Before You Throw That Clip Chart Away...

Read This!

Clip Charts. Those rainbow-colored charts with clothespins bearing students names or numbers clipped to the sides. If you are a teacher you have seen them, probably used them, and have an opinion on them one way or another.

Lately the clip chart has gotten some really bad press. I have read articles urging teachers to outlaw them, burn them, throw them away. Beside that, they have been called demeaning, ineffective and evil.

So, what is wrong with clip charts? Nothing. What IS wrong, can be the way they are implemented.  Many well-meaning teachers have inadvertently been using them incorrectly.

Have you ever had a Pinterest Fail?  You see a beautiful picture and it has thousands of likes, and although you carefully followed instructions it came out looking ugly and tasting terrible?

What mostly likely happens is someone posts a delicious recipe, someone else tweaks it a little and re-posts it. Tweaks and re-posts continue.

Before long the recipe no longer resembles the original. The same thing has happened with clip charts.

People have put their own spin on clip charts until they no longer look or function as intended. I have heard many classroom stories about clip chart implementation that could potentially have damaging results.

Yet, when used the way they were originally intended they can be a fun, effective and stress-free tool for classroom behavior management.

The original form of the clip chart was a positive system designed for teaching and reinforcing appropriate behavior.

One of my pet peeves is when certain colors are assigned labels of “good” and “bad”. Colors are just colors.

They are not inherently good or bad and this vocabulary should not be used or allowed by teachers and parents.

In theory, a clip chart could be on plain white paper, although it would be a lot less engaging and fun!


As a result of all the tweaks and changes I  often hear clip charts “don’t work”.                  

Used alone, I mostly agree.  At least they probably won’t work for long!

But as part of an easily implemented, behavior management system you would be amazed at the outcome!

I have taught this method to many, many teachers with terrific results.

On October 11, 2016, Juliette said:  I am SO excited to use these. My class saw the chart and was already chattering about how they would get to purple before I even explained the concept. Thanks!!

On January 20, 2016, Ashley D. said: LOVE it. The charts are life savers.

On August 17, 2016, Carmen J. said: I love that kids can move up, instead of only down!!!

Not convinced? Before you throw out your clip charts, I am inviting you to take the clip chart challenge.

Already a clip chart believer? You are gonna love this!

On the fence? Give it a try. What do you have to lose?


How It Works

Beginning next week, I will be sharing a series of posts describing how and why to set up a complete clip chart behavior management system. Once your system is set up and running, I will continue to support you with additional information for lasting results. Together we will constantly strengthen your system and motivate your students.

What You Will Get

  • Access each month to free behavior management printables
  • Tools to implement a complete system
  • A better understanding of behavior and motivation
  • A smooth running, well behaved class
  • A format for documenting problem behavior
  • Admiration of your administrators and colleagues

What You Will Need

  • A classroom of kids. A willingness to try something new!
  • A 6-color behavior chart. You can use any one you want but be sure it is editable because the words will be important. Also, although the colors don’t matter to the system itself, to limit the need for editing printables, they should be purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red. You can find many varieties in my TPT Store Stars On The Spectrum. Or get started with the free one below.
You can find this one in the FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY when you sign up for the challenge below.

How Much Does The Challenge Cost?

Nothing! The challenge is absolutely free!!!

Where Can I Sign Up?

Right here!

Join Us!

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