Classroom Management Tips for Managing Behavior


Behavior Management
Submitted by: Pennie, 5-6 Grade



I use a vinyl pocket chart with a pocket for each child. It is called a “Start Chart”. We use both good and bad marks in it. The idea is that each child is “reaching for the stars”, so I use laminated stars for the good marks. I use brown buttons for the “ground,” bad marks. Each time the child does something nice for someone else they receive a star. They also receive a star for an A on tests. If a child does something that could harm another student or is directly disobedient they receive a button or have a star removed. They can not have both stars and buttons in their pocket. They love to see how far up in the stars they can go and don’t want to be caught “underground” at the end of the week. Each week we count the stars and the top boy and girl each get something out of my basket of goodies. The children learn to be thoughtful and kind to others in their desire to receive stars.

Behavior Management 
Submitted by: Chrisine Votel

Invest in a copy of the Tough Kids Book by Dr. Bill Jenson. It is not expensive and it it filled with wonderful ideas for management at all levels. And best of all it is well written and funny and easy to read. It is available from Soprus West. Happy Reading.

Cards/Positive Reinforcement 
Submitted by: divey
Grade Level(s): K, 1-2, 3-5

My discipline procedure may sound a bit confusing, but I absolutely love it AND it is very concrete for assigning citizenship grades…

  1. Each child is given a set of cards (2X3)put together with a library ring.Each set contains a green/blue/yellow/orange/red card.
  2. When a child forgets/breaks a rule, they move their card to the next color. A blue card is a warning…a yellow card is 10 minutes off recess…an orange card is 20 minutes off of recess and a red card is all recess and a student composed note home to the parents (signed by me/and returned the next day signed by parent)
  3. At the end of the day we do “cards”. I make a calendar for each child and reduce it so as to put 4 calendars on a page. I also, before copying, put a key at the bottom of the calendar assigning each of our 4 rules a number. I ask each child what color their card is, and if it’s green, they get a star for that day. If it’s a different color they receive a % on their calendar (blue:4/5…yellow: 3/5….orange: 2/5 and red: 1/5) and then have the child tell me which rule they forgot and then I note it on their calendar with the number from the key. (VERY good for having children remember their actions for when they get home!)
  4. At the end of the week, I put their average (?/25 points) on Saturday and that is their citizenship grade for the week!
  5. When the student gets 5 stars on their calendar (5 stars TOTAL..not 5 in a row) I circle that star and they get…
    *a treat from the treat jar
    *a happy note home
    *they put a card with their name
    on it in a basket/pocket chart
    and they start over the next day. Each set of 5 stars is rewarded
  6. When EVERYONE’S name card is in the basket/pocket chart, the class decides upon a class reward (popcorn, extra 10 minutes at recess, babysit my beanie babies, etc…) and then we start all over!
  7. At the end of each month, I send home their behavior calendars (making sure to note on their new calendars how many stars they’ve earned toward their next
  8. The parents can then, not only see their child’s behavior for the past month, but also the rules they forgot and when misbehavior occurred. WONDERFUL documentation when having to discuss behavior with parents!

I have found that with this system, my class becomes VERY supportive of the children who move their cards and encourage them to remember the rules. Usually, before too long into the school year, children will begin to cheer when someone earns five stars, and when someone has been struggling to get that 5 all month…the cheers are awesome when they get their stars. Does wonders to encourage good behavior!!!!!!!

Class Tickets
Submitted by: Patty

At the start of each day, each student is given 3 tickets. If a child misbehaves, isn’t paying attention, or breaks a class/school rule, I take a ticket from that child. Students can have a ticket taken during lunch time, recess, or at specials. At the end of the day each child turns in the tickets they have left from the day. I record this information. At the end of the week students who have earned the required number of tickets can pick a prize from the treasure box. I also use these tickets as raffle tickets on occasion if I have extra prizes or treats. I have found with this system that I am rewarding good and appropriate behavior and not always focusing on the unacceptable behavior.
Grade Level(s): 1-2, 3-5

