Parents and teachers often use clip charts to encourage good behavior, let's find out is it better to use clip charts to encourage positive behavior or not?

Clip Charts to Encourage Positive Behavior or Not?


For many years, clip charts have been a popular teaching method. They were once regarded to be an effective tool for demonstrating behavioral growth and commitment to school norms, but they may no longer be so. We show how such tactics are incompatible with a PBIS strategy and, more significantly, can be damaging in this practice brief. We also offer the best education blog with evidence-based alternatives that are more likely to improve student behavior while maintaining a safe and positive school environment. So, let’s find out is it better to use clip charts to encourage positive behavior or not?

What are clip charts and how do you use them?

Clip charts are visual clues (for example, posters) that provide feedback on a student’s level of behavior performance in the classroom. Each student has a safety pin with their name on it, and they can “clip” between the green (appropriate), yellow (correction required), and red (unsatisfactory) sections on a poster in traditional clip charts. A behavior pocket chart, for example, might display green, yellow, and red cards for each kid. All of these systems openly show every student’s level and regularly relay the changes to the entire class.

Clip Charts Considered a PBIS Discipline?

Clip charts may appear to be a Positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) technique because of their green, yellow, and red colors, which correspond to the triangle’s colors. They can also be used to provide feedback to students and collect data to track their progress. This does not qualify as a PBIS practice instead can be replaced with more efficient ones.

Why Aren’t Clip Charts Advisable?

On the face, clip charts appear to be a simple way to show when students engage in unwanted behavior. They may appear to be successful at first because changing a student’s abilities is associated with an immediate reduction in undesirable behavior. Yet, they have various harmful side effects in the longer run.

Reasons why Clip Charts are not Advisable:

Unproductive in influencing behavior throughout the entire class

Some kids may experience immediate decreases in undesired conduct, however, this is not usually the case for students who require extra behavior intervention. “Who is usually on red?” we can question ourselves or our kids. If we can readily list these pupils, the chart isn’t working to change their behavior.

Lead to social stigma and labeling

Students can be characterized as troublemakers by their peers who get clipped on a frequent basis. For students of race, such stigma can raise the chance of future problems and discriminatory discipline. Clip charts may be contributing to disparities if the majority of pupils clipped are students of color, students with disabilities, or students who have experienced trauma.

Concentrate on public remedies

As we never address Teacher’s performance in front of the entire faculty during staff meetings or in the staff rooms. We should also explore whether or not student evaluations should be made public for the same reasons. Clip charts are student evaluations in public that are constantly on display for anyone to see. We should consider avoiding doing such things to others if we don’t want it for ourselves. Children effectively shamed by a system require public remedies.

Increase nervous behavior while lowering engagement

Students even those who always stay on the green sometimes focus more on the chart than the instruction since clip charts draw so much attention. Do they become more actively involved in lessons right away, or do they retreat, further diminishing their involvement.

Bring unpleasant behavior to the notice of the entire class

Clip charts may mistakenly raise rather than decrease rates of undesired behavior. If children do something to attract attention, for example, we may be supporting that behavior by pointing them out in front of the class, leading to even more such behaviors.

Don’t teach in the proper manner

Clip charts have no purpose other than to inform the class that a student’s behavior is undesirable to the teacher. Getting clipped does not imply what should be done in the event of unfavorable behavior. The majority of misbehavior stems from a lack of abilities, and clip charts do not address such deficiencies. In many circumstances, pupils are aware that they are misbehaving, so teaching them what they already know is unlikely to help.

What Are Some Better Solutions than Clip Charts?

We appreciate the attraction of clip-chart solutions on a practical level, even during their online learning. However, we offer the following alternates to clip charts due to its undesirable side effects, lack of scientific research, and accessibility of more efficient and appropriate strategies:

Develop good habits and objectives

We may describe, educate, and practice what we want to see rather than expecting students to know what to do, which is the most successful way for increasing behavior.

Create a system of positive reinforcement

Create an interconnected group system in which any child’s behavior gets the class closer to a social reward. It is important to learn how to set up the Student/Teacher Game for a more successful method of behavior modification.

Make use of the “Praise Around” technique

Look for and congratulate kids who are performing well. Then, when the child exhibits expected conduct, be ready to reward them swiftly.

Positive feedback

Instead of “telling what not to do,” we may rephrase it as “telling what to do”. We should encourage children to put their hands up and wait to be asked to speak. We should not encourage them to scream while giving any response.

Respond in a private yet instructive manner

Discuss the student’s unpleasant behavior in private to teach and practice the expected behavior. Before you assume they’re willfully misbehaving, assume they don’t know what to do. Most importantly, whenever we detect a desired behavior, provide immediate and consistent significant positive feedback.


While clip charts appear to be helpful at first glance, we advocate more proactive and educational techniques that teach kids nonaggressive conduct and build up the atmosphere to foster it without having negative consequences. When we are cautious of tactics that rely on humiliation, we do better. Instead, we suggest working together to create safe, reliable, and pleasant classroom learning using evidence-based strategies. When difficulties arise, seek assistance in developing measures to respond informatively.

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