Saturday, August 1, 2015

Classroom Management - Clip Chart - Behavior Calendars

I know so many teachers who use clip charts as part of their classroom management strategies.  Using my clip chart has always been a positive and effective component of my classroom management.  Along with my clip chart, I use "Behavior Calendars" to help communicate and partner with parents as to daily behaviors in our classroom.
My Behavior Calendars go inside of my students' homework folders.  I typically buy their homework folders for them at the beginning of the year at either Walmart or Target.  I like to buy the plastic type ones with the 3 brads on the inside - these are the most durable and last much longer than the paper kind.  I love the brads on the inside because I can do SO much with them and it helps all of the important papers stay put.  I typically buy a bunch of extras at the beginning of the year to replace any that fall apart or get lost throughout the school year.

I copy my calendars at the beginning of the year (if I'm REALLY organized) hole punch them, and then put them in my monthly drawers/folders to stay organized.  I copy some extras just in case!

So how it works is like this - each day, at the end of the day as we are packing up, the students "Color in their day." They glance over at the chart, find the color crayon or pencil they are for that day and color in that day on their calendar. 

There are some exceptions to this though.
---For kids who are green, blue, purple, or pink they usually color in their own days, no problem.  I have had some friends who color in a higher color than what they actually got, so when I catch this, I typically will color their day in for them.

---For kids who are "Above Pink," they'll bring me their calendar at the end of the day and I'll write in pen on that day "ABOVE PINK! WOOOOO!!" with some stars and smiley faces.  Then the kiddo will go and color that day pink over my writing.

---For kids who are yellow, orange, or red, I will ask for any student “below green” to come and see me.  We have a little chat about their day – I ask them why they are on yellow, orange, or red.  Sometimes they don’t remember, but often they do. I sometimes notice that students have had all day to get “creative” about what they thought happened to cause the clip down.  We talk about how to fix their choices for “next time” and I write in pen on that day what happened and then I color over the pen with colored pencil or crayon to know it was colored the right color.  I usually write something very “general” yet relevant such as “not following directions” or “not respecting others.” These things follow our classroom rules so they work well.  If a child has had a really bad day that needs more information, I’ll follow up with an e-mail to his or her parent later that day.  I find chatting with the student at the end of the day is the most beneficial part of this plan.  It helps the student and I to be on the same page as to what the behavior was, what the expected behavior is, how to deal with the particular situation in the future, etc.  The chat also helps us to build a partnership while the child builds responsibility for their actions.

Here's a sample :) Each calendar has the color codes listed so parents can see quickly what is what.

-Each night, the parents are supposed to check the calendar and initial that day’s box to let me know they have seen the color for that particular day.  The next morning, as part of my morning routines, I ask the students to raise their hands to see who had their “signature” from the night before.  If a whole table team has their signatures, I give them a team/table point.

I tie this into my class economy system as well.  I use “class cash” to pay students for various things in the classroom (their class jobs, team/table points, etc.).  At the end of each week or month, I pay the students for their behaviors – I typically give $5 for a green day, $10 for blue, $20 for purple, $50 pink, and $100 for above pink.  For yellow, students would owe me $10, orange $20, and red $50.  You can use whatever increments fit best in your classroom economy if you go this route!

I hand out new calendars the first school day of each month.  Some years I collect the finished calendars from the students for any reason I might need to reference them.  I'll store them in my filing cabinet and refer back to them if I have a parent conference coming up where I want to comment on the growth the child has made in their behavior choices (I typically know this growth WITHOUT needing the calendar of course), or if I have any kind of student centered meeting or student evaluations that might factor in their behaviors. 

I also hand out extra calendars to students who go to our Resource class.  At the end of each day, I meet with them and write on their second calendar what they did in their resource class to be able to communicate this quickly and easily to parents. 

This system has worked so well for my students, parents, and I to build a partnership and be on the same page about what is going on in the classroom!! 

Check out the listing on TPT - there are some regular holidays that are "grayed out" with "No School" written in the box as well.  If you have a Clip Chart but maybe your colors say different things, please let me know and I can update these phrases and send it your way!  If any of the holidays are not correct for your school schedule, let me know that as well! I will be updating this product for the coming school years so once you buy it now, you'll get it each year :)

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