T-Charts for Behaviors

Hi Everybody!  I hope you all enjoyed your 3-day weekend!  The husband and I spent our 3-day weekend in Bergen, Norway.  Can you say B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L???  The landscape there is just breathtaking.  Bergen is only a 1.5 hour flight away making this the perfect little getaway.  We enjoyed a Fjord tour, great food, hiking, and of course we took tons of pictures!  Here are a  few photos.  If you want to see more check out my personal blog (for the family haha) here: smallmomentsbigadventures.blogspot.com

On my flight home last night I was thinking about how my weekly plans just resemble the bare bones.  Ya know what I mean?  They show the main ideas and concepts of what I will be teaching for the week but they don't really go into detail about the how, what I will use, prep etc.  And when I think about the first weeks of school one thing that might not show up on my plans, but shows up again and again each day is the act of reviewing!  Yes, in kindergarten we review, review, and review!  We review rules, expectations, behaviors, concepts you name it and we review it.  So today I wanted to share with you a favorite strategy I use to help reinforce and review expectations  in regards to behaviors.  Now this tool can be used to teach and reinforce a number of things and I use it for almost EVERYTHING... that is the T-Chart.  Yep that's right a basic T-Chart which includes a header (your focus) then a column that's for "looks like" and a column that's for "sounds like."

Here's an example of how one might look for "writing workshop."  

When I was teaching first grade I had the honor to be a part of the SEAL project (Sobrato Early Academic Language) which is a program model that focuses on building and enriching language and literacy education for English learners.  As part of this program I was trained in the Project GLAD instructional model and have to say that this was probably one of the best trainings and professional developments I have ever taken part in.  The Project GLAD model is fantastic and even when I changed schools and was unable to fully implement the model, the strategies learned from this training are just "good teaching" strategies that work all the time.  One of those strategies is the " T-Chart" for social skills.  They call it a "T- Graph."  During this training we were taught to use this graph for social skills such as sharing, cooperation. responsibility etc. but I have found that it works great for reinforcing expectations for activities too, such as writing workshop, choice centers, share circle etc. 

Here's how:

1. Write a "social skill" or "activity" at the top of a large sheet of paper.
2. Ask students to define the social skill or activity. Record at top of page near focus.
3. Draw a line down the center then label one side "looks like" and label the other side "sounds like"
4.  Ask students to discuss what _______ looks like and record student responses.
5. Ask students to discuss what _______ sounds like and record student responses.
6. Review chart and send off to work/practice.
* Refer back to the chart often and review the chart before the activity is performed or desired skill is achieved.  At the end of activities wrap up by adding to the chart, again asking what students saw and heard.

I have found this to be a simple yet effective strategy that all students understand.  Let me know if you already use this strategy or try it and tell me how it goes!  Happy Tuesday!

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