Teacher (Me): "Johnny, I heard what you said to Precious, I'm putting your pin on red!"
Johnny: "I didn't say anything!"
Teacher: "What didn't you say, Johnny?"
Johnny: "But, she said it first!"
Teacher: "Well I heard you say it. Your pin is going on red!
This sort of conversation is futile and could go on forever, with Johnny eventually fessin' up. While you may have won the battle with Johnny, you've lost a whole lot of time with the other little angels. Besides, this is what happens (to me) later when I have to write a note in little Johnny's planner. (Remember hours have passed, and I've had to deal with someone puking, a fire drill, and who knows what else.)
Teacher: "Johnny, why is your pin on red?"
Johnny: "uh-UH-uh". You know, the shrug your shoulders motion that accompanies the guttural "I Don't Know". Which is what Johnny should say if he has any sense whatsoever.
I've also tried Class Dojo. Pretty much ditto the above.
So, here is what several teachers at my school use. "The Clipboard". It travels with the class wherever they go, from teacher to teacher. Some kiddos are so special that they get their very own clipboard, but that is a blog post for another time.
I start out with a fresh pre-filled form every week. You'll notice that for each day there is a 1,2,3,4,5. Each number stands for some sort of behavior. At the bottom there is an editable section where you can type in what each number stands for. As you can see on mine, number 1 stands for coming to school unprepared,number 2 is being disrespectful, and so on.
So let's look at Johnny and Precious. Obviously Tuesday wasn't their day. Precious came to school without her homework (hw). This probably had her in a bad mood and she said something ugly to Johnny. He in turn told her to "STFU". It just takes me a quick second to jot the issues down, I have a reminder what they did, and I can quickly update their planner at the end of the day.
Okay, some of you are probably thinking "Second graders don't say STFU. How could she write this?" Well second graders do say STFU and a lot more. I always tell parents exactly what their angels say. I don't beat around the bush. So in Johnny's planner I will write something like: "Johnny told a classmate to Shut the Fuck Up!" I might even put two exclamation points and a sad face to drive home the fact that Johnny is a potty-mouth. Then the parents are expected to sign off on it. If Johnny forgets to get his planner signed, or his mom was just "too busy" to sign it, or his dog conveniently ate that particular page out of the planner, then Johnny gets a little call home on Wednesday.
At the end of the week the behavior chart gets filed, and I have a quick record of Johnny and Precious.
P.S. We try to reward the kiddos that don't have any behavior issues all week with something like a little extra recess on Friday, while the ones that didn't do as well either sit out or go in with one of their teachers right after lunch.
You can get your very own editable clipboard behavior chart right here