stoplight management system (long)

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by kell447, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. kell447

    kell447 Rookie

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    Sep 27, 2008

    Hello:) I am posting this here, as opposed to the behavior section, because I want some advice from first grade teachers...this is my first year teaching and its not HORRIBLE, but the boys in my class are rambunctious and I have one child in particular who is very challenging during carpet time. There is a lot of talking that goes on while im trying to teach and I end up stopping every 20 seconds. I also have a child who required a one on one aide who spins, pokes, walks around, and blurts out constantly. I have been a LITTLE nervous about starting a system, because I feel like once you start one, you MUST be consistent and dedicated and I am worried it will be too time consuming. But I feel like I need something in place so I do not need to constantly stop in the middle of a lesson.

    So these are some ideas:
    I was going to first give the children assigned seats during carpet time. This is part of the problem. I then have a posterboard with pockets and in each pocket is a green, yellow, and red card. I will put numbers on each pocket and assign each child a number. I wil explain to them that they will be having 10 minutes of friday fun each week at the end of the day on fridays. At the end of each day,the children who are on green will earn two minutes of friday fun. This is as far as I have gotten....but I need some feedback...

    1)Do children on yellow get one minute and children on red recieve 0 minutes? This is already sounding like a lot to remember at the end of the week..any suggestions?

    2) Do you like the idea of positvely reinforcing them versus taking AWAY the time? Do you feel taking away the time will be more effective for some reason?

    3) What behaviors result in flipping a card? And how do you manage this while you are teaching? Are you constantly stopping and flipping cards in the middle of your lesson?

    4.) I was only going to use this during carpet time...to kind of target this time of day. They do pretty good throughout the day other than this. How do you feel about that?

    Any advice or feedback would be appreciated...as you can see im real anxious about this and need to feel like its more in place before I can start using it. Thanks so much!
     
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  3. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Sep 27, 2008

    I think that a week is too long for the kids to wait, if they get a card flipped and have 2 out of 10 minutes, then get on red and have no minutes and it's only Tuesday, what will keep them in check the rest of the week? they will think "screw it! I might as well have fun making the teacher mad!" (Well, maybe not screw it, but you know what I mean!) Plus Friday will seem like an eternity to the kids and 10 minutes is hardly any time!

    I do Fun Friday more or less, but I give them 45 minutes. 10 minutes to do what? Start a board game? Get outside and play for 8 minutes before you need to stop and come in? Take out the blocks and put them away?

    You need MORE time for Fun Friday... then you can also take away MORE time. It will seem like a lot of time spent on "nothing" but in the long run, it is worth it to me.

    I do 5 minute increments. My class has ended up with 5 minutes and they didn't like that.

    I also give my kids about 15 minutes of wise choice time at the end of each day. Wise Choice is based on making wise choices... if the day went well, they will have 15 minutes, if not, maybe 5 or no minutes. During that 15 minutes they draw, play legos, or we go outside.

    You could do the "my time/your time" idea and keep tallies on a chart, each one representing a minute. Tell them as a group you will give them up to 15 minutes a day for wise choice time. Then, if they earn 45 minutes during the week, they will get that time on Friday afternoon.

    As for individual choices, you can have kids sit out of wise choice time. Perhaps that's where your card flipping system can come into place. I don't like card flipping personally, but if you think it will work for you, go ahead and use it. I simply tell the child that they lost x minutes of wise choice because they were not making good choices during the day. (I usually do this for something specific... like I had kids who dawdle instead of come in and miss the mini-lesson. They missed the lesson and sat out for 5-10 minutes of their choice time.)

    While it seems like you are taking a lot out of class time, I have found that giving them the time at the end of the day and having them focused and working the rest of the day is worth it to me! The time will make up for itself when you aren't stopping negative behaviors in the middle of lessons and everything.
     
  4. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Sep 27, 2008

    Assigned seats on the carpet is a good idea. I have a really good class this year, and I'm considering it.

    However, rewarding first graders on Friday for what they do or don't do all week can be problematic because many of them won't connect their fun (or lack thereof) on Friday to their behavior.

    The thing with first graders is not so much rewards or consequences but how you word your instructions and expectations. Here are a few things I say that work very well.

    "Raise your hand if the kid next to you is talking. Put your hand down when they are quiet."

    "If you are talking or looking at another kid you are not paying attention."

    Point out the good kids. "I want you to look directly at the teacher like _______. Sit up straight like _________. Fold your hands like ___________. Pay attention like _________. I like the way that ________ is listening" In 8 years, I've never met a first grader who thought it was "uncool" to be pointed out as a good example by the teacher.

    I don't use a stoplight system but I have all their names on magnets and seven columns on my white board. The middle column is labeled good. The left columns are labeled oops, uh-ho, and oh no. The right columns are labeled great, super and awesome. I move the names up and down according to my whim. Oops is a warning. Uh-ho loses the following recess. Oh-no is very serious and results in parent or administrator contact. Kids who's names are on awesome get special privileges - move to floor first, line up first, get a drink first etc. Kids on awesome are also exempt from any whole-class consequence I may give. At the end of the day, any kid on oops, uh-ho or oh no gets moved to good.

