Saturday, November 3, 2012

Primary daily Report: Green Light, Yellow Light, Red Light-STOP!

Daily reports are an easy way to provide younger students with behavioral support. This is a quick intervention that helps to monitor daily behaviors and communicate them with parents. In addition, it can be a good visual aid that can motivate students- some fact many students, enjoy the special attention. It is important though, to remember that this is still a plan, even if simple, that should be monitored, have simple goals, and have an end date in mind. You want students to feel successful. So this should not be a tool with an undefined end date. For younger students a month is good. For the older students, I always start with two weeks. In my opinion, a fourth grader should not rely on a daily report to help monitor their behavior. They should be working toward monitoring their own behaviors because in essence, being aware of your own behaviors fosters reflection and change. Here is a simple daily report using a stoplight. I've seen several teachers in my building who use the stoplight as part of their whole class plan so I wanted to create an easy form that compliments what they already have in place (instead of reinventing the wheel).

Download Here 
I have one form that lists three easy goals: followed directions, completed classwork, and worked well with others. I've also included a blank form that can be completed with three specific goals by the teacher. At the bottom of the form, you will find a key for parents. And an area for them to sign daily. This is completed at the end of the day. But....if you know me, you know that I am BIG on making students a part of the behavior management process. So I've included a sample chart that you can keep on the board for the students throughout the day.

The key says.... Green- no warnings Yellow- up to three warnings and Red- more than 3 warnings. Each circle is colored at the end of the day. You can keep track using this chart on a whiteboard, laminated poster board, the chalkboard.....anywhere that is visible and can be erased:
Download Here
The check marks represent warnings. By having a quick chart referencing student warnings, it easy to a) have the students color their own circles at the end of the day or at stop points during the day. Or, it is easy for you (or an assistant) to complete at the end of the day. 

Now, what if the student fails to take home this report...loses it, ruins it.....parent never gets it????? Here is a monitoring chart that you can keep on a clip board and you can monitor several students at once. This way you always have a copy for your records and one to share with parents/caretakers when needed. 
Download Here

Feel free to download this or, use it as a guide to make your own. Let me know how it works for you!! I have several forms that I am in the process of posting! If you want to get updated every time a link is shared, be sure to follow my blog. Thanks for visiting, I hope you found this helpful!! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

I Need a Break! Using Break Cards in Your Classroom

Recently I have been dealing with students who have a tendency to elope from class. When students elope, they leave the assigned area without permission. This is a very serious concern for our administration and faculty because when a student is away from their assigned area, unsupervised, anything can happen. Just recently there was a story on the news where two young students in a nearby school eloped from class and actually left the building. They were found blocks away from the school with their belongings ready to get on public transportation.....they were in kindergarten. Of course the parents flipped out and I am sure the school received a great deal of backlash for this. Unfortunately with budget cuts we don't have as many "eyes" in the hallway like in the past. With this in mind, I find a presing need to be proactive versus reactive when dealing with students who tend to wander.

The students that I see in my office for leaving their assigned area without permission are usually in my office for other behavioral concerns as well. I usually suggest that teachers place these students on behavior plans; however, I found that there needed to be something in the plan that addressed eloping sepecifically. In the past, what was in the plan usually only noted when a student eloped but it didn't give specific steps to take to prevent the eloping. With this is mind, I helped to revise some of the plans. The bottom line is some students need to leave the class. period. And, when you try to fight it, sometimes this leads to a bigger behavioral issue. So I now add "break cards" to student behavior plans when necessary. This is something that has to be added to the behavior plan and both the parents and students have a clear understanding of how this will work.

