Classroom Behavior System

14 August 2012
I have had so many questions and seen so many pins of my behavior system, that I decided it was about time I did a blog post on it.  *Feel free to pin these, too :)
These rules are included in my Classroom Decor Packets

My behavior system is based on Lee Canter's Assertive Discipline.   This system is comprised of a three-step approach for positive behavior management.  Step one: create a classroom discipline plan that includes rules that students must follow at all times.  Step two: provide positive and consistent support to students for following the rules.  Step three:  utilize corrective actions consistently when students choose not to follow the rules.  

At the beginning of the year, I  read the book, Know and Follow the Rules by Cheri J. Meiners.  Then I go over the classroom rules with my students: 1.  Follow directions and use Whole Body Listening.  2.  Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself.  3.  Respect the property and feelings of others.   I feel these three rules cover almost all possible situations.   I don't want to overwhelm the students with too many rules.  As suggested in Lee Canter's book, I send home a classroom plan for the parents to review.  

To keep track of student behavior, I created a "Warning Board."  Last year, I printed each students' name on adress labels and then mounted them on scrapbook paper from Michael's and laminated them.  I applied velcro to the names and attached them to the "We are having a great day!  We are following the rules!" poster.  When a student broke a rule, he/she moved his/her name down to the "Warning Board." The "Warning Board" is a piece of oaktag with the punishment labels on it.  It is laminated and then velcro is applied to it.  The "warning labels" are available in my Classroom Labels and Signs packs or my Back to School Organizational Forms and More Pack

Lee Canter does not suggest using a "Warning Board" and suggest keeping track of student infractions in your head or on a paper by your desk.  I feel the act of moving the name has an effect on the students' behavior.  Even though a "warning" is just a "warning" my students do not want one and strive for excellent behavior.   By the end of the first month of school, I hardly need to use the board.  Students come in "testing" your limits.  They learn mine early one.  I will whisper to a child "move your name."   Please, note that extra slack is given for students who are special needs.  I also remind them that a warning is not a big deal, if just means don't do that again and make better choices.

This year I have more than 20 students so I am using their numbers instead of names for the "Warning Board."  I have not laminated or applied velcro yet, but I am sure you get the idea. 

These labels are available in my Back to School Organizational Forms and More Pack.

To keep the parents aware of student behavior on a daily basis, I created "Star Charts."  If you go to my General Information Packet post, you can read about how I explain them to my students' parents.  I do tell the parents to refrain from any negative punishment for the chart.  I don't want any students afraid to go home or for them to give up on the rest of the week because they got one warning.  I explain that each day is a new day and a new chance for great behavior, reward your students when they have a good day.  I also tell the parents that I am the boss of the classroom and that I am responsible for their behavior when they are with me.  I only send the chart home as a way to communicate with parents how their child is doing in school.   If there is a pattern of misbehavior, we meet and discuss putting the child on an individual behavior plan.  He or she may need more motivators to get through the school day.  

This year, I decided to make my own "Star Charts" instead of using store bought ones.  I like having an area to write about behavior if need be and I plan on printing them on card-stock so that they hold up for the entire month.  I reward students each day with a star if they don't receive a "Warning."  Students who go a whole month without a "warning" receive a special prize or lunch with me.  I have found that even my special needs students are able to achieve this.  It does require a lot of positive reinforcement and non-verbal cues on my part, but it can be done.  
I actually assign a student as "Star Chart Manager" and he/she puts the stars on the charts for me.  If a student has a "Warning" or beyond, I fill in the chart.  "Star Chart Manager" is one of the most coveted jobs!

These forms are also included in my Back to School Organizational Forms and More Pack.

For my post on getting students to listen, click {here}.

I am linking up with my friends at What the Teacher Want to share my behavior board.  Click below to check out what they use in their classrooms and hop around to other links.

*Susanne Poulette, a New York speech pathologist coined the term "Whole-Body Listening" with this article (click {here} to read it): Whole-Body Listening: Developing Active Auditory Skills, Susanne P. Truesdale Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools Vol.21 183-184 July1990.


  1. What a great system. Does it take too much time filling every kid's chart everyday?

    1. Great question, I added it to the post.
      I make it a job. At the end of the day one student goes around the room and puts a star on everyone's chart. The kids who were on the warning board know to come up to me for me to fill in their chart.

  2. I always love hearing what works for other teachers! Your system sounds wonderful Erica!
    Rowdy in Room 300

  3. I love your behavior system! and your star chart :)

  4. wow I guess behavior is the topic of the day. I am just catching up on my reader and see we both posted about behavior! Your chart looks fabulous! Your notes and system look very structured and organized! Here's to the best behaved year EVER! :)

  5. I always look forward to your tips Erica. I also feel when a student moves a card that it does effect their behavior. I like how you have everything set up!
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  6. Love it! Its very complete and the communication with the parents seems to flow very well which is key when you have a lot of kids that ride the bus or parents who are general no shows. Are parents asked to sign the Star Chart every day?

  7. You know I love everything you do!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks for linking up!
    -Rachelle {& Natalie}
    What The Teacher Wants

  8. You are fabulous!! I love that all students start out at "the top!" Love it and we love you!!

  9. I am using whole body listening and we've made class books too. My kids love being the star of the week. Taking.h home Skipyjon is fun too.thanks for all your ideas!

  10. I like how you've set up your management system. I am looking for something that will work for me because I'm a new teacher. I'm wondering, would this be able to be used with older classes?


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