Classroom Management, Teachers

Tracking Behavior Goals With Students To Improve Behavior

It’s November, and most schools started back to school a couple of months ago. About this time teachers everywhere are beginning to feel overwhelmed by student behavior (or should I say misbehavior). The excitement and newness of the beginning of the school year has worn off and students are all showing their full colors! If you are struggling with a student’s behavior in your class and are looking for solutions here are a few suggestions on ways you can set goals and help students reflect on their own behavior.

1. Student Behavior Chart

This is by far the most common tool teachers use with students who are struggling. The one pictured below is from Flipping For First’s post and is editable. You can talk with your student and decide together on three behavior goals you are going to work on.

Here is another editable chart that I created with one of my students. I was using it with a Kindergartner so I added pictures. You can download this chart here.

2. Visual Rewards Board

Some students can get frustrated, angry or unmotivated by seeing frown faces on a chart like the one above. Especially if their behavior is really bad. You don’t want students going home every day with a sheet full of frown faces! For students like that I would suggest using a visual rewards board like this one from Teaching Differently

One the right of the board you can stick 3 behavior goals that you and the student agree to start working on. The student gets to come up with suggests for several rewards that they would like. The possible rewards go at the bottom of the board. Every day (or multiple times a day if you like) the student choose one reward and moves it to the top of the board. As they achieve their goals they get basketballs in this case. After they earn 5 basketballs they get the reward they have chosen for that day. Teaching Differently showed examples of reward boards that were Lego themed, sports themed and animal themed. You can really incorporate a student’s interest and tailor the theme to something that will connect and motivate them to use it. If you have a girl who loves unicorns. Make it a unicorn theme! So awesome.

3. Reinforcement Towers

If your student is a little older, or just doesn’t seem interested in things like stickers or smiley faces, you can have students fill a jar or a test tube like this suggestion from Schoolhouse Talk.

Again, this system can be personalized to a student’s interests. You can find small erasers for just about anything! If a student loves baseball, go out and buy some small baseball erasers and use those to fill the jar.

Have the student set a behavior goal and choose a reward. Each time the student achieves their goal they get to add an eraser, coin or marble to the jar. When the jar gets filled up the student earns the reward they choose beforehand. Just make sure the jar isn’t too big or the student will loose motivation because it takes too long to fill the jar up. I’ve used this technique for whole class rewards as well.

I hope these suggestions help you with some struggling students in your classroom. For more ideas, check out my similar posts on documenting student behavior and classroom management systems. Happy teaching!

About Monica Bennett

Monica has taught in several countries around the world. She is passionate about training and supporting teachers. Monica has a Bachelor's and Master's in Education.
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