For those that really need a break, issue them two break cards at the start of every day. The student must understand that they can take their break whenever they like; however, once the break cards are gone, they are gone for the day. In addition, students must self-monitor their behavior throughout the day in order to take their break. This helps those who are reluctant to self-monitor their behavior using a self-monitoring sheet. Finally, before the student is permitted to leave the room, their teacher must give a heads up to the adult that the student would like to take their break with. The student should highlight three to five adults in advance, the teacher should have a conversation with these adults in advance, so that when the child needs to take the break- they are supervised.
Download Here 

So...this is how you can organize this in your class. Assuming that this child is on a behavior plan- they should be given a behavior modification folder. In this folder they should have a student copy of their behavior contract as well as any necessary forms that they use to monitor their behavior. I have some students who have a de-escalation plan in their folder. This is a list of things they can do to calm down when they are upset. To read more about de-escalation plans, check back here on Thursday.... I have a post scheduled to go out where I discuss how to use de-escalation strategies in your class with students who tend to "explode when upset"....Other things I include in this folder are their break cards, self-monitoring chart and a guideline sheet for their break.
Download Here 
How to use this self-monitoring sheet. When monitoring student behavior, students can use the sheet below to keep track of their points. Students can earn a point when they follow a directive the first time given. Students should establish goals based on how many points they earn in a day. The easiest way to keep students motivated is to have them earn their recess for the first part of the day and earn a prize from the prize box at the end of the day.  (i.e. 15 points in the am = recess, 15 points in the pm = a prize from the prize box). The prize box should be simple-- not costly (the goal is to remain consistent so you want it to be easy to maintain a daily prize). Sample prizes might be 1. earn an extra break 2. pencil 3. computer time 4. work on the rug pass 5. sit with a buddy 6. lunch with the teacher. For the older kids, you might want to have them cash their points in for prizes at the end of the week.

Download Here
At the start of the day, students should be reminded about tracking their behavior and using their self-monitoring sheet. They should be reminded of their goals and incentives (keep it positive and focus on the good, not the negative).

Some teachers need support with monitoring the students who are on behavior plans. I will admit it can be time consuming but it is an important piece of classroom manangement. Especially when you work in an environment with persistent problematic behaviors. I cannot stress how important managing these behaviors are. Without strong classroom management, there is no instruction. I always say if you put it in the hard work in the half of school, your class will run on its own in the second half of the school year. It is ideal to collect the student's self-monitoring sheet after it has been sent home and signed by the parent/caretaker. But that doesn't alwasy happen. So I've created a form that has four copies of the student's self-monitoring sheet. When a student is given their sheet, the teacher can keep a copy on their clip board. When they direct a student to mark a point on their personal sheet, the teacher can keep track on their clip board. This way, the teacher also has a record of the students daily behavior for progress monitoring purposes.
Download Here 

I have a ton of things I want to share. I've been making forms that Ihave found helpful. Please be sure to follow this blog so that you can be updated with these *free downloadable forms.

I hope you find these resources helpful!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

I-Messages, Behavior Plans, Progress Monitoring....Oh My!!!

For some teachers, it is at this point in the school year when you've come to the conclusion that your whole class behavior plan may not be working for a few students. It is time to develop an individual behavior plan in effort to provide direct support to any student who may be having a difficult time with anger management and/or self control. By intervening with an individual behavior plan, teachers get more information about a student and may or may not decide that a student needs additional, more comprehensive behavorial support. This data collecting process is two-fold. Primarily, it provides students with classroom support to help them reach behavorial goals made by both them and the teacher. It is designed to address specific barriers during classroom instruction. By developing a behavior plan, a teacher is taking additional steps to help every student find success in their classroom. In addition, a behavior plan shows that a variety of strategies have been implemented to support a student in a variety of settings. If a student fails to make progress with an in-class behavorial plan, a teacher has doumentation that additional behavorial supports are necessary. Documentation is critical; it is proof for both parents and adminstrators that the classroom environment has been modified to help support a child who is displaying difficulty.

