Management of Behavior


Management of Behavior

Helping Compulsive Talkers

What if you do nothing?

  1. Starting class will be tough.
  2. Everyone is distracted and others join in.
  3. If you take too long to address it, students will see it as unfair. 

What Do You Do?

  1. Identify Why They Are Talking- Attention, Peer Status, Sense of Achievement, Aggression?
  2. Talk Privately With Students Right Away
  3. Contact Parents/Guardians
  4. React Consistently
  5. Give Students Small Helper Tasks
  6. Position Student Closer To You (Teacher)
  7. Reinforce Positive Behavior
  8. Find Time to listen to the student. Build a solid Teacher-Student relationship.
Behavior Strategies for Disruptive Students

As teachers, we often work with students who are uncooperative or disrupt other students. If you do not address this type of behavior quickly, it can lead to many problems. Here are some quick tips when confronted with disruptive students:

  1. Know Your Students– Most times problems in school are caused by outside forces.
  2. Use a Team Approach– Talk to other staff members that work with the student. See what works for them.
  3. Don’t Embarrass Students– This will only lead to more problems.
  4. Model Behavior– Model the behavior you expect from your students.
  5. Speak with Students Privately– It’s best to approach students outside of the places they are seeking attention or being disruptive.

How To Start A Class

Getting the ball rolling can be the hardest task of all. Here are some things to keep in mind when you want to begin class. 

  1. Greet students at the door.
  2. Make a starting class routine for the kids and yourself.
  3. Use a “do now” or quick assessment.
  4. Remember to take attendance.
  5. Have a sign-in area.
  6. Hear student concerns.

Reinforcing Positive Students Efforts

As teachers, we sometimes forget that we have several great children in our class that work hard and give their all. But, because they are not the exceptional children in the class, they are rarely recognized for this. Here are some ways to quickly and regularly recognize these students: 1. Give a call home and say they are doing a great job! 2. Send home a flyer or happy form. It will only take a little time. 3. Make them a printable award certificate.

“Writing Checks For Points System” Olga, Teacher

“In regards to points, my kids got bored. So, I made them check books where they earn credit as they complete work. I also use a response cost system where they have to pay fines. They love it because they feel like little adults and will do anything to write a check. This also reinforces math concepts. I usually use it to buy computer time, etc.”

“Bubble Gum Machine” Trina Smith, Grade 4 Teacher

“I have a rather big hand-drawn bubble gum machine hanging on the front chalkboard. My students are encouraged to fill out the machine to receive a class reward. I stick paper gumballs onto the machine when the class is caught doing something good proper lineup, good listening, etc. I also take away gumballs when the class is overly noisy etc. The kids love seeing the machine fill up with gumballs. When they achieve a full machine, I give them a popcorn party with a movie, extra gym time, or any other appropriate reward. It works for me!”

Class Meetings” Marie, High School Teacher: Staten Island, NY

“Class meetings are a great way to help students identify any behavior problems and work on solutions that all can agree upon. Placing students in a circle helps to keep everyone on the same playing field. The teacher acts as a facilitator and encourages students to confront the problems and work out the solutions. The goal is to have students take ownership of their problems and to be able to have the time to problem-solve as a team. Meetings can be called for any reason and should last for only a few minutes. Stay focused and work toward achieving a goal that leads to action.”

“Reinforce Positive Behavior” Jim, 4th Grade Teacher: Chicago, IL

“To reinforce positive behaviors in children, each month hang a poster on the wall with each child’s name printed on it. These can be seasonal, such as pumpkins, flowers, apples, etc. They can be bought or made by the teacher or the children. Each time a child displays a behavior that you are trying to reinforce, have them take a sticker and put it on the card. At the end of the month, the students take these home. They are proud to take them home and you have reinforced only the positive in your classroom.”

“Building Decision-Making Skills” Lisa Correia, 4th Grade Teacher: Croton-on Hudson, NY

“Developing the concept of “change” and getting students to accept what can be changed and what cannot be changed can sometimes be a challenge for teachers. This exercise gets students to use thinking and reasoning skills to make decisions on what they have control over and what they do not and to know the difference between the two. Start with a list of various phrases describing situations such as the temperature outside, how old you are, how you treat other people, how well you do in school, etc. Ask students to identify what can be changed and what cannot; ask them to tell why, and why not. This can be done in small groups or as a partner activity. As a follow-up, students can write their list and share it with others. For younger students, the teacher can read the list and the children can indicate the differences with a raise of the hand.”

