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Traffic Light System


Guest cheryl3
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Guest cherylbetts

Evening all.

 

We are hoping to introduce the traffic light system into our pre school setting and was looking for some advice.

 

We already have red, amber and green circles attached to our makaton signs that we keep on us all the time but never use them! I was thinking of using it like a red card (football) system - show the green 1st chance, amber 2nd chance, red last chance, come and sit with a practitioner to calm down for a bit.

 

We are only a small setting, but we are set over two rooms and therefore can't keep shouting across the setting that one of the children has been shown the traffic light?

 

Any ideas anyone to either extend this idea or offer something similar?

 

Thanks guys.

 

Cheryl x

Edited by cherylbetts
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I have seen a setting where all staff have a card disc on a lanyard. One side has a smiley face, the other a sad one. They can be show appropriately. They are especially great during story time and mean you can show a child who is not behaving appropriately the sad face (and glare at them) and hopefully later show them the smiley one! It means you can often get the message across without interrupting the story.

Gruffalo2

:o

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We have a traffic light system which seems to be quite effective.

All of their photos start on the green light. If they do something that isn't too great, they're generally warned first about going onto amber. If it's something pretty bad, they go straight onto the amber. We do give them chance to get back down to green. So if they're good, we move them back down into the green, or amber if they're on red.

The red is for those who are not taking any notice and carrying on doing what they shouldn't be doing.

We probably should be doing stars of the week, though we do have stickers that we give them. A lot of the children were looking at where they were on the chart. It definatley worked for most of the children.

 

For individual charts, we have downloaded some from sparklebox which are great.

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Just a tip, it can be really effective if you get the children to move their markers onto the next level rather than doing it yourself - it brings it home to them much more fully.

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We have a traffic light system which seems to be quite effective.

All of their photos start on the green light. If they do something that isn't too great, they're generally warned first about going onto amber. If it's something pretty bad, they go straight onto the amber. We do give them chance to get back down to green. So if they're good, we move them back down into the green, or amber if they're on red.

The red is for those who are not taking any notice and carrying on doing what they shouldn't be doing.

We probably should be doing stars of the week, though we do have stickers that we give them. A lot of the children were looking at where they were on the chart. It definatley worked for most of the children.

 

For individual charts, we have downloaded some from sparklebox which are great.

 

 

Hi Debs1

 

What happens when a child ends up on the red? We have been wanting to try something like this but not sure what to do next

Thanks Scottiedog

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We warn first, then if unwanted behaviour continues the child finds their name/pic and puts it onto amber. We again, make it clear why and, that if they apologise/put right the problem (and seem genuine about it!) they will be put back to green and the matter is over. If the behaviour persiststhey put their name onto red and have time out and a quiet chat with one of us to get to the bottom of what is going on and what they think might have to happen to put things right for everyone. Sometimes, if appropriate we leave them there in a quiet area to think it over, maybe with a big sandtimer so they know how long they must stay. With some it works to ask them to think and then come back to join in once they think they are ready/calmer, so the responsibility is in their own hands. Assuming this happens they go straight back to green with praise for making good choices. In all the time we've used the system I can't think we have needed to put a child onto red more than once or twice a year - they really don't like it!

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Hmm, sounds good, especially Polly and Suzie's input, regarding giving the child ownership.....

we have some might benefit at the moment (unusual for us! Normally they take one look at terrifying me and scream for mum! :o )

 

Sue

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We do something similiar in our Reception and KS1 classes. We have all the children's names on a good as gold board where they start every day. At the beginning of the school year we discuss the school rules and make up our own class rules with the children. Then we discuss the rewards and consequences for following the rules, usually with a bit of role play from the TAs! If the children brake any of the rules, they are given 3 warnings to stop whatever it is with the reminder of the consequences, then they are moved off (either by you or them) the gold board onto the traffic lights. Green is moved away from your friends (for about 5 minutes to think about your actions/ behaviour), Amber is missing 5 minutes playtime, red is sent to the head teacher and your parents informed at the end of the day. If introduced right, you may never need to use the traffic lights, the threat of being moved is enough. One year I had a boy in floods of tears because his friend was going to be moved to the green light (moved away from your friends) and he would never see him again and he was suppose to be going to his house for tea!! He eventually calmed down when he saw his friend was only sitting at the table behind him when we were all on the carpet!! Rewards include class marble jar for extra playtime/ DVD/ party... and individual rewards like stickers/ certificates/ notes home/ seeing the head for good work/ kind behaviour...

