Tag Archives : #behaviormodification

January Teacher Talk

Posted by Deann Marin of Socrates Lantern


It’s 2018. Time sure flies. WE have some great ideas for you in our January edition of Teacher Talk. So hurry on over to see what these creative educators are doing this month.
 If you’re interested in joining this unique group of teacher entrepreneurs, blogging buddies and/or our blog linky, sign up here….The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative. If you decide to join, be sure to mention one of our names.

Problem Students Got You Down? Begin the New Year Right, with These Discipline Tips

By Deann Marin of Socrates Lantern

Have you been struggling with Johnny or Sally since the beginning of the school year? Have you been racking your brain trying to come up with some creative ways to turn their unacceptable behavior around? Did you dread coming back to work in January? Well, I’ve been there and know exactly how you feel. If you said yes to any of these questions, I can give you a hand.

Lessons Learned With Miss Brooke

By Retta London of Rainbow City Learning

Musings on what I have learned from a long ago favorite teacher.


The Mini-Lesson: A Natural Scaffold For Struggling Learners
By Tracy Willis of Mossy Oak Musings

Would you rather attend a doctor’s appointment or your own autopsy? Mini-lesson structure helps teachers avoid an academic autopsy with end-of-unit assessments. It’s scaffolded instruction at its best


A How-To Guide on Writing Conferences
By Sally Hansen of Purposeful Plans

Just like when you scaffold and model the requirements for an essay in a mini-lesson, you do the same thing individually for each student through conferencing. Many students don’t need to hear the lessons you taught at the beginning of the school year. Conferencing will help you deliver differentiated instruction. Here are some tips of how you can implement writing conferences in your classroom.


The Five Best Reasons You Should Be Using Book Clubs as Part of Your Classroom Reading Program

By Marcy Howe of It’s a Teacher Thing

Book Clubs can be an essential tool for boosting rigor and engagement in your upper elementary or middle school classroom. Learn five reasons why you should consider Book Clubs as a regular part of your reading program.

What About Social Studies?
By Michelle Web of Teaching Ideas for Those who Love Teaching

Have Fun With Social Studies


Mentor Sentences – Teach It So They Remember It
By Alison Monk of the Literacy Garden

Effectively teach grammar skills in the context of authentic literature through the use of mentor sentences.


New Year, New Goals
By Kathie Yonemura of Tried and True Teaching Tools

 New Goals Happy New Year! The new year is always a great time to reflect back, set goals, and start fresh. Repurpose those NYE decorations for some fun health goal setting with your students!
Is Your Child Afraid of Going to the Doctor?
By Thia Triggs of Print Path

If your young child is fearful of going to the doctor, there are many things you can do to help them feel calmer and to prepare them for their next visit.

Sit back, relax and check out all the great advice  you’ll find on these blog posts from our seasoned educators.

Discipline with Love

By Deann Marin at The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs


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Discipline with Love


I’ll never forget the book I read back in college called, Discipline Without Tears, by Dr. Rudolf Dreikers. “It provides a clear, constructive outline of his proven strategies for dealing with a wide range of childhood misbehaviors. Believing that children are social beings who want to belong, Dreikers stresses encouragement, cooperation, and firm control in a democratic alliance of parents, teachers and children.” Dreiker’s book has had a long lasting effect on me and my discipline techniques were based on what he said and I would highly recommend reading it.

I can’t express enough that one of the worst things a teacher can do is to prejudge a class or a student before they even enter the room. Let’s face it, some kids get along better with some teachers than they do with others, so it’s better to listen but with a grain of salt and make your own judgment.  I once had a young man come into my class with a really bad reputation, I was told that he had a bad attitude, didn’t listen, and yada yada yada yada. Needless to say, this boy was one of my favorite students. Sure he was talkative and questioned everything, he fooled around, but I loved his personality and sense of humor. He was an excellent student, a hard worker, and really cared about learning. What more could I ask for. His parents were, however, going through a divorce, and I always took this into consideration when working with him.