“Focus and Direction” Lisa, 6th Grade Teacher: Austin, TX

“When you begin a lesson, post a schedule of the class. We need to let the students know what we have planned and where we are going. The students can focus on the lesson of the day and understand the expectations. Read through the schedule and put the responsibility of the lesson on the child. This is what is to be accomplished today. You have given the expectation, shared responsibility of the lesson with the students, and focused your students on what is to be accomplished. This is also a good guide for the teacher as well. When the students become accustomed to this outline, they will soon be keeping the teacher on task. This can be posted on a chart or simply written on the board.”

“Room Helper” Anne, 6th Grade Teacher: Kingston, NY

“Every classroom, at some point, has a student that pushes the behavioral limits set. Select these particular students and delegate relative and meaningful responsibilities. Make them a helper in the room. Provide consistent praise and feedback on the assistance they have given. Discuss with the student the positive outcomes as a result of their actions. I have found that by doing this, the student begins to see for themselves the positive effects they are capable of.”

“Know How I Feel” Teddy Sawyer, Social Studies Teacher

“This activity is geared toward elementary students. You can have students arrange themselves on your class rug in a circle. Then, have laminated strips of paper prepared–enough for each student. On the strips, depict faces (human or animal or other characters) with six or seven different emotions. Students enjoy pointing to the emotion which matches what they are feeling and explaining why they picked the face.”

“Poster Project” Carol Trousdale: Content Mastery Teacher, Technology Lead Teacher

“For a positive way to encourage good group behavior, get a poster of any size (it’s good to start with a small one) and cover it with blank sticky notes so that the picture is completely hidden. As the group exhibits good behavior, take a piece off of the poster. I looked at hall behavior, lunch behavior, group project behavior, and library behavior. I also took a piece off of the poster if another teacher complimented the class on their behavior. If the principal complimented the class, I took two pieces off of the poster. When the poster is completely uncovered, we had a party of some description. The rules can work the other way, also. On a day when the class just can’t seem to settle down, I usually got their attention by putting a piece back on the poster! The teacher can giveth and can taketh away!”

“Place Holder” Jennifer, 5th Grade Teacher: Orange County, NY

“The particular position and place a student holds on a line is very important to them. One strategy I have found to be quite helpful is this. Let’s say Catherine steps out of line to tie her shoelace. The student walking behind Catherine will automatically save and leave that space open. This way, when Catherine rejoins the class she still has a place in line. This technique can be used any time a student steps out of line and will eventually return.”

“Hallway Ins and Outs” Joannie, 5th Grade Teacher: Cape Cod, MA

“While walking through the hallway, teach your students to leave all doorways clear. For example, if the line of students stops, and there is a classroom door (or any door) alongside the line, have the students leave an open space (the width of the door) so that someone could still walk in or out of the room.”

“Student Contracts” Dr. D. College Professor: Slate Hill, NY

“A “contract” is a valuable tool that teachers can use in negotiating terms with students and/or parents which details the specific expectations that the teacher, student, and sometimes, the parent formally agree upon. Learning contracts help the teacher and student share the responsibility for achieving desired outcomes. It also helps increase accountability and provides feedback to the student regarding progress toward meeting the agreed-upon goals. It is a good way to negotiate expected behaviors.”

“Catch Them Being Good” Paul, 8th Grade Teacher: Boston, MA

“Have a variety of positive reinforcers available to give to students when they are “being good” and demonstrating appropriate behaviors. Remember, reinforcers are only positive if students think they are! You can get to know what students consider to be positive by just asking them or making observations about what your students seem to be motivated by. Some common reinforcers include verbal praise, stickers, choosing a favorite activity, computer time, and games.”

“Early Driving Skills!” Don Louis, 5th Grade Teacher: St. Anisette Canada

“Give your students the gift of time to learn this basic driving skill, early! As students approach any corner, while walking through a hallway, instruct them to always follow these three simple steps! 1.) Stop 2.) Look left, right, and left again. 3.) If it is clear to go, continue walking. If not, wait until clear, and then continue. The students love the idea they are learning a grown-up driving skill in elementary school!”

