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Tools, strategies, and "Stuff" for Behavior Improvement.

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Dr. Hiam Ginott is credited with the quote, "I've come to the frightening conclusion that i am the decisive element in the classroom. It's my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized."


Student behavior is directly related to teacher behavior in most cases.

  • Student behavior can be escalated or de-escalated by teacher behavior
  • The overall climate of the class is determined by the teacher's attitude and behaviors.
    • How well you have taught the procedures for your class
    • How well you have planned the lessons
    • How well you manage the class time
    • How stressed you are and how well you manage that stress
    • and...Are you teaching school because you love it, or because it is a job? (You can't fake it)
We all need a tool box filled with the tools that will help keep us from looking quite as harried as the person in the stress picture.

Take a moment to list the three most effective tools in your teacher tool box.




tools i need in my toolbox
Tools I need in my toolbox!!!
  • Efficient, consistent and well taught classroom procedures-(Take the time to teach these as it will save you in the long run.)
  • Calm--Calm breeds calm
  • Good time management: down time is not our friend
  • Highly engaging activities: boring worksheets do not make it with most of our students these days
  • A sense of humor-(sometimes you just have to laugh)
tools cont
Tools, cont.

6. Know your students:

  • check for 504 and documentation of Special Education
  • student BIPs
  • accommodations
  • goals and objectives
  • health concerns
  • other concerns (such as those related to home and family, if available)

7. Incredible 5 Point Scale

8. Hassle logs

tools continued
Tools Continued:

9. Reinforcers for both the class as a whole

and for individual students-How do we

know what is reinforcing for our students

(and who will pay for them if tangibles

are included)

10. Home base (for some students)

11. Visual Schedules (for some, with

words, and for some, with pictures)

12. Use of a sensory diet or sensory


tools continued1
Tools Continued:

13. Point sheets (also useful for reminding

to provide reinforcers at correct time

and for data collection)

14. T Charts

15. Front loading attention and increase

attention for appropriate behaviors

16. Reducing amount of attention for

inappropriate actions

17. Social skills lessons/groups

18. Social Stories

tools continued2
Tools Continued:

19. Table toppers with pictorial reminders of

procedures (students can also use to

place a mark or sticker as finished.

When completed, student can move

to reinforcer (whatever it is)

20. Card system for student to use to seek

attention from teacher. Example:

green-I am ok, no problems; yellow-

I am struggling a bit, may need a little

help (teacher stops and checks with

tools continued3
Tools Continued

student; red-I am frustrated and need a


21. Dot system

22. Contracts for work completion and/or


23. Use a timer to encourage students

who have difficulty staying on task or for

those who tend to waste time. At the

of the appointed time, if student was

working, provide some reinforcement.

information regarding adminis
Information regarding adminis

Information regarding providing negative


When negative consequences must be administered, they must be consistently delivered contingent upon the occurrence of problem behavior. They should be mild.

Negative consequences should be applied in conjunction with positive consequences. That is, if negative consequences are applied, you should be ready to apply positive consequences at the earliest opportunity.

The ratio of positive to negative consequences should be at least 3 to 1, even better- a higher ratio.

Be sure you maintain the student's respect and dignity when delivering negative consequences.

Using a neutral tone of voice at normal volume draws less attention from others.

take care of your own needs
Take care of your own needs!!!

Check yourself regularly. Make sure that you are maintaining your own self.

Behavior-tone of voice, voice level, body language and stance, consistency in the classroom, etc.

Place a mirror in your classroom. Be sure to look at yourself.

Take time for yourself. It may not be easy but find a way.

Ask for help from others. When you need a break, ask for it. You can reciprocate later.

remember this when you are frustrated
Remember this when you are frustrated.

You've done it before and you can do it now. See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination.

Ralph Marston