Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Best. Thing. Ever.




I can't take any credit for this idea, but it is my civic duty to pass it along to you.

It has rocked my world. And it rivals Find-it / Fix-it for the top slot of 'all-time best thing to grace my classroom.'

I feel like there should be a drum roll and spotlights as I introduce you to.....

The Clip Chart!


I've used flip cards and tally charts and dabbled around in a whole bunch of other complicated behavior management systems. Truth be told, I have found that with clear guidelines and consistency, the room runs itself and kids rise to meet your expectations. However, it is important to have something in place.

This was an interesting start to a school year. I heart my class. They are a great group of kids, but were by far the chattiest collection of kiddos I had ever encountered. At one point when they were still talking over me and not listening to directions in late September I told my student teacher, "I've got nothing left. I've pulled out every trick I know. But, I'll work on it over the weekend and find something new to try."

Our second grade teachers had started using a clip chart this year and spoke highly of it at lunch. I resisted at first because of the size, but decided to look into it more. After visiting the site they suggested, I thought it was worth a try. That Monday morning I quickly made a chart using construction paper and introduced it when the kids came in.

Holy Cow!

It was as if I had flipped a switch. The behavior was flawless and has been ever since.

Here's why....

In any given class you are going to have your talkers and your rule-breakers and you are going to have your good little doobies. The clip chart makes the doobies work for you. They become your allies and they love it.

Each student has a clothespin and they all start the day in the middle of the chart on "Ready to Learn." The clothespins move throughout the day. Positive choices will move you up one level at a time. Negative choices move you down. There is a buffer zone between "Ready to Learn" and facing any form of consequence so if a child "clips down" he has the opportunity to clip back up.

Here's the best part....

The good little doobies are rewarded for being good little doobies. They can "clip up." So when the room gets a little chatty, I don't focus on the chatty ones. I find a few doobies, ring my bell and make a nice show of appreciating their role model behavior. They clip up. They beam. The others are quickly redirected without me needing to mention their chatting at all. It keeps things so positive and upbeat.

Here's the mostest bestest part....

There are no prize pails or trinkets or tickets or tokens or tchotchkes to manage or track. Instead of striving for useless junk, the kids strive for acknowledgement of good behavior. When a child reaches outstanding at the end of the day, we add a little star sticker to the clip and I give them a label to take home. When they earn 5 stickers they get a new clip and color it red. We repeat the process in "rainbow order" meaning they then work to earn an orange clip and then a yellow, etc. The ultimate goal is the coveted "glitter clip." They manage this on their own by getting a new clip from the drawer and coloring it with a marker.
You simply pass out the labels and move the clips back to their original spot each morning (or do as I did and train a responsible, tall child to do it).

I love the simplicity.

I love the consistency (it travels to specials with them) throughout the day.

I love the positive feeling to it.

I love that even if a child makes a not-so-good choice, she can rally and move back up. As a helpful hint, I usually try to "clip up" my friends who have a tendency to "clip down" early in the day so that they have a bit of wiggle room.

I really, really love that the focus is on my students that make positive choices. I feel that they often get taken for granted and the attention goes to those who don't. This turns things around and the others learn from their example.

Here's the link to the site with lots and lots of info. I would just whip up your own chart though. It was very easy to make out of construction paper/poster board, but you can also create a Vista Print banner. I made 3 on one banner and cut them apart.


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45 comments:

  1. I LOVE how you described this management tool so well! And you made me laugh a little! I usually get the tall kiddos to help me out too ;)

    Great post!
    Hadar
    Miss Kindergarten

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  2. I LOVE the clip chart! I have some on my blog you can download..under the behavior management tab:)

    MissThirdGrade.blogspot.com

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  3. Did you make this on Microsoft word and upload it to vista print? I made one and uploaded it but it left a lot of white all around it, but I really like your black just not sure how to make it. Can you please help.
    mrsguntoriusclass.blogspot.com

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  4. I have seen this type of chart all over the place, and liked it. Your description made me love it! I am definitely getting out my scrapbook paper and making one for my classroom this year! Thanks!

    www.teachhappiness.blogspot.com

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  5. OMG!!! I have been using this clip chart for a few years and love, love, love it but I never thought of sending it with my kiddos to specials. That is B.R.I.L.L.I.A.N.T.!!!!! We only have one special: music and I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out a simple way to help the music teacher with my class. You have rocked my world! Thank you!
    Camille
    An Open Door

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  6. I just made my own today! I am excited to use it. My kiddos come back on August 8th.

    misst4th.blogspot.com

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  7. Rick Morris is a genius! www.newmanagement.com

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    Replies
    1. Awesome! I am excited to try this! Thanks so much for the link as well!

