Wednesday, February 3, 2010


In my classroom I have a pocket chart that helps keep track of discipline with individual color-coded cards. Every day the Kindergartners have the opportunity to stay on green for good behavior. After an initial verbal warning, they must flip a yellow card for further reminders, orange for a last chance warning, and red for the more necessary removal of class and possibly a trip to the Principal’s office. Luckily, I have not had to go as far as red.

The colors work as a great visual for them to assess their own behavior. They can see when they need to keep up the good work, or when they may need to work a little harder at doing their best. But what about those students who aren’t just “good” but “great?” What about the ones who exhibit above and beyond behavior, even when the rest of the class isn’t? I want the students to have some thing to work towards; therefore, for these special circumstances, the students have the opportunity to flip a purple card. Noting excellent behavior, purple earns a prize from the prize box, and a note home to parents showing just how they earned it.

Today, I noticed one boy in particular, who for the first hour of class was showing exemplary behavior. Noting that his behavior needed to be recognized, I announced to the class that I was moving to him to purple. To no surprise, he knew he deserved it. Before allowing me to explain why he earned it, he declared proudly to the class,

“You know why I got purple? ‘Cause I wanted it.”

This statement itself taught a valuable lesson. Determination. He set his eyes on the prize and determined that he would do whatever it took to get there; even if that meant sacrificing valuable talking time.

This was a good lesson to share with the rest of the class, but his remark did not end there.

“Today is my mom’s birthday,” he continued, “and I want to get that necklace in the prize box for her.”

Had he left it at determination I still would have been proud, but he decided to share with us one more lesson. Giving. He has discovered that it is much better to give than to receive. So much in fact, that later, I overheard him telling one of the girls,

“Tomorrow, if I get purple again and you don’t, I’ll get you the other necklace.”

I think we can all learn something from this five year old's tender heart.
With a little determination we can do anything and be just as happy when we choose to give.

1 comment:

  1. Wow smart kid! I love your color code system, Molly. Sounds like it works great!