Miss Night's Marbles

Musings, mumbles, marvels, and sometimes mockery, live from kindergarten.

Chuck the Chart

Chuck the Chart is a series of posts (still in progress as of today, July 14, 2014) about how and why to consider removing the publicly-posted behaviour chart from your classroom. It seemed like a good idea to have one place on the blog where you could find ALL the posts, so here it is! I will keep adding links here as I finish the (many) different posts in the series.


Come back often! There is more to come!

Go ahead! Recycle that chart! You can do it!

Go ahead! Recycle that chart! You can do it!

13 Responses to “Chuck the Chart”

  1. […] Clip charts have them working for me (and when I was forced to do it last year, my students lost all respect for me and just learned to game the system). PBIS, reward programs, and treasure chests get them asking “what do I get for it?” instead of teaching them the value of what we want them to do. Many of the common management systems focus on the short term, falling in line now, simply because it is asked of them. They focus on controlling students. […]

  2. Melissa says:

    So, after 10 years of teaching, I decided to chuck my chart today. I told my neighbor teacher and she told me “you have a Pollyanna view on life, that’s what’s wrong with you. That’s what’s wrong with your teaching”.
    I had no idea this was going to cause such controversy. It feels right, and I’m going to keep at it. I believe in my students and I believe in myself as a teacher.

  3. Z's Lucky Mom says:

    What advice do you have for speaking with a well-meaning teacher about her chart. My son tells me every day what his “pattern” was that day. Started on green, moved down to yellow then down to orange then back up to yellow then green then up to blue and back down to green.” He’s 6 years old in the 1st grade in the US. And surprise, he’s become super anxious and says he hates school, etc. He is desperate to please but has poor impulse control. We told her to stop moving his clip down for “offenses” like holding his pencil wrong (seriously?), but reading the article has inspired me to try and get rid of the thing altogether. She’s a relatively new teacher, just 5 years out of college. I want to approach it the right way.

  4. Sara says:

    I’m so happy I found this! I’m one week and 1 day into the first week of Kindergarten and have already met with the Dean of Academics to discuss “The Behavior Chart”. The teacher assured all of us last night at Back to School Night this isn’t about “Shaming” the child. Its about making better choices. I had to let everyone know that 3 days in a row on Yellow and my son told me he was a LOSER! I put my foot down right then and there and told him I don’t care what color your on! I meet with the teacher next week and will be bringing her alternatives to the Behavior Chart.

  5. Laura says:

    Thank you for being such an advocate, and thank you to every single teacher who cares about this issue.

    I have a child whose clip was always being moved down last year. She’s slow and uncoordinated and couldn’t always do what was expected. Being bad made her anxious. The more anxious she got, the more bad behavior “choices” she made. They weren’t really choices. She was withdrawing, she was panicking. She was scared! And someone telling her that she was making choices that she could somehow choose to change (when she couldn’t figure out how) made things even worse.

    As the year progressed, she became more and more afraid of being bad and doing things wrong. It got to the point that she was afraid to take any risks at all. Not really understanding what she was doing wrong made her feel badly about everything. One day she had to send a red note home and she checked off everything. She honestly could find a way that she did everything wrong. I don’t think the teacher knew all that was going through her head. Did the teacher realize what was happening to my child emotionally? I don’t think so. She just saw a child that wasn’t doing what she wanted. School is busy; there are too many kids in this class. Clip down, we’ve got to move on….

    Her teacher this year is very kind and does not use a behavior chart–or at least doesn’t use it in the same way. It is the first week of school and the changes in my child are amazing! The teachers may not see a difference at school, but I see a totally different child. I now see a child who is not perfect but finally able to take a risk or two, who is happier, who is becoming less afraid of making mistakes. I see a child who has a teacher who is able to show her what she wants my child to do rather than shaming her for not understanding or for not getting it right. My child is in such a better place emotionally. SHE FINALLY FEELS SAFE in the classroom, and because she feels safe, she is more able to learn.

    I don’t think teachers see the impact these charts have on some children. If a child doesn’t understand how to behave the way a teacher wants for whatever reason (undiagnosed learning disability, ADHD, just misses mom, whatever) and is constantly shamed instead of helped for “choices” the child does not understand how to control, the classroom is not safe for that child. Children just can’t learn that way.

    Thank you to all of the teachers who question these charts. Thank you for caring, for questioning, for doing the hard work to find a better way to help ALL children, not just the “good” ones.

  6. Lenore Kirby says:

    CAN’T WAIT to read your blog on talking with parents. Really! We have parent orientation this Monday night 🙂

  7. Jsanl says:

    Can you write a blog describing in detail what to do as an alternative?

    • Miss Night says:

      Hi Jen
      If you read the intro post to this series, it shares some links to alternatives. My post that best describes how I manage my classroom is here: . Stay tuned, there is more to come!

  8. […] This post is part of my Chuck the Chart series, about managing your classroom without the use of a publicly posted behaviour chart. You can find links to the entire series on my Chuck the Chart page.  […]

  9. […] This post is part of a multi-part series about running a classroom without using a publicly-posted behaviour chart system. All of the other posts in the series can be found here. […]

  10. […] UPDATE, July 16, 2014: This post has morphed into a whole series of posts about how and why to manage your classroom using relationships instead of charts and systems. To read the whole series, please visit my Chuck the Chart page. […]

  11. […] UPDATE, July 16, 2014: This post has morphed into a whole series of posts about how and why to manage your classroom using relationships instead of charts and systems. To read the whole series, please visit my Chuck the Chart page. […]

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