Simple Tools for Tracking Behaviors in the Classroom


As teachers, there are many routines that we establish to make our classrooms run more smoothly. However, there is one routine that many teachers don’t include in their day-to-day activities: Documenting behavior. In this post, I’m going to share some simple tools for tracking behaviors in the classroom so you can add this important routine to your day when needed.

Simple tools for tracking behaviors in the classroom

The Importance of Tracking Behaviors in the Classroom

While it might seem like “just one more thing” to add to your already-overflowing plate, tracking behaviors can ultimately help your day run more smoothly. Here are just a few reasons why it’s important to document behavior in your classroom:

  • Identify Patterns: When you track disruptive behavior in your classroom, you’re more likely to identify patterns in those behaviors. Those patterns will inform your behavior management efforts!
  • Seek Additional Support: If you have a student whose behavior is consistently getting in the way of their learning and the learning of others, you will need to seek additional support. However, the first step in this process is to gather data about the student’s behavior. The more information you can provide the support team at your school, the easier it will be to get your student the help they need.
  • Monitor Progress: When it comes to behavior, the signs of progress can often be hard to detect. This is especially true if you’re not actively tracking the behavior. When you consistently document behavior, you’re more likely to notice those small signs of progress. 

4 Simple Behavior Tracking Tools

Even though behavior tracking is helpful, it can be hard to get into the habit of documentation. The key to establishing a routine of tracking behavior is to keep it as simple as possible. Just print off a tracker, put it on a clipboard, and keep it within reach throughout the day. Here are four of my favorite behavior tracking tools that are informative yet easy to use.

1. ABC Behavior Form

Over time, you might notice some patterns in the disruptive behaviors that are happening in your classroom. You can confirm your hunches by tracking these behaviors a little more closely.

An ABC Behavior form on a clipboard

One way that you can do this is with an ABC form, which is used for tracking the antecedent, behavior, and consequence. Tracking behavior in this way will help you identify the function of a behavior. Once you have a better picture of why a behavior is happening, it is easier to make a plan for positive behavior supports. You’ll be able to target a specific behavior by implementing individual reward systems or some other type of positive reinforcement.

2. Behavior Tally Chart

As you implement behavior management strategies, it’s important to continue to track the negative behavior in order to ensure the plan is effective. One simple way to track behavior is by tallying the instances of the specific behavior. As simple as tally marks can be, it doesn’t take much to add an extra tally to your bundle of five without realizing it. That’s why I like to use a dedicated tally chart like this one.

A behavior tally chart

You can easily track behavior by marking off a number each time the behavior occurs. That way, you can see at a glance how many times the behavior occurred without having to count up messy tally marks. This tally chart also has space to track multiple days on one paper, making it easier to monitor progress over the course of the week. 

3. Behavior Documentation Form

This form is designed to serve as formal documentation for the major behaviors that occur in the classroom. Sometimes administration or parents can be resistant to using the school-wide behavior referral system in certain circumstances, so it can be helpful to have your own formal behavior documentation. 

This behavior form is a great way to keep parents in the loop about what’s happening in the classroom. This can limit surprises and excuses for behavior. In the past, I have copied this form onto NCR triplicate paper so that I can keep the white copy while giving the yellow copy to the administrator and pink to the parents. (You can also make copies of the documentation form instead of using NCR paper.) This keeps everyone aware of situations that arise in the classroom. 

A variety of behavior documentation forms

4. Behavior Notes

You can also track behavior on a form that doubles as a parent communication tool, like the half-sheet form pictured above. You can jot down a quick note about behaviors as they happen during the day and then send the paper home in the daily communication folder. There is a space where parents can initial that they’ve seen the note and then send it back. This is a great way to establish a partnership with parents when it comes to behavior.

If you suspect that the behavior note won’t come back to school, you can make a copy of it before sending it home. It’s important to keep these notes as a record of the student’s behavior over a period of time. It’s amazing how you can even notice patterns with these quick daily updates. 

For example, you might notice that the only day of the week that you have to make a note about Johnny’s explosive behavior is on Tuesday. You could then discuss this pattern with Johnny’s parents and other support staff to get to the bottom of why this might be happening.

More Tools for Tracking Behaviors in the Classroom

There are even more tools for tracking behaviors in the classroom, like duration tracking, interval recording, and behavior graphs. You can find all of these behavior tracking tools in one easy-to-download resource. There is even an editable option so you can adjust them as needed.

If you’d like to take a closer look at all of the documentation tools included in this printable resource, just head over to the Teaching Exceptional Kinders shop or to my TPT store.

Editable Behavior Documentation Forms: Tracking tools, ABC Behavior Forms, Data Collection

Save These Behavior Tracking Tools

Be sure to save this post so you can come back to it later! Just add the pin below to your favorite teaching board on Pinterest. You’ll be able to quickly find these resources when you’re looking for simple tools for tracking behaviors in the classroom.

Simple Tools for Tracking Behaviors in Kindergarten


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