Before I delve into the details of “Fix-It Tickets,” let me preface them by saying that the most effective classroom management strategy is forming positive relationships with students. Kids naturally behave better when they feel a personal connection to their teacher, and quite simply, when they feel that their teacher likes them.
That being said, truly effective management can’t consist of just warm and fuzzy connections alone. If it did, our job title would be “friend” instead of “teacher.” Just like kids need it from their parents, they also need structure and clearly set guidelines within the classroom.
Even when we do the best job of setting the tone and focusing on expectations at the beginning of the school year, there will still always be (at least) one student who needs extra guidance in the right direction when it comes to how to behave appropriately at school. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been teaching for many years and have yet to be given a unicorn of a class where every single kid has absolutely perfect behavior 100% of the time. When a child behaves negatively, it is not a reflection of who we are as teachers, but how we choose to react and respond to it can be.
Fix-It Tickets are a useful tool for those students who need a little TLC in the behavior department. Maybe it’s the kid who won’t stop talking, the one who can’t keep their hands to themselves, or maybe that student who won’t stay on task. No matter what classroom management system you already have set in place, this is an easy addition to implement during any point in the school year.
In my own classroom, I have many positive incentives for encouraging positive behavior, including a Classroom Economy, school-wide Honors slips, and Fill a Bucket. But I want students to know that the choices they make can lead to consequences as well. If a student is exhibiting negative behavior, I first give a warning. The second offense is owing $1 in class money (our monthly Class Mall is very coveted and they do not like having to pay up). As far as consequences go, I personally do not choose to have students miss recess- otherwise I feel like I’m punishing myself. Kids need that time to play and get their energy out, and I don’t particularly want to be around for the aftermath if they didn’t get that outlet.
If a warning and a consequence has already been given and the behavior has not improved, the student is given a Fix-It Ticket.
This ticket is a constructive next step for some self-reflection on the part of the student. Rather than just tell a child what they are doing wrong, it can be more effective to have them be the one to evaluate their own behavior and think about WHY they should work to fix it.
After the student fills it out, it can be used as a jumping off point for discussion when you pull them aside to talk privately about how they can make it right. I have to stress the importance of actually having a talk. Making them fill out the slip and then just leaving it at that will not likely have the same impact as having them tell you about what they wrote and listen to your response and guidance. I know that it can be tough to set aside that one-on-one time with how busy the school day gets, but finding those couple of minutes is crucial. Think of how much instructional time it will save you if that little heart-to-heart leads the student to correct the behavior.
As you probably noticed, the form also has a line for a student and parent signature. You have the option of whether you want to send these Fix-It Ticket home to parents. I choose to, because I think it’s helpful for parents to have a talk with their child about their behavior as well. The student then knows that it’s a united front at home and at school, and that the expectations from their parents and teacher are the same. If you are having a conference with a parent or an SST/IEP for behavior, the Fix-It Ticket can also be useful to show at a meeting.
Another option is that you can get them directly emailed to you for FREE by signing up for my email list below:
And if you’re looking to add more classroom management ideas to your bag of tricks, you might also want to check out my Favorite Teacher Tricks for Classroom Management at the End of the School Year. When the primary behavior issue in your class is that they are too chatty and talking at inappropriate times, the Catch a Bubble resource is my personal go-to!
It is a trick I like to save in case I need it, and then pull out of my sleeve toward the end of the school year when kids tend to get spring fever.
Just like a well-running car that’s had maintenance, I hope these ideas and Fix-It Tickets help keep your class running even more smoothly!