Grey Cloud and Golden Sun

Age Range: 5 - 11
By: A Visitor

When I was on my first teaching practice, I witnessed a teacher using a sun, grey cloud and a golden sun.

This was used according to the child's behaviour. When a child was extremly good all day, their individual name peg was placed on the golden sun and likewise if the child misbehaved, they were placed on the grey cloud.

Each child started the day fresh and started on the sun. With having the golden sun, it allowed you to also praise the children who are good all the time, but also you are able to encourage the children who misbehave to redeem themselves.


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Unfortunately I am seeing this system being used very badly for my child who has special educational needs. Some of the behavior he does is as a result of his autistic traits and he is constantly coming home with black clouds for the odd incident that happens at school. He gets a sticker if he gets no black clouds in a morning or afternoon. He could get a black cloud for literally anything and sometimes he is given five all in one go, which I think is more about the teacher;s anger. All these tools are useful if kept positive and children are set realistic and achievable targets for behaviour. A simple reward and punishment system will not help our child learn, all he is learning is that he is a bad boy. He could be 99% good all day and then the one blip and he is punished with colouring in a black cloud or five black clouds. He gets no reward or stickers for any good behaviour, he just gets to colour in a sun ray. Only the two autistic children have to do the sun and clouds charts. I am sure that it can be a motivator for some children, but sometimes behaviour management is not just as easy as a reward system. Breaks my heart to see him come home and say, two clouds today mum and being very sad. Some weeks he comes home with black clouds every day. The punishment of the clouds doesn't incentivise him to try harder or make him sit still at carpet time, it is like he physically cannot keep still and has to be moving all the time... better to take expert advice from Educational Psychologists when needed for behaviour management, sadly our school has jumped on this sun and clouds issue and think it will fix everything.