The nuts and bolts of a behavior plan.
A behavior plan must be measurable. It must have measurable/observable goals that can show  a student's progress or lack their of. In addition, a behavior plan must have the input of both the parent and the student. Students should be able to identify areas of need and/or personal behavior goals. They should also have some say about the incentive options they can earn. It is important to have an end date/ review date. In my school, our contracts initially go for a month with progressive goals each week. Below is an outline you might want to consider when developing a behavior plan:

  • Three most important behavior concerns in class (i.e antagonizing behavior, off-task behavior, leaving the room without permission). 
  • A primary goal and secondary goal based on the three behaviors listed above (The student will refrain from antagonizing their peers durig classroom instuction, the student will not leave their seat without permission)
  • Measurable goals that can be tracked and documented (The student will receive no more than 6 warnings in a day.) After establishing your base line, create positive and negative consequences that go above and below the base-line goal for example: 0 warnings= 3 stars, 3 warnings=2 stars, 6 warnings= 1 star, 9 warning=phone call home 12 warnings= lunch detention and think sheet) After establishing a daily goal, translate that into a weekly goal: Week 1 and 2: 5 stars, Week 3 and 4: 10 stars, Week 5 and 6: 15 stars.) 

  • After establishing the weekly goals, identify weekly incentives based on the stars earned i.e 15 stars- 30 minute computer pass, 10 stars: prize from the proze box, 5 stars: 15 minute time out during a period of students choice. Remember, it is important that the student values the incentive and should be created with their input. If the student is not interested in the reward, they will not care about the behavior contract.

  • MAKE SURE YOU KEEP IT SIMPLE. It is very important that your incetives are of high-interest but are not a BURDEN to you. You are the pilot of this process so if it is diffilcult to maintain, the process then becomes vulnerable and its success is compromised. Keep the warning process simple and easy to document. Choose a form that easy to manage and track on. Here are few ideas. 
  • Progress monitoring is very important. It is very important that you keep your goals measurable so that you can track progress. This makes yor process systematic, consistent and easy to communicate. 

  • Highlight all of the support that a student will receive while on behavior contract (teacher/ parent/ support staff). 
  • Make sure the parent signs the behavior contract and understands their role. The parent should understand that there should be a follow-up consequence at home if a phone call is made or if any contact is made. It is important that parents reinforce the contract. 


How do you teach your students to communicate. A lot of times I hear adults directing students to,  "use their words." But unfortunately, students do not always know what words we are referring to. Students need to have social skills and the ability to communicate effectively if they are going to be strong problem solvers. Students have to be able to clearly express their feelings, wants and needs in order to properly clear up classroom/ social conflicts. By using I-Messages, teachers lay they foundations for students to learning how to communicate with each other.
I messages improve communication because it helps the student to express their wants, needs, and feelings in a respectful manner. Use the I message and response cards to help facilitate student conversation. "

I suggest that I-Messages be added to your Peace Area in the classroom. I use I messages when I am when students are referred to my office. I not only have the students use them with each other to resolve conflict, I also use them to communicate how I feel about the situation after our discussion. I have been impressed with the conversations students are having each other and with me. I find this to be a critical component of any conflict resolution process. 

Download these resources for FREE here. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

As Seen on Pinterest! Informing vs. Tattling

I created a quickie lesson based on a pin I found on Pinterest. This is a great lesson for students who #1. tattle and #2. misunderstand your "no tattling" rule. When we try to explain to students the difference between tattling and informing, if we don't use a visual aid to help explain, some students may get the wrong the message. When a child goes home and shares with their parent that they are not permitted to "tell the teacher"....well this can cause some problems. To help prevent any misunderstanding I created this lesson!

Step1: Begin by explaining why understanding the difference between tattling and informing is important. 

Step 2: Have the students discuss their personal definition of tattling and how it may be different than informing. 

Step 3: After getting an idea of how students view tattling versus informing, share the definitions on this page. Use this sheet to help students differentiate between tattling and informing. As the students highlight the differences, add them to the chart. Once the chart is complete summarize the importance of informing and how it is different from informing. ( For younger students, you can call on student to add the tab to a pieceof construction paper. For older, more independent students, you can have them create their own chart on a piece of construction paper).

