Thursday, June 19

Diggin' Into Next Year: Behavior Management

Thanks to everyone who has stopped by my blog recently!  I hope you are getting as many ideas from this linky as I am.  There are some awesome teacher bloggers participating!

So, I'm going to be honest...I've been procrastinating on writing this post.  It's hard to think about dealing with behavior when I'm sitting out on my patio drinking a cup of coffee!  Haha!

Before I go into my behavior system, I want to share some background info.  My school specializes (or "departmentalizes") by subject, so I teach all the 1st grade math, while another teacher does reading, and a third one does science and writing.  I see about 60 students a day for math, while my students travel to different classrooms for reading and science/writing.  We all teach phonics to our homeroom.  It can be hard to keep track of everyone's behavior in every class...especially those tricky ones who try and get away with things!  (I'm sure you don't have any kids like that in your class though, right?) ;)  With that said, I really like our current behavior management system because it lets me see how each kid behaved in each classroom.

This picture is from last year...sorry for the cellphone quality!

I don't have a fancy name for it...I call it the "stick system".  I explained it more in detail in this post, but basically, each kid gets a cup (or a library pocket, like I used this year), and they can earn a stick for each section of the day by showing positive behavior.  I like it because it lets me see who had a problem in a certain class, since my kiddos aren't with me all day.

For whole group behavior management, I use a marble jar.  Oh, the mighty marble jar!!  My kids can earn up to 3 marbles in each class, and it usually takes about a month to fill the jar up with 100 marbles (the magic number).  I will sometimes add a few more or take a few out after school, depending on how many the other classes have and when I want the reward to happen.  It always seems to work out that the 3 first grade classes get 100 marbles around the same time (weird, right?).

When we reach 100 marbles, I have the kids submit their ideas for our reward and we vote on it.  You always have those kids who want outlandish things like a "class trip to the water park", but you learn to not call on them choose kids selectively when taking ideas.  Then, as a nerdy math teacher, I make my students organize the votes by making a graph.  The graph is just a simple table in Word, but it works.

Our marble jar is not quite as magical as this one, but it's close.  {Thank you Google Images for this picture!}

Overall, I really like this system and the accountability it can provide.  I will say, though, that it can be hard having so many people involved in the system, as what determines "no stick behavior" may vary a little by classroom.  It's hard for me to deal with hearing something a child did in another class and then still seeing a stick in their cup.  I wanna be like:

I've also had it happen where a kid needs a reminder or two in each room...not enough to lose their stick, but still annoying...and then they still have all their sticks at the end of the day.  So, the system isn't perfect, but I think it's a good one for the situation we have.  I think it would be easier to implement in schools where the kids don't travel.

One more thing before I sign off....First Grade Kate now has a Facebook page!!  I am currently holding a giveaway for a $25 gift certificate to TPT!  (PS- just accidentally typed $245 by'd like that, wouldn't you?)  There's also a Fan Freebie waiting for you.  So, come on over and join the fun! :)

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