How to Stop Using Your Useless, Hurtful Classroom Behavior Chart

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I teach third grade and I use a behavior chart. All of the kids start out with a red, a yellow, and a green card by their names. If a kid does something “bad,” I usually give a warning. The next time, they lose their green card. The next time, they lose their yellow and lose five minutes of recess. After that, they lose their red and go to the principal and I call home. I think I am like many teachers who feel like the chart doesn’t work, but I don’t know what else to use. –Jackie, Dayton, Ohio

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How to Recover from Not Learning Anything About Classroom Management in College

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am a second year teacher. Last year I taught fifth grade and this year I am in Kindergarten. Both years I have struggled with classroom management. I go over rules daily and have the kids repeat. I have a behavior chart that I am consistent with. The kids just still do not respect me. How do I get them to? I have three boys who have very difficult behavior. They refuse to stay in their seats, they tell me no, and they just laugh when they are asked to clip down. Any suggestions? Any help would be much appreciated. Thank You. -Riley, San Diego, CA

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How to Get Your Students to Stop Pushing Your Buttons

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I teach fifth grade and I have a student who is driving me crazy. I have been to Kid Whisperer Professional development at my school, so I have used “Recovery” with this student, but when I send him to Recovery he smirks and sort of swaggers as he goes there. IT DRIVES ME CRAZY!!! What do I do in to not go through the roof the next time he does it? Hurry! I know he is going to do it tomorrow! –Kathy, Centerville, Ohio

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How to Improve Your Child’s Memory

Dear Kid Whisperer,

As we get toward fall, I am anticipating having the same problem I had last year with my 9-year-old. He lost five coats last year. When I ask how he lost his coat he just shrugs his shoulders. The last time he lost one, he actually yelled at me, saying that he’s not meaning to lose his coats. He has to have a coat. I can’t send him outside to freeze to death. Nothing I say helps. What should I do? Jill, Springfield

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How Teachers Can Become the Ultimate Authority Figures in Their Classrooms

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am an elementary school assistant principal. I need a good referral paper for when kids act up in class and their teachers send them to me so that I know what they did and so that I can talk to them about what they did wrong. It is my job to “put out the fires”, and I hope that a good form will allow me to be more efficient at doing so. –Riki, Iowa

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How Teachers Can Achieve a Calm, Compliant Classroom

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I teach fifth grade. I follow your column and website and I know that I will be a better teacher this year because of you, so thanks. Anyway, what is the one piece of advice that you would give a teacher like me who has struggled with discipline throughout his career? What’s the one thing that I need to do that will make this school year easier/better?

— Johnathan

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How to Simultaneously Remove and Train a Belligerent Student

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I appreciate you offering to give me some strategies because my para and I are at our wits’ end. I am in a K-3 ED classroom with five children. I’ve got a great para and we are on the same page – which is important.

The student giving us the blues is a first grade female. When she has an anger/rage episode, it starts w/ her walking around the class (let her do, she wants attention) When she gets no attention & others are great at ignoring, she ups the ante by putting her face into others faces and calling them “bitch” or she’ll touch their desk. Others are still pretty good at ignoring. I praise them for ignoring, she escalates more.

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