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im really gonna put my foot in it here but here goes

i think that is awful some poor child could always be red how would that make them feel ?

Much better to find route of mis behaviour, rediret,

Dont get me wrong children who mis behave do need to be told but but for staff to be holding up red cards amber and green not so sure about that

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im really gonna put my foot in it here but here goes

i think that is awful some poor child could always be red how would that make them feel ?

Much better to find route of mis behaviour, rediret,

Dont get me wrong children who mis behave do need to be told but but for staff to be holding up red cards amber and green not so sure about that

 

You just beat me to it! I have been thinking since i first started reading the thread how sad it all makes me feel. I accept reception children are a little older than my pre-schoolers but in general terms I don't see the need to 'publicly address' children's unacceptable behaviour. Of course negative behaviour needs to be addressed and I agree with finding the cause of the behaviour and addressing that where possible but the idea of any display that is visible for all to see who is/isn't behaving appropriately just isn't my cup of tea. I just don't understand the need for the whole class to know that Joe Bloggs has done/not done something and having a child undergo the experience of moving their name is for me just a step too far.

 

Having said that I guess we all do what works for us and the children we care for and we are all different.

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I also feel that children shouldn't be 'named and shamed' in front of their peers but prefer to go for lots of positive affirmation and praise. What concerns me is that a child can get a bad name with the other children, and also parents, particularly when it is a child with behaviour problems which need a bit more that the usual reminder. I don't really like stickers for good behaviour either but know that they do work with some children. Where I have found the traffic light system and stickers work is with individual children who have behaviour problems, as a reminder during sessions, when I don't wish to interrupt the flow of what is happening. This has always been something in an action plan for a particular child, to tackle an aspect of his/her behaviour. I have found it very successful in the short term to establish a pattern of appropriate behaviour and give lots of positive rewards and attention. Other children within the group don't seem to have a problem with this at all.

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Right, I can see I'm going to have to do some defending/explaining here.....

The way we use our Traffic light system is very low key. It's introduced early on in the same way that you would talk about routines for snack or where we keep the wellies - not as a threat - and we have never had a child show any kind of anxious or negative response to this. I totally agree praise and affirmation are hugely useful and important in encouraging children to enjoy nursery/school and rewards can be great with individuals or whole classes. For the vast majority of our children, their name will never move from the green light all year and a few words is usually enough to sort out 99% of issues. We do not wave any kind of card at any child - ever - any child who was to put their name onto amber would have had plenty opportunity to avoid this happening and, again it would be done in a very low key 1:1 manner - no 'public naming and shaming' involved. (That is why they would be taken to a quieter area - both for a chance to reflect/calm down if necessary, and also to avoid a public display. This in itself is a pretty rare occurrance, but on the, literally, one or two occasions that I have ever needed to move a child to red they have been very well aware of why they are there and all other avenues have been explored, believe me! I can see that the system, misused, or misunderstood could lead to children constantly shifting from colour to colour and could turn into a nightmare for them and the adults trying to administer it. I would never either leave a child on red or have a child who was regularly on red - or amber even. If a child is regularly behaving in this kind of way then there are evidently underlying problems which would need to be adressed in a very different and more appropriate manner- something tailored to that child's own needs and carefully monitored. As for 'publicly addressing' unacceptable behaviour, it is often the child's peers who complain initially and if it continues they are well aware what is going on without any adult flagging it up! Our traffic lights are in an area where the children can access their names (but out of 'public' view) as we feel it is important to give them a feeling of ownership, input and control over their own behavioural choices - that is why we often pass the decision when to move their name back to green and rejoin the group to them - we find they are pretty good at knowing when they are ready and it has more relevance to them than an adult making that choice for them.We also find that the visual/concrete act of moving the name gives a focus and stops the whole thing becoming an abstract process. As far as a child getting a bad name amongst the other children or parents, unfortunately, despite any strategyor none, this is a risk - if you go into any class in any school in the land I bet the children (and parents !)will have an opinion on who is 'trouble' - sadly that's part of life and I certainly have seen no evidence that using a traffic light system accentuates this. I understand it is not for everyone and used inappropriately it could cause more problems than it solves, no system is perfect but it works for us and our children but it may not be that way forever - in fact I would doubt it very much! Hope I have not offended anyone - just want to clarify that I would not - ever - publicly name and shame a child / give them a bad name / belittle them in front of their peers etc etc.... OK, rant over .......and breathe..!

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