Saturday, August 17, 2013

Behavior Management Linky

Whether you are a general education teacher, special education teacher, parent, principal, or some other occupation working with children, most of us will come across some significantly bad behaviors at some point.  How you handle these students from the start can set up how your whole classroom functions.

Kim suggested on Teaching Through Turbulence Facebook page that a linky about handling students with emotional and behavioral problems would be beneficial, so here it is.  How do you handle individuals with behaviors in your classroom, on your caseload, or in your home?

Background on logo from Amy Alvis:
Clipart from Lisa Parnello:
Font from Kevin and Amanda:

First of all, I want to state one of my biggest pet peeves when working with these kids.  I strongly dislike when others say about a student with behaviors, "This student does not belong in this school," especially when it is said after the first sightings of the behaviors.  Working with behaviors are very difficult, I understand that... but many of these kids have these behaviors because of things that are going on at home and need some structure, some love, and some things added in at school that can help them get through these behaviors.  It takes time, but be patient and work to be that changing person in a kid's life. (And yes, I understand there are more severe students that need more help/support than can be provided in a general public school, but not all kids are like this, so don't write them off immediately.)

As for advice to share, I am going to share a few here, but if you have any questions or need specific help with certain behaviors, please e-mail me at  Hopefully there will be some good link-ups for you to look through also.

1.  Determine the function for the behavior and then do whatever you need to stop providing it.  If they are doing a behavior because they want attention, don't give them attention when they are doing it.  This sounds easy, but it isn't.  If a kid is acting out, our first reaction is to correct them and stay on them until they do what we want.  If they are wanting attention, you are continuing to talk to them to give them redirections and therefore giving them the attention that they want.  They have no desire to stop then.  If they are acting out to avoid doing an assignment, and you move them to timeout or somewhere away from having to do the assignment, they are probably going to act out again to get out of an assignment.  You have to think outside the box on consequences.  Ignoring a child may end up being a consequence or making them work through an entire assignment may be the consequence needed to stop the behavior.

Here is a chart I made that helps determine the functions of behavior.

2. Change your classroom expectations.  Fidget toys, standing by desk instead of sitting, and the use of visuals can be things that you implement in your classroom that can help all your students.  These are easy things to implement and if you teach the procedures of them to the whole class, they can be very easy to manage also.

3. Differentiate your behavior plan - If you have a set behavior plan for your class, think about how you can modify it to meet the needs of a student with behaviors.  For example, if you have a clip chart that students can only move down on, maybe a student with behaviors is allowed to move both ways so they don't completely shut down and stop trying with they make it to red each day.  You could add in a behavior tracking sheet as an addition to your classroom management for certain students.  You can have students work to earn everything in your classroom instead of taking away things as consequences.  Have them start the day with nothing (sitting by themselves, no recess, no jobs, etc) and then set increments of subjects or hours that if they are good for a certain time, they earn something back for that day.  This can be very effective.

Bottom line:  There are so many individual strategies that can be given for specific behaviors, but you have to change your overall mindset and work with others to change the overall mindset of the school and home to accept these students and work together for change before any of the little strategies are going to be successful.

Call to Action:  Now, it is your turn!  Write a blog post about a strategy you have used to work with students with behaviors or advice you have for others about these students and link up your post below.  Also, please comment on the 1 before you and the 1 after you.

I am looking forward to all the great ideas!


  1. I love this idea of creating a Linky! I teach severe kiddo's like you, and I HATE when I get the "evil eyes" (thats what I call obvious staring of a stranger when a kiddo is tantruming) when working with one of my angels! I linked up and can't wait to see what others share :)

    The Adventures of Room 83

  2. Hi Heather! Does the guest post I wrote for you about Classroom Management count for this linky?
    Whimsy Workshop

    1. Yes definitely!! Link it up! It is an amazing post! Thank you!

  3. You're so right, there are often much more complicated reasons for a student's unruly behavior than just attention seeking. We teach our students, even the youngest ones, to observe the "monkey thoughts" in their heads. They LOVE this--it totally empowers them and perks up their sweet imaginations. Tracking what they actually think right before they misbehave on their own makes them feel more in control. The result? Not only a more well behaved student but a a classroom inside joke as in "Did a monkey make you do that?" Everyone laughts and *poof* go all those negative thoughts that lead to negative feelings that lead to negative behavior! Monkey blog attached :-) Thanks for including us.

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