Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Behavior Management

Over the past few weeks, my subbing has picked up. Each classroom is vastly different which was surprising to me (but probably shouldn't have been) The schools are even more different. When entering a new school or classroom, I'm given the chance to see how each teacher works. Their behavior plans, their rewards/consequences, and their classroom set up. You can also tell a lot about the teachers by the way their kids act when they aren't there. Here is one thing I've observed this Winter.

One really interesting thing I have observed has been behavior plans. At one of the schools I have subbed at several times, many of the teachers us a clip board for their behavior chart. The chart has each child's name listed and columns for each day of the week. Each of the five days are separated into 5 smaller columns (Warning, Lonely Lunch, No Recess, Note home, Office). If a child misbehaves, the teacher marks in a box by the child's name. This is also coded by which rule has been broken. There are 5 school rules (be respectful, be responsible, be safe, be cooperative, be peaceful.) From what the kids have told me they earn weekly points and loose a point each time a mark is put by their name. I haven't quite figured this part of the system out since I'm normally only in their classroom one day.

What I like about this system: At the end of a crazy day, you are able to remember what the student has done, and why you are writing a note home. You are able to identify patterns. If used correctly. There aren't lots of verbal reminders and you mark by there name after the first warning.

What I don't like about the system: The students constantly ask if they have lost any points. Because the teacher is in control of clip board, the kids don't always know if she is or isn't taking points. When a student has to get up to "flip a card", "change a color" or even right their name on the board they have to, at least temporarily, stop the behavior and move across the room. With the clip board system nothing is stopping the student from continuing the behavior. Even when you tell them "I'm taking a point because you are not being peaceful when you talk during independent reading" seconds later most of the children are continuing their conversations.

By observing these behavior management systems for a few days, I am able to see what I like and don't like and I haven't committed to it in my classroom. Hopefully before I have a classroom of my own, I will be able to come up with a system that meets My students, and my needs.

So, how do you manage behavior in your classroom? Does a student's age matter(would your plan be different if you taught K5 or 5th grade)? Do you pull cards? Move names/clothespins/ spoons? Write rules? Write names? Do you manage it all yourselves or do the children take part in it? Tell us how your system works, what you like most and any problems that have occurred.

I hope you have a GREAT WEDNESDAY! I'll be subbing tomorrow and Friday so I'm sure I'll have some more inspiration by the end of the week :)


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