It can be hard to navigate how to implement a behavior chart system within your classroom simply because there are so many options out there which can be hard to make behavior charts successful. Not only are there many options, but there are voices on social media, other places on the internet, and maybe even in your own school giving you their opinion on what to do and what not to do when it comes to behavior charts.
I am hoping this helps you with a system that will work for you in your classroom and for your student.
Know Your Students
First things first… the first key to making ANY behavior chart successful is to know your students. It can be easy to look on Pinterest or Instagram and see some amazing and cute options that would look adorable in your classroom. Before you take the leap, think about if it will work for YOUR students. Do your students need a visual reminder? Or do you have some students that would get anxious seeing their name up on the wall no matter what color they are on?
Consider talking the chart off the wall
In some cases, it can be really hard for some students to see their name on the board in a negative way. This can especially be true for those that are constantly struggling with making better choices throughout the day. Sometimes we might not realize that we are just adding the problem by stacking on one more element of stress to our students. Try taking down the chart and seeing how it does! Look beyond the idea that behavior charts are only something that go on a wall.
With that said, please do not take away the ability for students to be held accountable for their actions. We will get to that in a bit!
Make sure you are documenting behaviors. I cannot stress this enough. This can be incredibly helpful if any proof or data is needed within a meeting. Not only can this protect you, but it can also really help a child who might need more help outside of your classroom.
TIP: Save yourself some time by having your chart AND documentation all in one place.
Hold students accountable for their actions
Sometimes our students might just be having an off day, or sometimes it can be a particular social skill that a child is learning to master. Whatever the situation may be, our students need to be held accountable. Plan a part of the day where this can happen – but I urge you to please consider NOT taking away recess. For example, in my class, students had to take a certain time away from our afternoon learning centers. These were our “play” centers that usually had computers, building station, games, etc.
Try to understand the students’ actions
During the time the student was sitting out, we would have a legitimate conversation about the day. This was never an instance where I was talking down to a child for their behavior but this was the time to understand why they did it and then we would discuss why it may have been the wrong choice at the time. When the situation is calmer, you will have a much higher chance of a student really opening up about their feelings and thought process. This can be such an important teaching opportunity!
Have students take ownership
After a conversation is had, your student can take ownership of his/her actions and have a better understanding of why it was wrong. They will also have a better understanding of what some more positive choices could have been.
Behavior Chart Success!!!
These were created to encompass most of these tips into one spot. In the classroom I was struggling with jotting everything down in my spiral notebooks each day. Mostly because this was a MESS when I had a conference and had to search through my mess of notes to find what I needed.
I was also tired of filling out daily behavior sheets that we were required to have for student portfolios. That is when I came up with these!!! Instead of making weekly copies like I was doing, I opted for monthly. This is where everything was kept and at the end of the month they went straight to portfolios. This is also was so much easier to grab and review during conferences.
Make your behavior chart successful by trying this type of system. Try it yourself for free!
If you would like more insights and help with classroom management, make sure to check out this blog post. It is all about my complete classroom management guidebook!