    Sometimes I will say "I'm looking at a name (as I look at the board), and now I'm looking at a kid." That works very well.

    Teaching first grade is like having a robot army, but the robots are all somewhat intoxicated and don't always do exactly what you command. It's like having steadfast loyalty and obedience from the patrons of an Irish pub on a Friday night.
     
  5. kell447

    kell447 Rookie

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    Sep 27, 2008

    Thank you for your comments to far...

    Right now I do the praise...that is my main form of management...and like I said its not HORRIBLE, but I have one particular child with some needs and he requires a little more structure...and it wouldn't hurt the other children to try this too..

    The red, yellow, green system was reccomended by my spec ed teacher and social worker at the school...

    I could make free time a little longer on fridays....but you are all saying that friday is too long to wait and that makes sense...so now im thinking if I have 10 minutes of "wise choice" time each day(i honestly cant give them more than this, with specials etc we wont get everything that needs to be done, done)..and then 20 minutes of free play every friday....
     
  6. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Sep 27, 2008

    I have the stop light system, but since it's used for the whole class and not just one child, even though it's the one child who requires it, I had to change it up abit. I noticed that the kids who stay on green all the time just kinda coast. They'll do what they're supposed to regardless of any system. So to add an incentive I added a step above green.

    So I have paper plates with the center colored green, yellow, red and now with an apple above the green. Each child has a clothes pin with their number on it. I also took little wooden hearts from Michaels and put their numbers on them--about 10 per child.

    If behavior warrents, the child will be asked to move their clip down to yellow--no consequences. If they have to move it down to red, they lose 5 minutes of the next recess and I write a note home to mom.

    If they end their day on green, I give them a stamp on a chart at their desks. When they get 10 stamps, they can go to the treasure box.

    If they end their day on the apple (ulitmate goal!!) They still get a stamp on their chart and
    I'll put their heart token in a bucket. On Friday, I'll pick two hearts out of the bucket and they get to sign the Wall of Fame!!! They are so excited to have their name on the wall it's unbelievable!!!!

    They always have the opportunity to move back up the stoplight if they can get it together. They never want to move off the apple, so I just have to say to the whole class, "I want you to think about what behavior will cause you to have to move your clip off the apple...." or "think about your behavior---is that apple behavior?"
    My little bucket has hearts all over it so I just say, "can you fill my heart today??"

    Its amazing how the atmosphere in the class has changed since I added the step above the green. Now instead of watching for negative behavior, I'm focusing on the positive and I feel much better when the day is done.
     
  7. fun2tchk

    fun2tchk Rookie

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    Oct 4, 2008

    I have a pocket chart with the green, yellow and green. Each child has a car with their name. Everyday we start off on green. They always get 1 warning. If the behavior continues, they move to yellow and they loose 5 min. of choice time, if it still continues they move to red and loose additional choice time. At the end of the day if they stay on green, they earn a "star punch" on their behavior cards. (I made them on Vistaprint). When they earn 10 stars, they get to pick a prize. I do their punches as they pack up, so it's not time consuming at all. The last 2 years I did the prizes for ones who stayed on green for a week and did Friday Treats. But I realized those who might have had an off day on a Monday had no reason to turn it around for the rest of the week. The kids love getting their star punches and it actually is helping them with their numbers, as they try to figure out how many more till they have 10. (I teach K)
    [​IMG]
     
  8. ladycajun1105

    ladycajun1105 Rookie

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    Oct 4, 2008

    Who keeps the cards, the kids or you?

    I have about 4 behavior issues out of my 16 first graders. I have assigned each student a number. I made cards with red, yellow and green. One side of the green is A and the other is B. Yellow has C and D and Red has an F. I give 2 warnings and then I move their conduct grade. This has helped with some behavior; however, I think I need something to keep them positively motivated. SO I think that they one above Green and the Behavior Card would be great.
     
  9. fun2tchk

    fun2tchk Rookie

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    The kids keep them in their bins with their pencil boxes. It also teaches them to be responsible and take care of their card. I have the class pack up in 4 groups. They first get their punch cards and get their punches from me, then put it away and then they pack up.
     
  10. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    Oct 4, 2008

    I have added a purple card that the kids can earn for outstanding behavior, doing something without being asked, ect.
    I haver been sending home daily reports that are signed and returned. It is all on one sheet so when it comes back on Monday I file it for future reference.

    I also started putting tiny stickers on their purple cards. They can get these for remembering to put things away correctly, writing their first and last name correctly. remembering their library books, ect. There is no extrinsic reward connected to the stickers, they just like getting them in K.
     
  11. MsX

    MsX Companion

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    Oct 6, 2008

    I am not a fan of stoplight systems. I used them for two years, but I never felt they worked at all. I've always found that the kids who were "difficult" did not care if they changed their color, so everyday I had the same kids changing their cards! Also, I don't like how stoplight systems don't discriminate between mild and more severe behaviors. For example, if someone is talking when the teacher is talking, they'd turn a card... if someone calls a child a horrible name or hit another child, they'd turn a card. To me those are very different behaviors and require different consequences. I went to a responsive classroom workshop this summer, and it really helped the way I view classroom management. I definitely recommend reading some articles or getting some books on the subject! Those color systems are not helpful IMO!
     

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