Tip # 1

Let your students know that you care about them. Talk to them, find out what is going on in their lives. Are they from a broken home, did one of their parents die, are they going through a divorce, is there drug abuse in their family? There are so many reasons why children act out and these are only a few. I always try to put myself in their shoes and know that if I was going through some of the things that they’re dealing with I wouldn’t be able to concentrate or listen during class. I’d be thinking about the pain that I was going through. Many times kids will act out because they need attention, that they don’t receive at home. You might be the only one who takes the time to listen. This is why I love holding morning meetings. They can get what might be bothering them off their chests and be able to settle down for the rest of the day. It will make your life and theirs so much easier. Once the kids realize that you are there for them and you have their best interests in mind, they will do anything that you want, which includes appropriate behavior. 


Tip #2

I’ve found that the kids want discipline, they want to follow rules, this helps to make them feel safe and secure. They like knowing what is expected of them. Ask what would happen if there were no rules. Most of them will say that nothing would get done, or that there would be chaos with everyone doing what they wanted. Then spend time setting up classroom rules with them. Ask for ideas, write them on the board, then vote for the ones that you all think are important. Help them to come up with consequences for their actions. This way, the kids will be heard, they will be making their own rules and most will follow them. 


Tip #3

Be fair, set up consequences that fit the crime so to speak. Make sure that all of the children are treated the same way. One rule that I’ve found to be very effective is 3 strikes and you’re out. If you have to talk to a child 3 times during one period, there is a consequence, if he/she misses 3 home works in a semester, there is a consequence, if he or she is disrespectful, or bothers another child, there is a consequence, and so on. Be consistent, don’t give them chance after chance, they know the rules and if they choose not to follow them, it is their decision. 

NEVER show favoritism, the rules are for everyone. Let’s face it, we’re all human, we like some kids more than others, the trick is not to let them know. We don’t want to hear, ”Mrs. Smith likes Johnny better than me. He can do anything he wants and never gets in trouble.  Be firm, don’t raise your voice, let them know that you are in control in a kind and loving way.


Tip #4

Keep in close contact with parents and or guardians.  Parents want to know when their little one has broken a rule, but they also like to hearwhen they have shown good behavior, have aced a test, have done a fantastic job on their homework, or have been kind to another student. Send a happy gram home, let everyone know how pleased you are. This helps to establish a good rapport with both parents and kids. They will know you care and will realize that you want what is best for everyone involved. It will make your life so much easier.

After grading a test, I will write a note to the student about their how they did. Even if they fail, I will always write something positive


Tip #5

Lets say that Joey is a very needy child who constantly requires your attention, he is disruptive, causes arguments with others, can be a bully, you know the type. Sometimes the best way to deal with this behavior is to ignore it, and you need to teach the rest of the class to do this by rewarding them for not paying attention to him.  Peer pressure can truly be effective since everyone wants to be accepted. If the rest of the class really gets disgusted with Joey, some of them may actually talk with him about his actions, and this is more effective than you having to say something. This technique will work if the kids know that you care for them and are fair because their ultimate goal is to learn..

I’ve created a behavior modification bundle that can be utilized in a way to effectively help with discipline problems. 




I hope some of my tips for a well behaved classroom will help you to have a great year.


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How to Get and Keep Parents on Your Side

By Deann Marin of The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs


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I have observed many colleagues who are uncomfortable letting their hair down, so to speak, causing them to seem aloof and unapproachable. They feel as if they are above their students and parents. It shows in the way they deal with them. They will never admit that they’ve made a mistake, and if a child points something out to them, they become defensive, angry. and mean.  When this occurs, the kids and parents feel alienated  and you will have an uphill battle for the rest of the year.

One of the main things that I realized, after years of teaching is that parents need you to care about their child, they want you to make their learning experience interesting, challenging and fun. The best way to do this is to make sure their little one knows that you are there to listen, and support them with positive reinforcement and encouragement. It’s also important that they realize you are human, you  make mistakes, and you can laugh at yourself. Once you’ve established a good rapport with the kids, and they like you, the parents will like you as well. They will do just about anything for you and you will be able to maintain the optimal environment for learning.

