Thursday, July 11, 2013

Why I'm Throwing Out My Clip Chart

I have loved looking through the teachers that have linked up with this management linky! I got so lucky with my class last year, and behavior was hardly ever an issue. I know am hoping that I will be more prepared next year, in case it is an issue. So I am getting tons of new ideas, and sharing some of my thoughts for next year!

Now some people are going to completely disagree with some of the things I say in this post, but hopefully it will lead some to think about whether their clip chart is a positive addition to their room or not.

Does this look familiar?

I think nearly every teacher in my school had this last year. And honestly, I never thought twice about having one. I mean, if they're all over my school, Pinterest, and teacher blogs, how bad can they be?

Earlier this summer, I spent the week at a training about a behavior model many schools in my district use. The thing that caught my attention the most--they think clip charts do more harm than good!? At first, I thought they were CRAZY. But they made some good points.

When a child clips down, they probably feel singled out. I know if it were me, I would sit there thinking about clipping down for a while, instead of focusing on learning. (Just imagine having a clip chart for teachers posted in the teacher's lounge?! I would hate that.)

Then I started to think about how it effects the students after school. Do I want the parents' first question when they get in the car to be, "what color were you on today?" No! I want them to ask about what they learned or what friends they played with or what books they got from the library!

For the most part, any problem in my room, is taken care of then and there. If a student and I have already talked about the issue, then do they also need to have the same conversation with their parents 7 hours later? If there is a problem severe enough that I thought the parents needed to know about, I call them to talk about it anyway.

Of course, my first thought was--if there's no clip chart, what will I do?! Maybe a clip chart only I can see? I'm thinking a clip board with magnets. (We all have those kids that we have to document somehow). Or maybe just track positive behavior? Warm fuzzies with prizes? 

Now I am honestly not 100% sure what our behavior management will look like next year, but I do know it will not involve a public clip chart! 

Any suggestions of things that have worked for you?

16 comments:

  1. I don't use a clip chart. I tried it once, but I couldn't make it work. I use "power towers." It's something I came up with a while back. It works for me and a few other teachers in my grade level actually started using it too. Don't worry about what other teachers use, you have to find something that works for you!

    Karen
    An Apple a Day in First Grade

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  2. We have PBIS at our school (positive behavior) so we aren't supposed to do any clip charts, card turning, etc. Our kids "earn" paws (we are the cubs) so they can earn up to 3 paws a day. Nothing can be taken away, it's all about earning. So the trick is to keep everything on the positive side.

    Nicki
    Mrs. Thigpen's Kindergarten

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    1. I love that! I feel like focusing on the positive is so much more beneficial!

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  3. I like Nicki's idea about being positive, too- I know exactly what you mean. I read an article about ADHD children who are discouraged each day at school after 5 minutes because they feel like they are "bad" getting moved down the chart, and can't really control it. That article made me think a lot. I was blessed last year with my class (Crossing fingers for this year...) I've never used a clip chart, but you are right- it's a lot of trial and error- and what you are comfortable with. Good luck. You will find JUST the right thing for you! :)
    Carolyn
    Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together

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  4. I don't have any ideas for you, but I just wanted to agree with you about this: "Do I want the parents' first question when they get in the car to be, "what color were you on today?" No! I want them to ask about what they learned or what friends they played with or what books they got from the library!" Amen! My district last year had the teacher fill out a behavior chart every day with great day, good day, hard day or very hard day. First of all, every one doesn't have a great day every day! I was getting stopped after school and getting emails about what was going on if the child got a "good day." I felt like I was constantly saying: "if your child has a hard or very hard day repeatedly, we need to talk about it, but if they had a good day, I would not be concerned, at all."

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  5. Amen! I do not like card turning or the clip chart. You should check out "Discipline Without Stress, Punishment, or Rewards." Just google it. I really feel this book helped me help my students become responsible for their own behavior.

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    1. Thank you! I will definitely check it out!

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  6. I love your post! I too saw all these cute clip charts all over pinterest and thought I needed one too. But the more I thought about it the more I didn't like to concept of it. I don't have any kind of behavior chart at all. If I have a child who takes a lot of time away from our learning, I address it on a one-on-one basis and if I have to get parents involved I do. Otherwise we are a learning family!

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    1. Learning family--I love that! That's the way all classrooms should feel!

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  7. Boy, what a great discussion! I used a clip chart last year, and really liked it. I never have liked card turning, but this felt more positive because if a kiddo moved down, I made sure to look for the opportunity for them to move back up. I have to say that kids rarely moved down because it was an exceptional class. This year...we'll see. I think I'll have to be on the look out for a more positive approach. There have been many years when I didn't use anything -- just a lot of mutual respect.

    http://appletreeroom.blogspot.com/

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  8. This is an old thread, but I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents :) I am a homeschooling mom who removed her child from school for many reasons, but something like this clip chart would be one of them. My daughter who struggles with ADD would have always been clipped down :( Every day, this would have been a source of discouragement and embarrassment for her. I would imagine that even without the ADD this would be difficult for many kids. I hope more teachers decide to stop using public humiliation to modify behavior. There must be better ways than this. Thanks for a great post!

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  9. I've seen so many cute clip charts on pinterest and have loved the idea until I started looking more into it and reading more blogs like yours about why it isn't the best idea. I'm in grad school, studying special ed, and we had a whole discussion on this topic actually. We also talked about how using a clip chart teaches students that they can misbehave once or twice without any consequence.

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  10. God bless you! I have a rising first grade daughter with a huge desire to please and motor planning problems. The two don't go together very well. She typically had to move her clip down 1-2 times a week. Occasionally the reason was truly a behavior problem but most of the time she didn't understand what she did wrong. When she did understand, I just didn't see what she could do about it. The motor planning problems don't make following directions or working quickly as easy for her as it is for some people. The teacher thought this was no big deal and that my daughter deserved what she got. My daughter spent the year anxious, sad and depressed. She was moved up three times during the school year (only three) and spent a lot of time trying to figure out why when she did those behaviors again they didn't result in getting moved up again. She just couldn't figure it out. In addition, one time a bunch of girls took her and another little girl who was also labeled a "bad girl" by the clip system out on the playground, lifted them up by their hands and feet, swung them through the air, and wouldn't put them down. My daughter was afraid to go to school for a week. The girls who did it were in red for the day, but they were the "good girls" with the little jewels all over their clip. So the lesson that these kids are learning is that you're good if you are mean to kids on the playground, but can color within the lines and stay on task. You're bad if you have problems like ADHD, ADD or motor problems that cause writing resistance. It's really a terrible, terrible system. If your student has his or her clip moved down consistently, there is something going on with that child that public humiliation can not solve.

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  11. You have no idea how relieved I am to be reading all of these comments! My son has been in kindergarten for 4 weeks and I honestly feel that that the clip chart has snuffed out his natural curiosity and made him nervous and anxious. He is the most loving, sensitive, happy child, and seeing how upset he gets when he gets clipped down breaks my heart. He never had any behavior issues in Pre-K and now he is in parent contact at least 2 times every week. I'm totally baffled and considering moving him to a private school where the do not utilize clipcharts.

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  12. hello there, I'm a mommy to a very highly autistic kid. My son is a fourth grader, today he came home crying because his teacher told him to "clip down". My son talks to himself often but in a whispering voice, that's just what he does. My son got clipped down for something he can't control. I'm currently in the process of changing placement but if his continues I'm considering keeping him home, it's really unfair. My son is gifted and is in a Magnet school, I have no idea what to do. Could anyone on here please suggest how I should address the teacher? Thank you all

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