Kindy moms--is it really like this? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-24-2009, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My colleague was telling me about her daughter's experience at a well-respected public kindergarten in an middle community:

Kid is young for her age, but also intellectually advanced and has done most of the stuff that they're doing. Kid tends to get distracted and go off in her own little world often, and isn't usually happy going along with what the teacher has them doing. (Evidently, the teacher thinks she's stubborn and uncooperative, but as a teacher myself, I have to wonder if there's any differentiation going on.)

Anyway, what I'm really curious about is to learn how common the teacher's "feedback" system is. Basically, all the kids have a colored card posted in a public place at the beginning of the day. They start with green. One infraction brings it to yellow, the next to orange and the next to red. Whatever card they have at the end of the day is sent home. There's no opportunity to work your way back up the ladder: once you're at yellow, you can't work extra hard to become green again.

This seems horrible to me, and I'm kind of upset if this is the norm, since I'll be sending my own DD off to Kindy a year from September.

Thoughts?

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Old 03-24-2009, 08:26 PM
 
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I think the system is really common. Some teachers allow you to work your way back to green and others do not.
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:36 PM
 
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VERY common.

Some schools and districts require it school or district-wide.

-Angela
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:40 PM
 
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My kids are in a crunchy private school, but I have read many, many descriptions (MDC posts) of this kind of system. I think it's very common, but I'm sure it varies by teacher and/or school.

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Old 03-24-2009, 08:42 PM
 
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yeah, pretty common from what i hear around here.
one of my (much younger) sister's teachers--I think it was 1st grade) did popsicle sticks. each kid had a pocket and every time you did something bad, a stick got put in your pocket. 2 might have meant no recess. 4 might have meant you had to go see the principal.
parents find out at the end of the day how many the kids got. and its also put in a public place--and announced to the whole class when you get another one put in.

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Old 03-24-2009, 08:44 PM
 
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Yes, it's common here, too. We had it in the two different school districts we were in.
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:16 PM
 
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hmmm - but how much is the child aware of this kind of system? how much does it affect your friends child?

i think dd might have had something similar in her classroom but she really wasnt too much into it. it was never brought up.

instead what they were into was the marble in teh jar system and the collective accountability system because they got some kind of treat when the marble jar was full (with a v. creative teacher they got really fun 'treats'). i will say her kindy teacher was v. fair and the kids loved that marble jar thingy. if you behaved well marbles got added. if not they were taken out.

in first grade dd now has a magnet mountain. every day u start at teh bottom and some rise to the top. next day they start again.

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Old 03-24-2009, 09:49 PM
 
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That type of system was used in dd#1's 1st grade, but neither of my girls' kindergartens. Variations have been used in other grades such as "check marks" next to your name for behavior problems. To me, it is a sign of a teacher with poor classroom management skills. The teachers my dds have had who were very able to keep the classroom under control did not need to resort to color coding the children.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:06 PM
 
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I really dislike the color system they use at my DS school.
He is often on yellow usually for moving around and talking alot etc. i am sorry, I would be worried if he sat still all day like a perfect little angel. He needs to move around. And if you are going to provide only 30 mins of recess. Then be prepared to have a restless child. I don't read too much into the yellow, I do talk to him when its on red.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:13 PM
 
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To me, it is a sign of a teacher with poor classroom management skills. The teachers my dds have had who were very able to keep the classroom under control did not need to resort to color coding the children.
I would agree- however it's taught as a top classroom management technique And I've heard of more than a couple of schools where it was mandatory for the teachers to do.

-Angela
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:35 PM
 
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The stop light system is pretty common. My dd's teacher gives several warnings throughout the day before even moving their "bears" to yellow, and again more warnings before moving to red. My daughter has had one yellow day all year so far. The rest of the days have been green days. My daughter isn't a perfect angel, but because she has an IEP I think the teacher is more lenient of her behaviors. My dd does tell me that certain kids are always in yellow or red light though.

Once in red light, they sit in the "take a break" chair. Its just a chair against the wall on the side of the classroom. They aren't really away from people and its not facing the wall. Once they calm down they can return to their seat.

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Old 03-24-2009, 11:58 PM
 
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They used that exact system when my DS was in public school for kindergarten here in Florida a few years ago.
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:46 AM
 
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My kids have something like that, but like others have said...several laidback verbal warnings take place before they get moved from one color to the next.

In 5 years of school between them, one of them got their color changed ONCE and he did earn end of quarter/year acknowledgement for being respectful...

My kids don't seem too interested, concerned, impacted by it...
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:08 AM
 
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thats pretty much myDD system.
Green= great a green at the end of the day earns them a sticker on there insentive chart when its filled they get a pize from the "treasure" box

Yellow= a warning enough to dock a color but nothing major no sticker but no other conquence eaither

Orange repeated offenses or a more serious infraction loss of sticker and a "detention" (loss of first 5 mintues of lunch recess)

Red repeated offenses and loss of a lunch recess (they get two)

The new day starts a new chart everyone starts fresh on green, its alos not that the kids on red/orange are necessarly labled as bad and unable to improve but that they are choosing to enforce a conquence for that certain misbehavior. While its not exactly as I'd do say at home I do feel its as a whole fair there not told turn your card for every timy infraction. My DD gotten a handfull of yellows over the semester rest green.

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Old 03-25-2009, 02:12 AM
 
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It's common in all of the schools in our area.

