“I Can” Charts

No surprise here, Presley cries about EVERYTHING. She doesn’t whine or pester, but she will cry at the drop of a hat. I was warned by friends (friends that have both boys and girls) of this, but I had NO idea! For those of you who are not familiar with or around Presley often- the fact that she cries about everything is an understatement. The other day a fly landed on her sandwich and she screamed and cried about it for several minutes. Yesterday, she was outside playing in her little pool and she spotted a leaf floating by her. She started crying and then began repeating herself, “its just a weaf, its just a weaf”….hmmmmmm, wonder who she heard that from? ;o) She hates bugs that fly and will scream and cry if they come near her. However, she loves bugs that don’t fly and would kiss them if I let her. Yuck! SO, feeling completely exasperated I started on a journey of finding a solution……..

This is Presley in all her glory!……………………………and this is the look I get when I tell her to suck it up and smile (ok, I’m not that mean, but I do get this look a lot when I redirect or ignore her) 

My Solution…….
Several years ago I did a book study with some of the teachers at the school I taught at. We read the book, “Literacy Workstations: Making Centers Work” by Debbie Diller. In one of the chapters it talked about managing your workstations by creating “I Can” charts. Basically, the goal is to allow the kids to come up with the “I cans” of each workstation. It’s a great way to cut down on interruptions while the teacher is doing guided reading and to make each child responsible for their own behavior….plus, it keeps the “you can nots” down.
Several months ago I went over to a friend’s house, my former teaching partner, and saw this hanging on her fridge and wall……

Isn’t she a genius! Well, fast forward about two months when Presley turned 2! She is a good little girl, but she uses tears to get what she wants…….A LOT. I was stuck on what to do with her in regards to behavior management. She loves charts, stickers, praise, and positive reinforcement. However, I couldn’t find anything that fit her personality and way of learning….she is very visual, as most toddlers are. So, I sat in bed one night thinking….that’s usually when I do all of my thinking. ;-/ I thought about what I did with my first graders and knew I needed to come up with an idea for Presley that set concise expectations. I came up with the idea of creating an “I can” chart for the home. At first, I just dismissed the idea because I felt silly creating something related to school, but then I decided I would just try it out.I created my “I Can” charts (To honor God with my hands I can….To honor God with my voice I can…) and they work great with Presley! She loves them, has memorized them, and understands what is expected of her. I will be able to adapt and use these charts throughout her elementary years…..”I cans” are also a great way to introduce a new toy- the kids come up with appropriate ways to play with the new toy (a toy like a swing set, trampoline, etc.)

I used velcro pieces to attach the cards to the board (everything is laminated)

Now, do these charts work all of the time? Absolutely not, but it has helped.

Flip book to take with us when we leave the house

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