Behavior Management with Cards

When students are misbehaving, talking out of turn, being disruptive, give them a yellow card as in soccer (just a piece of yellow card stock). You don’t even have to stop teaching or talking – just give the student the card. That’s strike 1. With a second yellow card comes greater consequences (maybe a detention). Strike 3 is a red card, which students know comes after two yellow cards. A red card means calling home or meeting with the principal or something students really want to avoid.

The trick is to make it so that the first yellow card isn’t a “free pass.” There must be some consequence associated with it. Students must also know that misbehaving badly enough can get them an instant red card or two yellow cards at once – it’s not always the same progression of one yellow card, another yellow card, and finally a red card.

Right now, without being a teacher, I’m thinking 1st yellow card = sit apart from students or some other small consequence depending on the “offense”; 2nd yellow card = lunch/recess detention to work on homework or help the teacher with a chore; a red card = parent conference at the least.

I really like this idea because the teacher can communicate with misbehaving students without disrupting the teaching. Another thing to consider is how to keep track of which kids have how many cards… Maybe a chart on the teacher’s desk (though not necessarily on the white/black board – it’s not necessary to humiliate children who are sensitive or to give the attention-seekers some “fame”).

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