Classroom Behavior Plans & Management Tips
We asked teachers to describe the behavior plans they use in their classrooms. Check out the fantastic responses below...
Submitted by Cathy from North Carolina
I do a lot of different things in my classroom. First I'll start with my expectations and some consequences. My classroom has a frog theme and we have four rules. Be Respectful, Be Safe, Work Hard and Love Yourself.
I use people cut outs with magnets on the back and each student has a person with their name on it. These people go on the board for everyone to see. After the first week of school, anyone that hasn't moved their person all week gets to take their person off the board. I have four pouches that are called "Hops" on the board. Hop One is labeled "warning." If a child breaks one of the four rules, they move their person into Hop One. Before anyone moves a person into Hop One, they are given a verbal warning. Hop Two results in a note being sent home (in their agenda/planner) with a description of the rule-breaking action. Hop Three results in the child calling their parent at home/work. The child must tell their parents what they did and why they're calling. The final step requires the student to go to the principal's office. At this step, the parents have already been called by the student (Hop Three) and they already know what's been going on. At the end of the day, any people that have been moved are put back outside the pouches and stay on the board. It takes a week of not moving their person for a student's person to come off the board. The goal is to have no people on the board.
I focus more on positives in my classroom. We sit in groups and each group comes up with a name, a captain and a co-captain. They work together as a table to earn points. At the end of the week, the table with the most points gets to come back to my classroom and have lunch with me. I use the captains and co-captains to collect papers (after a spelling test for example), to check desks for me, and to put points for their table on the board.
As individuals, the students are able to earn "chance" tickets. They get them at random times for doing random things. I pass them out when they're reading quietly, when they're working hard, when they turn work in on time, it's a "chance" that they'll get a ticket. They write their name on their ticket and place it into the "chance" bucket.
As a class they also earn whole-class rewards by having excellent behavior. Throughout the week, they determine the number of "chance" tickets that I'll pull each Friday. The better they behave as a class, the more tickets they earn and the better their "chances" are that their ticket will be pulled. I have a prize box with erasers, pens, pencils, and other school supplies, and the students can pick one item if their ticket is pulled. Each child can only pick once each Friday (if I pull a second ticket, it goes back into the "chance" bucket).
We also have "Frog-Tastic Friday." Not only do we pull "chance" tickets, but we also do a mail call (we have a class post-office). Students also check their buckets each Friday. We are a Bucket Filling classroom (based on the book Have You Filled A Bucket Today?) and spend the week filling each other's buckets with positive words.
Lastly, my students can give each other "Warm Fuzzies." These are handmade pom-pom balls with googly-eyes and a pin back hot-glued to the back. I make them for the kids and they can give Warm Fuzzies to anyone that has done something nice for someone else. It's a way for them to recognize others for doing random acts of kindness. They really enjoy it and when they earn a Warm Fuzzy, they usually pin it to their backpacks and show them off with pride. :)
Submitted by Deana from Maryland
Each month I choose a theme. Students choose their prize and we set a goal together for them to work towards.
For example, this month, April, I have an umbrella hanging above each group of 4 (can be altered to match your seating arrangements). Since April showers bring May flowers, students are earning raindrops to add to their umbrella. A drop can be earned when the group follows directions 1st time, works well on a task, quickest/quietest cleanup etc. Every 10 raindrops earns the group 1 flower. Each team has to earn at least 3 flowers by the end of the month. Any group who meets the goal is able to participate in the reward ( extra recess, ice cream party, computer time, lunch in classroom etc.) Of course this idea can be altered to better meet your needs. It works great for me.
It especially encourages cooperation during group work and less wasted time during transitional periods. It also adds seasonal decor. This effectively displays the idea of a 'fresh start' each month and because it changes each month students will stay motivated. It gives that extra incentive for students who need to see immediate results of a good job.
Here are monthly ideas
- Sept - students earn apples to put on a tree
- Oct - students earn leaves to add to a tree;
- Nov - students earn feathers to add to turkey
- Dec - earn ornaments to place on christmas tree;
- Jan - Earn 1 part at a time to build a snowman. body, eyes, mouth, nose, hat, scarf, arms.
- Feb. - earn conversation hearts collected in a baby food jar.
- Mar. - students earn gold coins to add to a pot; earn clovers to add to leprechaun hats.
Hope you like these ideas!
Submitted by Beth from Indiana
My system can be used at any time of the year, but this idea I like to save for second semester when other systems aren't working as effectively. I also have a holiday version for December!
My students have a chance to be rewarded for good behavior. They can earn a classroom dollar for working quietly, following procedures, etc. Each time I see behavior that I want to reinforce, I hand them a dollar. A friend drew a picture of me so I included that on my class money. Students get a kick out of it when they first see it....since it was drawn a few years ago.
Students keep track of their money and must be responsible for it until we have a class auction about once a month. Before the auction I allow students to cash in their ones for fives, tens, twenties, fifties, and hundreds. They practice counting by 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100's as they count their money.