“Team Bucks” Daryle Grimstead, 6th Grade Language Arts Teacher

“Every 9 weeks, my team prints team money that we distribute throughout the quarter. We collect stuffed animals at garage sales, thrift stores, and family donations and we display them in our rooms. At the end of the 9 weeks, we hold a team auction and the students purchase the animals with the money they have earned. They earn money by helping the teacher, staying on task, or any positive behavior. We do not give this money based on grades. It is meant to be a behavior management tool. It works great! The kids love earning the money and the auctions provide an opportunity for team enrichment time.”

“Tattle Test” Tricia, Special Education Resource/Middle School

“When I student taught 3rd grade, my students seemed to live to tattle. If I let them, I would only have time to deal with tattles. I came up with a two-prong test for the students to gauge if they should be the ones to tell me what happened. Part one: Is anyone in danger? Part two: Are you directly involved? If the answer to either question was yes, then it was their business to tell me. If the answer to both questions was no, I informed them that it was not their place to be telling me and therefore they were to go back to the task at hand. It helped with some of my biggest tattlers. They’d start to tell me something and I’d say “I have two questions for you”. After a while, they knew what was coming and would answer them without my having to ask them.”

“Barter Day” Jill Johnson, 5th Grade Teacher

“Barter Day is a motivating activity for students to earn “mini bucks” to buy items from each other at the end of each grading period. Minibucks are earned by trading in 25 stamps. Stamps are earned through grades and responsibility. Each letter grade receives a different amount of stamps, and parent signatures on a variety of things earn stamps as well. When the student has 25 stamps, they turn them in for a mini buck. At the end of each nine-week grading period, the students bring small snacks, toys, etc. to sell to the other students. The students use their earned mini bucks to buy items from the other students. They can only use the number of mini bucks earned during the 9-week grading period. Any profits earned can be used at the next Barter Day. The students use their earned mini bucks to buy items from the other students. They can only use the amount of mini bucks earned during the 9-week grading period. Any profits earned can be used at the next Barter Day. This activity motivates the children to work harder for higher grades, more stamps, and more mini bucks, therefore more buying power. It also teaches them about profit, selling prices, and supply and demand! A major rule is that all bartering is done silently. Anyone interested in receiving a list of guidelines and a more detailed description can email me for a copy. The kids and the teachers love it!”

“A Fun Way of Getting the Class in Order Before Dismissal” Lisa Morris, 7th Grade Teacher: Woodbury Middle School

“Before lunchtime, I announce to the class that the “quietest, cleanest, straightest row or group will be dismissed first. To add a bit of interest, I also add another adjective, such as weirdest, happiest, most sleepy, most professional-looking, etc. The possibilities are endless. I have even used new vocabulary terms as well, such as “most indignant,” and “most discreet.” The kids soon start submitting ideas to use. It is amazing how the room is straightened up in such a short amount of time!”

“Good Gobblers” Tammy Layne, First Grade Teacher

“To reinforce good behavior, each month I pick a particular theme to use for my “good door.” For November, I used turkeys. Every day that a student is good with their behavior, I give them a turkey at the end of the day to put their name on. Then we hang it on our “Good Gobbler” door. The one with the most turkeys at the end of the month, gets a special surprise. I pump this up at the beginning of each day to remind the students about the prize. They get so excited that they try hard to be good. I change the theme each month to match the season or holiday.”

“Sign Language” Angela, HeadStart 3rd Grade

“Use sign language to teach your students a valuable communication method and to allow you to ‘talk’ to them silently. I teach my kids ‘yes’ and ‘no’ for group responses, votes, etc. I frequently sign ‘no’ when I see inappropriate behavior, or kids are out of their seats or interrupting, and I can keep right on teaching during it. They also know the sign for ‘bathroom’, so they raise their hands with that sign and I can just nod, rather than call on them and find out all they wanted was a bathroom pass. We use the signs for ‘stand up’ and ‘sit down’ to convey that message silently during assemblies and other noisy gatherings. You could also assign each cooperative group a color and sign the color word for children to line up (they will be quiet and paying close attention). Or, let the kids make up their own (non-vulgar) sign and use that in the same way. Signs for stop, help, good job, please, and thank you can also be useful. The kids learn them very quickly. You can pick them up from a special education teacher, book, or even online.”

