Monday, April 30, 2012

Long Live the Clip Chart



Behavior. It can make or break any classroom! I don't know everything (major emphasis on that) but I do feel that I've learned quite a bit about behavior/classroom management over the past years. Mainly, stay positive! It works so much better to praise the positive and then watch others try to do the right thing as well.

When I first started teaching I had "elephants" (little elephant post its with the kids names on them) that moved down levels with push pins in a cork board. It was cumbersome and not easy to manage. After that, I made the elephants magnetic and added a "soar" level. My awesome cooperating teacher from when I taught came up with the "soar" level for students to move UP to for doing a great job. My kids loved our new soar level and really got into it!

Then I learned about the clip chart. This was back in the days before Pinterest (can you imagine?) so I read about it in this ebook by Rick Morris. I quickly got to work during one of my track out days and made a clip chart. It works wonderful!

Now I'm on my second clip chart, since the old one took so much wear and I wanted to pretty-fy it up a little. :)

The kids all start on Ready To Learn and from there move their clips up or down. At the end of the day if you are on Great Job you get to stand up on your chair and the whole class does a cheer for you. If you are on Outstanding you get to add a sticker to your clip. My how they love those stickers! It's the simple things folks! I will say that the "jewel" stickers (get them from Micheal's) stay on the clips better than some regular stickers.

If a child moves their clip to consequence then they get a refocus form where they write what they were doing, what they should have been doing and what they will do next time. Then they have to take it home and get it signed and bring it back to me. Sometimes I will choose a different consequence based on the action so that's why I labeled that level consequence. Parent contact is pretty straightforward - I hardly ever have kids get to this level and by this point in the year I usually am not moving many clips down but UP. :)

About halfway through this school year I came across a very good problem - I had kids filling their clips up with stickers on both sides! So thus came about the "Clip Hall of Fame". A child moves their clip to the hall of fame once their clip is completely full. What a reward this is! They get so excited about it! I then will make them a new clip so they can keep on earning stickers.

At the beginning of the year I teach my kids hand motions that I make to tell them to move their clip up or down - a simple pinch of 2 fingers and a thumbs up or thumbs down. To reinforce positive behavior I simply will start some positive behavior dialogue "Wow, Bobby you are doing an excellent job of getting started on your morning work, please go move your clip up!" Before you know it, everyone is getting to work on their morning work as well!

I also have had kids make it to pink/outstanding and I will tell them to move their clip up. They then go to Top of the Chart. After Top of the Chart comes Off the Chart where I will then proudly wear that student's clip. Yes, I usually look like a dork with a clothespin clipped to my shirt, but they love it! Once this year I had a student who was already on Off the Chart when I asked her to move her clip up. So we invented a new level where I go take a picture of their clip with an Administrator and then write them a positive office referral.

16 comments:

  1. Great post on the clip chart! I adore my clip chart and can't imagine ever doing anything else. I also love 1-2-3 Magic, so I combined the two and it is just so successful. Like you, I also wear their clips when they are off the chart. They just love this! I have a daily behavior log that goes home so the parents know how they ended their day. At the end of the month, they need at least 8 reds to earn a special certificate. Honestly, the clip chart totally changed the way my students behave.

    Lori (luvyorkies@gmail.com)
    Teaching With Love and Laughter

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    1. What is 1-2-3 Magic? I haven't heard of that system but I am curious now!

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    2. Julie, here is an explanation of 1-2-3 Magic, right from the book: Offering advice for teachers eager to develop better discipline in the classroom, this guide provides practical methods for eliminating disruptive behavior, encouraging productive work habits, and communicating with parents. Clear lessons and straightforward language reveal how to measure discipline in a classroom environment, as well as how to handle difficult situations, such as transition times, assemblies, lunchtime, and field trips.

      It's a great read and I've been using it for years with success.

      Lori (luvyorkies@gmail.com)
      Teaching With Love and Laughter

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  2. Wow. Thanks for sharing how you use the chip chart. I think I may need to make one this summer and use it next year.
    Alyce
    http://mrsbartelsschoolfamily.blogspot.com/

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  3. Love the sticker on the clothespin idea. We have been using glitter glue. They LOVE it, but it can get a little messy, especially at the beginning of the year when they are learning just how much is too much glitter . . . This is my second year with the clipchart. It is REALLY effective with the good kids . . . with the more challenging students it just makes them angrier . . . Any ideas about that?

    Casey
    Second Grade Math Maniac Blog

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    1. Yes I can see how glitter glue could get REALLY messy! I try to stay away from glitter at all costs unless I'm feeling VERY brave! :) I would say that the clip chart is effective for 90% of students at most times and then the other 10% need some extra strategies such as an individual behavior plan. When I student taught I had a student who constantly moved their clip down and one day went and just tore it off the board in a fit - obviously the clip chart wasn't really for him!

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  4. Casey, when your "angry" kids have to clip down, is there a big deal made about it or is it just a nonchalant "clip down" request from you and then you move on to giving your attention to the children doing the right thing? I love the philosophy behind 1-2-3 Magic, where there is absolutely no emotion or exchange of words or unneeded attention given to the rule breaker as he/she is clipping down. It helps to cut down on the emotional outbreaks from the rule breaker.

    Lori (luvyorkies@gmail.com)
    Teaching With Love and Laughter

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  5. We are not allowed to use clip charts. At one time we were but in college I was taught they were "bad". College also taught us to say "I like the way _____is _____." Now, I am reading and learning not to say that! =)

    I think teachers need to find what works for them and still allow themselves to be open to learning and trying new ideas.

    Thank you for sharing this helpful post.


    Heather
    Heather's Heart

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    1. Isn't it funny how things in education change so quickly? I haven't been out of college for that terribly long and there are definitely some things that I learned then are no-no's now! I love what you said about finding what works for you but still being open to new ideas. Yes, yes and yes! I hope I learn that lesson every day! :)

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  6. I love this so much! I think I have always thought of clip charts for primary grades, but think I am going to incorporate it into 4th grade next year! Love the hall of fame, top of the chart and off the chart. Those sound like such a fun way to focus on the positive.

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  7. I LOVE the Clip Chart and really love you Hall of Fame idea!! Thanks so much :)

    ~Stephanie
    3rd Grade Thoughts

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  8. I love your clip chart! Can I ask where you got the paper that you used to make it??
    Thanks for sharing!
    Katie

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  9. I love these new ideas!! I have been using the clip chart for a couple of years, and it really does work so well! I love all the ways you have given them even more incentives to clip up!

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  10. I really like the idea of the clip chart and I am going to use this in my classroom this fall. I especially like the positive side of the chart. I think this will really reward my students who always do a good job. Do you ever find that your students will ask to move their clip up?

    Thanks!
    Amanda

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