Maintaining order in the classroom creates an atmosphere much more conducive to learning. Having a variety of discipline tactics on hand will help even first year teachers handle just about any situation. I know there is always the chance that something odd happens that you are unprepared for. For the most part, the 7 techniques for classroom discipline should work for a variety of age groups.
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Sometimes all it takes is ‘The Look’ and a student will immediately stop whatever he/she is doing. This allows you to let the student know you don’t approve of the behavior without drawing more attention to the student. A lot of behavior issues arise because kids want more attention from their peers. The quicker you are able to nip this attention-seeking behavior in the bud with a quick glance or shake of the head, the chance of it being carried any further is lessened.
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This is a tactic that works best for elementary-age children. Using a series of marks to depict the number of warnings issued during the day gives kids a visual cue as to where their negative behavior has gotten them. Have a limit on the maximum number of marks that can be received during the day. If you simply let the marks build up without any consequences, then this will become a very ineffective form of discipline.
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Providing a bit of redirection can quickly squelch undesirable behavior. Give an overly active student a classroom task that he/she can easily handle. Some kids are just plain bored and need something else to do. Students who get finished with work quickly and tend to revert to talking incessantly are the ones who seem to benefit from redirection.
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A few children are very sensitive about being reprimanded in front of peers. Others will only change their behavior when corrected in front of their friends. You’ll have to know which kids fall into each category. Kids who suffer embarrassment in front of their friends will act out even more, which is the opposite effect you are usually looking for. Correct behavior without making a huge scene about it, if you can.
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Elementary students look forward to recess time, so removing a portion of their recess tends to work wonders with behavioral issues. Some teachers give a warning and then 5 minutes is taken off the second time the student acts up. A third correction usually ends up with 10 minutes being taken off and the fourth often means a trip to see the principal. It’s best to offer at least one chance for the student to correct his/her behavior, instead of simply taking away an entire recess.
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Kids who like talking to their neighbors can be switched to a different seat to curb talking. There will always be the students who will talk to anyone sitting nearby, no matter if the person is a close friend or merely an acquaintance. In this situation, a separate seat to the side of the rest of the class or by the teacher’s desk might be necessary. All age of students tend to loathe assigned seats.
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Taking a student aside and confronting the undesired behavior in a one-on-one situation works in most cases. A personal issue might be the cause for behavioral problems in class and talking to the student in private will give him/her a chance to mention this, if needed. Also, sometimes a personal confrontation from the teacher has a stronger meaning than confronting the issue in front of the entire class.
Ultimately, prevention is the key to ever needing to perform a lot of classroom discipline. Having a strong classroom management plan in place tends to eliminate much of the need for extensive discipline. I hope these 7 techniques for classroom discipline come in handy for you, if you ever find yourself in need of some ideas. Are there any certain discipline techniques you’ve found to work better than others? Do you find certain kids only respond to specific types of disciplinary methods?
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