if I did that & called a student's name who had his/her behaviour corrected a lot through out that day. Do they still get to choose a prize?
So I need your help? What type of behaviour management and reward systems do you use in your classroom & how to they work?