Behavior management is always a hot topic. There are some teachers that are strongly against clip charts while others would never dream of getting rid of theirs. Some schools or districts mandate what tool is used for behavior management. The bottom line is that as long as you are using something that works in your classroom that is great.
I'm not here to convince you one method is better than another. I'm here to talk to you about the importance of communicating behaviors in the classroom to parents. I've found the easiest way to communicate daily with your parents about classroom behavior is to send home a behavior calendar. I know, I know... this is nothing new. But do you ever consider what your behavior calendar can do for you?
A behavior calendar helps you to easily communicate with your parents daily.
A behavior calendar provides daily behavior documentation
A behavior calendar gives students and parents an opportunity to discuss their actions and consequences - good and bad - daily.
So you've read this far? Great, because I'm about to get to part about making this communcation tool work for you.
I found that many parents would not look at anything I sent home other than the behavior calendar. They wanted to know that their child was being responsible, kind, and honest at school. They didn't necessarily want to read every note that came home from the office. I get it. Our lives are busy. But sometimes those notes from the office are important reminders.
I started adding these important reminders to the calendars. Suddenly there were more parents involved in school events. When you provide parents with one central location to find the most important information, you are likely to see a better response.
My biggest issue with behavior calendars was always the amount of time and writing that was needed each day. We all know that an entire class with an awesome day of behavior is few and far between. Even filling out calendars for 2-3 students with less than desirable behavior can take 10-15 minutes.
I started using a behavior code at the bottom of my calendar. It saved me hours by the end of the year! My behavior code was unique to our class expectations (as yours should be). The code outlines specific behaviors that are less than desirable (e.g. I was not following directions.). Rather than writing "Ralphie had a hard time focusing today and would not follow directions the first time." I could simply choose the number next to the action on the behavior code and write it on the calendar.
Of course if there was an incident that required more explanation or if the student had a particularly rough day I would take the time to write a note to Ralphie's parents. However, in this case Ralphie just needed repeated directions all day long. He still had a good day, but I want his parents to remind him to follow directions the first time so we can have a better day tomorrow.
So what am I trying to tell you? STOP! Stop spending so much time writing in behavior folders everyday. Stop wasting your time writing repeated behaviors. Stop working for your behavior calendars and let them work for you!
My editable behavior calendars saved my time and my sanity when it came to parent communication... maybe they can help you too!