Code of Conduct 

Submitted by: ldrsaacteachbw
Grade Level(s): 9-12

Usually a failure to understand a basic code of conduct leads to tremendous amounts of lost instructional time especially among my younger students such as 9th graders. We have a simple six topic code. It involves dress, lateness, preparation, respect staying in seats and raising hands. Breaking the rules is rewarded with a lunch time detention that is half of their 45 minute lunch. It is spent block printing the code on graph paper (no empty spaces no funny messages). Didn’t fill them all in? Come back tomorrow! It is aversive, a waste of the student’s time, serves the example that the students free time is as valuable as the teacher’s instructional time and is somewhat educational if used as a discipline lesson. I call it the “kinesthetic approach”. Afterwards I always ask which or how many of those six rules the student broke. It can be done while you are teaching another class and is a deterent to poor behavior by setting an example of the consequences. Benefit: You don’t stay after school for detention! Make sure in your detention notice to offer the student a choice of after school at 45 minutes or at lunch for 22 minutes. They MUST get their lunch and eat it first. State the consequences of a detention cut. Have a space for the lunch teachers to initial a time of leaving the cafeteria for your class. More than 2 of these type of detentions is rare for a even your toughest case. I did have one attention starved student who got it 14 times though!

Counting Tickets (Token Economy) 
Submitted by: Amanda Post

I used this system one year as a way to reward students for good behavior and hard work without going overboard.

  1. Use different colored tickets to represent 1s, 5s, 10s (I used the tickets that you can get on a big roll. They come in colors like blue, red and yellow.)
  2. Blue tickets are equal to 1, red tickets are 5, and yellow tickets are 10
  3. Each morning when the students came in they were to count their tickets.
  4. The first day we did this they counted 0 tickets. I would ask, “What is 0 + 1?” as I gave them a blue ticket. The student would see that the answer is 1.
  5. I gave each child a tin can covered in contact paper in which to keep their tickets. Each day they would dump out the can and count the tickets. To earn 1 more, they had to recite the math problem telling how many they have plus the one they would earn. 2 + 1 = 3.
  6. As they progressed, they could trade in 5 blue tickets for 1 red ticket, or 10 blue tickets for 1 yellow ticket, etc. This gave them lots of practice with counting, one to one correspondence, simple addition, etc.
  7. They could also earn extra tickets at other times of the day (but they didn’t count them until the next morning.)
  8. I had an assortment of inexpensive toys in boxes labeled with how much they cost. For instance, stickers cost 1 ticket, little plastic dinosaurs were 10, etc. For 50 tickets, they could be “kid teacher.” That meant they could help me lead calendar time, point to words, keep the kids quiet, etc. The kids really liked this. The more intangible items the better for you (saves $).. for instance, getting a bean bag to lay on at rest time was 25 tickets That was another popular one!

Submitted by: S. Young

At the beginning of the year I go over my rules and expectations for behavior. I am very clear and give lots of examples. I even have a Top Ten David Letterman-style list of behaviors that bug me, (only it’s more than 10), and I give a humorous test with one correct response and the other three choices kind of silly. Then I post a chart with the students’ names. I tell them any behavior that takes my attention away from teaching will result in being given a “point” on the chart. When students do misbehave I just say, “so and so, that’s a point.” I have found this cuts down on nagging. If a student has less than 5 points at the end of the week that student gets a small treat like a jolly rancher and a special 10 minute recess at the end of the day on Friday. If a child hurts another child, that is an automatic 5 points. With really unruly classes I have taken away the rest of the week’s recesses upon reaching 5 points. I guess for a more positive angle you could give the students 5 points and take away one when students demonstrate undesirable behavior. Even annoying behavior such as forgetting to put a name on a paper can be corrected. Three times and it’s a point and so on.

Disclipline – Punch System 
Submitted by: Tracey Jardine
Grade Level(s): 4

When a student is behaving badly, I say to them, “Give me your punch card” When they walk up, I get my hole punch, place a punch on they’re card, write what it was for, the date and then put it away. If they get a 100% on an Accelarated Reader test, spelling test, or any other test, I give them a sticker, and that represents that the last punch that they got is covered up. Let’s say it’s September (the beginning of the year) and the # of punches to get is 10 punches. If they get 10 or more punches, they can not go to the free time at the end of the week. (Every other week)

For low maintenance, cooperative behavior 
Submitted by: Gigi Lax

Get rid of all the charts, rewards, gimmicks, etc. – start your daily routine with a brief meeting in which the students and you discuss community-building ideas, problems/solutions, and rules and guidelines for the class. Use that time to develop vocabulary and role-play about concepts such as respect, cooperation, and responsibility. Deal with individual discipline problems using a “plan” in which the child identifies and writes the problem and a plan for a solution. For specific ideas along these lines, read books by Barbara Coloroso and Ruth Charney.

