Thursday, July 23, 2015

#tbt

Hi Lovies! It is #tbt over at Freebielicious!
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Here is my #throwbackthursday….
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Oh.. It isn’t a picture we are supposed to throwback?! A Post?! Okay, I have that too. Last January I posted over in Freebielicous about moving to Great Expectations and getting rid of my Clip Chart.
 
 
At the beginning of the school year, our new principal brought in Great Expectations. For those of you unfamiliar with GE, it is an approach to better the whole child, not just a quick behavior fix. After a year of implementation, I am loving it! This program was how my mom taught, and she has been out of the classroom for about 15 years. It is constant, but there have been a few tweaks here and there.
 
In about October our school had a trainer come in to talk to the whole school. About this time, our Primary team had been discussing getting rid of our behavior charts. So going into this meeting I was very nervous about what was going to come up. In the meeting, what I expected did happen. We decided to throw ourselves out there and get rid of our clip charts.
 
Cold Turkey.
 
I am not going to lie, I was a nervous wreck! I will be starting my 6th year in three weeks, and I have had a clip chart all of those years. I plastered this quote all across my room and reminded myself multiple times a day.
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After our team meeting, I went directly to my classroom, and took down my pretty clip chart, and took it to my principals office. I left her a note that said, “Don’t let me have this back!” I went on with my day with my kiddos and not one kid noticed it was gone. It actually took a few days before my kids realized it was gone.
 
Have I mentioned that my principal is amazing? She came to me afterschool, and told me I didn’t have to take my clip chart down if I was uncomfortable with it. I knew that, but I wanted to try something new. I explained to her our thinking. I was quick to say “Go Clip Down” when someone did something that was not okay. I wasn’t explaining to them what they were doing wrong, or allowing them to think it through. I also had noticed that the same kids were always the ones on pink, the same ones were always on green and the same were always on yellow. And I wasn’t consistent with moving kids up.  (And yes I am aware that this falls on my shoulders)
 
Don’t get me wrong, I loved my clip chart! I loved how all my kids worked hard to clip up. I could easily see who had been having a bad day. But so could everyone else.
 
What did I replace it with? Are you listening?
 
Nothing.
 
I didn’t replace my clip chart with anything. We went about our day. When one of my kiddos needed redirection we went back to our Eight Expectations. Let me better explain the 8 Expectations. In all of our classrooms we have Eight Expectations posted, and we go over them every morning.
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There they are, front and center in my classroom. We say them each morning after our pledges and moment of silence. Then we go right into our classroom expectations. Then the Give me Five song.

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When ever one of my kiddos are not making a good choice, I just remind them of which Classroom Expectation they need to work on. So if I hear a students making fun of another one of their friends, I remind them “Sarah, Expectation #2 says, We do not laugh at or make fun of a persons mistakes”. They quickly apologize.
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What is even better, when I am working with a small group, and I over hear my friends remind one another of the expectations. Warms this teachers heart!
 
Here are the 8 Classroom Expectations
 
  1. We will value one another as unique and special individuals.
  2. We will not laugh at or make fun of a person's mistakes nor use sarcasm or putdowns.
  3. We will use good manners, saying "please," "thank you," and "excuse me" and allow others to go first.
  4. We will cheer each other to success.
  5. We will help one another whenever possible.
  6. We will recognize every effort and applaud it.
  7. We will encourage each other to do our best.
  8. We will practice virtuous living, using the Life Principles.


The one thing I missed about my clip chart was the ability of clipping up. Rewarding those kids who were making good choices. What I love about our school is we do “Dog Bucks” school wide.
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Anytime you catch a kiddo making a good choice they get a dog buck. Our PE teacher hands them out, our Librarian does, our Custodian. Are you getting the picture? All the Adults in our building pass out Dog Bucks when our kids are making a good choice.
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My kiddos hold on to their Dog Bucks until they get 5, then I staple them together and keep them in a box. Every Friday, we get them out, count by fives to see how many we have as a class and mark it on a chart.
Then the kids can take their bucks to the “Dog Store” where they can buy pencils, extra recess, sock day, extra center time. This allows all kids to get rewarded for their behaviors. Especially since I can give the whole class a buck.

I know that not all behavior plans work for every teacher, and every set of kids. This is what is working for me and my kiddos.
 
I have shared my Eight Classroom Expectations and the Dog Bucks over on TpT. Go check them out here and here! While you are at it! Go look around Great Expectations and see if it is a good fit for you!!

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My friend Jennifer over at Herding Kats gives her opinion on why the Clip Chart is a great idea. I wanted to be an equal opportunity blogger ;)