Step 4: For homework have the student complete this sheet with their parent/guardian. The purpose of this home assignments is two-fold. Number 1, it is great for reinforcing the concepts discussed in class. Number 2, it shares with the parent what you discussed in class and helps them to understand the "no tattling" policy in your classroom.

The last thing you can do is create a Turtle Tale Jar. The labels are included in this download. This provides students with the opportunity to share their concerns with you. You can read some of these aloud in class as they add to the jar(and they will add to the jar). You can practice informing versus tattling by having the students identify whether the turtle tale is informing or tattling.

            Before you download, be sure to follow this blog so you can get updated everytime I add a post (usually with a FREEBIE) to this page!!

If you would like to see the pin that inspired this lesson, click here.  While on Pinterest, feel free to follow me. I add to my boards regularly and they are GREAT resources for the classroom!! 

AND....Stop by my store for a SUPER END OF SEPTEMBER SALE!! up to 70% on selected items!!

Enjoy : )

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What is Positive Behavior Support?

Good instruction begins with strong classroom management.

What is Positive Behavior Support (PBS)?
Positive Behavior Support (PBS) is a systems approach that enables schools to adopt and sustain structures and procedures using research-validated practices to address academic and social needs. It entails the application of positive behavioral interventions resulting in socially important behavior changes. PBS focuses on prevention of problem behaviors by rearranging environmental variables (antecedents and consequences). PBS aims to directly teach social skills; it supports the entire school body with multiple levels of interventions. There is no single strategy that will meet all challenges. It is imperative that all staff/ faculty, volunteers and parents reinforce common rules and expectations for the entire student body. Routines and procedures look the same throughout the school. Every classroom posts the same rules, implements the same process for dealing with classroom discipline and establishes similar interventions for dealing with challenging behaviors. Consistency and uniformity is key to an effective PBS plan. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Positive Behavior Support (PBS) Goodies and Some Extra FREEBIES!!

This year as the Academic Dean of Students, I am primarily responsible for school climate and behavior management. My principal is a huge advocate for promoting effective school-wide behavior support and has charged me with the responsibility of implementing our school-wide Positive Behavior Support (PBS) program. This includes a uniformed classroom management program that is implemented in every classroom, school-wide rules and expectations, school-wide incentives and most importantly (mainly because this was our biggest need) an effective lunchroom program that promotes positive behavior during student lunches. Our school-wide rules are simple: 

All of our behavior expectations stem from these very important expectations. Each teacher has this poster along with this poster posted in their classroom.

Other posters that state our expectations are posted in key areas throughout the school:

 Click HERE to download the posters 

In addition to posting the same school-wide expectations, I met with the teachers over the summer to establish a progressive discipline process that should be used in every classroom. The goal of our progressive discipline is to provide a process for students to help manage, redirect, and provide interventions when necessary. This does several things. Most importantly, it provides students with the chance to learn from their mistakes, make better decisions and turn their behavior around. It also serves as data/documentation necessary to support referrals that may be made to get students additional support; it provides documentation for evaluation teams/ RTII (Response to Intervention and Instruction). Finally, it provides a systematic process for teachers to follow so that classroom discipline is fair. It is consistent and makes students well aware of their consequences. Our process is as follows: 

  • Warning
  • Peace Table (with the completion of a Think Sheet)
  • Buddy Teacher 
  • Lunch Detention
  • Call for Support

Teachers are free to implement this process how they see fit; some teachers use a stop light. I have also use it with the "turn your card" strategy. Another teacher implements it using Class Dojo (and she LOVES it).  I provided teacherswith a progressive discipline chart that they could display in their classrooms. This can be used with clothespins, or it can be used as a visual reference:
Download HERE for the template.  This form is editable.

