Don’t Let Behavior Keep You From Teaching

I have the belief that a teacher never stops learning. This is especially true in the arena of classroom management. We all have our styles and preferences. We all have different ideas of what is tolerable and untolerable. I am not writing this post to tell you what to do, how to do it, or you are WRONG! I am writing this to share what I do, and supply you with resources you may want to use in addition to what you are already doing or as a new technique.

I have used colored cards to pull and clips to move and spacemen to color in. I have seen teacher use pennies and marbles. I have finally determined that I like having a behavior notebook.

Behavior Log

In the note book are pages for the students to fill out when they are asked to. We’ll talk in a moment about how a student gets to this point. The pages are simple. The student fills out the date, their name, the color they are on, and the behavior they exhibited. This log helps me later and is a great way for students to own their behavior. If a student does not own their behavior I will fill out the log for them. It is still documented and I also know they are not willing to admit they did anything wrong.

Log Page

I communicate daily behavior in the student’s agenda with colors and numbers. My colors are green, which means we are all good, yellow, which means we had one moment of the day we needed to improve, blue, which means there were two moments in the day that could have been better, and red, which means we have had at least three moments in the day where behavior was unacceptable and they are receiving a school infraction. The numbers I use communicate quickly and briefly to the parents the basic misbehaviors. I staple the numbers into the front of the agenda at the beginning of the year so that parents can refer to it as needed.


In order to give parents more details about the students behavior, I send home a weekly report (I also have a biweekly report template if you send folders home every other week). This report is filled in based off of the information written in the behavior log. Parents have to sign and return them so that I know they have seen what is going on at school.

Weekly Report

Okay, so now that the paper work is out of the way I will tell you how a student gets to the point of no return.

All students start their day on green. If a student is exhibiting a behavior I do not like or that is against a school or class rule I will normally give a nonverbal warning. You know, moving closer to them, giving them “the look” (we all have one!), or tapping on their desk. If the behavior continues, I will give them a verbal warming. I will specifically say the behavior I want to stop with their name. I may whisper this in their ear or say it from across the room. It depends on the student, situation, and behavior. After these two warnings the ball is in the students court. If they choose to continue the behavior I have specifically asked them to stop they will be asked to change a color and write in the behavior log (if you use cards or clips you could have them change those items as well as write in the log). The student is now on yellow and will lose five minutes of recess (or walk five laps). If this student did not get the point with this action and continues to misbehave the student is then given a warning card.


The student has this card to remind them of what they are doing, and asks them to stop and think for a moment. If the behavior carries on from here the student will change colors again (move cards or clips) and write in the behavior log. The student is now on blue and will miss ten minutes of recess and have silent lunch. After this the student receives no more warnings. They have had three warnings and two behavior logs. If the behavior continues for some strange reason the student will change their color a final time, write in the behavior log, have a formal infraction from the school, and make a parent phone call with the teacher. The student is now on red will have no recess, silent lunch, and any PBSS consequences (5 infractions = office referral and possible ISS or OSS).

I rarely have students get on red, even in my inclusion class. Students normally change their behavior long before then and do not need the extra warnings or consequences.

Please remember these are just ideas and resources for you to use if you would like. All of these documents can be found here for FREE! Enjoy!!!


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