Saturday, September 21, 2013

Behavior Plan

When I began the school year with 15 (no joke) students I was rejoicing and thinking to myself how easy this school year is going to be.  15 kids, that is every teachers dream!  WOW, while I am grateful for only having 15 students, I think they are going to give me a run for my money and keep me on my toes!  I love every single one of them, and appreciate their differences.  But this school year will be far from easy! :)

I realized quickly that Whole Brain Teaching in theory sounds great, but is not for me.  I am using bits and pieces of it, but I was feeling more like a drill sergeant most days than a teacher.  I noticed that my students were missing some of the spark I have seen in the past.  I may try again next year, but for now I am going back to my own crazy fun way of doing things.  Since switching back, the aura in my classroom has improved greatly.

A question I frequently get from other teachers and parents is how do you handle behavior in your classroom.  My classroom has three simple rules:
1. Be Responsible
2. Be Respectful
3. Make Good Choices

The way I see it, no matter what a child does it falls into one of those three categories.  I don't really like public displays of misbehavior (clip charts, flipping cards).  It just isn't for me.  I had a second grade teacher who was very public with disciplining children and I was terrified of getting in trouble.  I promised myself I would never do that.  My first 4 years in kindergarten I had a flip chart where students would flip their card for misbehaving, I made it okay with myself because they could also flip to positive colors.  I realized that my students were more worried about what color OTHER students were on than themselves.  This was totally defeating the purpose, and quickly reminded me of second grade.  AAAAAHHHHHH what was I doing!!?!?!? I realized I needed to make a change, quickly.  Last year I was very lucky and had the same students for first grade that I taught in kindergarten.  Essentially I looped with them for one year.  I thought it was the perfect time to make a change, the students knew my expectations.  I loved the change I made last year but was a little nervous that it would not work very well with students who had not already had me for a year.  22 days into the new school year and I still love it!

Basically, the students are responsible for reporting to their parents how their day went.  They rate their day a 3, 2, or a 1 based on their behavior and they write it in their assignment notebook.  We made a rubric together during the first week of school and it is hung in my classroom.

3 - I made good choices and followed the rules ALL day.
2- I made good choices and followed the rules MOST of the Day.
1 - I will work harder tomorrow to make good choices and follow the rules.

Notice there is no zero on my rubric.  I believe that every child can find at least SOMETHING that they did well, even if it was writing their name on all of their papers for the day or lining up quietly one time.

Each student has a behavior punch card that they are responsible for.  If I agree with the number they put in their assignment notebook I initial it and punch their card with my super special star hole punch.
The students get 2 punches for a 3, 1 punch for a 2 and 0 punches for a 1.  When they get their behavior card filled up, they get to pick out of my prize binder.  All of the prizes in my binder are FREE!  They don't cost me a penny!  Some of the prizes include:
1.  Stinky Feet Day (take off your shoes and relax while we are in our classroom)
2.  Line Swap (swap line spots with anyone but the leader)
3.  Bodacious Book (bring in a book for me to read aloud during snack)
4. Show and Tell
5. Zoo Day (bring a stuffed animal to school)
6. Wear a Hat in the classroom

I got this idea from a fabulous first grade blog (First Grade Fever) and adapted it fit my needs.  She already has the catalog and reward cards made for you. The best part is, they are FREE!!! Click HERE!

Click HERE for a copy of my Zebra behavior punch cards.  The zebra clip art is from Scrappin Doodles. 

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