When you meet parents, greet them with a sincere smile and make small talk. Express how much you enjoy working with the children, it is important to be upbeat, even if you have something negative to say. Begin with a positive comment about Johnny, especially if he is having issues, tell the parent in a supportive manner, For instance, suppose Johnny is talkative, he shouts out answers, talks to friends when you’re teaching a lesson, and is constantly fooling around. You know the type. You should NEVER begin with the negatives. If you begin the discussion of Johnny’s behavior on a negative note, you will turn the parents off and you will lose their support and quite possibly turn Johnny off to learning. End by saying something complimentary.

For example: “Hi  Mr. and Mrs. Jones, Johnny is such a good kid, he’s respectful, finishes his work, he has loads of friends, a good sense of humor and I really enjoy teaching him. As you know, he is all boy and full of energy. He can be a bit talkative and sometimes disruptive because he shouts out answers without raising his hand. I’ve talked about this with him, but he is still a having a tough time. Perhaps you could speak with him when you get a chance. I know that he will improve in this area with a bit of help from all of us.”

Follow up by making yourself easily available with emails, phone calls, letters home to keep everyone informed of progress made or further difficulties. Remember that parents are sensitive where their child is concerned. So tread as lightly as you can. Be diplomatic and choose your words well.

Of course, as we all know, there are some students and parents who are an added challenge. We have to try harder and have almost limitless patience. Tact is the word here.  If Elizabeth’s mom is defensive and becomes confrontational, it is up to you to diffuse this anger. Speak calmly,  DON’T raise your voice, REMEMBER, you are a  professional.

I have had parents come in, very upset about a grade, or thinking that I was unfair, or that I hurt their child’s feelings. If something akin to this occurs, break the ice by saying something that lets them know you hear their complaint and are prepared to work with them in correcting it.

You could say:

“I am so sorry that Elizabeth believes I don’t like her, not my intention at all. As a matter of fact I like her a great deal, especially her jokes, she keeps me laughing. She received a low grade on her  test because”…Give your reasons for the negative grade. Make sure the parent understands your reasoning and reassure them that you are here for their child and want to see them succeed in this class.

The parent is satisfied, I’m feeling better about what has occurred and we’ve strengthened our relationship. As you can see, a bit of understanding, empathy and kindness goes a long way.2015-06-06

I’ve come up with a Growing Behavior Modification Bundle that has everything you need to help produce positive behavior and communicate effectively with parents.





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Behavior Modification Techniques that Work

Deann Marin at The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs 


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Management of a classroom is challenging, whether you teach special education or regular education, there are always a few children that are problematic to say the least. It is not always necessary to set up a behavior modification plan for the entire class. For some children, it is enough to give them a look, a tap on the shoulder, or just say something to them quietly. For others it is not so easy.

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I’ve found that a little humor, warmth, caring, understanding, and empathy for everyone in the class goes a long way. If they see you treating everyone with respect and kindness, it will rub off on them. They need to know that you’re human too and when they realize that you care about them, they are yours for the rest of the year. This will alleviate many of your discipline problems.At the beginning of the year, it is important  to be firm, not too friendly, and no smiles. Keeping a straight face was always difficult for me. But, I kid you not, this works, especially later in the year when a child or the class becomes hard to handle, you can say, “Remember how I was at the beginning of the year, do you want me to be like that again?” They usually say NO!!!!

Decide what you want to accomplish for the year and set up the rules, you can do it with them, or ahead of time.  Make the rules positive rather than negative. This is the type of behavior that I expect from my 6th graders. I have a poster with the following:

  • Raise your hand.
  • Listen when someone is speaking.
  • Finish class work and homework.
  • Pay attention in class.
  • Speak quietly in group.
  • When you enter the room take your seat.
  • Respect all adults and classmates (this includes other teachers, staff, principal, etc.).
  • Respect personal property and property of others.
  • Gets along with others.
  • Walks quietly in line when going to and from the cafeteria, other classes and activities.
  • Don’t pay attention to inappropriate behavior of others.

