Friday, July 18, 2014

Back to School Linky: Behavior Management

This is my first "linky" experience and I think it's going to be a lot of fun! I'm linking up with Mrs. D's Corner and Miss V's Busy Bee's for their Back 2 School Weekly Linky, where each week there will be a new topic to share ideas. 

Check out the schedule below!

This week is one of my faves...
Behavior Management! 

DISCLAIMER: This post is a little long but it's jam-packed with some good stuff (in my opinion) so I hope you take a moment to read through it!

I know this topic may make some cringe but in my 9 years of teaching, I feel like I'm getting a hang of it (finally) and figuring out what works best in my classroom. So, I am happy to share! Of course, not all things work out the same from year to year and every year it seems that I implement new things I've learned. It's part of being a teacher...we are lifelong learners, right?

1) Simple Class Rules

First of all, I believe in very simple rules. Our school only has 3.

1) Respect Yourself
2) Respect Others
3) Respect Property

They are clear and easy to follow.  For my own class, my rules incorporate the foundation of respect and are also pretty simple. This past year, I implemented the whole brain thing and went with these 5...

A little hard to read in the pics, but I got these mini posters from another 2nd grade teacher over at Creekside Teacher Tales, and put them above our class door after we reviewed. I love whole brain's use of hand signals that go along with the rules. The kids ABSOLUTELY loved them and would recite them throughout the year. 
I have a video somewhere of my class sharing their rules with motions but it must be on one of our iPads at school.

The rules are...
1) Follow Directions Quickly
2) Raise Your Hand For Permission to Speak
3) Raise Your Hand to Leave your Seat
4) Make Smart Choices
5) (my favorite) Keep Your Dear Teacher Happy!

2) Behavior Clip Chart and Tickets!

Our school uses the clip system and I really like it. For years, we just had yard sticks with painted color sections in our classrooms where the class started off at the top and only moved DOWN, but those are long gone. I made this clip chart a couple years ago and it works great. Now we move the clips UP too. SO much better to have the positive reinforcement visible for those kiddos who consistently do well. Sometimes it's easy to just focus on the ones who make the "not-so-good" choices. This picture doesn't show the clips (clothespins) but the class starts out on "Ready to Learn". And most of them stay there!

Unless a poor choice is made, the clip moves down where the kids lose recess time. Bummer. At first at the "Slow Down" level, the child sits out 10 minutes and fills out a Behavior Reflection Sheet. 

In the same day, if the child makes another not-so-good choice, they move their clip again and have to sit out all recess. Total bummer.

I'm not a huge fan of kids sitting out recess since I know those little ones have to MOVE but for some kids, it is pretty effective to miss that time and watch their friends play. But for those "frequent flyers", who are, a lot of times, exactly those kids who are super wiggly and need to get those wiggles out....we have them walk the perimeter of the playground instead. 

Then of course, if the behavior continues, we are calling parents and heading down to the office for an office referral. 

On the flip side...we move the kids UP when we notice extraordinary behavior! When they move up, they earn a ticket!!

Seriously, it's like GOLD to them.

I do my tickets a little differently, meaning I don't have the kids hang on to them and cash in for prizes at the end of the week. I've done that before, like a Class Shop, but I like what I do now so much better! 
I keep the tickets in a baggie on my desk and I take them everywhere with me. I pass out to those kiddos being awesome and they immediately put their initials on their ticket and place inside our "Respectful Highlander" Bucket. (We are the McAuliffe Highlanders) :)

These tickets pile up throughout the week....

 Each Friday, I pull 3 (I know, just 3!) out of the bucket, raffle-style, in front of the class. It is a highlight of the week for most kids. They get their little hands out on their knees and do a drum roll and everything! The 3 lucky students get to CHOOSE from the 2 choices on our Respectful Highlander Awards sheet. 

I have this clipped on my filing cabinet, visible to the kids, of course, so they can see what the choices are during the week. That way they know what to strive for! Ha!

I love the idea of choices in almost everything I do since those 2nd graders love to have a voice. I also love the randomness of the raffle. It is not always the same amazing 5 kids who get it every time, however, we do talk about how the kids with the most tickets in the bucket have a greater chance of being pulled out! A little probability lesson comes into play too!

