{Advice Needed!} Behavior Management System when Departmentalized

Sorry that I seem to be full of questions this week instead of ideas...but you all are so helpful that I have another.

For those of you that are departmentalized, do your partner teachers use the same behavior management system or is it individualized by teacher?

Last year, I used a clip chart.  It was an actual guitar made by Vanessa from The Educated Crown and inspired by the one Abby Mullins made.  We wanted something the kids could carry from class to class, since it was our first year departmentalized.

But, confession, I LOVED the guitar but I HATED using a clip chart.  I hated hearing about those clips, the clothespins breaking, it was always the same kids up and the same ones down that I didn't even bother with it half the time, etc.  I don't think it worked...my kids had the worst behavior last year that I've ever experienced.

I had used Class Dojo the year before and prior to that I just used positive reinforcers, like bucket filling, and really didn't have any sort of official "system" for consequences and rewards. 

I didn't want to use Class Dojo last year because I would have two classes and my partner wasn't familiar with it and I thought we should use the same system.  I did like Class Dojo and the data it collected, but I'm not sure I really want to be that structured with the points and things.  I also want it to pop up on the screen over what I'm doing, rather than leaving it up and it doesn't.  I use my laptop, phone, and iPad for it and it has trouble syncing a lot too, which of course the kids notice and I waste a lot of time trying to fix it.

I really would prefer to take a solely positive approach.  There are just so many amazing ideas on Pinterest.  I don't know my partner this year and so I am sort of figuring out if I can decide what to do or not...

Questions for you:

Do you think both classes need to use the same behavior management system or will the kids just adapt to each teacher's system (they will have 2)?  All of our students have a behavior card that has expectations listed on it.  It is marked each day for parents to see, so there is consistency in that sense.

Should the behavior in one class carry to the next as it did when they carried their clip chart?  I sort of felt like it was causing them to start of negatively if they entered the other room already in trouble, etc. and that they should really be able to start fresh. 

Does anyone else NOT use an "official" positive/negative rewards system like a clipchart?

Thanks for your thoughts!

P.S. Make sure to check out Facebook this weekend for some surprises!  The hop will start with Tori's Teacher Tips.  Like her Facebook page here.  Also, make sure you are following me on Facebook as well...click here to do that!


  1. I've used Class Dojo in the past as well and although it initially had some interest wth the monsters, etc...it was hard to keep up consistently. I am thinking about trying the clothes pin chart in addition to a positive marble jar but now you have me worried about that - argh!! Bty...I am in one class now but used to team teach. We had the same system (clipboards with checked infractions) but they each stayed in the class what that teacher. Also - it was ALL negative which I did not like. I need a better classroom management system as welll this year so I'm looking, too.

    From Mrs. Allen's Teaching Files

  2. I LOVE the clip chart! I use a similar one to the one you have. When they clip up, they earn a jewel to add to the clothespin (if they clip to the top they get 2 OR sometimes I have a double day and they earn double jewels). Once they have 5 jewels, they can pick from my jar o' fun...non-tangible items... ALSO all 3rd graders are given an assignment notebook, so each day I use a sharpie and put a quick circle/dot in the memo part to let the parents know if they clipped up or down on daily basis. I staple a color code of our clip chart at the front of the notebook so the parents understand the color (this is also explained at our curriculum night). For whole class reward...I do a 100's chart/bingo style... they earn "a pick" (i have numbered guitar picks thru 100) and they earn a pick for certain things.. 1 for everyone turned in HW on time...2 if the principal compliments our class in hallway...2 for no clip downs...etc. Once they get a bingo on the board (which takes almost a whole quarter) they earn a class reward like a dress up day...1/2 hour extra recess (we aren't really allowed to do extra recess beyond the 20 mins they get at lunch)...etc.
    hope that helps????

  3. OH and after they fill their clothespin on one side, we flip it over to the other side...once that side is filled up, they take it home proudly AND I announce "10 jewel earners" in my newsletter to parents.

  4. I think every class is different and when one thing works great for one class or even one student might not work for the other. I love to make everything positive and praise only the positive and if someone does move down (sometimes negative behavior gets noticed but always explained to the whole class so it can be changed) I give them a chance to move up by just turning their behavior around right away! I noticed if I didn't use their behaviors slipped but as soon as I praised one student for good behavior they all tried to match that student.

    Kimberly Ann
    Live, Laugh, I love Kindergarten

  5. Our behavior system is school wide. When our students go to resource classes a notebook goes with them. If a child has to change a color the teacher or the child write in the notebook their name and why they have to change their color (move their clothes pin). Our school has done this for over 10 years and is very effective.

    I {Heart} Recess

    Hope you stop by and enter my Back to School Giveaway!

  6. We are departmentalized in first grade. This will only be our second year doing it. But the kids did start over with each class. We know that kids react differently towards their teachers and we thought they needed to know that they have a fresh start. It didn't seem fair to the next teacher to not have a fresh start. This really seemed to help a kid that may be having a rough day.

    Curious Firsties

  7. Last year in departmentalized fourth grade, my partner and I shared a DOJO account for both of our classes, then used the information to mark a weekly behavior card.

    This year in departmentalized second grade, my new partner and I will trade clip charts and mark daily conduct cards. I will still use DOJO for positive reinforcement during my math class though.

    I haven't made my clip chart yet. I like the positive ones, but haven't found one to match my classroom. Not a big fan of the rainbow colors!


  8. Last year was my first year using a clip chart for behavioral management and it seemed to work well. The 5th grade teachers were departmentalized and they had the same behavior management system (also a clip chart system). They passed their chart when their classes switched. It seemed to work for them.

  9. I had some of the same questions as we are departmentalizing for the first time this year. We do use the clip chart, but we made a portable one (actually 2). You can read about it here:
    Teachin' First

  10. Instead of clips, I have a calendar pocket chart with colored cards. Each student has a space on the chart and four cards. In the past (Kinder), I used a colored chart on a white board and each student had a magnet. It was more visual for the students. Never liked the clips, either. This year I'm going with velcro for a few things that I've used clips for in the past.

  11. whoops . . . didn't answer your question about departmentalization. It depends on how the other teachers manage their classroom. If they have poor management, then yes, the same system works. If the kiddos are generally okay, than no, any consistent system works, IMO. The key is consistency.

  12. I teach with two other teachers. My class is with them for one class each. We have class folders that follow our classes. If the teacher assigns a consequence, she notes it in the class folder. Each teacher has their own system, but I apply any consequence (usually unfinished work or a few minutes of recess time-out) given by another teacher. For my own class, I'm using Whole Brain Teaching. (My team does not.) I just started last year but am LOVING it. I hope to do more this year. It's fun, active, and positive. The students love it too.


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