Advanced Classroom Tools for Behavior Management

by on August 11th, 2011
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Some classroom discipline tools and techniques are not for the faint of heart. These tools go beyond a positive word or kind pat. Practice is required and a knowledge of understanding student behavior. Trial and error proves which works best in a particular classroom

1. Use Humor to Defuse a Situation or Behavior. This may not appear to be an advanced tool, but poor or improper use of classroom humor can lead to a lot of problems for a teacher. Humor or joking with a student can often offset more serious behavior issues. If not used appropriately, a student may see the humor as an attack. An example of appropriate classroom behavior would be telling a classroom that you will use the wet noodle to correct them with if the class doesn’t get quiet. This type of humor works best with the whole group rather than individual students.

2. Classroom Monitors. Teachers will need to know which students are trustworthy. Some students love to get others in trouble and will mark down whomever they can. Pick a student who is mature and objective. Write a list of classroom behaviors and ask students to write down names of those who violate them. Choose a different student every time so no one will know who the student is or pick on them. This technique works great for keeping a classroom quiet during study time or when a teacher is otherwise busy. A consequence needs to be announced beforehand. For instance, if total classroom quiet is needed during a reading period, any student caught talking will spend an extra two minutes in the class after the bell. Often these student monitors are trained on a school level as student mentors.

3. Discipline Programs. Discipline programs are usually implemented on a school, county or district wide level. All schools will use the same discipline plan. These plans are all inclusive and generally require training at workshops. Some of the most common ones are CHAMPs, Positive Discipline and Discipline by Design. These are programs that even new teachers can implement. Consistency is needed across the board when using these types of programs in schools.

4. Relate Stories to Make a Point. Younger students may not relate to this strategy unless simple stories are used. Think of it as a sort of fable or myth that teaches a point. This tool can be used as an entire lesson plan at the beginning of the school year. For example, if your goal is to encourage honesty then a fable concerning honesty might be read. Most fable and allegories do not give a direct lesson meaning. At the beginning of the school year, I have several of these stories handy. I divide students into groups after the story is read and they discuss and come up with their own meaning for the story. Afterward, we relate the story to the specific behavior that is expected in the classroom. Later, when the rule is broken students can be redirected to the fable that was discussed at the beginning of the school year.

Remember that discipline tools can be combined. Even if your school uses a particular discipline plan, other tools and techniques can be used. The ultimate goal is to have as few discipline issues as possible for maximum student learning.

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