Creating an appropriate individual behavior plan for students in need and finding time to document it all has ALWAYS been a struggle for me, even after 20 years of teaching. Yes, it took me that long…
With all the demands of teaching. it is easy to bypass simple misbehaviors and move on because there is so much content to cover, but those “simple mis-behaviors” set the tone for the year. We must address them right away.
For a long time, I did not address every “rule-breaker”. I felt that time constraints and the demands of covering the curriculum forced me to ignore them and quickly move on. I am being truthful because behavior management was the hardest part to master when I first started teaching. I’m only human. And so are you. Today, I want to share the “tricks” I created to get past this obstacle so, we can TEACH, and feel successful every day.
In the past few years of my 20 years teaching, I finally feel confident in my behavior management practices because of these simple behavior strategies I created that range from easy to complex, yet manageable. Woot!
Behavior Plan Tip #1: Provide Simple Visual Reminders for Less Severe Behaviors
Some students just need a daily reminder without involving parents. You know the kiddo… the one who does not raise their hand and blurts out the answer before anyone else gets a chance to think and process the question. Those students just need a simple visual in the classroom to hold them accountable. They still need a simple behavior plan, as easy as a visual reminder.
How do I accomplish this? I display my classroom rule posters and attach their name to the poster with a cute heart. Done and done. When everyone in the classroom has a personal goal… they become more accepting of each other’s differences and needs. It is beautiful, really.
Display a Simple Visual Reminder on Student Desks to Match their Personal Behavior Plan
As you get to know your students at the start of the year, you may not know who is putting on the “charm” but come to find they have little personality quirks that may develop into bigger behavior problems later in the year. I use these deskplates (I also use sticky note templates with a simple rubric as well) and place them on their desk as a visual reminder throughout the day.
If I find that a student needs a reminder of their behavior goal, I simply walk over during lessons and tap on the deskplate without saying a word. If a student needs a reminder during a lesson at the carpet, I ask the entire class to repeat the behavior goal using “I can” statements and maintain eye contact with that one student with a smile. Yes, a smile. 🙂
At the end of the day while they are waiting for their bus, we have a brief conversation about how they worked toward meeting their goal. We use a simple rubric to assess their day and focus on how tomorrow will be a better day or another great day. I easily track their progress by saving those sticky notes in my data binder to prove that a behavior plan was set in place.
Use Daily Behavior Logs for Those Who Need More Support
You and I may find that others need a little bit more support right from the start, so I use these daily behavior plan forms that I can quickly fill out and send home for a parent signature. When they are returned, I hole punch them and add them my data binder in order to document that I made attempts to assist in their behavior plan.
You and I both know that once you bring them to the RTI or an intervention team, your administration and parents are going to ask what attempts/interventions were made BEFORE you brought them to the “team”. You can easily say, “Voila, here is my data tracking binder!”
When A Behavior Goal is Met…Celebrate!
Many of your students will meet their behavior goal in a week’s time, and others may take longer. Regardless, it is quite an accomplishment and needs to be recognized. Reward them with a certificate and a treat from your prize box.
Be sure to assign a new goal if appropriate. Have a discussion as to what they want/need to work on next. Most times, they will come up with another goal on their own because they will be excited to have their name on a new poster. You will be surprised at how intuitive they are as to what they need to improve upon. On the other hand, some of them will need prompting and encouragement.
You may ask them: Are you having trouble finishing your work on time? Well perhaps your next goal should be “I can stay focused”. Are you tattling a bit too much? Then perhaps you need to work on “I can be a good friend”.
I hope you find these ideas helpful in managing disruptive behaviors in your classroom.
If you would like to use these differentiated behavior forms in your own classroom, you can find them here along with the matching classroom rule posters:
Or pin it for later: