If your behavior “management system” is public (verbal or visual), if it is whole group, or if it is highly symbolic, it’s a practice that we can no longer engage in.
Meaning…it’s three strikes and you’re out when it comes to behavior charts.
In this episode, I unpack the top three reasons (ok five reasons) that behavior charts aren’t effective in helping children learn to self-regulate. I also talk about why we have used them, and how our good intentions shouldn’t be criticized…just adjusted.
This episode if for you if you want to know:
- The top five reasons for bagging behavior charts
- The top four reasons people use behavior charts
- Solutions for what to do instead
After listening to this episode, you’ll understand what all I’m categorizing as behavior charts and why they are ineffective with young children
Click here to download the transcript for Episode 36.
- Bag the behavior charts!: In this Pre-K Teach and Play blog, the problem with using classwide behavior charts as a means of helping young children self-regulate, remain engaged, and control their impulses, is outlined. Three reasons for bagging behavior charts are also described. Read in Spanish here.
- It’s time to flip behavior cards and charts to STOP!: In this Pre-K Teach and Play blog, the authors take the stand that publicly tracking children’s behavior from a deficit orientation is ineffective, unethical, and harmful. The reasons why they are troublesome as well as the good intentions behind them are discussed, followed by ten broad prevention strategies.
- School-wide positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS): This page offers numerous tools, presentations, publications, and videos to support school-wide implementation of PBIS.
- The Office of Special Education Programs’ (OSEP) Technical Assistance Center on PBIS: The homepage for PBIS can be easily navigated to better understand the PBIS approach, explore subtopics, and access numerous materials to support understanding and implementation.
- Teach Before the Peak of the Storm online course: This course takes you through what to do when the s**t hits the fan, including when the storm is brewing, the middle of the storm, and what to do afterwards. A certificate of completion is provided.
- Podcast 29- Stop, Think, Act: Promoting self-regulation in young children: This Pre-K Teach and Play podcast episode tackles the importance of self-regulation, common myths or misperceptions about self-regulation, and why our job is critical in ensuring children’s success in school and in life.
- Episode 79- Co-reg vs. Self-reg with Thriving Littles: This Seed & Sew podcast shares why we need to co-regulate with young children often in order to help them develop effective self-regulation skills.
- Pre-K Teach and Play Practice Point- Early childhood stressors: Based upon the work of Stewart Shanker and the Mehrit Center: Five Primary Domains of Stress from Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child; and The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, this handout describes common stressors for young children, as well as an alphabetical summary of stressors teachers may be able to address through classroom design and instruction.
- Download for Podcast 20- What children really need: This handout from Pre-K Teach and Play Podcast 20 offers six guiding questions to determine if a child NEEDS something or just WANTS something.
- A trauma informed approach to behaviors in the classroom: This free download is a letter to teachers – short, simple, and steeped in science- on why behavior management systems don’t usually work for children with a history of trauma, and WHAT THE TEACHER CAN DO INSTEAD!!!!
Two main reasons for why we should not use behavior charts are shared:
- “Can quickly and easily activate a child’s fight/flight/freeze system.”
- “Children with a history of harm who have developed a sense of shame about themselves”…. “lack the understanding of the difference between “I am bad” and “I did something bad.”
- A brain architect’s guide for reducing ECE stressors: This infographic provides strategies for soothing the system, reducing to “restore”, and readying oneself.
- 10 ways to reduce stressors so curiosity can thrive in children with autism: This resource offers a compilation of evidence-based practices, discussions with adults on the spectrum, and Barb Avila’s 30+ years of experience.
- Podcast 27- Seeing the child behind the behavior: In this Pre-K Teach and Play podcast episode, Laura Fish and Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak share how early educators can broaden their perspective around the “causes” for challenging behavior. You will learn how to discover the “why” behind a child’s behavior.
- Podcast 33- Are you teaching coping mechanisms or strategies? Why the difference matters to children’s emotional well-being: In this Pre-K Teach and Play podcast episode, Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak talks to Alyssa Blask Campbell about supporting and intentionally teaching self-regulation. Or as Alyssa would say, “Helping tiny humans process big emotions”.
- Episode 63- How to emotion coach for emotion processing, with Lauren Stauble: This Seed & Sew podcast discusses the five phases of emotional processing.
- The Zones of Regulation: A website dedicated to a framework for fostering self-regulation and emotional control.
- Teaching Pyramid: A website devoted to an approach that provides a systematic framework that promotes social and emotional development, offers support for children’s appropriate behavior, prevents challenging behavior, and addresses problematic behavior.
- Teach Before the Peak: This YouTube video from Barb Avila and Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak describes how we can support children who are experiencing difficult emotions and “teach before the peak”.
- Stop, Think, Act: This book from Drs. Megan McClelland and Shauna Tominey offers early childhood teachers the latest research and a wide variety of hands-on activities to help children learn and practice self-regulation techniques.
- Extending the Green Zone of Optimal Learning from the Teaching with the Brain in Mind pre-conference session: This Facebook video offers a recording of a portion of a session Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak and Laura Fish offered at the 2018 Division for Early Childhood Conference.
- 5 steps to magically teach self-regulation: This Pre-K Teach and Play blog describes how we can use an intentional instructional sequence to teach self-regulation to young children.
- Teach Before the Peak online series: This page offers three online asynchronous course packages to support you in “teaching before the peak” in the home, classroom, or both.
- Words of wisdom from a brain architect (aka a mom): This Pre-K Teach and Play blog describes how the most effective brain architects are those who understand the impact different stressors have on children’s development and learning.