An interesting thing has happened. We are having so much fun that sometimes when I ask the children to quiet down, they don't want to! LOL. Imagine that! Trust me, I am tickled they are having so much fun; however, there is a point where fun can become chaos. And with chaos comes behavioral outbursts—not that I'm seeing outbursts, but I am seeing the early warning signs that behavioral issues are brewing. So, it's time to employ the Clip Chart, before things get out of hand!
Many, yes, MANY teachers now use the Behavioral Clip Chart Method. It's that good. It's, dare I say, a miracle! I don't know who first came up with this idea, but they deserve... something really, really nice. :)
u One sheet of construction paper, or any kind of colored paper, for each color: Black, Purple, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red (Actually, I used one photo paper for the black. I'll explain why below.)
u Two pieces of black poster board.
u Laminator (or Knowledge Tree will do it for you for under $5.00)
u Computer & printer
u Clothes Pins
u Packaging tape
u Double-sided tape
u Stars of your choosing for the chart
u Star stickersu Green markers (and eventually purple, blue & glitter markers)
How to make the chart:
*Black - Outstanding!
Purple - Great Job
Blue - Good Day
Green - Ready To Learn
Yellow - Think About It
Orange - Teacher's Choice
Red - Parent Contact
*It is impossible to print on most black papers. No matter what color ink is used for the letters, they just fade away into the black. An easy way around this, is to create a document in Word, Photoshop, or other document program, make the letters a bright color and apply a black background. Next, print on photo paper and the whole thing will pop. I could have done this with each color page, but I felt it wasn't worth the expensive ink.
Not all charts you'll find go in this exact color order. We chose this order because we wanted red on the bottom for parent contact since kids usually associate red with stop & danger. One of our Sunday school teachers said her son's kindergarten teacher decorated her chart with stars at the top signifying out-of-this-world-great or you-made-it-to-the-stars! We really liked the outer space visual, so we made the top card black with stars, too.
2) Cut the poster board so it is slightly wider than the colored pages and about 16" taller than they are long when stacked almost edge to edge. Refer to the picture for placement.
3) Using the packaging tape, connect the two poster board pieces together end to end.
4) Tape each piece of colored paper to poster board with the double-sided tape in rainbow color order as in photo.
5) Add stars to the top.
6) Take it to Knowledge Tree for laminating.
7) Hang it in the classroom.
8) Ask each child to color a clothes pin green. Don't forget to put their name somewhere on it (preferably on the side or the back).
9) Go over the class rules with the kids And explain how the chart works (see below). We decided to let our kids suggest class rules. Of course, the teachers added some of our own.
How to use the chart:
Everyone starts with a Green clip at the beginning of the year, and each day the clips all start on the “Green-Ready to Learn” space. Whenever a child does something positive and noteworthy, reward them by moving their clip up to the next card. Move a child’s clip down for poor behavior (i.e. breaks a rule). When a child reaches “Outstanding,” add a little star sticker to the clip.
When a child clips down, have them explain why they have been asked to move down to make sure they understand the infraction. If applicable, ask them to apologize to the person that was offended. If a clip reaches the red-"Parent Contact" space, of course that parent gets a phone call to discuss the problem.
With the Clip Chart Method the kids strive for acknowledgement for good behavior. The focus shifts from those who tend to get in trouble, to those who rarely get into trouble. I love this, because the children who rarely, if ever, misbehave get frustrated when my attention repeatedly goes to the children who are breaking the class rules. The good behavior kids constantly feel neglected. The Clip Chart Method turns this around. It praises the kids with good behavior and makes the not-so-good behavior kids want to get in on the action.
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