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A Classroom behaviour system that works every time.

Updated on March 18, 2014
The zoneboard
The zoneboard

The Zoneboard

This is used in some primary schools in the UK, however it could be used in all education settings where there are young children and even used in a domestic setting.

The zone board.

This is a simple idea which gives children the opportunity to improve their behaviour and attainment. It allows children who are getting themselves into trouble to make better choices before it's too late

Gold – this is for outstanding acts of kindness, extreme effort, or a consistently good attitude for children who struggle with behaviour. It is very difficult to achieve gold but a teacher should ensure that every child manages at least one climb to gold in the school year.

Silver- this is for extremely good behaviour, or an exceptional piece of homework, a good effort with behaviour or a kind act to another. I have on occasion put the entire class onto silver if they've been good on a school trip or tried particularly hard on sports day.

Green- This is the place where the children stay at the start of each day. This is a neutral place which suggests good behaviour.

Amber – This is a warning area which says that the childs behaviour is heading in the wrong direction. The beauty of this is that the children can still climb back up to the green if they make the right choices.

Red – This is for serious misendemours. Be it swearing, out of control fighting, acts of deliberate cruelty to fellow pupils or equivelent. Usually there is a sanction for landing on this area of the board, such as a letter home to parents or being sent to the headteacher.

The red and gold should be extremely rare zones for children to find themselves. There should be a lot of praise for any child who reaches the top (A certificate to take home) and perhaps a small gift depending on how the teacher likes to do things. (I had a 'gold box' in my cupboard which contained little games, pens stickers sweets and so on. If a child got to gold, they were able to select their prize.)

Zone board tips.

Each childs name should be laminated, preferably with a picture of themselves or a picture of something they really like. It should be done at the start of term so it's the first thing the children see when they enter the classroom.

Certificates for silver and gold. It may seem like a fiddle, but it's well worth doing. If you foresee a lot of children going onto silver and gold each day, it may be worth photocopying the certificates on to paper, but for the more infrequent occasions, go for card to make the certificate extra special.

Treats and sweets. This is entirely up to the teacher, some teachers like to have little gifts to award good behaviour or attainment, whether it's stickers, crayons or yoyos, whatever you do ensure you're being consistent. It's not fair if a child on gold one week gets a colouring book and pens and the next child only receives a small sticker!

Consistency. One child's climb to gold might be because she achieved 20/20 in her spelling test for the last 10 weeks, another child might climb that high because she managed to get through the day without punching anybody. You as the teacher know your class and you know how to differentiate your reward system according to the needs of your class.

Good luck!


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    • profile image

      Kaylynn 3 years ago

      That really cartupes the spirit of it. Thanks for posting.

    • profile image

      Teachertrainee1 3 years ago

      Hi there, my new school are looking into using Zone boards as our new behaviour policy and your outline of how to use them looks great! Do you have any idea where they can be purchased from or do you think it's a DIY kind of thing? Thank you!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      These sort of systems are invaluable, provided the teacher uses them fairly, as you say. I've even used similar methods for slightly older children and it's amazing how much they like them (the rewards change a little of course!).

      Great hub for teachers who're just starting out and need ideas. This can tighten up discipline so well. My grandchildren love stickers too but being able to choose is the best idea, I think, as it gives them control too.

    • Talisker profile image

      Honor Meci 6 years ago from UK

      I loved getting a gold star from my teacher, but interestingly enough, my two kids (2 and 4yrs) don't seem to give a hoot for stickers they receive at nursery! Perhaps it will come with age!

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 6 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      When I was in grade school in the 1950s, my favorite incentive reward was that those who were both well behaved and finished their workbook assignment early could take whichever book they liked from a shelf of books and read until recess.

    • Talisker profile image

      Honor Meci 6 years ago from UK

      Thank you for your comments justateacher. Yes, you'll find that the class are VERY keen to get to gold if only to see what you've got in your treat box!! As a general rule, if one child slips into the amber or red, ensure there are at least 3 kids climbing up to silver, this keeps the class focused on the positive, and also acts as a stronger incentive for the 'one that got away' Good luck!

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 6 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      We use a similar behavior chart - but only for the bad behavior - green, amber and red. I like the idea of adding the silver and gold. Since we just came back from semester break, I think I will add the silver and gold.

      Great idea! Thanks for sharing!