“Paper Clip Chain” Maria, 4th Grade Teacher

“An effective method for encouraging class-wide good behavior is to create a paper clip chain. I begin a chain of paper clips at the top of the chalkboard. If the class is well-behaved, they earn a paper clip for the day. When the chain reaches a specified point (the bottom of the board or the floor), they earn a class reward. Usually, this involves taking an afternoon to watch a movie and then doing some educational activities that relate to what we saw. Once the class earns a paper clip, it can’t be taken away. The students like to see that their good behavior is valued.”

“Easier Line-ups” Mindy Sawyer, Teacher

“I got this idea from another teacher, and it is simple, easy, and very helpful. I placed a piece of duct tape inside the classroom, a few feet from the classroom door, and wrote “Line-Up” in a permanent marker on the tape. Now when the students line up they no longer block the doorway.” “If you want students to be attentive at the drop of a hat, just use this: I learned it from a grade 3 teacher. It’s called give me 5. When you say this, the students should fold their hands on their desks, have their eyes on you, sit up tall, and listen attentively. This works! I used this strategy last year and I am using it now. Presto, attentiveness is just as easy as, “Give me 5!”. One could make a poster as well for the classroom.”

“Music Box Jenn, 3rd Grade Teacher

“I have a music box on my desk. It is the kind that when you open it the music starts and it stops when you close it. I tell my class on the first day that if they start getting out of control I will open the box until they get back on task. The deal is that if they have music left on Friday, they will not have homework on the weekend. Works like a charm!”

Bathroom “Pass” Maria Smith, Title I Reading Teacher

“I teach Title I Reading to 1st and 2nd grades. I have 9 sections of classes who come to our Reading Lab every day. The students work in centers while the classroom teachers and I work with students in small groups. I made a chart with poster board and library pockets. Each chart has the teacher’s name on it and a pocket for each child in their room with his/her name on it. I have two clothespins (boy/girl) marked “Bathroom”. Should a child need to go to the restroom, while we are working with a small group, they put a clothespin on their pocket and go. They don’t need to ask and only one boy/girl can be gone at a time. We also use the pockets to designate who will be working on the computer and/or other special tasks. (I stole this idea from my cooperating teacher while I was student teaching—thanks Stephanie!)”

“Getting students to class on time.” Retha Lippard: East Carter High School / FACS Teacher

“Prepare a 10-point lesson review handout quiz to be given as the students come into the door. Once the bell rings, it is too late to receive the quiz. Students will be rushing to class so as not to lose the 10 points.”

“Quiet Dynamite” Melissa Brooks: Student Teacher

“To calm students down after an exciting activity or before going to their next class, play this game by tossing a ball back and forth between students. They cannot say ANYTHING or the dynamite will “explode” and they are “out.” This helps to quiet the class down quickly.”

“Talking, Whispering or No Talking” Janine Vercoe, Primary Teacher

“I believe that a chatty classroom is usually a productive one, but there are times when children should be silent (Silent reading times or during tests) and also times when children need to talk using softer voices (instructional reading times or when the teacher is conferencing with other children). With my Year 2 class (5 and 6-year-olds) we use red, orange, and green traffic light symbols which are magnetized to the whiteboard. If I need silence an arrow points to the red light, if whispering is required the arrow points to the orange light and if the arrow is pointing to green, then children may talk. It is hoped that the arrow is not pointing to the red light very often during the day. If children are not following the signals (sometimes they forget) then I remind them to look at where the arrow is pointing and they soon go back to what they are supposed to be doing. I often pick children to ‘change the light’ but it must be understood that the light can only be changed in the teacher’s direction. My ‘lights’ are made of brightly colored laminated cardboard and can be used year after year. This has worked extremely well for me and the children. They learned very quickly what is expected of them. At times, I also like to ask the children which light they would like the arrow to point to. In this way, they also have an element of choice.”

