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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Not Using a Clip Chart Anymore?

Last night (really this morning at 3am while feeding 2 babies), I stumbled upon a, dare I say, shocking! blog post.  It was from Nikki at Teaching in Progress.  I was quite intrigued by her thoughts.

This school year I moved to a charter school that embraces Responsive Classroom.  The principles in the book Teaching Children to Care and The First Six Weeks of School  I wholeheartedly agreed with, although there were certain lines I just wasn't willing to let a 6-year-old cross with me because, come on, they are six and I'm 33 - anyway...

School began and I was having a tough time giving constant reminders to think about their behavior, make good choices and so on.  I reverted back to my old system, but with a twist.  I used clips instead of cards, allowed students to move up and down throughout the day and had 2 "better behavior" tiers instead of one.  In old system style, though, I rewarded them for the good behavior with stamps collected on a behavior sheet . When the sheet was full, they earned a trip to the treasure box.  Needless to say, wind of my change made it to the powers that be.  I wasn't upset or frazzled seeing that it WAS my first year with Responsive Classroom.  I was allowed to keep the clip chart, let the kids report their daily color to their parents via a home/school chart but no treasure box could be tied to the experience.

Fast forward to today - I read Nikki's post with renewed energy!  Maybe I am capable of ditching the whole clip system for my "Take a Break" area!  Frankly, "Take a Break" didn't make a big splash in my room this year because I didn't completely buy-in and we all know that when we don't buy-in wholeheartedly, they don't buy-in at all.

As I begin to ponder on next year, I wonder "Will I not use a Clip Chart Anymore?"  I'm willing to give it a try.  I'm going to spend the next 3 months buying in to the "Take a Break" area and making it my own.  I like the look of Nikki's in her blog post - now to make it something I can feel comfortable doing.

What do you use for behavior management in your class?  What are your thoughts on ditching a clip/card chart in a K-2 class?


  1. Very interesting post! I will be curious to find out how you like the "take a break" space. I, personally LOVE the clip chart..the one where the students all start off "ready to learn" or in the middle of the chart.

    This is my 16th year of teaching and this is the first year I have used the clip chart. I also use a behavior calendar. If the students do not have to move their clip, they get a stamp on their calendar..if they do, I write what happened. I also use whole brain techniques by Chris Biffle, which are amazing. All three of these techniques have worked wonders in my classroom. It's a lot of work in the beginning, but it is sooo worth it.

    I will definitely check back to see how it goes.. If you haven't checked out whole brain learning should! His 5 simple rules have worked wonders!! Love him!


    A Kindergarten Life For Me

    1. I'll definitely have to check that out!


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