good friend Sara at Miss V’s Busy Bees and I are hosting. We are very excited to
begin sharing our ideas and learning new ideas from all of you!
it’s one of those things that some teachers just know how to handle and
something that others need to invest many, many hours in. Let me tell you a bit
about my teaching history first.
After graduating in the spring of 2010, I got a great job
for the following school year. When I say great, I really mean it. The school
was amazing, the kids were awesome, the people I worked with were above and
beyond brilliant (many of whom I am still in contact with today). I was very
fortunate and spoiled (yep, I said it!) with my first teaching position.
that was G (*names will be changed in this post to ensure confidentiality). G
was consistently getting detentions and suspensions, which gave me more
paperwork as his special education teacher. During my first year I got to write
my first official behavior management plan on G, along with a Functional
Behavior Assessment and Manifestation Determination. Thankfully, I had many
teachers and therapists who helped me through it and guided me, partially
making me more of the teacher I am today.
student in the school” on my caseload – G. Funny thing is, G was a great kid!
He was so smart, he thought things through (even if those things were how to
escape a room or sneak out of the building without being seen), and I learned a
lot from him. I remember telling myself, “Alright, if I can handle this kid, I
can handle any kid!” HA! I wish I could go back and tell myself to stop being
so naïve. G was cake compared to what was coming for me.
I worked in. I want to preface this by saying that I believe it takes a special
type of person to be a teacher of students with special needs. Well, the same
needs to be said about a teacher of urban school kids. It is one. tough. gig.
I’ve done it for the last 3 years and it’s tough. Now I grew up in a suburban
town where the school sheltered us from everything, so having kids act out as
I’ve experienced in the classroom was way new to me. I’m a tough teacher and I
can handle a lot, but there were days when I would just go home in tears. I
would feel totally defeated, but I still got up the next day and tried again. I
was always determined to get through to my students and teach them something,
even if it had absolutely nothing to do with the day’s lesson plan. That’s when
I came up with this behavior management system.
Every Friday we would have what was called Fun Friday. This
was a 15-30 minute period during each class where my students could play
educational games, like Blokus or Sudoku. I started out using Fun Friday as a
reprieve, which was an awful idea on my part. Students 1, Mrs. D 0. After
learning from the mistake, I decided to make these desk cards for each of my
Now my kids had to earn Fun Friday (which they thought was
awful because they actually had to do work and behave). The system was easy to
manage, simple to explain and understand, and it worked! After the first week
of testing it out, my students realized that their actions were causing them to
lose points, which in turn meant they might lose out on Fun Friday. So they
started managing their own behaviors. Imagine that! Point for me.
At the end of every class, I would give each student a
“score” of 0-3. If the student got sent out of class for behavior, they
received a 0. If the student needed several reminders (3 or more) to stay
focused or stop doing something (like calling out or talking during
instruction), the student got a 1. If the student did an average job, s/he got
a 2. If the student went above and beyond, participated in class, and did
his/her work to the best of his/her ability without complaints or whining, the
student got a 3 (the best score). Pretty simple.
points in that class for the week to earn Fun Friday. Since the papers were
taped to the students’ desk tops, each student was able to keep track of their
own points and tally up what they needed if they had an off beginning of the
What did I do if a student lost Fun Friday privileges on
Tuesday or Wednesday? I always gave them the opportunity to earn it back with
“perfect” behavior. I know, I know… how unethical of me! A student already lost
the opportunity, why give him a second chance, right?! Wrong… if I had not
given the students a chance to earn points back, their behavior would have
continued on a downward spiral for the remainder of the week, making it that
much harder for me to teach and for the other students to learn. Jedi mind
tricks! I mastered them!
was I had data. Weeks and weeks of data for when IEP writing needed done, for
Parent Teacher conferences, for behavior plans. I kept each student’s weekly
point chart in a file folder. If a parent questioned something, I had
behavioral data to back it up. Successful behavior management.
seats, and were sent out of the classroom. We all have off days and that’s
completely okay. But behaviors decreased, intensity of behaviors decreased, the
length of behavior outbursts decreased, and my students started managing their
To help you with any of your behavioral management needs,
you can get these editable behavior point charts here for free, just click on the picture above. There are 6
versions included (with homeroom and without; and with 2, 3 and 4 classes). You
can edit the rules and notes at the bottom as well.
Don’t forget to link up below. Next week is all about assessment!