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  8. I just got one made by Vista Print. I think I'm going to really love it! I like your idea of having a student putting the clip back up. I think that I'm going to give my students a slip every time they get on outstanding and they can put a fuzzy in our class bucket. Once the class bucket is full they'll win a lunch bunch or something extra. Hopefully this will encourage positive behavior and class wide involvement.

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  9. I love this idea! I think I may have to steal this idea from you! I have always used the money system where the kids shop each Friday but, it just takes up a little too much time! This helps the kids strive for something other than money!

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  10. I absolutely LOVE this. I'm a music prep teacher and I would love to work this into my classes. The chart and clip sets can travel from school to school with me and be put up and taken down easily.

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  11. Instead of stickers on the clips I would wear a kids clip if the got PAST the top...at first I wore them in my hair... I also wrote their name on our classroom door(expo,marker on glass)
    Then each time they got off the chart I would add a tally mark. At the end of the year I had 2/3 of my class names up and 2 kids with multiple tallies. They LOVED it:-)

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  12. Your chart looks fabulous! I used to use the color cards/pocket chart/flip system, but I'd always slack off and stop using it by November. I REALLY like how the kids bring it with them to specials. My Project CHILD teachers will really like that idea because their kids see 3 teachers along with the Specials time every day. They should bring it to lunch too! Thanks for sharing!
    PencilsGlueandTyingShoes

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  13. We use something similar in my school but with numbers instead of the terms. I like yours SOOOO much better - much easier to understand for primary children. I also am in LOVE with the idea of the stars on the clothes pins and getting to change colors. I guess I need to head out and buy some more clothes pins!! : ) Thanks for the tip!

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  14. Please for Christ sake please help me
    I need your help and support to help PAY MY Tuition Fees. I need your only 3 to 5 minutes approximately

    What you have to do is
    1.go to Google.com and search "Kwotz-Golden Words of Life"
    2.then visit my blog from the the search results.
    3.Remain on the page i.e Kwotz for one minute or so and do some random surfing
    4. click ONE of the ads that appeals to you from AdChoices and visit there.
    5.remain on that page for one minute or so and do some random surfing.
    and that's it.

    NOTE: Only ONE click is needed.
    I will be grateful to you.
    May God Bless You.

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  15. I love this idea because it has the positive side to it. I used to use something very similar but it didn't go up. We used a money system which was good because my kinders really learned to trade money and count their money...but it can be time consuming. I think I might try this and maybe where they end up at the end of the day determines how many pennies they earn? I love the idea of the gold glitter!! Thanks so much,
    Sheri
    kindergarten-roundup

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  16. I found this idea about a week ago on another blog, but I LOVE how you have implemented it! I posted my clip chart that I made up on my blog at:

    http://buckaroobusiness.blogspot.com/2011/07/behavior-system.html

    I worked in my class management system in addition to the clipping because I didn't think it would be enough to just clip up and down. Does it really REALLY work without all of the extras? What are the consequences for clipping down?

    I am SUPER excited to try this system out this year with my 5th graders!

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  17. I love your clip chart :) but I also have to ask where did you get your black pocket chart??! I have been looking everywhere for a BLACK pocket chart!!! I am so tired of red, green, and blue!

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  18. I love it! This is exactly what I have been looking for all summer! A plan that is simple and doesn't require a ton of tokens or time. Quick, easy and effective! And positive for the good kids too. THanks!!!

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  19. I talked with my assistant yesterday and we really like this idea so we are going to go with it. Thanks! I put a link to your post on my blog so others can see it and read your great explanation..

    Thanks!
    Sheri
    kindergarten-roundup

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  20. I've been working on this chart for my class this year and I'm really excited about using it. In the past I've used a chart that only had the negative clip moving and then they have a calendar that they took home everyday. How do you plan on communicating this to parents? I'm debating about how I want to do it. I was thinking of having the students color a square everyday for the color they ended on.

