Friday, August 3, 2012

Clip Up Clip Down

So I worked all day in my classroom yesterday. And I had one of those "aha!" moments. Don't you just love those? Here's the journey to my "aha!" moment.

Situation: I'm in a new classroom and I need a new behavior chart system. One that focuses on the positive rather than the negative. 

Research: Looking online and talking with friends has made me realize that a "clipping up" system seems to be the best solution. This system is designed for students to start at a neutral starting point (usually a certain color) and work their way up (clipping up) to the top of the chart. Students who make poor choices "clip down" and have consequences. The teacher can have students clip up even after they have clipped down. BTW, it's called "clipping up/down" because students use a clothespin along the side of the chart to track their progress for the day. Each day the clips are returned to the neutral starting point. At the end of the day, students also fill out/color a small chart that they take home to share with their family that shows how they did for the day. A reward can be given to students who clip all the way up the chart. 

Construction Issues: Several online blogs/pins have shown that over time, the laminated papers seem to sag or tear. One teacher put the levels on one side and then students clipped on the other on a ribbon.  This seemed like such a good idea, but where I am currently working, I don't have access to all the fun resources such as construction paper or laminating (or even copying!). It seems to be a ghost town around here! And school starts in TWO WEEKS!!!

Well, I brought my printer from home and decided to create a system based on my ocean/beach/tropical theme and just print out what I needed (I can always laminate later).

AHA! I have two pocket charts that are for file folders. I used to use them to put the students' take home papers in. However, each chart only has ten slots, and due to California budget cuts, I have nearly 30 kids in my class. So I haven't used them in a few years.

However it would be perfect for my new clip up system! It is durable, regular copier paper fits perfectly in them portrait style, and it doesn't take up too much space! Now remember, it isn't laminated yet, but I will probably take a new picture and post it when it's done.