“Star System” Tracy Ruffing, Elementary Substitute Teacher

“For classroom management, I would implement a star system. While subbing I have seen this work in many elementary classrooms. You first place five stars on the chalkboard. Label the stars 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25. Tell the class that for every time they are disruptive or not following directions you will erase a star. Each star is worth minutes they will lose from recess the next day. They can also earn stars for that week. Every time they are following directions or working hard, I would add a star to the board under earned recess. Each star earned was worth 1 minute of extra recess for that following Friday. The students loved working toward more free time at the end of the week and got quiet as soon as their first star was erased.”

“Eyes on Me” Elaine T. Brown, Elementary Teacher

“To keep your student’s attention on you when teaching a lesson, use a kush ball. Students have to focus on you to catch the kush ball when asked a question. This keeps students’ eyes and attention on the teacher.” On the board, (leaving a space between the letters), I explain to the class that each letter represents 5 minutes of indoor recess, ( the R is a “warning” ), when they don’t behave I start erasing each letter at the time, making them aware of how much time of outdoor recess they are missing. IT WORKS!!! And if they behave I write the letters back. ( Usually, I just end with the R erased) If it is after recess I change it to H O M E W O R K, each letter represents an extra assignment, a little drastic but it works for me.”

“Stop Look and Listen”

“It is very simple and it works like a charm. You clap your hands three times the children respond with three claps back. Then they Stop what they are doing, look at me, and listen for the next instruction. I have found it saves your voice and the children like it.”

“Points System” Jackie Madden, 4th Grade Teacher

“I introduced my students to a points system that required them to earn points. They could gain or lose points based on their behavior. They use the points on Fridays to purchase goodies, homework passes, free time passes, or whatever was the center of attraction for the week. I also assign points to field trips, field days, and other school-related programs. The students have to have the required points to participate.”

“Tech Credit Cards” Amy Copenhaver, 1st grade/Technology Instructor

“I give my 5th-8th grade students “credit cards” with 5 punches at the beginning of the semester. Students lose punches for being late to class, missing assignments, and for leaving the room at any time (classes are short, so disruptions are minimized). Students at the end of the year with 5 remaining punches (2 cards for the entire year, 10 punches total) are treated to a party of their choosing. It instills a sense of responsibility, as most students have not needed the credit card second semester.”

“Give Me Two!” Deborah Hercsek, 6th Grade Teacher

“I ask students to give me two: 2 eyes on me, 2 hands on the desk (no moving), 2 feet on the floor, 2 ears listening. The response is immediate!”

“Line Up!” Daniel, 6th Grade Teacher: Portland, Oregon

“To ensure the safe opening and closing of a classroom door while students may be lined up, place a strip of wide tape on the floor that clears the swing of the door. Use this line as the beginning spot for the students to always line up at. This also allows for the free flow of movement in or out of the classroom, while the class is lined up.”

“Turn it around” Renae, Second Grade Teacher

“When I have children in my class that constantly fusses/play with stuff (This is great with the ADHD kids)and my gentle reminders do not seem to make a difference with their ability to stop goofing off….I turn the desk around so their tummy is up against the back of the desk. It is a quiet way to keep them from messing around.”

“Homework Reward” Taylor Williams, Middle School Teacher

“I have six periods and what I decided to do was to create a homework chart. For each period I would record the number of students who brought in their homework. The class that brought the most homework assignments was rewarded with a pizza party, popcorn party, etc. This was a good incentive for students to bring in their homework.“

“The Rose Award” Danielle Keller, After School Supervisor

“In my After School Class, I often told my students that it was important to be kind to people, so to encourage random acts of kindness, I invented the Rose Award. The Rose Award was simply a sticker with a picture of a beautiful rose that I awarded to a student or to a group for performing random acts of kindness. Each group had a special folder, so that is where they placed their rose awards. My students loved the Rose Awards, and also the feeling they got from receiving recognition for doing something good.“

“PawPrints” Leslie Keylich, Teacher

“As a discipline method in our self-contained unit, we started using pawprints as a reward. First, we use pinto beans that can be given for any good behavior or taken away for bad behavior. As the student earns the beans, he/she trades ten beans in for one pawprint, at the end of the week the pawprints are redeemed at the “store”. The prices of the objects range from one to ten pawprints. All of the pawprints the student has managed to hold on to that week must be redeemed at the end of the week, singles they are allowed to hold onto and roll over to the next week.”