The choices are simple and the best part, FREE!! I do have a Treasure Chest as one of the options with some little trinkets in there but it is not always a choice, therefore I am not having to buy things to put in there very often. In fact, I haven't bought treasure chest toys in over 3 years. :)

Most of the choices are simple like

Shoes Off for an Hour
Move Desk to a New Spot for 1 Day
Lunch with Mrs. MeGown
Lunch with a friend in a different class
Sit in a Rolly Chair for a day

Simple, and fun for the kids!

3) A Solid (nonverbal) Warning System

Let me back it up a bit and talk about how I handle warnings in class. At our school we give 2 warnings before enforcing a consequence (clip change). These little guys need warnings and the 2 we give are 1)Verbal and 2) Nonverbal. 

For the nonverbal it is simply a stop sign placed on their desk.
These say "Please stop what you are doing and make a better choice. Thank you!"

If a child receives a stop sign they must come and fill out their name etc on our class behavior chart. I have this clipboard near my desk. They check off that they received their warnings and it serves as a great visual that their consequence (clip change) is next. 

Want this for your class? Check it out HERE.

It comes with these stop signs...just print on card stock, cut and laminate!


There is a reason for my ALL CAPS and exclamations here. I just started Table Points this past year and oh my changer!

It is so simple, it's funny. 

I have popsicle sticks in a little bag on my board in the front of the room. Whenever I notice a whole table group doing the right thing, they earn a table point.

I laminated library pockets and placed table numbers on them with a cute label sticker. Throughout the day, I place the popsicle sticks in their pockets. 

It is awesome. 

At the end of the day, the table group who has the most table points (popsicle sticks) in their pockets earns tickets! A ticket for each group member. These are the same tickets that go in our Respectful Highlander Bucket for the drawing on Fridays. 

Seriously, one of the best things I've done for class behavior. The kids work together to clear their desk the fastest, put away their work, etc to earn their table points. 

5) Good Manners Awards for the Cafeteria!

Ok, so this is not completely classroom related but it is a grade-level thing we have done the past 2 years and it has worked really well! I used to LOATHE lunch duty because I was constantly telling kids to sit down, be quiet and well...use their manners!

It is sad but true that little elementary kiddos are still learning their table manners. It is hard for them to sit still, raise their hand, use their napkin, keep their mouth closed etc! So, our team decided to do something about encourage them to use their manners in the cafeteria.


These are copied on boring white paper but normally we have them on a bright purple paper! The teachers on duty walk around with a baggie of the Good Manners Awards and the "Oh No!" passes seen above. (If the kids got an "Oh No" pass, we put their name on it and the student had to hand to the recess teacher after lunch and they sat out 5 minutes at recess. No fun, so let's not spend too much time on that!)

When we notice a kiddo using good manners, we place the award in front of them to stay until they are done eating. We don't put their name on it yet since they can be taken away if the child decides to act all crazy before lunch is over. (It's happened before). At the end of our lunch time, those kiddos who earn the Good Manners Awards get to go put their name on it and place it in their class bucket near our cafeteria stage. (Didn't get a pic of this, sorry) We just used bright colored sand pails from the dollar store as our class buckets. Each teacher had their bucket out and would collect Good Manners Awards throughout the week. Fridays, we draw 2 lucky names out of the bucket to sit at the Good Manners Table for Friday's lunch!

Doesn't it look like fun?! Oh, and the best part?? It's on the STAGE in the cafeteria! So the other kids and grade levels can see those students using their good manners. It is very reinforcing!

We cover the table with butcher paper and provide markers and crayons for the kids to decorate their "table cloth" when they are finished eating. (Gotta keep them kinda busy so they stay quiet and continue to use their manners!)

This sign serves as a good reminder to the kids at the table too!

Here is a very happy Good Manners Group!

We will definitely continue to do this each year. The kids love it and it makes lunch duty a little more bearable!

Want these for your grade level? I would love to share them with you so click the link to grab them from my Google Docs.

Well, thank you, if you read thru my super long post! I look forward to sharing more in the coming weeks with the Back 2 School stay tuned!!

Thanks for reading!

:) Monica


  1. Oh my goodness.....thank goodness for Pintrest. I manage an elementary school cafeteria and it seems as though each year the students behavior gets worse UGH... I've got a new principal this year and we are meeting next week. You can bet I will be presenting this idea at the meeting. Thanks so much!

  2. Oh my goodness.....thank goodness for Pintrest. I manage an elementary school cafeteria and it seems as though each year the students behavior gets worse UGH... I've got a new principal this year and we are meeting next week. You can bet I will be presenting this idea at the meeting. Thanks so much!