A good way to track behavior is to set up dynamic groups that are defined by merits and demerits. This means that students who meet the requirements you set are automatically included in the group and, conversely, are removed when they no longer meet those requirements. These groups can be set up to monitor daily or weekly merit counts, and can be assigned a color code to display on slips and while in projector mode (on the Class Attendance page). You can also easily view them by navigating to the Groups page via the main menu.
On the Groups page, the slider bars below provide you with options for creating dynamic groups based on merits and demerits. The daily options allow you to make a group based on the number of merits or demerits earned today or by the aggregate number of merits (if your school has configured merits and demerits to balance each other out).
The weekly options are similar. You can make groups based on a daily merit average for the week, total number of merits earned in the week, or total number of demerits.
Example: Daily Merit Groups
One way to encourage students to earn as many merits as possible is to set up a series of dynamic groups based on merits. In this example, students who earn between 0 and 5 will be in one group, those who earn 6 to 10 in another, and those who earn 10 and above will be in a third.
For the first group, set the first "Merits Earned Today" slider to between 0 and 5 and then go up to the the "Save" tab at the very top.
When saving, be sure to click "Yes" under "Show This Group Name and Color on Student Slips" if you want it to be included on slips. Assign a color to the group under "Show Color on Slips" to color-code slips as well as student backgrounds while in projector mode on the Class Attendance page. Because this group is for the least amount of merits earned, the color red is useful. Make sure to give the group a clear, descriptive name so that it’s easy to find later.
Repeat this process with the other two groups, changing their colors, slider ranges, and names. A quick way to do this is to use the "Save Copy" button after changing the name, color, and slider.
Note: Because the minimum number of merits in this example is 0, this will only be useful for schools whose behavior system doesn’t allow for negative merits. If you do allow negative merits, use the second "Merits Earned Today" slider (the one that reaches back to -100).
Here's a view of the example groups in projector mode:
And here is an example of a scholar slip with the color-coded merit group highlighted:
If your school wants to track the number of demerits earned on a daily basis in addition to – or instead of – merits, follow the above steps but use the "Demerits Earned Today" slider. (See screenshots below.)
The second "Merits Earned Today" slider bar should only be used if your school is configured so that merits and demerits cancel each other out, creating a single balance as opposed to merits and demerits contributing to two separate balances.
The following screenshot is an example of a slip for a student who is in two groups: a daily merit group and a daily demerit group.
The following screenshot shows what class attendance looks like in projector mode when students are in both merit and demerit groups. The color on the left indicates a student’s standing with respect to demerits (zero demerits will bring the color up to green), while the color on the right indicates his or her standing with respect to merits (zero merits will bring it down to red). A solid block of color simply means that the student's merits and demerits both warrant that color (see Frank King and Alan Watkins). Be careful with how many of these groups you create, since too many colors can create a very confusing Class Attendance page!