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The Key to Classroom Management – Plan to Prevent Problems

September 10, 2014

Precept of the Day

Back to School Series

The Key to Classroom Management-Prevention

The most effective approach to  classroom management is a framework that is rooted in preventing problems from happening. It sounds simple, but is anything but. Everything that has been mentioned in this series of Back to School Blog Posts is focused on prevention.

  1. Preventive Strategies: Those systems and/or procedures created by the classroom teacher AND students to provide for an orderly classroom environment.
  2. Supportive Strategies: Those systems and procedures created by the classroom teacher and students to support desired behaviors.
  3. Corrective Strategies: Systems and procedures to change negative behaviors into desired behaviors.


This framework is very similar to the PBIS approach recently adopted by many schools.

PBISpyramidFrom Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports

We spend most of our time on preventing problems, and this is successful with most of our students. But we need to be ready to support students who are struggling with behavior and have interventions ready to correct more challenging student behaviors.

Preventive Strategies

  • Get to know students names, interests, hobbies, and learning styles.
  • Get to know parents and caregivers and communicate often.
  • Use activities for students to get to know each other.
  • Facilitate student created classroom norms. Have clear expectations for the classroom.
  • Teach and practice routines and procedures to provide clear expectations.
  • Morning meetings and class meetings
  • Team building activities.
  • Plan engaging lessons!!!

Supportive Strategies

  • Teach the problem-solving process.
  • Teach conflict resolution strategies.
  • Provide fidget toys or other strategies for students who have trouble sitting still.
  • Provide a “cool down corner” or “think tank” a quiet place where students can go to think or cool down.
  • Talk to parents as partners.
  • Use non-verbals and proximity for struggling students.
  • Walk and Talk – Spend time talking with students about things other than school.
  • Celebrate small successes.

During two minutes each day for 10 consecutive days, find a way to develop a relationship. Stay away from expressing anything critical during this time. It is time to share information about yourself or ask questions to get to know the other person better. If the other person is reluctant to talk or rejecting, do not get discouraged. Make a commitment to keep at it every day for two weeks.

Mendler, A. (2012). When teaching gets tough: smart ways to reclaim your game. Alexandria VA: ASCD.

Corrective Strategies – It is time for differentiation. What works for one student may not work for another.

  • Talk with parents.
  • Ask advice of other teachers.
  • Talk with principal and student support team.
  • Have a plan to provide a safe classroom for all students.
  • Consider behavior contracts, point sheets, or setting goals.
  • Plan a conference and make a plan.
  • Conduct a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and implement a behavioral intervention plan (BIP).

Don’t give up. Find the help you and your students need. Students are depending on you to support them throughout the year. It’s a journey.

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