Here’s a great brain-based technique 
Submitted by: April Hawkins

I have used classical music in my class to keep my students quiet and my sanity intact. I have used “Tune Your Brain With Mozart” which works wonders. I have found that a combination of a morning review and music helps increase attention and learning. I find this very important when dealing with students who have special needs. There is a series of these CD’s. I purchased mine through Amazon. Good luck to all with the new school year!

Keeping Kids’ Attention 
Submitted by: Annette G, Fifth
To help manage my students’ attention and the classroom behavior in general I purchased a large piece of laminate from a local hardware store (Lowe’s, Home Depot has good prices). I had it cut into 12 x 12 inch pieces. Each child has one at their desk (at designated times) with an eraseable marker. As I teach on a concept I may have them write an answer or an example and hold the board up. An example: during my lecture on diagramming, I might call out a sentence and have the class diagram it and each student holds up their board. This method has worked for me to keep their attention, and keep everyone involved in the teaching/learning time. I also use these boards, A LOT, for games. The kids love it!

Let Students KNOW What to Expect 
Submitted by: Alice Phillips
Have a lengthy discussion on precise expectations of your classroom. There will be few surprises when children are forewarned about exactly how to do well in your particular classroom.

Managing Classroom Jobs, Behavior 
Submitted by: Susan Conrad
I have a pocket chart with five rows, and five columns. Each column is labeled a day of the week, to be used for daily helpers. Each row is labeled with moveable arrows attached to clothespins. The classroom chores, such as Leader, Messenger, Clean-up… are labeled and moved at the beginning of each week. Each pocket is labeled with a velcro tag with each child’s name. Each morning, the children place a blue crayon to show they are present. I give out color changes for misbehavior. ( green – time out) (yellow – miss one activity) (red – miss two activities) (black – office or call home). I explain these colors like a traffic light: green – go; yellow – slow; red – stop

Pennies from Heaven 
Submitted by: Mrs. Leta Bell, Kindergarten, Tulsa Public Schools
Grade Level(s): K, 1-2

I use a penny board. I give each of my students five pennies on velcro. If they make a bad choice. I ask him/her to show me a good kindergarten choice. If he/she hasn’t corrected the behavior, a penny is taken from him/her. If they keep all the five pennies at the end of the day my children know that when they arrive the next morning a big sticker will be given to them. I have seasonal shapes hanging on my curtain that they stick the sticker on. When they have 15 stickers, they are given the opportunity to buy something at the store. I have collect small items all summer and have placed them in a four drawer filing cabinet. The child chooses one item for their 15 stickers. This teaches them the concept you must work for what you want. It helps them have good self esteem because they know they can be excited and share the news about how they kept their pennies. I had one child that had such rage that he caused quite a problem. However, this procedure has changed him completely and everyday I hear, “Mrs. Bell I’m going to have a good day!” What’s great about it that he accomplishes it. The children know that if they hurt another child on purpose they lose all the pennies. Try it teachers, it works!

Quiet Classroom 
Submitted by: Lisa
Grade Level(s): 6-8, 9-12

Teaching with a block schedule means that each period must have several instructional activities with transitions between them. To ensure that the transitional times in my 7th grade science classroom are quick and efficient, I use this management technique…

In our building students are considered “tardy” if they do not arrive to their next class by the end of the 4-minute passing period between classes. I call this 4-minute period the students’ “Pass Time.” To help manage student behavior during class, I write the words “Pass Time” on my chalk board. I explain to the class that each time I erase a letter from the words, they owe me 15 seconds of extra class time after the bell rings to switch classes. The first letter is a warning letter, but after that each letter counts 15 seconds. If they have to stay to much extra in my classroom, they will be tardy to their next class. Accumulating too many tardies will mean that they loose privileges in the school.

I don’t have to ever raise my voice to quiet a class using this method. Simply picking up my eraser from the chalk tray causes the students who notice to try to quiet the other students in the room. Very seldom do I keep a class more that 30 seconds, and this is just enough time to make it inconvenient for them to get to class on time!

Smart Skittles 
Submitted by: lori
Grade Level(s): K

I do two things:

  1. I use a jar of “smart skittles” that the children can earn when they are caught doing something good or earn as a class after lunch and in the hallway.
  2. At the end of the day the children mark off on a daily conduct cardstock sheet they keep in their folder. They color the bubbles either green, yellow or red corresponding to the color they stayed on for that day. This really works because they get to do the work.

