Good Apple Behaviour: Are You a "Green" Apple?

I have been getting a few e-mails recently about how I deal with behaviour issues in class.
My Good Apple Behaviour management is a strategy I have been using since my second year of teaching and it works wonderfully!
In fact, all of the Kindergarten teachers at my school have now put this method to use in their classrooms.
I have my Good Apple Behaviour chart posted up in my classroom for all to see. 
This idea orginated from Kinder Korner but I modified it slightly.
Each student has their own special spot on the pocket chart (from Lakeshore) with their name underneath and 4 different colours of apples in the slot. All the students start off as "Green Apples" each morning.  If they misbehave, their apple changes colour and now they are a "Yellow Apple" which means they have a 5 minute time out.  I don't call home for a yellow apple.  My students know that they made a silly choice and will now have to sit out and think about it for 5 minutes.  If that student's behaviour persists, I change the apple to "Red" and they now sit out for 10 minutes and I either call or write a note home.  Finally, if the student continues to make silly choices and misbehaves, that student gets a "Blue Apple" which is a 20 minute time out and results in a trip to the Principal's office.
At the end of the day, if everyone is a Green Apple, we all get stickers!  Horray!
This really motivates the students to take accountability for their actions and think twice before doing something that might not be right.  They never like it when they are the "Yellow Apple" and cause the class to miss out on getting stickers.
It's also like giving the student 3 strikes.  My principal (and I) truly believe that involving the administration shouldn't happen right away.  You need to show the steps you have taken to work with the child and allow him/her to have other opportunities to show how smart choices are being made.
So here are some of the questions I get when I explain this method to other teachers:
1.  Do you change the apple back to green throughout the day if the student is behaving well?
No.  Once the student gets a yellow apple, he/she stays like that for the whole day and can start fresh the next school day.
2.  How do you keep parents informed if poor behaviour is consistant?
I create a log book that goes back and forth from home to school each day with the students that need it.  The student is responsible for colouring in the apple on the top of the page and I check off how the day was.  There are spaces for both myself and the parent to write and the parent also signs each day.  By having the student colour in his/her apple at the end of the day, they reflect on how they behaved.
(Sorry - forgot to take a picture!)
3.  How did you make the pocket chart?
As I mentioned, the pocket chart is from Lakeshore Learning.  You can find it here.
I add in a label with each students name and used my Cricut machine to cut out apples in 4 different colours (I use green, yellow, red and blue).  Students can easily remember the colours as they are the same as a stoplight.  Green means "go", yellow means "slow down", red means "stop" and blue....well, nobody wants blue!  Besides, I tell them, have you ever seen a blue apple?!?! I don't want to see one either!
I also made a large chart that clearly explains this system to the students and parents/supply teachers/admin. or anyone who comes in to my class. 
4.  When do you introduce the Good Apple Behaviour Management?
I start this on day 1, first thing in the morning.  I teach Senior Kindergarten so the students remember this way of tracking behaviour from their JK year.  It only takes a minute to explain and it's pretty straight forward.  I love their expressions that first day when I go through the colours and flip the apple to blue!
5.  Do you ever skip colours and give the student a red or blue apple right away?
No.  Even if a child does something terrible, like throwing something at someone, he/she starts with a yellow apple.  I have the student sit in time out and talk to me about the choices made.  If the act was intentionally made to hurt another person, I still change the apple to yellow but I might need to get the administration involved.
I know there are many ways to implement good behaviour strategies.  I have been using this way for nearly 8 years and it really works for me!  Happy Sunday friends!

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