Friday, January 02, 2015

Behaviour Management & 1-2-3 Magic for Teachers

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

A little while back, I created this resource of printable posters for the "Take 5" time out space in our classroom: 
(You can download the posters HERE)
(2016 UPDATE! There is now an EDITABLE version also available!)
(2016 UPDATE! There is also a FRENCH version available, too!)

When I shared about it on Instagram, I got some questions about how exactly I use these posters and the 1-2-3 Magic behaviour plan in my classroom. So today, I thought I'd share a bit about it with you.

First of all, it's important to note that this is strictly my personal opinion and based on my own experience with using the program. No one has ever approached me or is paying me to write about it. I actually learned about the 1-2-3 Magic program after our school's behavioural psychologist lent me her DVD as a recommendation for a little peanut in my classroom with ADHD and Aspergers. I watched the DVD (and loved it) and decided that it would be great for my entire bunch. 
You can purchase it from Amazon HERE.

I don't know about you, but I've sure tried my share of behaviour management strategies throughout the years, from clip charts to golden tickets. Although I liked some more than others, they all had one thing in common: they were a little too complicated! And honestly, sometimes they weren't THAT complicated but they were complicated enough that I was not being consistent with them...thus they were not as effective as they could have been. 

But this. Is. SIMPLE.

Here is the most basic possible explanation of the 1-2-3 Magic system: 
1. If a child is making a bad choice (anything from shouting out to refusing to work), you "count" them. This means, calmly tell the child (let's call him John), "John, that's 1" and hold up 1 finger.
2. If John continues his bad choice or makes another bad choice you calmly say, "John, that's 2" and hold up 2 fingers.
3. If John continues his bad choice or makes another bad choice you calmly hold up three fingers and say, "John, that's 3. Take 5."
4. John then goes to the designated area to take a 5-minute break.

That's it. 
No raising your voice. No arguing/engaging. And most importantly, no explaining or talking. 

I love it because it's so simple; It doesn't interrupt my lesson and it eliminates a power struggle. Now obviously there's a lot more to this plan (such as "what happens if the child refuses to go to time out?" or "How long do I wait between each count/warning?" etc.) that takes practice and consistency. I can't do much more than recommend that you watch the DVD because it thoroughly covers every aspect and possible situation. And although the DVD itself is dated, the information is perfectly relevant. They do an awesome job of covering all the bases and eventually answering every question that popped up in my head as I watched. I honestly highly recommend it.


So anyways, our time out or "Take 5" area (which in the pictures below is located within the classroom but has since been moved just outside our classroom door to minimize distractions) features the following:
a mirror
a 5-minute timer
- a chair
- a weighted blanket 
(we used to have a wiggle cushion and weighted lizard as pictured but have since changed that to the weighted blanket simply because that is what works best for our kids)
Once again, that's it
No "fluff." No fidget toys, stress balls, stuffed animals, or other items that you might find in another calming area. Those things are all great and useful but the purpose of "take 5" is simply to take 5! Calm down and prepare to return and make better choices. When first introducing our Take 5 location to my firsties I made it clear that the location is not a punishment, but it is also not a fun place to hang out. It's a place to take a break.

So anyways, in addition to 1-2-3 Magic we also use a resource developed by an autism specialist called the Zones of Regulation which is "geared toward helping students gain skills in consciously regulating their actions, which in turn leads to increased control and problem solving abilities." Again, it is a self-regulation resource that I find useful to use with my entire bunch of firsties. You can read more about it by following the link above, but the big reference poster I made below sums it up pretty simply:
It helps students to begin recognizing what "zone" they are in, in order to regulate their own behaviour. If they are in the yellow or red zone, we have practiced strategies that they can use to help bring them back to the green zone:
The above reference poster is from a great website called Conscious Discipline.

Not only can the kids use any of these 4 calming techniques to control their behaviour, but I am constantly using them casually throughout the day. For example, if the kids are all talking and I need to get their attention I might begin modelling "balloon breath" and the kids know to drop what they are doing and follow along. It works quite well because they enjoy doing the exercises. They're also awesome because they are full-body exercises which requires kids to drop everything and demonstrate full-body listening.

You can download FREE posters of the strategies in various sizes by clicking HERE.

I could probably go on forever about what I've mentioned briefly this post but it about sums up the gist of our classroom behaviour plan. And I have to say that it is by far the most convenient and effective behaviour plan I've tried to date.

Stay tuned because I plan on posting a couple more behaviour/classroom management techniques and resources (and FREEBIES!) that I like using with my firsties.

But as always, I love hearing from you. 
What behaviour plans or strategies have you tried and loved?

9 comments:

  1. Did you make your zones of regulations posters? Or are they available in the Zones of Regulation book? If you made them can I get a copy? Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Hi Kathy!

      I actually made the poster by taping pieces of coloured cardstock together (the poster is actually quite large as each coloured piece is roughly 8.5 x 11). Then I just typed up all the text you see in Powerpoint. And finally, *I THINK* the pictures are photocopied out of the Zones book (I'm not 100% sure as my school's psychiatrist gave them to me when I was making this project). After I cut and glued everything on I just ran the whole thing through the laminator.

      Unfortunately I do not have copies of the text to share as I just quickly typed them up on my school computer that day and did not save the file :(

      I hope that helps a bit though if you want to make your own!

      Sam

      Delete
  2. Yes, I would love the zone posters! THanks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Callie!

      I actually made the poster by taping pieces of coloured cardstock together (the poster is actually quite large as each coloured piece is roughly 8.5 x 11). Then I just typed up all the text you see in Powerpoint. And finally, *I THINK* the pictures are photocopied out of the Zones book (I'm not 100% sure as my school's psychiatrist gave them to me when I was making this project). After I cut and glued everything on I just ran the whole thing through the laminator.

      Unfortunately I do not have copies of the text to share as I just quickly typed them up on my school computer that day and did not save the file :(

      I hope that helps a bit though if you want to make your own!

      Sam

      Delete
  3. Hi there
    I would love your zone of regulation posters. Where can I get them from?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lexi!

      I actually made the poster by taping pieces of coloured cardstock together (the poster is actually quite large as each coloured piece is roughly 8.5 x 11). Then I just typed up all the text you see in Powerpoint. And finally, *I THINK* the pictures are photocopied out of the Zones book (I'm not 100% sure as my school's psychiatrist gave them to me when I was making this project). After I cut and glued everything on I just ran the whole thing through the laminator.

      Unfortunately I do not have copies of the text to share as I just quickly typed them up on my school computer that day and did not save the file :(

      I hope that helps a bit though if you want to make your own!

      Sam

      Delete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm so glad to find this post. I've been using 1,2,3 Magic for years but am looking to implement the Zones of Regulation with all of my 3rd graders this year. I have quite a few who just need it! It's nice to see that it can be something simple. Are the calming techniques the only tools you use?

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for your comment! It's great hearing from you and I hope you will visit again :)

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