Sunday, July 22, 2012

Classroom Management

With the school year starting soon, I'm sure a lot of us are reworking our classroom management plans. Some of you may even be making your for the first time. No matter where you are in the process, I always believe that it is the most important. I've always believed that if you don't have good classroom management, then everything else you do is a waste of time. What is the point in teaching a lesson while your students aren't paying attention? You're just going to have to reteach it. Why not use your time wisely and be productive. With all of the right procedures in place, your classroom will run smoother than butter!

Sure classroom management and procedures take a while to teach and learn, but it is all worth it in the end. I am currently reworking my management procedures and when I do I will make an updated post. For today though I want to share with you what I did last year.

When I first started teaching I was using this behavior chart.

I wasn't really a fan of it because the kids that misbehaved were always on red and the students that behaved were always on green. One teacher I knew had most of her kids on red at the end of the day and this chart back fired for her. For me, most of my students were all on green with a couple on yellow or red so I didn't find myself using this chart anymore. One year I didn't even use it at all, even though it was hanging up. Last year I decided to try out the chart again. I added a few more colored cards to see if that made a difference. At the end of every day I was still only moving a few kids' cards back to green. I kept thinking about all of those kids that stayed on green all day. Sure we give our attention to those kids moving to red, but most of our class is filled with those green students. Why were they not getting the recognition they needed? That's when I decided that there had to be a behavior chart that worked for those that behaved as well as those that didn't. That's when I created this behavior chart.

I went searching online for behavior charts and I saw many different versions of this chart. I loved it because it allowed students to move up or down. As you can see every student starts on green, ready to learn. Through out the day students can either "clip up" or "clip down". You can make the cards say anything you want, but this is just what works for me. After a week I could really see a difference in my classroom. Even though I never really had major behavior issues, I noticed the little things like interrupting or blurting answers out began to disappear. My students that were normally being redirected, started being able to move their clips up. Now my green kids were becoming blue, purple, and even gold kids! Whenever a student had to move their clip down, they always knew that they could earn it back up throughout the day. It's important to know that there is downward and upward movement at any point of the day. Just because loss of privilege happens in the morning, it doesn't mean that they can't earn their way back up to ready to learn or higher in the afternoon.

How I use this...
Whenever I see a student making a good choice, or a bad choice, they are able to move their clip up or move it down. If we are in the middle of a lesson I will just tell them and after the lesson they are able to move their clip. Whenever the class is working quietly, I can make eye contact with one of my students and without talking just signal a thumbs up or thumbs down and they know right away that this means to clip up or down. Somehow every students knows where every other student is on the chart. Whenever someone makes it to Smart Choices they all gasp and clap for them. Everyone is always trying to make it to smart choices by the end of the day.

How do you become a Smartie Pants?
When you make it to the top of the chart, you have made smart choices. The students are always trying to make it to smart choices, so they can become a Smartie Pants at the end of the day. To make the Smartie Pants, I just bought a pair of toddler jeans from Wal-Mart and decorated them. I kept the hanger that they came with and it's actually hanging from a push pin. Inside the pants are candy Smarties. At the end of the day, all of my students who made smart choices come to the front of the room. They all receive a Smarties candy as well as a slip that says, "My teacher thinks I'm a Smartie Pants, because I made smart choices." The rest of the class sings to them and everyone tries to become a Smartie Pants the next day.

You can download a FREE copy of my Smartie Pants labels from my TPT store.

I have a student who is in charge of moving all the the clips back to green at the end of each day. Everyone knows that they have a fresh start everyday, which makes it really nice for students who may have had a bad day.

Other Ideas
  • I have used this behavior plan with Class Dojo as well, but I will create a different post all about Class Dojo soon. 
  • This year I plan on printing my Smartie Pants slips on labels that the students can wear on their shirts. That way when they get home they can show their parents without loosing it.
I hope you found some ideas that you may be able to use.


  1. I like your smartie pants.I'm your newest follower. If you get a chance visit my blog "Calling Plays in 2nd Grade".


    1. Thank you! I will stop by right away. :-)

  2. I love your switch in behavior charts! I am your newest follower!

    I am having a birthday giveaway with the quietest classroom pencil sharpener an would love you to stop by!

    The Resourceful Apple

  3. I love the Smarty Pants! The name of your blog is so cute! =)

    I am happy to be your newest follower. I would love for you to hop over and visit me when you get the chance. =)

    Heather's Heart

  4. I love your clip chart and your smarty pants! How cute! Welcome to blogging! I am nominating you for an award! Come on by and pick it up! :)

    Blessings of Teaching