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Behavior Management Tips: Personal Behavior Management


Use the Six Thinking Hats to promote personal behavior management in the classroom.


What Hat am I Wearing?

Teach students to solve their own behavior problems with this activity from Brenda Dyck: The Six Thinking Hats can be used to solve almost any classroom behavior problem. In the example below, students were dealing with the problem of students talking while others were talking or teaching. Using the Six Hats strategy allowed students to look at the problem from different angles.

Use 6 pieces of chart paper and 6 different colors of felt pens as you wear each hat.

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White Hat: State the facts.

  • Students are talking when the teacher is talking.
  • Others are distracted or can't hear.
  • Students don't know what to do after the teacher has given directions.
  • Many students get off task

Red Hat: State the emotions.

  • The teacher feels offended.
  • Students are frustrated because they can't hear directions.
  • Those talking enjoy joking around and being heard.

Black Hat: Negative aspects of the situation are examined.

  • Time is wasted.
  • Learning is compromised.
  • Those who legitimately have the floor feel that listeners don't care about what they are saying.
  • Chaos occurs in the classroom.

Yellow Hat: Positives aspects of the situation are examined.

  • Everyone gets to say what's on their minds.
  • Talking can be fun.
  • No one has to wait to speak, therefore they don't forget what they what to say.
  • Not just the "smart" kids get to speak

Green Hat: Creative ideas that come with seeing the problem in a new light.

  • The teacher will be more aware of the amount of time he or she "talks."
  • The teacher will try to include interaction from many different students, not just the "smart" kids.
  • Students will work on resisting the need to say everything that comes into their minds. Instead they will ask themselves if what they want to say is "on topic" and if it needs to be shared at that time.
  • Students will think about whether their comments will interfere with other people's learning.
  • The class will display the charts from the Six Hats activity up so they can refer back to the learning and reassess how they are doing.

Blue Hat: Sum up what is learned.

  • The teacher learned that she or he needs to limit the amount of time "talking" is used as a form of teaching.
  • The teacher needs to involve all students in discussions, and to look for students who rarely offer comments or wait to be picked to answer.
  • The teacher needs to realize that some students need "think time" before they are ready to contribute to a discussion. Allowing time for those students to think is an important part of class discussions.
  • Students realize that when they talk when others are talking, it makes the person talking feel unappreciated.
  • Students realize that they are jeopardizing other people's learning just to get the laugh of the moment.
  • Students learn that speaking whenever you want shows a lack of self-discipline, and that not everything that goes through our minds is worth sharing.
  • The teacher and students realize they need to revisit the topic and check how they are doing.

Article by Linda Starr
Education World®
Copyright © 2005 Education World