Classroom Star Chart Ideas

Instructor: Josh Corbat

Josh has taught Earth Science and Physical Science at the High School level and holds a Master of Education degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Want to change up how you use star charts in your classroom? This lesson contains several ideas for using star charts in promoting good behavior in the classroom and beyond.

Star Charts: A Visual Way to Promote Favorable Behaviors

In the past (and sometimes still today), star charts and other similar tools were often referred to as 'behavior modification' strategies. This makes the whole endeavor sound like we are controlling the minds of our students. A better way to think about these tools in action is to recognize that all we are doing is highlighting favorable behaviors and promoting them in our students. There is a set of favorable behaviors that help shape the classroom into a high-quality learning environment for everyone involved. As teachers, we have a responsibility to identify and champion these behaviors. There is a lot of research out there about star charts and behavior strategies, so don't be afraid to seek it out and form your own opinion of the practice. This lesson identifies and explains a few ideas for using star charts in creative ways to promote favorable behaviors in students.

Standard Star Chart

Let's start with a brief look at the standard star chart. In this chart, each student has a row next to their name in which they earn stars for performing favorable behaviors. You can divide the rows into columns to mark milestones if you wish, and award students with a certain number of stars in various ways.

Group Star Chart

In a spin on the standard star chart, the group star chart champions group dynamics and team building by having groups of students earn stars together. You can either give students individual rows and have each student's accomplishments count toward their group, or you can give groups a single row and give stars for favorable group behavior. This strategy might spark some interest in students because it mirrors the awarding of group points in many popular culture stories, like the Harry Potter series. As with other star charts, rewards can be given for reaching certain milestones.

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