Of course, consequences for ones actions must be spelled out clearly. I use the three strikes and you’re out rule. This applies to everything, from homework to disruptive behavior. They get 3 chances, by the fourth one, they are out. Out means that the student/students will bring a note home letting their parents know that I will be keeping them for a detention.

The child will be required to write his/her name, I will write my name and their parent will sign the form. If it is not brought back, the parent will get a call while the child is present. If this fails, there is a school detention that is longer than mine. No one likes having a school detention.

Usually when someone is kept after school, they must read or do some type of work, ie:  write a short paper about what happened and why they are here. You could include, what they did and how they could have handled the situation better. If they were disrespectful, they might write a letter of apology and deliver it to the person. I have made a problem solving sheet for them to fill out, this has proven to be quite effective for most kids. What I like about keeping them after school, is that it gives me a chance to talk to them and find out what issues they might be dealing with. This is effective because, if the teacher has a good rapport with the student, they want to talk about what’s going on.  On a side note, homeroom period was utilized not  only for

homework help, but time for me to sit and talk with each child. They all loved having their own time to speak with me. It helped to make them feel important.

Unfortunately, there are those students that need more than this. You might try separating them from their classmates, if this is ineffective, you need to figure out what else you can do. An individual conference might help. You can set up goals with them and find out what they want to achieve for the rest of year. That way they have input and feel they have some control over their destiny. They sign the paper, I sign the paper, you can have the principal sign, as well as anyone else that is involved, and their parents. The child brings it back to school and you keep it on file. Of course, this is only between you and the student. If this doesn’t help, you may need to set up a PPT to discuss what else can be done.

If  the class trusts you and knows that you care about them, they will want to help to stop disruptive behavior. You will have them eating from the palm of your hands, so to speak. and effective learning will occur. Most kids want to learn and don’t like it when a student acts out or interrupts and they will let him/her know. The best thing they can do is ignore what is happening, they shouldn’t laugh or respond in any way. They can be rewarded for doing this. 

You could also reward good behavior either weekly or monthly. Friday afternoon could be game day they could play Yahtzee, Multiplication War Card Games, Bingo, chess, checkers, educational computer games, etc.  Since I work with another teacher, we put those who have earned rewards into one room to play games, use the computers, or watch a movie, we give out candy, or popcorn, etc. While those who have homework to finish, or have been disruptive, have to go to the quiet room. It doesn’t take long for them to realize that inappropriate behavior gets them nowhere.

If you are working in a self contained Special Education program, or you have students that are mainstreamed, this is a horse of a different color. You need to set up specific goals, behaviors and consequences for their actions. A time out area, someplace in your room, or if you have an assistant, he/she could take the child to a predetermined area and stay with them until they are ready to come back to the classroom.

You might want to set up whole class rewards such as beads, tokens, smiley faces, check marks, stars, etc. Appropriate behavior is awarded while negative behavior is ignored. In the past, when I taught children with severe psychological problems, each child had a sheet on their desk, I would come by every 15 or 20 minutes and give them a star for good behavior. For example:

  • Stays on task.
  • Completes task
  • Does not talk out
  • Gets along with others
  • Respectful

They need to get a certain amount of stars to earn a reward which is given out at the end of the day. Make sure you’ve set up about 1/2 hour for them to enjoy their earnings: ie, extra computer time, play games like cards or board games, play with toys, candy and gum also work. You should discuss this with the class ahead of time to see what they would like.

If you don’t want to do this daily, you could do it weekly. Decide how many points they need to earn and on Friday afternoon, those who earned enough could play games, or watch a movie.  You might also want to use this monthly. Another thing that I did was purchase inexpensive toys, pencils,notebooks, etc. from the dollar store. Let them know how many points they need to get the object that they want. They really liked this.

No matter what grade you teach, everyone likes to hear encouraging words. Make sure you say something positive to the class as a whole or call a child over to your desk and let them know how proud of them you are for work they have done, or for finally understanding how to do a math problem, use your discretion. You might say, “I loved the way you stayed on task and got your work done,” You really helped Mary, that was so nice of you, or I noticed that you had some trouble with English, how can I help you?”  Taking a little time for that personal touch goes a long way and will truly make your life easier in the end.






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