Wednesday, July 3, 2013

My Favorite Things #2: Behavior Calendars

My next favorite thing was the behavior calendars I used.  The calendar itself came from Teri at

A Cupcake for the Teacher

Last school year I used her original calendars and really liked the behavior codes she had.  It seemed to really get the point across to the parents.  Although... I have to admit I tended to use #3 (I wasn't following directions) A LOT!

AND since this is California most schools here are not enclosed (rooms open to the outside of the building) we never EVER used #8 which says "I misbehaved in the hallways".  We have no hallways to misbehave in!

Earlier this year she wrote a post about her calendars.  She not only updated them for the 2013-2014 school year but she now has an editable version and a Spanish version! Click on the links below to see her blog post or direct links to her TpT store for each item.

Original Calendar - non-editable

So here's how I set mine up.  First, I used a color file folder.  Next I put a label on the front cover using our school mascot and a space for their name. But since not everyone has an eagle for a mascot I used this adorable space kid!  Here is a link to my eagle label.  I used Avery label's 5168.

I was a bit anxious getting out of school so I had thrown my original out already. These pictures are a mock-up of what it would look like in use.  I had also left my labels at school so I printed on regular paper and used packing tape to affix it to the cover.  I don't like it as much because it's not as uniform and tape can leave a crease if you're not careful (as you can see!).

This next picture is what the calendar would look like.  When the child achieves a white day they use a black crayon to outline the box.  This lets me know that it wasn't a day they forgot to color.  I also forgot to show a sample day of when a child is absent.  They are to write in a capital A on the day they missed.  (If they miss 3 or more days I usually don't allow for a prize.)  I add in a line on the Saturday boxes for the parents to sign.  To make a complete week I'll add in either the beginning of the following month (as you can see at the bottom) or move to the next month and add in the final days of the current month.
When the child has to change to yellow, orange or red I write in the number for the reason that caused them to obtain that color.  Normally I'll talk to the parents that very day when they get a red or if they are consistently changing their card to an undesirable color. 

This picture shows how I note that those days were already accounted for during the July calendar page.  I just put a large X and don't start the parent signature line until the following week.

Here is a picture of the parent explanation letter. I did have to trim the white edges so it would fit better.  I usually put in 2 - one in English and one in Spanish.  I don't double side because it is stapled in.
 I copied most of the text from the pocket chart explanation I got at Lakeshore.  The Lakeshore pocket chart starts at green and goes down to red.

I didn't like that the children started at the top and never had a chance to move up. So I added blue and white colors that allowed the kids to move up from green.

It seems Teri from A Cupcake for the Teacher didn't like that either! This blog post of hers from May explains how she changed it up as well.  The calendars I use are the ones she offers for free.  But as you saw earlier in my post she now has other options and those are available in her TpT store.

So how can my students earn a blue or a white?

Blue is the first step above green.  I tell my students that they can move up here when I see them making good choices.  That can be anything like, helping a friend in need, getting a pencil themselves without asking me (solving their own problems), sitting and ready to learn more than once, etc.  By the end of the year I change it up a bit to motivate them even more.  I tell them that if the whole class stays on green EVERYONE will get blue.  And if it continues for the following day EVERYONE will move to white.  If the class, as a whole, can achieve white they get a pizza party!  But inevitably, as you can imagine, there is the "one"! So it took my class a REALLY long time to achieve this goal.  It wasn't until the 2nd to last week that they were able to earn a pizza party, which meant my planned pizza party became a reward!  Woo-hoo!

OK, so finally white.  What do the students have to do to get white? White is when they are consistently making good choices.  This is your child who is often moving to blue.  She/he is typically reliable, responsible, independent and helpful.  These kids who reach white get an immediate reward from me.  This past year I had what I called the "big prize".  It was reserved for those who got white.  Since our school is Title 1 we qualify for a lot of aide.  So the Molina Foundation had our teachers come over to their warehouse and take as much as we wanted!  I got enough Scholastic books to last me the ENTIRE school year!  This was their "big prize".  Of course when I changed it up to the whole class needing to be on white the big prize changed to the pizza party.

And lastly, the students get a prize for taking it home and having it signed by their parents.  I give them 2 picks from my treasure box if they achieved an "all green or better" week and if they happened to get a yellow, orange or red the students can still pick 1 treasure from the box for at least getting it signed.  I decided to reward them for getting their parents signature because it rewards them for having a discussion with their parents about what happened that particular day.

Now if a child is changing to yellow, orange or red on a regular basis I change up their calendar a little bit.  I draw 2 horizontal lines in each calendar week.  This breaks up their day into 3 equal parts.  This allows them to see that they are getting green some of the time and it has actually helped to motivate them to do better!  And it let the parents know that their kid wasn't always making bad choices...that sometimes is just as important as helping the kid to feel better about himself isn't it?

I hope this post helps you to refine your communication with the parents about their child's behavior or has given you a new method to it!  It's worked wonderfully for me and I hope it will for you!


  1. Thanks for the love, Stacey! I'm glad the calendars are such a big help to you! They are awesome for communication! :)
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

    1. I love that your name comes up as Mrs. Cupcake! You are most welcome for the love but I thank you for a product that is so wonderful!