Saturday, September 1, 2012

New behavior plan!

I am trying a new behavior plan this year.  In the past I have done the "turn your card" thing and the "move your clip" thing and both of them generally worked.    However, I was just never quite happy with them.   I felt like the kids who ended up on 'red'.....were always on 'red'......and I hated sending them home with a behavior calendar full of red marks each and every day.   For some reason I kept thinking how discouraging it must be to go home each day with a big red mark in your folder.  I know they earned that red mark fair and square....but still....something about that system just didn't work for me.  Who knows?!  I may end up going back to something similar.....but for now I've settled on a behavior plan that I think is going to work well for me.

I actually combined a couple different ideas to make my behavior system this year.  When I read about gold tags from A Teeny Tiny Teacher I knew I had found something to try!!   I LOVED her idea.  I loved that she didn't use a clip chart.  I loved that her kids could earn and lose gold tags.   I loved everything about it.  So off I went to make gold tags.

Instead of using library pockets, I bought a pre-made pocket chart.  Since the pockets were already yellow, I wanted my ''tags'' to be a different color....because obviously yellow tickets in a yellow pocket would totally clash.  So  I went with green.  And I started calling them tickets instead of tags.  But it's still the same overall idea.

My kids can earn and lose green tickets all day long.  Make a good choice....earn a green ticket.  Make a bad choice....lose a green ticket.  Make a really bad choice....(gasp!) you might lose more than one.  Some earn more than others and some lose more than others.  It's the way of the world.  They've caught on pretty quick to this system.  

So why do my kids care about green tickets?  What's the motivator that's driving them to want a laminated piece of copy paper?  Well that's the next part of my behavior system and I got this idea from Christie at First Grade Fever.  She created a super fantastic way to reward students for good behavior WITHOUT using a treasure box.  Yippee!!!!  Her freebie (yes it's FREE!) is called the Best Behavior Prize Book and it works like magic.  

I explained to my kiddos that each Friday we would all count our tickets.  Anyone who has 10 tickets on Friday will get to pick a prize from the prize book.  The prizes are things like eating lunch with the teacher, swapping seats with a friend, bringing something from home to share.........Honestly I was not sure my kiddos would go for the paper prizes in a binder.  But after I went over each prize they could earn.....and I saw the excitement on their little faces....I knew I had found a winner.  

The ticket counting time has now been nicknamed "Ticket Tally Time" and we had our first one on Friday.   I am teaching my kids to lay their tickets out like tally marks to count them....(another superb idea from A Teeny Tiny Teacher). 

After counting tickets, I asked each student how many tickets they had.  I wrote their total on a "ticket tally sheet" and sent them to their desk to write their name on it.  Eventually the students will be responsible for writing their total number of tickets themselves.....but since it's the first week of school I still have several that cannot write a single number.  We'll get there.  

If they had 10 tickets they got to pick a prize from the prize book.  

If they did not have 10 tickets, they put their tickets back into the pocket chart so they could keep trying next week.   I really, really, really like the fact that this system doesn't mean that the behaviorally challenged child will NEVER get a prize.  It just means that it might take that child a longer time to get it.  

I had some sad faces after our first ticket tally time.  I also had a few happy faces.  It gave me an opportunity to talk to some sad faces and give them some pointers about ways to earn more tickets (and ways not to lose three at one time LOL).  

Overall I think this system will work well for me.  The only problem I can see at this point is finding the time to do the whole "ticket tally time" thing.  It took quite a few minutes for everyone to count their tickets, write their name, and return their extra tickets to the pocket chart.  I am hopeful that after a few times of doing this, it will get easier and faster for us.  I'll let you know!


  1. Super fun!!!!!
    And it does get faster!!!!! I promise!

  2. I think I will have to start this. I've seen the Gold Tags post and I couldn't think of a good way to store the tags. The pocket chart idea is wonderful! And the positive rewards are great! Thanks for the tips.

    Miss A's Kindergarten

  3. Oh my goodness. I LOVE the name of your blog. I found you from your link at Miss A's Kindergarten and I'm your newest follower. And it's my 8th year of teaching too :)


  4. Awww thank you! You wouldn't believe how long it took me to finally choose a name for the blog!!! LOL Thanks for stopping by! Glad you're here! :-)

  5. cute book...if you are sharing that i would love a copy....
    i have done tickets before too and just give out the carnival type tickets that come in a large roll....although each two is the same....i use them all as an individual ticket. kids write their name on it and they put it in my good/boy/girl jar....i draw out tickets for special occasions or good behavior(going beyone what is expected to choose from treasure chest). however i would love to incorporate your book of choices for tickets.
    i have some rascally kiddos this year...and the 'usual' is not working as well as it has in most other years.
    i am also using the classroom dojo (app store) with my class....they are fascinated with the avatar and getting points. i like being able to look at the day for certain kids to see their gains and losses. it can show you the exact amount of times you gave negative/positive comments. That helps me to make sure i am giving both and not always the things they need to do better.

    1. Laura, thanks for your comments! I have a coworker who uses Class Dojo and loves it! I wasn't aware you could look at the exact times you've given neg/pos comments. I like that feature....I definitely need that with the class I have this year! :-)

      That awesome prize book was not my idea. I actually got it from Christie at First Grade Fever. The link to her original post is in my post above...but here is the direct link if you'd like it:

      That has really been a great motivator and my kids have loved the prizes!!!! (and I like that they are being rewarded with something that is not tangible like a toy) Easier and cheaper for me!!!!

  6. I, too, read the post fom Teeny Tiny Teacher and have given up my behavior cards for golden tickets. I love the fact that no child leaves daily knowing their parent is going to ask what color are you on. Perhaps they will have conversations like, What did you learn today?

    The Resourceful Apple

  7. I've got to find a pocket chart like this to use. I used library pockets and smiley faces like you use the green tickets, but the smiley faces fall down into the library pockets and it makes it hard to see them and get them out. This pocket chart would work great and maybe change up to using tickets like these to make them taller. Thanks for sharing!

  8. This is EXACTLY what I have been looking for!! I am a first year kindergarten teacher and wanted to know how to implement the ticket system into kindergarten since they don't have their own desk to keep their things at. Thank you for posting this!

  9. I love this idea! I want to start implementing it this year! I have a couple questions first! Do you put the tickets in the students' pocket in the pocket chart or do they? If they receive a ticket during carpet time, when do they put it in their pocket? Also, where is your pocket chart at in your room? Is it at the front of the class?