Sunday, July 29, 2012

Behavior Management

Kristin from A Teeny Tiny Teacher was gutsy enough to post about her behavior management system, that is NOT a clip chart.  I too was thinking that I must be the only teacher out there NOT using a clip chart to manage my kidlets behavior, she inspired me to take the risk and share what my kindergarten team uses to manage those little sweeties we teach.

Our system (and I say our because my entire kinder team uses the same system) is very similar to Kristin's gold tags.

The Setup:
We use blue sticks and red sticks.  Now blue and red sticks are simply cut from blue and red cardstock.  They are placed in pocket charts, I purchased 2 of THESE (because I have 2 kinder classes)
Pacon 20360 Behavioral Pocket Chart
Now you do not need or use the cards, so use those for something else, flash cards, game cards, etc. 

 I also thought the header was a little retro so I made this to top my pocket charts:
Each of my classes has a different color, my AM class is yellow and my PM class is green.  I of course backed the labels on yellow/green to clearly differentiate the classes and laminated them to sit in the top pockets of my pocket charts.

Then I use labels to put each kiddos name on a pocket.  

Cut out a TON of BLUE cardstock sticks (skinny little rectangles)  and a few  RED cardstock sticks.  If this overwhelms you to do free hand I have made a template for you here.  Just copy onto red or blue paper and cut.

You are set and ready to GO!  

Now onto implementation:

Earning Blue Sticks:  When kiddos are following rules, listening, helping, etc. etc. etc. I pass out blue sticks!  At the beginning of the year, just before Christmas, after a long break, etc. I pass out TONS and TONS of blue sticks, anything to keep them motivated and remember expectations.  

When someone earns 5 blue sticks they trade them in for a prize from the prize box.  How do I keep up with prizes you ask??  I ask for donations.  Parents donate items from the dollar store, old kids meal toys, stickers, etc.  I ask people from my church to donate old small toys to my prize box, I raid my own kiddos toys and instead of donating them to Goodwill, they go in my prize box.  I rarely have to purchase prizes.  The kids are super excited for a silly little prize, they don't have to be amazing things.

My kids LOVE to earn blue sticks.  Once the blue sticks start coming out they pay attention!  As far as interrupting teaching time, if we are at the rug, or in small groups they just hold onto their little sticks until a transition time.  They cannot choose prizes during direct instruction, they have to wait until we are moving to our seats, etc. easy peasy!  

Want to make blue sticks even more effective?  Insert bell.  
If the class is getting a little noisy, or chaotic, (it happens... often) I ring the bell.  In years past the bell ringing was to remind the class of expectations and notifty them that they are NOT on task.  Now instead of reprimanding the offenders, "blah blah blah, quiet voices, blah blah blah, walking feet, blah blah blah, this is not recess..." I choose one lucky boy or girl to give a blue stick to.  They learn VERY quickly that when that bell rings someone is getting a blue stick, and they are silent... wishing and hoping that I am about to say their name... all attention is on me... I do love that.  

Now that blue sticks are understood, let's chat about red sticks.

I HATE HATE HATE taking away something a child has earned, hate.  So I just cannot in good conscience take away their hard earned blue sticks... CANNOT.  It breaks my heart.  However we all know that kids at times need to be reprimanded, they need a consequence, they {{gasp}} break the rules!  When this happens you HAVE to have something in place... solution: red sticks.

I use red sticks for those times when a consequence is needed.  I start with a verbal warning.  After a warning the next step is a red stick (and if needed a removal from the current activity, some might call it a time out).  This usually corrects misbehavior.  However I am a believer in second chances, repentance if you will, hahaha.  So if my offending kidlet is trying his darndest and I know he feels super sorry, he can EARN BACK that red stick!  Since my kidlets are only here for half a day (2 sessions of K remember) I rarely have a student earn more than one red stick in a day.  I have had years however when one 'special' little dear earns multiple red sticks in a day... every day!  In that case we set up a special system... 3 red sticks then a time out in the office, upon return you start over... you get the idea.

If a child earns a red stick and it is NOT earned back they go home with a red note.  This lets mom/dad know that we had an issue today.  Both student and parent have to sign the note and send it back the next day.  If they don't then the next day the kiddo has to call from school to tell mom/dad that they got a red stick yesterday, why, and that today will be a better day (this just ensures a little responsibility for behavior). I have the kiddo make the call and talk to mom/dad, if mom/dad want to talk with me after that is fine but I do tell them that I am in the middle of class and cannot explain specifics with other kidlets in the room, we can talk more in depth later if they would like.  Click HERE for a copy of my red stick note.

I keep track of red sticks in my log book: (click the image below to see the log book pages)

I have to say I have loved this system.  I am sure that it wouldn't work for some but thanks to Kristin I was gutsy enough to share an alternative to clip charts... thanks for reading.

On an unrelated note I am having some serious issues with my "follow me" section on my sidebar... well with EVRYONE's following sections.  They are not showing up for me AT ALL ANYWHERE!  This function has not worked for me since Friday, is anyone else having this problem???  I have tried everything I can think of to fix it.  If you have ideas/suggestions I would love to hear them!



  1. I don't use a clip chart either and I just blogged about it on Thursday. I like what you do! We also have our own way of doing things and it is so refreshing to see that the clip chart isn't the only way to go.

    Kindergarten Schmindergarten

  2. Hi Mindy! I have been wracking my brain all summer for a new behavior system for my kindergarteners. I have tried several including the clip chart, the golden tickets, etc...but your plan is a perfect fit for my classroom! I am SO happy I found your post on this. I love the way you do it and plan to implement it the same way this year. THANK YOU!

    The Teacher and the Frog

  3. I do something similar to this but my question is, once a red stick is earned what is the consequence beyond a note? I teach all day so I know it is different - but if you have an especially squirrelly student who earns multiple red sticks in a day - what is their consequence? Have you ever run into that? DESPERATE for some management solutions!


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