Thursday, February 23, 2017

Dealing with Behavior

“What are your best tips for dealing with problem behaviors?”

I feel the best way to deal with behavior is preventative rather than reactive.

I assess my students before teaching so I can find out what their instructional level is. Then I teach them at that point so this might mean students are doing different lessons at the same time. I feel that if students aren’t bored, they are engaged in learning and less likely to misbehave.

I believe in using Universal Design for Learning and look at the individual needs of my students. Some have different learning styles and I try to incorporate activities so that the students have some choices in how I assess their learning. Students complete more assignments this way and are more successful in the classroom. When students feel successful, they tend to misbehave a lot less.

I also like using some kind of token economy system where they receive rewards for working and are fined for not. That is what happens in the real world when we get a job so why not simulate what will happen in the real world. Students like to feel they are earning something for their hard work and can use their rewards to trade for something that they want. But I also believe that they should get docked pay if they are late or don’t follow directions (just like on a real job) or get fined if they break the rules (just like getting a speeding ticket).

I also think students misbehave to get my attention so I have small square foam blocks. One side is red and the other is green. If they need help, they turn the block to “red” on the corner of their desk. Once I help them, I turn it over to green. In this way, no student is having to watch and wait for me while I help another student and can continue on their work until I come to their desk. Students seem to like this system and it works really well.

The biggest thing that I do is that I stay in contact with their parents. I mostly brag about their good behavior so they are getting attention for behaving well. I try to call at least every other week and since I call often, these calls are short and to the point. Parents appreciate that I touch base with them and they are so happy to hear good news. Unfortunately there are times I have to call about problem behaviors but by then I have established a rapport with the students and their parents. Parents are very supportive at this point and we usually can correct the problem easily.

How do you handle problem behaviors? Please share.

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