The real source of the clip chart is Rick Morris. I want to kiss him for it. Click here for the eBook which gives you lots of details.
For those of you new to the clip chart concept, here's a run down:
I am teaching here in Switzerland and all of my international students 'get it'. I have Swiss, Russian, Italian, French, German, Dutch, and Austrian kids. It took one day to get the hang of it. They love it and they HATE clipping down. I rarely have any behavior problems and when I do it's something minor.
Want to make your own? Great!
Step 1: Make a chart.
My current (mobile) clip chart is on the right. It's about 2' tall and I have two different sets of names (for each class). I bought a piece of white plastic/board from the hardware store (not sure what it was for) and painted it, let it dry, then wrote the words with permanent marker (I tried painting words, but it looked like I'd been drinking all day so I stuck with black marker. Trust me, I would have used fancy black letter stickers if I had been able to find them.) The clips are painted white because I'm a type A person and wanted white. I can paint over them for my next class. I'm pretty proud of myself for accomplishing this in Switzerland because everything seems like a challenge.
Click the thumbnails to enlarge and click the large picture to go to the source.
Step 2: Introduce it
Step 3: Let it be awesome
Improvements & Adaptations:
- If a student gets to the top and they're just having an outstanding, super, amazing day, then let them clip up even more. Clip up to the teacher's shirt? What about clipping it to your hair? I know my kids went insane when one of them got to clip up to my pony tail or shirt. Crazy.
- If my kids got to the top (purple in my room) then they got to spin a wheel. The wheel had special 'prizes' on it: computer time, sitting at teacher's desk, reading to another class, eating lunch with a friend from another class, etc.... not candy and toys. I don't believe in rewarding good behavior with diabetes. Halloween is enough.
- Make one of your class jobs the "clip manager." The clip manager gets to reset all of the clips to green at the end of the day.
- Top of the chart = a jewel (you know those sparkly ones at craft stores?) OR you could give them a different color each time they reach the top (which is supposed to be rare).
- Clips will break/come apart.... at the. most. inconvenient. times. Be prepared. Have new ones handy or be ready to fix them.
- Really young ones (< 5) might have trouble using the clothespin. Give them a week. They'll get it.
- Kids will start asking you to clip up. All. the. time. Tell them "asking doesn't work." You have to catch them in the act.
- Once you tell one kid to clip up then you'll have 20 other students copying the behavior. It's great, but be prepared to respond to this: "You let Katie clip up and I did the same thing. That's not fair. Why can't I do it?"
- Some students might need their own mini clip chart at their desk. You know the ones who have severe control issues. Giving them a mini version serves as a constant reminder. They can even take it to their specials classes (art, PE, music, etc.).
- You know that sneaky student? They will try to clip up double spots. Beware. I made a rule that if they got caught clipping up double, then they clipped down double. It never happened again.
- "Piggy-back clipping" - the act of clipping your clip on the end of another clip, thus making a long ridiculous chain of clips. This WILL happen. You know what? Who cares?! Let them piggy-back clip... unless it becomes a distraction.
Go make a clip chart. Now. Do it.