I emailed a kindergarten teacher that I worked with and asked her if she could write something to me about why she doesn’t use behavior charts. From my observations of her teaching, I think that she is quite is masterful teacher and I thought that you might want to read the very thoughtful response that she wrote back to me.
” I honestly do not believe that behavior
charts help very much. I have tried them a few times…sticker charts, wall
charts, etc…but realized that they just didn’t help me or the kids. They just
ended up being another thing I had to remember to do. We even have a school wide
behavior system that I’m not sure if you’ve seen. It’s in all of our classrooms.
I think the DOE wanted all schools to make up their own thing. I am not a fan of
it, but have to follow it because it’s a school-wide program. I think it ends up
rewarding the wrong things & the wrong kids.
For me, it’s mostly about creating an environment where the kids understand that
they are responsible for their own behavior & there are consequences when they
do something they KNOW they shouldn’t have. Of course, that starts at the
beginning of the school year and continues throughout the year until the very
last day of school. We start the year learning about each other, the classroom,
& of course, the classroom rules. I have my own basic rules but I also try to
create the rules together with the class & we create the chart & write them down
& put it up on the wall. But, honestly, I don’t really do much with that chart
after that. Mostly, it becomes a part of our daily classroom life where we talk
about “doing the right thing,” “making good choices,” and discussing what
happens when someone is doing something they shouldn’t. I find what happens when
it’s something you talk about as a regular part of your day is that the kids end
up “policing” each other & taking charge. They know when someone didn’t make the
right choice & they tell each other. They also know there are consequences…and
yes, I admit, I do use choice time. They either get “5 minutes” taken away or
they end up having to choose their center last & they know this. Sometimes I
forget when I have told someone they’ve lost some of their center time & the
kids remind me…”Miss Roque, remember “he” did that, so he goes last” or they
just remind each other w/out even having to tell me.
For me, their behavior is their responsibility, even at 5 years old. It is also
something I know that is constant…from the very first day of school…to the
What are your thoughts about this?