When you download this file, you will also have a template for creating a BRAVO BOARD! I orginally got the idea from this pin:

We have a policy that states that any time a student is removed from class, for any reason, the teacher must make parent/guardian contact. In addition, when a student is referred to the Dean, the following incident form must be completed:

These forms help monitor student infractions and they serve as documentation for student behaviors (very important when meeting with parents).

In addition, it is required that teachers keep both a communication log and behavior log. This is SO IMPORTANT when meeting with parents to discuss a students behavior. This is tangible data that parents appreciate when dealing with their child's behavioral concerns. It helps them to "SEE" what their child is doing and the effects that it may have on their learning and classroom instruction. It takes out the guess work. When teachers can document their interventions and follow-up, they are also able to show that they are working with the child and not against them. 

Did I mention that our school-wide theme is PEACE LOVE and LEARNING? I always had a classroom theme when I taught 4th grade. Once you choose a theme, it helps to keep the program (whether it be classroom or school-wide) consistent! Our students are able to identify what the theme is because it is tied into everything. Our teachers did a really good job bringing it all together in their classrooms as well! One teacher even has a Peace Ambassador for their classroom. As the school year goes on, I will continue to share all of the great things I see and create!

Our lunch program has been going incredibly smooth! I impleemented an incentive program in the lunchrom and we reinforce our Cafe' expectations. Our lunchroom has been converted to a Cafe' (another suggestion that was discussed during our summer meeting). We have bright tablecloths and our art teacher is in the process of designing vases with our upper grades! Once the vases are done, I will share with you how students earn PEACE points during our lunch period and how this impacts our school-wide incentive program. Unfortunately with my  new workload, blogging is put off until the weekends, so hopefully I can keep up with routine postings on the weekends! In the meantime here are some additional FREEBIES you might like!
I initially saw a pin on Pinterest that gave me this idea to create WE statements. I created a chart in my room that use student photos and these statements. I decided not to post what this looks like because I don't want to share images of the students without the proper consent but here is the Pinterest link that inspired this idea:



Next week is our Back to School Night and I am planning a popcorn themed "Thanks for Popping In" night. I will post the materials I use for this next weekend. Have a great week : ) 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Character Education: Character Words Posters

This year, as the Academic Dean of Students, I will be responsible for supporting teachers with classroom management and managing the overall school climate. Some ways I will be supporting teachers will be by providing push-in character education classes, presenting mini PD's on strategies and tools that can be used to support behavior management and managing the overall school-wide PBS program (Positive Behavior Support). As I prepare for the school year I have been reading tons of books and of course conducting "pinterest research". I have come across many great ideas that I will be using in my room (not really a classroom, not quite an office). I am also looking forward to sharing my resources (both borrowed and created by me) with you! My first resource of the school year is my Character Words Poster set. I will be using these posters on my bulletin board (pictures coming soon). I will also refer to these posters when teaching character education. The character traits that I emphasize are:

Treat others with respect. Be accepting of of differences. Use good manners, not bad language. Be considerate of the feelings of others. Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone. Deal peacefully with anger, insults and disagreement. 


Be kind. Be compassionate and show you care. Express gratitude. Forgive others. Help people in need.


Do what your supposed to do. Plan ahead. Persevere. Keep trying! Always do your best. Use self control. Be self-disciplined. Think before you act. Consider the consequences. Be accountable for your words, actions and attitudes. Set a

good example for others. 

Play by the rules. Take turns and share. Be open-minded. Listen to others. Don’t take advantage of others. Don’t blame others carelessly. Treat all people fairly.

Play by the rules. Take turns and share. Be open-minded. Listen to others. Don’t take advantage of others. Don’t blame others carelessly. Treat all people fairly.

Do you share? Try to make your school and community better. Cooperate. Get involved in community affairs. Stay informed. Vote. Be a good neighbor.

As the school year progresses, I will be posting lessons and resources that I use based on these traits. Feel free to download them and/or use them to develop your own resources. Also, you are always welcomed to share any links to your favorite resources in the comments. 

To download my Character Words Posters, click here.

Enjoy : )