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  21. I asked this question on TPT but haven't heard a response yet. How big of a banner did you make at VistaPrint for the size of the behavior chart in your photo above? I love the idea and want to get one printed before school starts next month.

    Thanks a bunch for sharing!! :)

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  22. I'm a brand new teacher and starting in kinder/1st grade this year and I've been mulling over what behavior system to use. I am SO glad I found this post, because I am LOVING the sound of it! So easy. So simple. I HOPE it works with my kiddos. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! Decision made. :)

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  23. Sigh. We used a clip chart for years and loved it. However, last year we went to "Responsive Classroom" and had to get rid of the clip charts. Oh, how I miss them!!

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  24. This is great. How do you explain this to the parents? Did you create a parent letter or something you post on your website? Thanks. I am new to this system and am trying to find a way to explain this to them. :-)
    Amy in Kindergarten
    aderby@harnett.k12.nc.us

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  25. This is the best year I've ever had regarding behavior all because of this clip chart! I love, love, LOVE it! My little sweeties love it, too. Thanks for the reminder to try to help my wiggle worms clip up early so they have a little "extra" wiggle room! ;)

    Melly<><

    Stapler’s Strategies for Sizzlin' Second Graders!

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  26. Where did you get the black pocket chart? I have been searching all over
    will you email me briannepeppers@gmail.com

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  27. do you have a template of the description of how you use your clip chart, like to send home to parents?

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  28. I have been using this all year and love it! My kiddos love to clip off the chart for off the chart behavior, first onto my shirt then I clip in my hair. They Love that.

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  29. As a 29 yr veteran of teaching, I have tries SOOOOO many things to get my 1st graders to settle down. Some of ideas worked -some didn't. But I'm certainly going to try this!!! So..you can teach an old dog new tricks!!! Thanks!

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  30. I have seen this before. I passed on by. Your writing made me read the whole post. Your description made me get the "level up" piece, the "intrinsic reward" piece, the "no more prizes" piece and the "notice and encourage the positive behaviour" piece. I had previously missed that. Your writing is just as brilliant as the concept. Thanks for that. :) Shannon

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  31. Here is all the information for free...When I saw this post, I thought "hey, it will probably link to my site." I can't believe this guy is selling it for $20. Here it is along with the long history of how it developed through the years (1996-present)

    http://teamteachers.tripod.com

    just click on the positive behavior tab.

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  32. HI- I am also wondering where you found your black pocket chart. I can't find them anywhere! Please email me at LindyLewis814@yahoo.com Thanks!

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  33. This is great!

    Also I too want to know where you found the black pocket chart.

    Thanks!

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  34. Love your layout!
    AND I also would like to know where you found your black pocket chart!!
    Thank you :)

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  35. Hi! This is my first year teaching :) I stumbled upon this and boy am I grateful! Like many others I am looking for black pocket charts...would you please email me and me me know where I can find them?? Thank you so so much! My email is ... Tashammadden@gmail.com

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  36. I love the clip chart. I made mine today. Well it looks like black is the color. I would really like to find them too. Can you please email me at cboote@usd259.net?

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  37. Where do you get black pocket charts? Please help! stuartra@mattoon.k12.il.us
    Thanks!

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  38. Jodi, thank you for the mention of using Vistaprint to print banners & posters. I just created my first one and am eager to receive it! I'm using it to showcase the objectives for each unit in my high school Spanish classes.
    Thanks again,
    Karen

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  39. Where do you get black pocket charts? rtseducator@yahoo.com....Thanks! :)

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  40. I use a similar system, combined with other tools and systems in my class. I created a behavior management packet even on TPT. I am a new blogger and seller. Feel free to follow me! Thanks for all the tips :)

    Taking a Walk on the Teaching Side Blog

    My TPT Store

    I am now your newest follower!

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  41. There will be no black pockets charts left!

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  42. OMG, I love this!! I'm starting a new bilingual preschool program in Haiti and I've been wracking my brain on what to do for behavior management that is easy for the teachers and the students to learn. Thank you!!!!

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  43. I love this! I just posted about it over on my blog. Check it out here: http://mrsksimperfectjourney.blogspot.com

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