Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Good, The Bad, and the...well....Off Task!

As I mentioned in the classroom reveal our school is now implementing a school wide positive behavior reinforcement program. I try...really try...not to complain too much in my posts, so I am really going to try and stay positive :) See positive! It's not horrible, by any means, it just A LOT! There are a lot of components and most of which still have "kinks". I ran across one within the first two days of school...

Here is my new positive behavior chart.

Because of the new initiative I had to do away with my old checks in the folder system...eeek! That was tough to let go of. So the students start at Ready to Learn (an S, because the school feels that the students should earn an E in behavior...go above and beyond). Therefore, great job is also an S...awesome is an E. The hard part is "catching" those great students, who are always doing good things...being awesome! Now warning is an S, teacher choice is an N, and parent contact is a U. Each student has a magnet with their number on it to move up or down.

Where I ran into problems (and still trying to iron out the confusion) is that a student could technically do something to move up to great job (S) but as the day progresses they could have a few behavior situations that cause them to move down...let's say two...well then they will still end up with an S because of their move up earlier in the day. Do you see what I am saying intern mentioned that a student could be an angel in the morning, then trade that halo in and be a terror in the afternoon, but still go home with an S. So I am trying to work around this little problem. 

Now my other problem was that this is all behavior...whereas my folder system also contained work habits, which I believe is a huge component of grades and very reflective of their grades. However I couldn't get how they could combine (as they have on their passports...a whole 'nother thing in and of itself) both of the items and have a simple E, S, N, or U for the day. 

I ran into this problem very quickly in my classroom this year. I have oh let's say about 10 students who are my transition students (didn't pass a portion or all of the state test last year in 4th grade). Well the students (majority of them) are NOT behavior problems, they don't stand out...basically they don't want to draw attention to themselves...for a reason. They don't get it (academically)! So they are just fine with getting that S for the day..."if I just sit here, not participate, act as though I am paying attention, pretend to work, I can get an S and move on". Well not in my class! The kids also don't complete their homework, aren't really on task, and usually don't finish classwork. Again, not in my class. I want to say..."This is why you failed!", but I don't. 

So for a few days I struggled with how to make this system work for me. I decided to make a second chart...a work habits chart!

 It is pretty straight forward, and the kids seemed to get it too. If you come with your homework done, work in class, stay on get an S. If you are always participating, on task when others may not be, and just stand move to E. However if you forget homework, don't participate, are not on move down. The smallest move down means you get a quick note to your parents that must be signed and an N or U for the day. This is also pretty good documentation for me when I have to have kid talks and/or parent talks. 

So that is one of the many many many things that has been "hurting" my brain these first few days. I guess we will see how it goes!


Sarah Hankinson said...

Thanks for sharing all of the extra thoughts you've had in this process. I've been very interested, but wanted to see it in action!

Learning is for Superstars

Patti Wilson said...

Great idea to have one for work habits. I agree that behavior should not be the only factor. Not completing homework or classwork or staying on task is just as bad as creating a disturbance. It's all disruptive to learning. I think you came up with an effective system.

One Class, One Sound

Amy said...

Love the work habits chart! This makes it really easy to seperate behavior and homework, participation, and general work habits. Thank you!!!

Krazy About Kiddos

Heather A said...

I use the Ready to Learn chart with my precious 2nd graders and it works great! They love it. They receive coupons if they land on outstanding that day. I also have a sticker chart that is taped on their desk that is a "helping hands" chart. That works great for their work habits! I just couldn't see how I would assign S, E, N, or U based upon that though so I can totally see your predicament! It looks like you've done great, though!

Sensational Seconds

Katrina said...

I love the work habits chart. Children need to learn that working hard makes a difference. I'm not a big fan of behavior charts. I would have a huge problem if I were required to use one.

Marianna Dunn said...

I use a very similar behavior chart in my classroom and ran into some of the same problems - I moved students up and down based on behavior and work habits because one of our class rules was to always be on task and participate. Also, depending on how the student was throughout the day I would add a little note to parents explaining that even though they ended on an "S", we did have this problem throughout the day. This got time consuming and was only done in extreme cases, but it seemed to work when I had to use it! I feel like my behavior systems are never exactly how I want them to be and are always evolving!

Delightfully Dunn

Kristin said...

Yikes! That is complicated!!!!

Miss L said...

Jessica I'm awarding your blog the Fabulous Blog Award :)
Please stop by my blog to check it out and learn more.

Best wishes,

Miss L (WBT Blog Bug)
Miss L’s Whole Brain Teaching

icesk8abc said...

I have a similar chart, but solve the problem of great in the morning, but terrible in the afternoon with one simple rule. If you are about yellow, you clip down to yellow (1st color below ready to learn). Even if you are at the top. Clipping down means yellow or lower. They can clip their way back to the top, but that takes enough effort that they can't have a terrible afternoon and still end up on top or even on ready to learn. I love your work habits chart. We still have behavior folders for checks and what-not so I use that as needed.

Hilarie Clevenger said...

Love that idea. We are using this behavior system for the first time thsi year. I will be adding the work habit chart.

Anonymous said...

I LOOOOVE your post!! It is so inspiring and you are so creatively organized!! Thank you so much for sharing! I plan to use ALOT of your fabulous ideas!! Rock on!
Sincerely Jessica baker...fellow 5th grade teacher

jessma said...

I love your idea of work habits! Also, I was wondering do you give anything to the students who land on the top of the chart at the end of the day? IF so, what is it?