When it comes to classroom management, actions speak louder than words. If you have an effective management system in place, you don’t have to raise your voice or waste class time lecturing students about their behavior. You simply take action!
The most effective system that I ever used was called the “stoplight” management system. To implement this system, I first created a “Go for Green” bulletin board in my classroom. I posted a large illustration of a stoplight, but mine had a slight modification. It had four colors: green, yellow, orange, and red. I arranged a set of library pockets around the stoplight, and each numbered pocket represented a student in the class. Here’s a picture that was taken in my classroom over 10 years ago, and you can tell it was something I used again and again!
Here’s how it worked. Everyone started off each day on green. The first time a student engaged in an off-task behaviors, I pulled a yellow “tag,” or paper slip from the pocket at the base of the stoplight and inserted in the student’s pocket on top of the green tag. This was simply a warning. If the off-task behavior continued, I added an orange tag to the student’s pocket and they had to complete a Time Out form. Red was reserved for severe infractions and resulted in a trip to the office and/or an immediate call to parents.
If you like this system, you can download a free set of directions and a picture of the stoplight bulletin board to help you remember what to do.
One reason I like this method so much is that it’s an easy way to manage the learning environment without constant nagging and angry outbursts. Students can be reminded without a lot of fuss that they are off-task and easily redirected to the assignment at hand.
I kept a poster like this one on the wall at the front of my room that proclaimed my right to teach and my students’ right to learn. I promised to do everything in my power to ensure that these rights were respected. This system helped me keep that promise and ensure that our time together wasn’t wasted. If you like this poster and would like a copy, read below to find out how to get it.
Go For Green Stoplight System
A few years ago, I wanted to share the entire system with other teachers and make it easy to implement, so I began to write out step-by-step directions. The next thing I knew, I was creating a pattern for the stoplight because I didn’t want anyone to have to draw one by hand. Then I decided to add a helpful class chart for recording the stoplight colors at the end of the day and and two Time Out forms! What started out as a simple one-page description morphed into an entire product! The Go for Green Stoplight Management packet also includes a copy of the teaching and learning poster above. You can preview the whole thing online here or on TeachersPayTeachers to see if it meets your needs.
I recently updated this product, so if you have already purchased it and your version doesn’t look like the one shown here, you can go to TpT and download the new version for free.
If you would like to purchase the complete packet shown here, you’ll find it in my TeachersPayTeachers store. I think you’ll discovered that it’s easy to implement and it really works!