Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Classroom Management Go-to's...and a clip chart Freebie

Seems like everyone's talking about Classroom Management this week!
The Applicious Teacher is who I'm linkin' up with, but I hear-tell there are others using this theme in Pinteresting ways:)
If I had much of a Pinterest board (just starting out...haven't become a full-on Pinsomniac at this point in time), I'd probably be doing double-linking-duty, but such is not yet the case.

So here we go with how I manage behavior in my daily routine.

Like so many of you, I use a clip chart.
Mine is very similar to Abby Mullin's, aka "Babbling Abby", rockstar-guitar themed one, but flipped in colors.
I believe the "downside" of hers ended in pink --- mine ends in "red".
This results in Principal and parent contact + a consequence (missing "Fun Friday" or lunch in the classroom, or possibly both).
Above red is "orange" ('teacher's choice'---typically parent contact, sometimes a consequence also, depending on the behavior).
Above orange is "yellow" (warning).
Above yellow is where everyone starts out the day:
"green" = Ready to Rock & Roll!
Above green is "blue", then "purple", then "pink".
That's right; I have 3 colors above the average.
With me so far?

I mainly use the chart to manage my Daily 5 (literacy block) time.
Students who work "above and beyond" during this time clip up.
We have 3 rotations, and that means they all have 3 opportunities to clip up.
And trust me when I say, I really try to push students to experience that clip-up feeling!
If for any reason, at any time, I have to write your name down during Daily 5, that is a missed opportunity to clip up.
You could be talking excessively (I'm a little forgiving about quiet, minimal talking).
You could be off-task.
You could be roaming the classroom constantly.
You could be sleeping:) --- never has happened, and I pray it never does! Especially on days when my principal decides to observe!!
Whatever the reason (and I take the time to explain/model/practice appropriate/desirable behaviors for several weeks before implementation!), if I have to write your name down you're not clipping up that rotation.
...and if your behavior is so off-task/distracting that I have to add a "checkmark" to your name, you may have to actually clip down (pretty rare, but has happened)!
I keep all these lists in a data notebook that I also use for anecdotal/monitoring notes for small group.

I'm very tough about this at the beginning of the year, and I actually get a little more lenient as the year goes on.
This may seem like backwards-thinking to many of you, but we start to utilize more partner-work/collaboration after Christmas, so the room does get a little "busier":)

There really aren't any other opportunities to clip up the rest of the day.
I REALLY like having it purely for the purpose of running a smooth, quiet Daily 5!
Occasionally, for extreme behaviors, I do have students clip down, even after Daily 5 is over.
For positive reinforcement the rest of the day, I give out gold tags for random/intermittent behaviors.
Which leads me to the next aspect of my management routine...

During pack-up (or often the next morning, because I forgot during end of day chaos), I hand out "Rainbow Rewards" which look like the following:
Orange/Red = turn in 1 gold tag (2 for red)
 Yellow = earn 1 gold tag
Green = earn 2 gold tags
Blue = earn 3 gold tags
Purple = earn 4 gold tags + sign the "Wall of Fame"
Pink = earn 5 gold tags + sign the "Wall of Fame" + get a 'star' on your clip
    ----when you have earned 5 stars on you clip, I wear your clip on my lanyard all day, and you get to take it home that night:)

What are gold tags, you ask?
I will let the Teeny Tiny Teacher explain that, since it's her genius system!
But SPOILER ALERT: My class LOVED it this past year!
Click HERE to read about this take on a token economy.
Last year, I used her Fun Friday system every week.
This year, I'm thinking of moving it to every other week. We'll see what my partner teacher says.

Oh, and speaking of my partner teacher, she has decided that she wants to do an "owl" theme in her room this year, but can't find any decor in the colors she's looking for.
I asked her what colors, and she said berry and mauve with some gold/soft yellow and brown.
So I created a rainbow chart system just for her with owls.
Can you tell I'm trying to sneakily peer-pressure her into the rainbow chart thing?
She currently uses a "traffic light" clip chart, so I did go ahead and make labels for that system, too.
Click HERE for the FREEBIE I'll be giving her, if you also want an owl clip chart:)

The download also comes with a job chart, the way she uses it.
How do you do jobs in your room?
I haven't found a real great system yet...I'll keep pinning, and maybe find a good one for this year.

Later this week, I'll be uploading some literacy block Freebies in the same color scheme she's looking for... kinda hard to make a "rainbow chart" in berries and browns, though.
I love my partner teacher, and want her to have an adorable room she can enjoy this year!
I honestly wouldn't be half the teacher I am without her...she was also one of my mentors when I student-taught...awww:)

Link up with Leigh and tell about your classroom management systems.
I think it's so nice to get some fresh, different perspectives for routines!


  1. I'm going to the clip chart system next year. :) I did class dojo this year and it worked well..but I'm not sure if I'm going to have a smart board, so the clip chart it is! I've heard lots of good things about it and if used right, it works! :)


    1. I'm honestly not sure how to utilize it for an all-day management, but it has definitely worked for my reading block! Good luck with yours!

  2. Hi Amber,
    Love the clip chart freebie! When I click the link, it says I don't have permission to access... :(

    1. I fixed the "shared" setting from private to public so it SHOULD work like a charm, now:) Thanks so much for letting me know! Sorry I forgot to change that initially.

  3. Class Dojo has been great for me, but I didn't really get the opportunity to use it consistently this year. I hope I can really make it work this year! :)

    First Grade Fairytales

  4. Wow...lots of goodies in one post! Thanks for linking up. I love the pool noodle place value!