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Behavior Management Tips: Positive Reinforcement, Clusters, and More


Refocus student attention and encourage on task bevhaviors with these positive reinforcement techniques.


Name Dropping

When students' attention wanders during your lesson or lecture, try "name-dropping." Simply "drop" the name of a student who is off task into your dialogue -- for example, "As you know, Maribel, Asia is the largest continent." The student, hearing her name, is drawn back on task without disrupting the rest of the class.


Student Clusters

Arrange student desks into clusters. Every Monday provide each cluster with a paper plate. Whenever an instruction is given or a transition initiated, hold up a sheet of stickers to remind students that a sticker will be awarded to the first cluster finished. At the end of the day, allow students in the cluster with the most stickers to pick from a candy jar. Award students in the cluster with the most stickers at the end of the week a slightly bigger prize.


Climbing the Ladder of Good Behavior

Want More?

Looking for more information about dealing with students who are off task? Check out articles by Classroom Problem Solver, Dr. Ken Shore.

Do you have a behavior management tip to share? Send it to [email protected].

Try the following strategy for positive reinforcement. Display on a classroom bulletin board a poster board ladder with six rungs. Provide each student with a clothespin with his or her name on it. Every day, have students clip their clothespins to the third rung of the ladder. (A quick attendance check!) When a student exhibits good behavior, move the clothespin up a rung. When a student does something inappropriate, move his or her clothespin down a rung. At the end of the day, allow students to choose beads corresponding to whatever rung their clothespin is on, for example: top rung, 2 beads; second rung, 1 sparkle bead; third rung, 1 bead; fourth rung, signing their consequence chart; fifth rung, 10-minute time-out; bottom rung, writing a behavior plan. So, even students who don't do anything either extraordinarily good or extraordinarily bad get a bead. Students string their beads onto shoestrings that they keep in their desks or pencil boxes. When the shoestrings reach a predetermined length, students trade them in for a reward.

Article by Linda Starr
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