I have just started year twelve of my teaching career. I can tell you that managing behaviors never really gets easier but it does help to have a good plan in place. It is also ok and even advised, to change your original plan if you find it isn’t working for your group of students.
At my school, we are required to use a behavior clip chart. I can be honest with you and tell you that I’m not a fan of the clip chart and I’ll tell you why. Many of my students with behavior issues are seeking attention. They do not care if you give them negative attention (clip down) or positive attention (clip up) and they often realize that it’s easier, and faster, to clip down then to clip up! If they clip down and continue to clip down, they are getting a lot of attention from you! It’s just what they want.
How can you work that attention seeking behavior to your advantage? The goal is to help all of your students behave so that they are actively engaged in the lesson or activity and that no students are distracting others from learning.
This year, I’m using Behavior Punch Cards along with a digital prize wheel to reward positive behaviors. I have this tied to my required clip chart, however, my system focuses on the positive aspects of the clip chart. My students get a “punch” on their card every time they end the day on “green” and get extra punches when they clip up. I have created this fun set of Behavior Punch Cards in my Teachers Pay Teachers store but you can use any form you like!
During the first week of school, my students brainstormed rewards they would love to work for and we created a list. From that list, I took the most reasonable ones (I eliminated rewards such as field trips and extra recess, that I cannot fit into our schedule. I also did not include expensive rewards such as a pizza party). Our wheel includes: Lunch Bunch (they can bring two classmates with them for a movie and lunch in the classroom), the Teacher’s Chair (a favorite), Move Your Seat for the Day, and Lead a Class Game (great for our Morning Meeting activity).
I used this rewards list to create a prize wheel. I found this website: https://wheeldecide.com/ where you can modify a digital wheel to add any choices you like! You can also name your wheel. I bookmarked the link to the wheel I created to my projector computer and pull it up any time a student wants to cash in their completed punch card. On our classroom BrightLink, the wheel is HUGE and I turn up the volume to get the full sound effect experience. My students LOVE to spin our “Woo Hoo Wheel”. It puts students in front of the entire class to celebrate their good behavior!
We have started the year with a “10 punch” punch card and all of my great students have had a chance to spin the prize wheel multiple times during our first 6 weeks of school and ALL of my students have spun the wheel at least once. EVERY one wants to earn a punch on their punch card. My most challenging friends count up how many more they need to spin the wheel and do work hard to make sure that they end up on green or above by the end of the day. I may increase the number of punches needed later on in the year, but I love how it’s working now – good behavior is being rewarded frequently. It’s not costing me much to load up my treasure box with goodies and all of the other options are FREE!
I love this system because it motivates students to change bad behavior so that they end the day well. It doesn’t matter how far down the clip chart they go throughout the day, but they can make a comeback and get themselves clipped up to end the day on green. I make it a point to clip them up the chart if they are making any effort to improve. My goal is for my challenging students to learn that it is actually easier to do what is right and for them to feel the personal pride that goes along with making good choices.