Public elementary schools are having quite a time addressing behavior issues within the school and classrooms. It is the responsibility of elementary schools to ensure students are provided a comfortable and safe learning experience in an elementary classroom. This responsibility may be best achieved by utilizing specific research-based effective practices for classroom behavior management.
Research has found that one of the most effective strategies for ensuring positive behavior is consciously and intentionally teaching students about the daily routines of the classroom and about what expected behavior looks like. Intentional teaching about routines and expected behavior has the potential to significantly eliminate the majority of challenging behaviors in an elementary school.
Research indicates that about 85% of challenging behaviors in an elementary school and classroom can be managed effectively by teaching students about classroom routines and what appropriate behavior looks like. This leaves about 15% of the students in an elementary school or classroom who need the elementary school and classroom teacher to implement consistent, natural consequences when inappropriate behavior occurs.
This approach is not to be confused with punishment in so much as elementary school students are required to practice the behavior they are expected to manifest through the consequence. This kind of practice ensures the students understand the rules and the elementary school teacher knows they are not dealing with misunderstanding – but rather an intentional choice not to follow a rule. There are two specific strategies that support students understanding the rules and expectations: drawing pictures and going to a safe or quiet spot.
Elementary School: Education Behavior Strategies – Draw the Expectation
The Draw the Expectation strategy is used when the elementary school classroom teacher wants to give a consequence for an inappropriate behavior; such as disrupting the class or failure to comply with a classroom rule or expectation. This strategy allows a student to learn what is expected without the elementary teacher having to nag, repeat themselves and provide a lot of verbal attention to a student. The gist of the strategy is to have the targeted student draw a picture instead of getting the negative attention of the elementary school teacher who typically scolds, repeats and nags. Instead they receive the elementary school teachers attention when they complete their drawing about the rule or infraction.
Giving a student the quiet consequence of drawing what should have happened, reduces the attention received from peers and the elementary school teacher. If a student is misbehaving to get attention, this strategy cuts into the elementary school teachers normal reaction to attend to the inappropriate behavior. Positive attention is provided after the picture is completed and the student is explaining their drawing.
Elementary School: Education Behavior Strategies – Safe/Quiet Spot
There are times when a student may be out of control and needs to regain control. In these situations, a student needs to go to a specific place or location that will get them away from the situation causing the behavior. They need to calm down and get control of them self once again. Establishing a place in the elementary school classroom called the Think Spot or the Safe Spot is a good strategy to pull the student away from the antecedent to their behavior and let them get control.
This kind of place might be furnished with a bean bag chair and some overstuffed pillows. Adding stress-relieving items such as stress balls, clay to push pound and manipulate and paper to tear is also effective and supports relaxing. When a student has become calm and able to return to the group, ask them to complete the drawing-a-picture strategy that allows them to represent graphically what they should have done when they lost control or felt like they were loosing control.
The Think/Safe Spot is a place elementary school students can go when they feel like they are becoming agitated to mange their own behavior. It is also a place an elementary school teacher can recommend a student go to when they see and feel a situation arising.
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