Friday, 31 January 2014

Managing behaviour in the digital age

If you ask most teachers, especially newly trained ones, what one of the biggest challenges of teaching is, they would probably say managing student behaviour. Especially as class sizes grow and more students are bringing along potentially distracting digital devices, making sure you are keeping students on task is becoming ever more important. If this is something that concerns you, then read on.

ClassCharts could be the solution to your problem. ClassCharts is a digital management tool which can help you, your students and their parents to track and improve student behaviour across the whole school.

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Using ClassCharts you can set up seating charts for every room in your school and create a profile for each student. Teachers can then use ClassCharts to monitor and reward positive behaviour as well as track negative behaviour. As the teacher builds up data across classes they can start to understand how different seating arrangements and student pairing and grouping can impact on behaviour, then generate seating charts for students that group them in ways that help them to work more efficiently and harmoniously.


So how does it work?

Well one of the first things to do is to add seating plans of your rooms. This is easy to do and you can drag the virtual desks around into whatever configuration you have in your classroom.



Then you also need to upload your students. What I really like about ClassCharts is that you can also upload a photograph of each one, and this can be really useful if you have large classes and lots of students names to remember, especially when it comes to writing reports.


You can then either manually assign seats or generate a random seating chart. During the class you can use ClassCharts acknowledge a range of positive and negative behaviours. These behaviours are all customisable so you can create your own or use the default ones.


ClassCharts uses html 5 so should run in any modern browser whether it’s a laptop, iPad or Android tablet, so the teacher can use an tablet during the class to instantly update behaviours.

Either before or during the class the teacher can also shuffle the class seating depending on a number of criteria from things like attainment targets to gender or previous behaviour.


One of the real time-savers of ClassCharts though is when it comes to report writing time. Each students’ behaviour has been tracked through their various classes and teachers can get a detailed report, including dates when different behaviours were recorded.



Both students and parents can also access live reports and monitor progress throughout the term, so students and parents know how they are doing and parents don’t have to wait until the end of term to find out what’s been going on with their child.

This helps to share responsibility and makes it much easier to get parents involved in dealing with any negative behaviour at the earliest possible date.

Although ClassCharts is free and has been designed so that a single teacher can set it up to track their own classes independently, the real power of the platform is its ability to work across the school and track student behaviour in every class. To make this easier ClassCharts also interconnects with a range of other educational management software systems, from simple tools like Edmodo to more complex ones like SIMS and PowerSchool.


What I like about ClassCharts
  • I’m really impressed by the fact that such a powerful and well designed tool is free.
  • It’s great that a system like this and the data it collects can be applied and shared across a whole school.
  • I really like that you can see the student and access a range of information about them from targets, to behaviour and even a little about their background.
  • Great to get parents involved and students monitoring their own progress.

What I’m not so sure about
  • This is quite a complex tool and creates a lot of data, so I think it’s going to take a bit of getting used to for teachers and perhaps a bit of training too.
  • It does produce a lot of data and you can easily get a bit too tied up in this and forget about the person.

Well I hope you find ClassCharts useful and give it a try.

Related links:
Nik Peachey

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