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Old 03-25-2009, 02:46 AM
 
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I use it in my own kindy class, however everyone has a chance to earn back the green.

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Old 03-25-2009, 03:16 AM
 
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thankfully, our school district does not use it!

I agree it seems like a fairly common system, from what I've read.

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Old 03-25-2009, 03:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I would agree- however it's taught as a top classroom management technique And I've heard of more than a couple of schools where it was mandatory for the teachers to do.

-Angela

This and FWIW I've seen my DD teacher at work on manu occasions she deffiently has controll of her classroom and not outta fear eaither.

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Old 03-25-2009, 08:38 AM
 
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My dd's K class does not use that---however, it's really common. I don't really have a problem with it if it is used in a clear and respectful manner, with lots of chances to "get it right."
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:53 AM
 
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Decided it wasn't probably the right place or time.

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Old 03-25-2009, 11:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ChristaN View Post
That type of system was used in dd#1's 1st grade, but neither of my girls' kindergartens. Variations have been used in other grades such as "check marks" next to your name for behavior problems. To me, it is a sign of a teacher with poor classroom management skills. The teachers my dds have had who were very able to keep the classroom under control did not need to resort to color coding the children.
I agree with you, but...

Years ago I was asked to take over a kindy class in November. The kids had started the year with a teacher who had no classroom management skills and turned out to be a bit of a nutjob. After she was fired, the class had a string of warm-body subs. The kids were insane.

I used a system of checks (much more forgiving than the system the OP mentioned) to get them to accept me as an authority figure and get their behavior back to normal. After a month or so, when we were actually working as a class, I started phasing out the check system.

I'm not sure what else I could have done. I didn't want to play prison guard, but it worked. Once it worked, we could move on to kinder and gentler.

I do think that using a color system as a default is ridiculous. It's sloppy teaching, and it demeans the students.
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:58 AM
 
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To me, it is a sign of a teacher with poor classroom management skills. The teachers my dds have had who were very able to keep the classroom under control did not need to resort to color coding the children.
I agree. My daughter's school does not do this, and I have never heard of any school around here doing that. I've often volunteered in her class, and I've never seen any of the kids even need disciplined. Sometimes they need to be reminded to be quiet when someone is talking, but that's it. If there are so many misbehaviour issues to require a system, I think that is more of a reflection of the teacher's management and expectations.

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Old 03-25-2009, 12:58 PM
 
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Our school system here in MA does not use this system. The public school that dd went to in PA did use this system in kindergarten and first grade. It was very, very traumatic for my highly sensitive and anxious dd in K and first grade. I don't think she ever get a color change once in those two years, but she worried about it constantly. I've seen first hand that this kind of system can be very, very negative for sensitive kids. I don't think her teacher's ever realized what a negative impact this had on dd.
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:20 PM
 
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My older child is very sensitve and has worried at length about getting his color changed - I told his teacher how stressed he was about it and she talked with him about it.

Having watched a few different teachers use the same system - I think whether it is stressful is largely in the way it is used - my ds has a WONDERFUL kinder teacher and she really uses it to celebrate how well behaved her class is. My older son had a second grade teacher who was not using it well and I talked to her about it....
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:30 PM
 
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DD's kinder class uses this and she's had her color changed too. But she is an obsessive chatterer, lol. I mean, to the point where her friends have started saying "Mac, we need to not sit by each other for rest time because you talk too much". She's my social bug. The teacher is really lenient though and kids can earn back the green.

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Old 03-25-2009, 02:01 PM
 
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If there are so many misbehaviour issues to require a system, I think that is more of a reflection of the teacher's management and expectations.
I agree. See, my son is a child that is always moving around. He gets in trouble for getting out of his chair, talking too much. Now I am aware that there is a time and place for everything. But sometimes I think its being used too much. It almost becomes the most important thing in his day now, when he got on green, or yellow or sometimes red. I understand discipline is needed, but I think the green, yellow red system is over used.
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:01 PM
 
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DD's kinder class uses this and she's had her color changed too. But she is an obsessive chatterer, lol. I mean, to the point where her friends have started saying "Mac, we need to not sit by each other for rest time because you talk too much". She's my social bug. The teacher is really lenient though and kids can earn back the green.
DS is the same way. Always talking, lots of stories. LOL!
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:03 PM
 
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I agree. See, my son is a child that is always moving around. He gets in trouble for getting out of his chair, talking too much. Now I am aware that there is a time and place for everything. But sometimes I think its being used too much. It almost becomes the most important thing in his day now, when he got on green, or yellow or sometimes red. I understand discipline is needed, but I think the green, yellow red system is over used.
Yes and if children are getting in trouble for getting out of their chair, then maybe they are spending too much sitting or maybe they can have the option of doing their activity standing up, etc. I don't think that should be a punishable offense.

Grades 2 and up at my kids' school have the option of using exercise balls instead of chairs, which I think it is great.

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Old 03-25-2009, 02:15 PM
 
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Having watched a few different teachers use the same system - I think whether it is stressful is largely in the way it is used - my ds has a WONDERFUL kinder teacher and she really uses it to celebrate how well behaved her class is. My older son had a second grade teacher who was not using it well and I talked to her about it...
I agree

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Old 03-25-2009, 04:36 PM
 
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I've read here that this is common, but I've never heard of this type of system being used in my local area. It's definitely not used in my kids' school.

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