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    re:need things
    By Amanda

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    I am also a first year teacher and I was having a similar problem. I don't know what grade you teach, so maybe this won't help (i teach 1st and 2nd), but it's what I have started:

    I made a bulletin board with a wide strip (construction paper)of Green, then yellow, then red paper. I divided each color into three sections (with a marker)so there are 9 "zones" on the board. Next to that, I have my class rules and a sticker-incentive chart. Then, I used flashcards and for each zone I wrote a corresponding consequence: "Zone 4: Loss of free time", etc. All of my kids have their name on a 2" star that starts in Zone 1 (the card says "Excellent behavior!"). Any time they break a class rule, they have to move their star. If they stay on green the whole day (Zone 1-3), they get a sticker on the chart. When they get 10 stickers, they get a prize in the treasure box I have [bubbles, yo-yo, stickers, small toy car, etc.]. It seems complicated, but it really isn't. When I have a student talking, I'll say "Sarah, move your star, you were talking without permission". I also sent a note home to my parents telling them about the system, so they can (and do) talk with their kids about whether they stayed in green that day and so on.

    My kids were absolutely crazy and this has helped in 4 ways:
    1- My kids feel like they have a reason to learn the class rules and they also know ahead of time what the consequences are going to be.
    2- Less disruption of my teaching because they know the routine and I can ask them to move their stars from anywhere so I don't have to stop what I'm doing.
    3- When someone gets their star moved, my other kids immediately sit up and pay better attention because they're afraid they're next.
    4- It makes it more obvious who has behaved well all day (which is usually harder for me to recognize) and I can use more positive reinforcement.

    The kids who stay in green LOVE being able to put the sticker by their name on the chart each day! And let me tell you, I've had quite a few tears shed at the idea of going to yellow - not because it automatically means losing free time, but because they miss the sticker for that day.

    Sorry this is so long, but I hope it helps!

    Amanda



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