How to use a clip chart for classroom management

There’s a lot of strong feelings about clip charts!  Some people love them while others think they’re horrible.  Let’s chat about how to use a clip chart, what it looks like in our classroom, how to communicate with parents, and how to manage it all.  I’ve also get several alternatives so you can choose what works best for you!

Let's chat about how to use a clip chart, what it looks like in our classroom, how to communicate with parents, and how to manage it all.  I've also get several alternatives so you can choose what works best for you!

How the heck do I use one?

I’ve used a clip chart for years after attending a Rick Morris PD. He’s THE classroom management guru and has a great e book freebie on clip charts, how to use it, the rationale why, and more. He can explain it way better than I can!

Like anything, if used the right way, I think they’re helpful for me for a few reasons.

1. It helps me keep track of behavior in our class

2. It lets parents know how their child was in class

What it looks like in my room

Let's chat about how to use a clip chart for classroom management, what it looks like, how to communicate with parents, and how to manage it all.  

I spray painted clothespins and added number stickers on the end {each student is assigned a #}. Everyone starts out on “Ready to Learn.” Students can move up or down throughout the day depending on the choices they make. What I think is really important that students can always move back up if they move down.

Communicating with parents

At the end of the day, students fill out where they ended up on their behavior chart to take home to their parents. This is part of our clean up routine at the end of the day and takes about 30 seconds.

When I first started teaching, kiddos lined up at the door and received a tiny stamp on their hand if they had an awesome day. Parents were able to see if their child earned a stamp and could have a discussion about the good choices they made that day.

Management

At the end of the day, someone’s job in or class is to put all of the clips back to “Ready to Learn.” One less thing for me to do! {See more about classroom jobs here}  Didn’t download it yet, grab it ​again!

Clip Chart Alternatives

  • Remember the expectations I shared on Day 1. Turn that into a clip chart. Students can clip to showing respect, making good choices, and solving problems.
  • Class Dojo
  • Brag Tags
  • Classroom Economy 
  • Whole Brain Teaching

For the next 2 weeks, I’ll be breaking down classroom management for you in a daily e mail. I’ll make it short and sweet because I know how busy you are.  Click here if you aren’t already signed up.

 

Let's chat about how to use a clip chart, what it looks like in our classroom, how to communicate with parents, and how to manage it all.  I've also get several alternatives so you can choose what works best for you!

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What do you think?

  1. Hi! I love your blog and your videos-you are amazing! The clip chart is something that I strongly disagree with…my daughter had one in her preschool room and it was devastating to her when she had a rough day and it was on display for all to see. She still talks about now as an 8 year old! I think the thing that bothers me the most is that I don’t believe that systems like this change kids’ behavior. The same students always seem to be in the same place at the end of the day. Many times there are not home consequences so when there is no follow through then they also aren’t motivated to change. The “naughty kids” continue to struggle and then have a visual reminder to all that they are naughty. Just my 2 cents!

    I have a warm fuzzy system in my room and reward for positive behavior. This has worked really well for me and I also use it to help them to learn how to count money (big fuzzy is worth 10, medium 5, mini is 1). Have a great school year!

    • I agree! We recently moved from a school in NJ where my son’s teachers adored him, he was literally the principle’s favorite student, and the school nurse cried when we said goodbye… they all said he was one of the most warm, special students they’ve ever had!!

      Now in NC, my son’s peers have labelled home a ‘bad kid’ due to this behavior chart. It is having such a negative impact on him emotionally, which as his mother is very sad to see.

      My son has ADHD, and his teacher didn’t even bother to read his paperwork with details and accommodations; however, he is still held to the same standards as his peers.

      As my tenured teacher friend has said, the behavior chart shares private information. My son’s peers should be paying attention to his performance on the chart as it is none of their business.

  2. My school uses the same clip chart in each classroom from grades K to 4th. It is a color system, with blue being a super student, green ready to learn, yellow you have a warning, orange there is a consequence for the behavior and red is a parent contact. I personally am not a fan of the clip chart because students and parents become obsessed with it and kids get defined by their color. I teach kinder and this year I am thinking of ways to make the clip chart less of the focus even though I still have to use it. I am thinking of using brag tags as well. Do you have any suggestions since my school still requires me to use the chart? Thanks!

  3. Hi!

    I have a student who is effected by other students being clipped down at the end of the day when they leave. He is not clipping down, but seeing his peers clipped down upsets him at home, and I have had several meetings with his parents about it. The parents have asked if I could put it in a less public area or make it less public in some way. It is already located in the back of the classroom so that the students to not look at it all day long, but they do see it on their way out the door. Any suggestions?

  4. I have tried this but it does not seem to have any impact on the children who are usually naughty. So, I have abandoned it and I am planning to try a new approach this semester. If it works, I will let you know.