Setting up your classroom: Class Behaviour Chart

WP_20150413_002 1Class Behaviour chart

It is important that your classroom systems are in alignment with the overall school behaviour policy.

I like to have a visual chart that all pupils can see clearly in the classroom. This helps them to take responsibility for their actions. They are aware of their progress across the chart and as a result, the consequences do not come as a shock.

It is important not to have an overly complicated system. Pupils need to understand how to be successful within the classroom environment and a clear class behaviour chart will help to support that understanding.

How my system works:

Behaviour chartMy system starts with a smiley face. All pupils begin the day on a smiley face so poor behaviour does not rollover to the next day. Each day is a fresh start. A first warning results in pupils moving across to a sad face. A second warning results in them moving to a yellow card. This has a consequence in line with the school’s behaviour policy. Moving to a red card results in a more serious consequence. It is important that pupils know what the consequences for each stage are. I have these displayed clearly above.

My chart is made with Velcro. I like pupils to physically move themselves across the chart as this means they are fully aware of the stage they are at during the day.

This works for me and I have found it to be an effective way of monitoring behaviour. You may find something similar also works for you. I like to reward children who remain on a smiley face all day with house points so that it isn’t only for tracking negative behaviour.

It is important that as well as clear sanctions, you also have clear rewards and although you will want these to fit in with your overall school behaviour policy, you may also want to have additional reward systems within your classroom, e.g. table points or raffle tickets.

Individual behaviour systems:

For those children who need a more personalised system, a lesson-by-lesson weekly chart with an appropriate award can be beneficial. This is helpful for younger children or those who need to be able to see a more short-term view, where they are being successful sooner and not over a long period of time. I find that a system like this is appropriate for a handful of children in my class. They get it signed or commented on each lesson before taking it home each night to get their positive behaviour reinforced at home, or the additional opportunity to talk about any issues with their families.


Contribution tokens

CountersUsing counters or some other type of token, pupils should collect a token when they contribute in a discussion or group activity.

Each token could equate to some kind of reward.

This is particularly effective if you have pupils who are engaged with the school or class reward system but often choose not to participate in group discussions or activities.

You could develop it so that other members of the group decide whether the contribution was worthy of a token.

Carrot lessons

Wee Free MenThis idea is based on the Terry Pratchett book, The Wee Free Men, where teachers come to the village and set up lessons in tents. People then decide what education they want and gain education in return for vegetables and eggs. It is taken from an example lesson shown to me when I was studying for my PGCE at the University of Cumbria in Lancaster, but I can’t remember the name of the particular tutor.

The more the class get used to these types of lessons, the better the results will be.

Preparation lesson: Become an expert
Pupils become an ‘expert’ in a topic, e.g. Anglo Saxon homes. The class is split into several topics so you may have 4 or 5 pupils becoming experts in the same topic. Pupils use resources, e.g. books, Internet printed information, Internet access to learn more about their topic. At the end of this time, they should be confident enough to teach others this topic.

Tip:If you do this on a different day to the main carrot lesson, pupils may go home and research further on their topic.

Carrot lesson: Ask an expert
I set the classroom out with tables in a circle with one seat on each side of each table. I split the class into ‘teachers’ and ‘learners’ and half of the ‘teachers’ with a mixture of expertise on topics sit on the outside of the circle. The other half become ‘learners’.

Learners have a sheet, booklet or book to collect information. Teachers have their original information and a whiteboard and whiteboard pen to help them with their teaching.

I give each teacher 5 minutes to teach the learner sitting opposite them. When the time is up (I have a timer on the board) the learner moves on to learn about a different topic and the teacher teaches a new learner. I repeat this 4/5 times so that each learner has an opportunity to be taught each topic.

When those teachers have taught, each pupil who has been learning the topics collects 5 laminated carrots. They then distribute their carrots however they choose to the teachers who have provided them with the best, most interesting education. They can give 5 to one teacher or 1 to each teacher. It is up to them but I always emphasise that carrots are for good education and not for friends! I also ask learners to ask their teachers questions.

Pupils then switch roles. Teachers become learners; learners become teachers and the whole process is repeated.

We collect the number of carrots on a ‘carrot spreadsheet’ so we can keep track of our carrots in each carrot lesson. The aim is that the next time we have a carrot lesson, they receive more carrots. Normally pupils realise that they didn’t use their initial ‘becoming an expert’ lesson effectively and in general pupils receive more carrots in a later lesson.

For pupils who were absent in the initial ‘becoming an expert’ lesson are placed at an ‘information station’ – a table with resources about one of the topics – where they become an expert in that topic for the first part of the lesson. They are then able to become a teacher and earn carrots for the quality of education they are providing.

For lower ability children, I pair them up with another child so that they are able to fully access the content of the lesson and don’t become disengaged.

See lessons are particularly good for humanities topics but could be used in any way where pupils are required to learn about something in particular.

Raffle tickets to encourage participation

RaffleDuring the lesson/activity:
To encourage engagement in a group activity, use raffle tickets or a similar token. A raffle ticket could equal a house point or something else that acts as an incentive.

Pupils should be aware of how the raffle tickets are used prior to activities beginning.

Throughout the lesson/activity, move around the room awarding raffle tickets for excellent work, ideas, contribution or initiative – any quality that you want to promote and encourage.

End of an activity:
Award each group more raffle tickets than members. The group then need to agree who deserves most raffle tickets for their contribution. They are then distributed however the group chooses. Pupils need to be trained how to do this and to avoid giving raffle tickets to their friends.

At the end of the week, you can hold a raffle for a small prize or just use the raffle tickets as an equivalent for house points or another reward that fits into the school behaviour policy.