“Children Walking Lines in Primary Grades” John, First Grade Teacher

“Line up children from smallest (first in line) to tallest, when walking to lunch or other school activities. It will reduce the stretching in your line, and keep them organized. The military from Roman times to today has used this methodology, and it works. Also, I have my primary-grade children fold their arms when they walk. The line leader, which I change only once a month, walks at the pace of the smallest child in the line. IT WORKS, TRY IT! “

“Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry” Danielle Keller, After School Supervisor

“I had an After School class that was crazy about Harry Potter. I first wrote a letter to the students as “Professor McGonagall” telling them all that they were accepted at Hogwarts and that they would be divided into the four houses from the books, Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw, and that each house would accumulate points (or lose them) based on their performance in my classroom. Good behaviors earned points for the house, and bad behaviors lost points. Certain games and activities in my room were also worth bonus points. It helped my student learn to work as a team and it curtailed bad behavior. At the end of the year, I threw an “end of the year feast” with pizza and sweets, with the winning house receiving certificates stating that they had won the “House Cup” as denoted in the books, and that team also won a small prize. It worked well as a classroom theme for me. We played a modified version of Quidditch in a gym, and the students were encouraged to write to their favorite Hogwarts Professors via an envelope that I had labeled “Outgoing Mail to Hogwarts”. I would then write back to the students in the character of their chosen professor. It was a blast for the kids, as well as for me.<”

“Discouraging Cheating” Gary Latman, Harper High School / English Dept. Chair

“Students who cheat must also share their grade with those who copied or cheated off of their work. So someone who receives a 90% grade on their paper will have to share it with each student who they are allowed to copy off of their paper. If there was only one person who copied off that person’s 90% paper, each receives 45%. In that way, students learn that there is a difference between helping someone understand and answer versus allowing someone to “Xerox” the answers, which is cheating.”

“Star Jar” Alisha, Pre-Service Teacher

“As a pre-service teacher, I have observed many great ideas as well as some not-so-good ideas when dealing with behavior management. One method that I have seen work extremely well was in my first-grade placement. The teacher has a “Star” jar. This is a jar with stars that have been cut out of construction paper in it. When the teacher saw the students doing something impressive such as working quietly, putting extra time into their work, or just an act of kindness between students, the teacher would tell the student that they could add their name to the “Star” jar. It was a great way to get the student’s attention and they loved it when their extra effort was noticed and they became a “star”.

“Tickets” Danamarie Trezza, Grade 3 Teacher

“I have worked in a hard-to-staff school for 4 years and I needed a way to get my students to respond. So, I decided to use a ticket system. I purchased a roll of raffle tickets. Each day a student has a chance to earn 3 tickets. One for homework, one for behavior in the morning(which is given out before lunch), and one for their behavior in the afternoon. I also give out tickets randomly for good deeds, good participation, and so on. At the end of the week, students can go to the “prize” box and purchase toys and school supplies. I have a big prize box and a small prize box. No student can hold over 60 tickets at a time. I learned this the hard way; one student saved 150 tickets and wiped out my prizes in one day!! Some of the prizes are lunch with the teacher 25 tickets (I buy the kid’s lunch), toys from the dollar store, erasers, pencils, and anything you can think of! Good Luck!”

“Simon Says We Need Activity” Sue Schleef: Teacher

“I work with 8 behaviorally challenged 6th-8th Grade students(self-contained) in a residential day program. On some days their inability to sit still causes me to say, “O.K., we need activity.” My directions always start with “Simon Says”. I have them move to different desks, take off our sneakers, and even put on someone else’s sneakers; the wilder the better. I’ve never had them refuse to do anything! After about 15-20 minutes, they are ready to get back to work. They beg to do this for the next few days, but I only do it once in about 6 weeks. They love it especially when other staff join in. (P.S.- no one ever quits; they all play until the end.)”

