I am trying a new behavior plan this year. In the past I have done the "turn your card" thing and the "move your clip" thing and both of them generally worked. However, I was just never quite happy with them. I felt like the kids who ended up on 'red'.....were always on 'red'......and I hated sending them home with a behavior calendar full of red marks each and every day. For some reason I kept thinking how discouraging it must be to go home each day with a big red mark in your folder. I know they earned that red mark fair and square....but still....something about that system just didn't work for me. Who knows?! I may end up going back to something similar.....but for now I've settled on a behavior plan that I think is going to work well for me.
I actually combined a couple different ideas to make my behavior system this year. When I read about gold tags from A Teeny Tiny Teacher I knew I had found something to try!! I LOVED her idea. I loved that she didn't use a clip chart. I loved that her kids could earn and lose gold tags. I loved everything about it. So off I went to make gold tags.
Instead of using library pockets, I bought a pre-made pocket chart. Since the pockets were already yellow, I wanted my ''tags'' to be a different color....because obviously yellow tickets in a yellow pocket would totally clash. So I went with green. And I started calling them tickets instead of tags. But it's still the same overall idea.
My kids can earn and lose green tickets all day long. Make a good choice....earn a green ticket. Make a bad choice....lose a green ticket. Make a really bad choice....(gasp!) you might lose more than one. Some earn more than others and some lose more than others. It's the way of the world. They've caught on pretty quick to this system.
So why do my kids care about green tickets? What's the motivator that's driving them to want a laminated piece of copy paper? Well that's the next part of my behavior system and I got this idea from Christie at First Grade Fever. She created a super fantastic way to reward students for good behavior WITHOUT using a treasure box. Yippee!!!! Her freebie (yes it's FREE!) is called the Best Behavior Prize Book and it works like magic.
I explained to my kiddos that each Friday we would all count our tickets. Anyone who has 10 tickets on Friday will get to pick a prize from the prize book. The prizes are things like eating lunch with the teacher, swapping seats with a friend, bringing something from home to share.........Honestly I was not sure my kiddos would go for the paper prizes in a binder. But after I went over each prize they could earn.....and I saw the excitement on their little faces....I knew I had found a winner.
The ticket counting time has now been nicknamed "Ticket Tally Time" and we had our first one on Friday. I am teaching my kids to lay their tickets out like tally marks to count them....(another superb idea from A Teeny Tiny Teacher).
After counting tickets, I asked each student how many tickets they had. I wrote their total on a "ticket tally sheet" and sent them to their desk to write their name on it. Eventually the students will be responsible for writing their total number of tickets themselves.....but since it's the first week of school I still have several that cannot write a single number. We'll get there.
If they had 10 tickets they got to pick a prize from the prize book.
If they did not have 10 tickets, they put their tickets back into the pocket chart so they could keep trying next week. I really, really, really like the fact that this system doesn't mean that the behaviorally challenged child will NEVER get a prize. It just means that it might take that child a longer time to get it.
I had some sad faces after our first ticket tally time. I also had a few happy faces. It gave me an opportunity to talk to some sad faces and give them some pointers about ways to earn more tickets (and ways not to lose three at one time LOL).
Overall I think this system will work well for me. The only problem I can see at this point is finding the time to do the whole "ticket tally time" thing. It took quite a few minutes for everyone to count their tickets, write their name, and return their extra tickets to the pocket chart. I am hopeful that after a few times of doing this, it will get easier and faster for us. I'll let you know!