We discuss the procedures for an auction and how to bid. I keep some dollars in my pocket, this way I can look for good behavior wherever we are....hallways, lunch, recess, field trips, etc. I try to get interesting items for my auctions....not things that can be found easily in stores...fun free items that are given away at conferences seem to be loved the best.
In December, I use Santa bucks that are only good in the month of December to help with holiday "excitement" and keep their focus!
I like to keep my system focused just on positives and rewarding for good behavior so I don't usually take money away once it is earned but that could be an option if one wanted...if a particular behavior was a problem. There could be a fine. This is a good system because the kids are excited and tell the parents about it so they can monitor and ask their child how much they earned for each day.
Submitted by Lauren from Pennsylvania
I work in a special education classroom and my kids have problems remembering to finish and bring in their homework, raising their hands, and remembering to bring their materials with them to my room.
My children work for musical notes on an ipod. Every day, when a child brings in their homework and materials he/she gets to add a music note behind their name on a bulletin board. If the child forgets to raise their hand, or misbehaves they could lose a music note. At the end of the week, we count up the notes and move our names up the playlist on the ipod. (The kids get a kick out of it because they are like the artist then.)
Every time the child gets their name to the number 1 spot on the playlist, he or she gets a chip to use in our store full of pencils and other prizes. The prizes have different price tags too so that the kids learn the value of working hard and saving chips. As time goes on, prices can be changed and raised to increase the difficulty until the children can be entirely weened off the program and the students learn to become more internally motivated. It's also great math practice and budgeting practice!
In addition to our ipod system, we also have a class behavior plan. This takes shape in the form of a marble jar. We add marbles when we do kind things for each other, answer really tough questions, and all bring in our homework. However, we can lose marbles when we misbehave as a class. When the jar is full we get to have a special day, such as pajama day or craft day.
The kids really like our 2-tiered behavior management system because the entire class does not get punished for one individuals behavior. If one student acts poorly, that student loses a music note not a marble. This really makes students responsible for their own individual actions and makes them aware of the group's actions as well. It works great as an individual and a group reinforcer. They also like that they have something short term to work on while they are working toward something that gives them more long-term results. It's great for teaching long-term and short term goals. The plan also teaches my students to become more internally motivated instead of externally motivated.
I have also used a soccer field (kids earn soccer balls and move toward goal), a baseball field (earn balls and move around bases), and even dogs (kids earn dogs and move from pound to the dog house the the home to the dog show) with much success. It can easily be adapted toward your students likes and interests.
Submitted by Lisa from Pennsylvania
I use two different management systems in my third grade class. One is on an individual level and the other is on a group level.
Individual: I have a Poster hanging up in my room that is broken up into four parts:
- I'm having a great day - Green
- Warning - Yellow
- Lunch Detention - Blue
- Phone Call Home - Red
I have clothespins that have each student's number on them. They always stay on the Green area unless I have to reprimand a student. In that case the clothespin moves down to the next level. Each day the student starts back on green. I also record any movement of the clips in my files.
Group: My student's desks are arranged in groups. Each team works towards earning points (I use counting chips) for their table. I have a basket on each table and everytime that I see them on task, following directions, exhibiting good teamwork, etc. I put a chip in their basket. All of the chips are counted and collected on Friday. The team with the most chips gets to pick from the treasure chest.
Submitted by Kevin from Indiana
Behavior Consequences for One Week of School
- Warning= No punishment (unless it's a big misbehavior)
- 0 strikes= 30 minutes recess on Friday and a Popsicle!!!
- 1 strike= 30 minutes recess on Friday!!
- 2 strikes= 20 minutes recess on Friday!
- 3 strikes= YOU'RE OUT! No recess on Friday. Stay in and read.
- 4 strikes= No recess on Friday. Write a one-page discipline letter. Lose Monday recess.
- 5 strikes= No recess on Friday. Write a one-page discipline letter. Lose Monday and Tuesday recesses.
- 6 strikes= No recess on Friday. Write a one-page discipline letter. Lose Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday recesses.
- 7 strikes or more= No recess on Friday. Write a one page discipline letter. Lose Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday recesses. Go to Mrs. R. Parents called.
On Monday morning you start brand-new with no warnings or strikes.
Submitted by Kimberly from Louisiana
Each student has a magnet. The magnets are placed on a board with four other rows of magnets.
- The first row is green for good behavior.
- The second is 1st Yellow for 1st warning ( 5 minutes off of recess)
- Then 2nd Yellow (10 minutes off of recess)
- The last is red.
If the student's magnet falls under red, a note is sent home explaining the behavior and the student misses recess for the whole day and the conduct grade is lowered one letter grade. I've used this for 3 years and it works great!!
Students who do not move their magnet at all during the week receive a choice of any "treasure box" prize.
I have a compliment chain in my classroom. It's a chain made of paper links and it hangs from the ceiling. Whenever my class receive a compliment from another teacher (for good behavior in the hallway, or any other type of positive behavior), I add a link to the chain. When the chain reaches the floor, the kids receive a popcorn party. It's a positive way to promote good behavior!
Submitted by Anonymous from Who-Knows-Where