Thursday, January 20, 2011

Basic Behavior Chart

In my current job I do a lot of consulting on behaviors throughout the school district in which I work.  I help teachers figure out how to manage challenging behaviors.  I thought I would share a basic behavior chart with you and outline some Behavior Chart Basics.  These can be great for home or school so go ahead and make your own!  Then as time goes on I hope to build apon it with more complex behavior charts (some little ones just need a little more) that I have created and have been used for many students.

About this chart:  This chart was made using Boardmaker software (oh I wish I was rich enough to own it!) it has great pictures of pretty much anything.  You can use anything from original photos, clip art or laminated stickers to create a chart! 
Using this chart:  This chart was for a student who was working for a walk in the school hallway.  Each time he filled his chart he would go on a walk.  When the walk was over we would clear the chart and he would start again, he could work for the same thing or choose something different.   
Why I love this type of chart: I love that this chart is so positive.  It is a "glass half full" chart in my mind.  There are no gaping holes of items that have been missed -no reminders of errors or problematic moments ( see my personal experience below) only good deeds/ behaviors done.  Each time is a fresh start.  It is very easy to use and cart around.  I always found extra icons in my pockets after work.  MAKE EXTRAS!

Here are some Dos and Don'ts of a Basic Behavior Chart!

Do allow the child to understand the chart by earning quickly and successfully the first few times
Do have a variety of choices of items for kids to work for, especially older children
Do let the child choose- this allows them to feel more in control and be more motivated and invested


Don't take away already earned stars, smileys, stickers etc.  This has a very negative effect. Once its there keep it there
Don't abandon the whole chart half way through just because the child might be being "a turkey"   

Some commonly asked questions about behavior charts:
Q: Whats so wrong with taking away the smiley or star that was earned?
A: This tells the child that their good behavior can be undone.  If they have earned it and it is there it is theirs, it also serves as a reminder of a success that can be duplicated when it remains in place.
Q:What can I do if the child is misbehaving since I can't take away already earned items?
A: You can flip the chart over or take it away and put it on time out.  Then you can say, "you cannot earn ____ right now.  I will wait until you are ready" or something along those lines.
Q: Is there a time frame for each sticker?
A: No some days the student might need to earn one sticker or item for each positive behavior, or every minute or every time they answer a question.  It is all individualized.  This will be discussed in greater detail in subsequent posts.

Personal Experience: In first grade I had to have a behavior chart-pu into place by my teacher, believe me when I say that it was all due to a little misunderstanding.  Each day I had the opportunity to earn`1 sticker. My chart encompassed a whole week.  If I didn't earn on Wednesday there was a gaping hole there all week.  There was no fresh start -just a constant reminder that I had fallen short.  As you can see it has scarred me for life- none of us are expected to perform 100% all the time- we all fall short.  I recently came across one of these actual charts of mine while goin through the attic- it gave me the heebie jeebies.  Don't do that to your students or kids. :)

Calling All Examples
  If you have an example of a basic behavior chart I would love to post it. 
In addition if you have any questions you can email them
highheelstosneakers at gmail dot com

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea. I love the idea of this blog and I look forward to reading your posts. Thank you Marybeth. You are so talented and it will be fun to see all the great things that you will share.



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