Friday, April 27, 2012

Green Means Go

Do you ever feel as if you are saying the same things over and over?  It happens here.  Today I decided the children needed a visual reminder.  

I had the younger kids make stoplights
 using construction paper and glue.
I don't know where I will hang these permanently but for now I have put them on a shelf in the dining room (where we do most of our school work).  Each day the children will begin their morning on the green light.  I'm using clothes pins to mark the place.  If they do something they are told not to do (disobey) they get 1 warning and the clip moves to yellow.  If they get in trouble again, the clip will move to red.  At red, privileges are lost.  Where the clip is at the end of the school day will determine what they get to do after school.  If the clip is on green at the end of school time they can go outside to play.  If the clip is on red, they won't be getting to play outside after school and may have to do some extra work.  Keeping the clip in the green is very important if they want to keep their free time/play time.  I'm hoping the visual reminder will help them and will prevent me from giving so many warnings and repeating myself over and over.  I'm not recommending this for major disobedience such as lying or disrespecting parents.  I'm using this for things like talking during school time when they are supposed to work without talking or not doing as they're told. 
The clips are on green now.  I hope they stay there!

Sometimes visual reminders can really help children exercise self control.  I make a lot of charts and things for that very reason.  It helps if things are clear and easy for children to understand.  If I'm not paying careful attention I will give too many warnings for the same thing.  With the help of this project I plan on giving only 1 warning and moving the clip to yellow.  I hope it never goes to red but I have a feeling someone might check to see if the stoplight really "works".  

I try to remember not to view behavior issues as another problem, but view them as training opportunities.  

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