Teachers are always on the lookout for easy and effective classroom management strategies to use with students. Especially when teaching middle school, it can be tricky to find something that pre-teen students will enjoy and buy into. A good behavior grid is a student favorite and is easy to implement.
What is a Good Behavior Grid?
A good behavior grid is a classroom management strategy that uses two simple tools: an easy to make chart and sticky notes.
The grid looks like this: it is simply a 6 by 6 grid labeled along the bottom and left sides with the numbers one through six. Also, the squares need to be large enough to place sticky notes inside the grid.
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How do I use the grid as a part of my classroom management strategies?
The Good Behavior Grid is simple to use. When you see a student who is making awesome choices about their behavior, you give them a sticky note.
The student will write their name on the sticky note. Middle school students love this part because they can write their name with their favorite handwriting style or use a fun pen. Students do not always get to use their “cool” handwriting. They like writing their name graffiti style or in the script they’ve been practicing.
During a transition time, the student places the sticky note on the grid. They can choose any open spot on the 6 by 6 poster.
As students continue to demonstrate good behavior, the grid will begin to fill up. Once the grid is full, the fun happens!
A full grid means it is time to choose some students to receive a reward. Now you will need to roll two dice. The first roll will tell you which number to find along the bottom or x-axis. The second roll will give you the left side number or y-axis. Locate the student who has their sticky note in this part of the grid. Repeat the rolls as many times as rewards you want to pass out!
Why should I use the Good Behavior Grid as a part of my Classroom Management Strategies?
Good classroom management strategies benefit teachers, students, and the learning environment, but why choose a Good Behavior Grid? There are several reasons why this method works well, especially as a classroom management strategy for middle school classrooms.
Immediate and Delayed Rewards
Students receive immediate feedback about good behavior choices. This will help your students become mindful of good decisions and keep those decisions coming. Receiving the sticky note from the teacher is a immediate signal to the student that they are on the right track!
Although a sticky note may be enough for your teacher-pleasers, that just will not do for some of your trickier students. Having a more substantial reward possible in the future is a motivator for students to keep improving behavior. The more sticky notes received, the great the chance to receive one of the rewards. This is a great impromptu math lesson on probability as well! Students also do not always receive a reward, increasing their stamina for delaying gratification.
Whole Class and Individual Strategy
Because each student is contributing individual sticky notes to the grid, they are displaying their own behavior. Any student can receive multiple sticky notes. Whether the student has one sticky note on the board or 20, they have a chance to earn a reward.
There will not be a roll for the rewards until the grid is completely full. This means that the more students who are earning sticky notes with more frequency, the quicker the grid will fill. This makes whole class behavior important, too! If the grid doesn’t fill, there will be no rewards for anyone–so sad!
Inexpensive to Implement
Music to a teacher’s ears–you can run a Good Behavior Grid for little to no money out of your pocket!
The supplies you need to make the grid are simple and available at most schools on hand for teachers. You can literally just print it on plain copy paper. Have the school laminate the poster and it is ready to go! Can you get sticky notes from school, too? Great!
If using sticky notes isn’t an option at your school, don’t worry! There are still tons of really easy no cost options. For example, gather scrap paper that has been printed on one side only and cut it into squares. Students can tape it to the laminated poster.
Do you want to go paperless? When you have the poster laminated, students can write their names directly in the grid using dry erase markers. Just clean it off after each reward session.
Also, you are only giving rewards when the board is full. This likely will give a few days between times that rewards need to be passed out. Usually you will just be “rewarding” behavior with sticky notes.
Middle school students love rewards that have no monetary value! Choose rewards that do not cost you anything. My students loved rewards like:
- Sitting in the comfy rolling chair
- Choosing a stuffed animal to hold during class (Yep, I know. Even my thirteen year olds! Middle school kids are a goofy bunch!)
- Wearing sunglasses during class (I had a couple of cheap pairs at school. Don’t worry! I washed them!)
- Choosing a song for the class to listen to during math station work.
More free ideas for fun, free or cheap rewards for middle school are coming soon! Make sure to subscribe below to learn more!
What else can I do to improve my classroom management strategies?
Do you still need some classroom management tips to help your school year run smoothly? Check out this article about the BIGGEST game changer in keeping my classroom a positive and well-managed space.
Teach any classroom expectations with back to school task cards.
Display your classroom expectations with “middle school approved” CHAMPS Classroom Management posters.