Traffic Light Behavior Modification 

Submitted by: wowpatse
I explain all the rules to follow and unacceptable behavior. Then I have a traffic light large enough to hold all the student’s names on clothespins (close to the green area and use both sides). I also have another board which has three phrases: STRIKE ONE, STRIKE TWO, STRIKE THREE. Everyone begins the day on green light, I give students 3 chances before moving off the green light, after exhausting the 3 STRIKES they move to yellow light area and then red. RED is the most extreme! If their behavior improves they move back to green.

Transition troubles… Gone 
Submitted by: suz66
Grade Level(s): K, 1-2, 3-5

My class was having trouble with their behavior during transitions or walking in the hall. I wrote “You and Me” on a T-chart and explained to the class how we had to work together for a happy classroom. When the class followed a class rule, they got the point, when they did not, I got the point. Whoever reached 15 points first won. I have 2 baskets with ‘prizes’ that we each had chosen. I won easily the first 2 times, my prizes were to have them practice their handwriting for 15 minutes and multiplication facts for 15 min. After my 2 wins, my class’ competitive nature took over. They have easily won the last few times. I now rarely earn a point and the class has saved up their wins for larger rewards.

Working Together for Classroom Behavior… 
Submitted by: Claudia

In order to motivate the entire class to work together for great classroom behavior, I am designing a race track with several pit rows on poster board. Whenever the class gets a compliment from the principal, a parent, an assistant, or teacher, the race car will be advanced one space. If group misbehavior continues after a warning, the race car is moved back to the nearest pit row. The race may only continue when the class has earned the privilege back. When the class has completed the race, everyone receives a reward. This really inspires kids to be quiet in the halls and enrichment classes because they are seeking a compliment. You can even divide into teams and have more than one race car. I have done a much simpler version of this reward system in the past. Using a large blank hundred board on poster board, I fill in empty squares with stickers as the class receives praise. Stars are placed at different points on the chart. When each star is reached, it’s time to celebrate. A big celebration is due when all 100 squares are filled with stickers. However as class activities get loud, the stars are moved further away. Pretty soon the class gets quiet if the think you are going to the star chart!

One Response to Classroom Management Tips for Managing Behavior

  1. Teach them and you don't have to tell them. September 20, 2011 at 12:21 am #

    I do not agree with taking away students recess, lunch and free time or mindless copying.That consequence has nothing to do with the behavior and won’t teach them model behavior for the future. In fact, it makes them more difficult to deal with after. All students need a breather to learn. Also, speeches on the 309 ruled DO NOT help! The students just get the impression your mean and don’t focus or remember rules.

    I do not say rules. We start our first day of school… learning! They are coming to school to learn, so I’m showing them what my class is about- learning. We jump right into it.

    I deal with behavior several ways:

    1) Keep em’ busy. I do not stop- not for a minute, not for anyone. The first three days they are bewildered. After that, they got it and follow right along. I come in, flick the light to show I’m here, and go straight into teaching. I will never stop or embarrass a student and tell them they are making the class wait. They are to busy learning to do anything. If they distract themselves it’s their loss because they need to keep up. It works people! They are too busy learning to cause trouble.

    2) Proximity. I do not sit at my desk. Hows does it help to have a teacher sitting in the front shouting orders? I am constantly walking up and down the rows. This helps me with troubleshooting and spotting problems before they can escalate. If two students are talking I walk down their row. I am always walking so it looks natrual. If it doesn’t help I stand between them or lightly touch them. If needed, I re-direct them to the class. “So Sam, where do you think Saturn fits in?” It helps students re-focus. I can causally take a students hand out of their desk if its playing inside it. I just nonchalantly drop a pencil on the desk of kids who need them.

    3) Don’t problem solve. I let them do it on their own with guided questions. This method is used particularly by bigger issues which need one-on-one, where I ask a student after class what can we do to help them learn and xyz doesn’t distract them. Read Love and Logic for specific details how I do it.

    4) Last and MOST IMPORTANT: Make it interesting! When they are busy and interested, they don’t want to do anything. I do a lot of hands on. Math is done cutting things in half and with everyday objects. We discover things in science, don’t read a textbook. I bring in earth, pass around specimens and they investigate matter. We act out plays in English. Every subject can be made hands on and practical. When things are boring they get antsy for action. When they discover and investigate, they really learn.

    I hope something here is helpful. All these ideas have further reading on it if you are interested.
    May we all build up our students to be all they can be.

Leave a Reply

one × five =