Classroom management. What a whirlwind! So many opinions and options out there...how do you know which one works best for you in your unique classroom?
I have gone through several years using 3 different types of classroom management tools, sticking by each through thick and thin to see which tool was the best for my students. I know each teacher is different in their personality and teaching style, so what works best for me might not work best for you! I have created a quiz with these 3 tools in mind so you can figure out which one of these tools would work best for you and your classroom. Click below to take the quiz! Below the quiz I will also put my 3 tools that I've used in my classroom so you can read up on my experiences with them.
SPOILERS AHEAD! Make sure you take the quiz before scrolling!
Well, which one did you get?! Are you surprised? Let me touch on each of these tools below:
This is the very first tool that I used in my classroom. Actually, we were mandated to have them in our classroom (I know, right?!) I know some teachers swear by these and absolutely love them, and if that is the case, I'm happy for you!! I had this classic clip chart for 2 years. However, in my experience, it hindered more than it helped.
I found that the students in my classroom that were my "rougher students" always ended up on a "bad color" and honestly they didn't care. Their parents were used to it, the kid took their bad color, and continued the behavior that they got in trouble for in the first place.
Although there were lots of "good levels" for the students to get on, the kids were OBSESSED with getting to the top. Instead of keeping the positive classroom community and celebrating each other's successes, students were only worried about their own success. They would constantly be tattling on themselves, trying to "clip up" to the top. It was exhausting.
I also hated having to have the kids "color" their calendar in at the end of every day. This was such a waste of time and I don't think the parents really cared about the color when the kids got home from school.
With all of that said though, other teachers may have better luck with the clip chart method! If you like the Disney themed one that I made, you can check that out here on TPT!
So, after ditching the classic clip chart, I went to something that was similar, but was ALL positive. Introducing the Positive Behavior Chip Chart!
I actually enjoyed this clip chart in my room and had it for 2 years with my students. I found that the students in my classroom, even my "rougher students" worked hard to get on the positive clip chart. Of course I still had moments when the kids made bad choices and they got consequences for those actions, but it was not plastered on the clip chart.
You may be wondering how this clip chart works. My kids earn their way on to the chart by performing one of the character traits on our chart noticed by me or another student. They could move to other character traits if they displayed more positive behavior, but they would still only have one clip. This helps to keep the focus on positive behavior, but not "showing off" our behaviors just to "clip up". The atmosphere in my room is much happier and helps us to be a community of learners!
Students all start the day off of the clip chart (which helps me to see which students throughout the day haven't made it on the chart) and then earn their way to clip on. At the end of the day, the student's clips are then taken off the chart in preparation for the next day.
I didn't really track this with parents, although it would be easy to print a tracking chart and have the kids check mark which traits they displayed throughout the day.
With all of that said though, I liked this much better than the original clip chart method! If you like the Positive Clip Chart that I made, you can check that out here on TPT!
Behavior points!! This is my absolute favorite classroom management tool. I tried it 3 years ago and have not looked back. I have seen so much progress with this tool and love that it can connect with my Bloomz account for my classroom so my students can get "avatar" that their points grow.
I found that the students in my classroom, even my "rougher students" worked hard to get a high five point. Of course I still had moments when the kids made bad choices and they got consequences for those actions, but it was not anywhere that the other student could see.
You may be wondering how this whole point system works. Well, it's completely tailored to your needs and wants. For my room, I give a goal for my students. Their goal is to get to 25 points, where they then turn in those points for a trip to the "reinforcement board". There are various experiences they can choose from (non of which cost me money!) like no shoes pass or eat lunch with the teacher. My kids' points then go back to 0 and they start earning their high fives to get to 25 again. The atmosphere in my room is much happier and helps us focus on positive behaviors!
One of the best things about this system is that since it's tied in with my Bloomz account (which can also be tied with Class Dojo), my parents get notified of the daily behaviors. I don't even do a thing! Bloomz takes care of this automatically and the parents choose if they want to be notified via text, email, or in the app. It's fantastic!!
Well, what about those kids that make bad decisions? The best thing about this is that everything is customizable. Personally, I don't like taking away points once they have earned them but I do want my parents to know what's happening in the classroom. That's why I give "zero points". This does not affect their point value but it does give a report on what the child did during the day that was a bad decision. Parent notified, behavior documented, and positive points not affected!
Of course you can use this system without having to use Bloomz or Class Dojo (although I think that's what really helps kids buy into the whole thing). I have included links to my "high five" system if you are interested!
I've put all of the pieces into a bundle here, but the bundle includes these things (which are :
1. A High Five introduction letter for parents. This letter is editable so you can change any information to suit your specific classroom.
2. High Five Point Tracker (4 mini sheets on one sheet of paper). I actually don't use these because mine are all virtual points on Bloomz. These would be for those teachers that like to track things on paper. This document is editable if you want to change the categories!
3. High Five Certificates (which are editable to match your needs). I give these out when my students reach the goal of 25 high five points and are able to go to my "reinforcement board".
4. Reinforcement Board Cards (these are editable if you want to add or change any!) I use these when the students get to 25 points. I also change out the choices to keep things fresh!
If you want any of these from TPT, you can click on picture of the product to follow the link.
Again, I will never do anything else besides this classroom management tool. If you like the High Five system that I made, you can check that out the bundle here on TPT!
Whatever you choose, good luck to you! Remember, no one can tell you how to run your classroom - only YOU know what's best for your students :)