I did it!
I’ve become an English teacher in primary school.
At the beginning, I had many doubts and concerns when it comes to the classroom management and discipline. I’ve read through some ‘How-to’ teachers’ books for newbies and I liked the idea of making an aid to maintain discipline. The very first thing I’ve done was a behaviour chart.
Inspired by stuff posted on Pinterest, I created my own chart that I always try to use on my lessons.
I created these cards to help pupils understand that how they work and behave during the lesson matters; and it is up to them what they can achieve.
What are we looking for?
At the beginning of school year, we talk together what behaviour and actions can be rewarded. We agreed that excellent effort is when:
- SS cooperate,
- help their peers,
- support each other,
- take active part in the lesson,
- try to use English as the only mean of communication in the classroom
- follow the class rules (no walking around the class, no blurting, putting hand up to get permission to speak, etc).
How it works
Green and blue cards
I use their register numbers and put them on the green card ‘Ready to learn’. If they put some effort in what they do during the lesson, they can climb to the blue card ‘Excellent effort’.
Pink and puple cards
For students who keep getting better is the pink card ‘Way to go!’ and finally, when they continue to do their best and use English only, their number can be put onto purple card ‘An outstanding student’ and they get a reward. Usually, it’s a special sticker or a positive note to their parents plus a positive comment in front of the whole class and their class teacher. This public comment is a great enforcement for their good choices in the future.
A yellow card
However, from the green field SS may fall to the yellow card ‘Warning’ if they do not behave well and do not follow class rules.
An orange card
The ‘Warning’ card tells students that they need to make better choices in order to climb again to the green field. If they do not want to change their behaviour they may fall again and their number may be put on the ‘Teacher’s choice’ card. Students whose numbers are there face some sort of consequences like they may be excluded from a game, have an extra task to do, change their seat, etc.
A red card
Red field ‘Parent contact’ is used to immediately call/e-mail/text parents and inform about unacceptable behaviour. Thankfully, no one reached that card so far!
It really works!
Pupils seem to really like this chart and they are motivated to climb to the top. I found it a useful tool also to take register. One student checks who is in the class and puts or removes numbers from the chart.
Recently, after one year of using the behaviour chart I got rid of numbers. I had so many problems with them, because I have every lesson in different classroom and I constantly take all my aids with me from one room to another.
Sometimes numbers of pupils varied in each class, so I had to have extra numbers prepared.
Sometimes while walking from one classroom to another I lost some numbers in the bag or who-knows-where-else…
I was fed up with all this mess and time-consuming actions, so now I just simply say ‘Staś, blue.’ or ‘Ala, you’re on yellow.’ In this way, I save my time and students still know what’s going on during the lesson.