Monday, February 27, 2012

Behavior Tracking Charts

In special education, we are required to track student progress on a consistent basis. In my case, I do this daily for most of my students. For these students, they carry a "Behavior Tracking Chart" with them throughout the school day. The chart looks something like this:

Students are expected to carry this chart with them to each of their classes. I figure a percentage of positive (+) out of a total number of marks given. For example, if a student earns four +'s for the day and four -'s, then he/she will earn a score 50%. I then average these percentages over a two-week period and enter that data into the student's IEP.

If the student is entitled to or benefits from breaks, I use the "Breaks" column to track this information. I also make sure to read any comments from teachers and address those as necessary.

Reasons these charts work well:
  • The charts provide immediate feedback to a student on their behavior during a particular class period.
  • Stakeholders (parents, teachers, administration, etc.) can get daily reports on a student's behavior.
  • Behavior can be seen to have its rises and falls and patterns may begin to emerge (issues with particular teachers, times of day, certain subjects, certain days of the week, etc.).
  • The chart can be used for the student to earn rewards.
Difficulties with the behavior charts:
  • Sometimes when a student earns a minus (-) for his/her behavior, she/he may "fall off the wagon" for the rest of the day.
  • The charts are not necessarily private since they are brought out each class period. They can cause peer issues of teasing.
  • Students may not really care about how their day is going so the chart doesn't have any "teeth."
  • Teachers may have other behavior issues with students that are hard to track on the chart.
As you might assume, problems also arise with this type of data collection. The most frequent issues I run into are:
  • Students refusing to carry the chart.
  • Teachers not filling in the chart.
  • Students "losing" or destroying the chart when they receive a minus (-) sign or poor overall score.
  • Students not taking the chart to particular classes.
Solutions that I have tried with these issues include (none are perfect!):
  • Offering rewards for returning a completed chart.
  • Having students serve lunch/recess time in my classroom.
  • Having the chart move among just teachers.
  • Switching the students data collecting system.
  • Reminding teachers to ask the students for their charts.
  • Having the student carry the chart only on certain days of the week.

I hope this chart can help you and your students track daily behavior!

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