“The Ultimate Seating Chart!” Gary Nelson, Science Teacher

“As a rule of thumb, I always seat students in alphabetic order at the beginning of the year. This usually ensures that there is a good mix of students. Friends who would distract each other during lessons are not placed near each other. My advanced class has been asking all year if they could sit next to their friends. I never give in, but this year I came up with a plan. I agreed to allow students to sit in any seat they wanted as long as they agreed that we would compare the academic achievement of all students before and after the seating change. If there was a measurable improvement, we would continue with this new seating Arrangement. Students also agreed that if there was a measurable decline in performance, the seating Arrangement would be changed to a system that should statistically improve grades by separating talkers. We did change the seats to allow students to sit where they wanted and there was a moderate decline in academic performance. We made this into a lab activity. I then asked students to discuss and decide on a plan of corrective action. Throughout 2 class periods, we came up with a great system. We created a scale to rate students based on distractibility with a 4 equal to the most distractible students and a 1 equal to the least distractible student. Students graded themselves and their classmates. We then averaged these numbers. We mathematically placed students in seating Arrangements so that high numbers were surrounded by low numbers. I’m happy to report the grades are back up and my students pondered themselves objectively for the first time in many of their lives. They enjoyed this.”

Musical Mornings Leslie Kello, Elementary Teacher

This year I bought a new CD player for my classroom. It made a big difference in the classroom atmosphere. I have a collection of acoustic and instrumental music. Every morning I would play this music during students’ free time and discovery learning lessons. Music did do a lot to soothe children. Students this year seemed to be more task-focused. I had fewer behavioral outbursts and the class as a whole was relaxed and calm. I think the music had a big impact.

To help minor behavior Valerie Fairley, Elementary Reading/Language Teacher

“My students were constantly talking out of turn and blurting out in the classroom. While we were taping our reading sessions in the listening center, we accidentally left the tape recorder on. To my amazement, it picked up most of the blurters and also me correcting the students’ behavior. So during the school year, I began to use a tape recorder to listen to myself teach and to make the necessary corrections to my speech patterns and that of my students. Since the students knew the tape recorder was on, and they could be heard when they blurted or misbehaved, the irregular talking decreased drastically. At the end of each week, the students and I listened to the tape and discussed ways to improve our behavior as well as our speech. During the year, my students were asked to participate in most of the school programs; they were often commended on their great speaking abilities and their improved behaviors. We were rewarded intrinsically as well as extrinsically.”

“Tickets” Danamarie Trezza, Grade 3 Teacher

“I have worked in a hard-to-staff school for 4 years and I needed a way to get my students to respond. So, I decided to use a ticket system. I purchased a roll of raffle tickets. Each day a student has a chance to earn 3 tickets. One for homework, one for behavior in the morning(which is given out before lunch), and one for their behavior in the afternoon. I also give out tickets randomly for good deeds, good participation, and so on. At the end of the week, students can go to the “prize” box and purchase toys and school supplies. I have a big prize box and a small prize box. No student can hold over 60 tickets at a time. I learned this the hard way; one student saved 150 tickets and wiped out my prizes in one day!! Some of the prizes are lunch with the teacher 25 tickets (I buy the kid’s lunch), toys from the dollar store, erasers, pencils, and anything you can think of! Good Luck!”

Great Job Chart Anonymous

“The great job chart works like this; every time students are judged to be good, they get an index card and write their name on it. Then they put it in the open slot. On a day when every slot is filled, the teacher closes their eyes. The teacher draws however many cards they choose. Students that are picked receive a prize.”

“Shoulders Up, Shoulders Back” Marge Werden, Teacher

“When I line up the students to go home, to go to computer class, to go to lunch, I say, “Shoulders Up, Shoulders Back!” I first explained to them (at the beginning of the school year) about GREAT posture…and for some reason (smile on my face) this causes them to line up in a WONDERFUL straight line with no talking!”

“This is a Holdup” Julia A. Powers, 4th Grade Teacher

“We had been studying the “Wild West”, so when I needed their attention, I would say loudly, ” Okay guys, this is a hold-up.” This meant that they froze where they were and put their hands in the air. The novelty of it was what made it work. But, it did work. I have used it this entire year, and the kids still giggle about it.”

“Attention-Getter” Nikki Larry, Gr. 8 teacher

“Our principal uses this one at assemblies and it works in a classroom too. “Clap once if you can hear me,” he says in a normal speaking voice. Of course, only the first few rows hear him and respond. So the next command is, “Clap twice if you can hear me.” By the third clap, the entire gym is silent and clapping in unison.”

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