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Do you find yourself spending more time on behavior in the classroom than actually teaching? Positive classroom management strategies can help decrease problem behaviors through the use of rules and reward systems.

Positive Behavior Support

Positive behavior support (PBS) and similar programs were introduced as a means of eliminating the need for punishment when it came to student behavior by promoting positive behavior. Positive behavior systems vary from school to school and may be as simple as a classroom-based rewards system to a more complex three-tiered support system that is practiced school-wide. Positive classroom management strategies can decrease problem behaviors if used consistently.Teachers are often looking for ways to address challenging behaviors while, at the same time, maintaining a positive classroom environment. Believe it or not, you can find a happy medium when it comes to managing the classroom by using a few simple strategies.

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Offer Rewards & Consequences

Many schools are using some form of a positive behavior support system as a foundation for behavior intervention. What happens is that the focus is on rewarding good behavior instead of wasting a lot of time addressing negative behavior. A way to do this is to offer awards and consequences. Some teachers offer pizza parties, ice cream socials, or computer time for students who meet behavior expectations for a set amount of time.

The consequence would be that students who do not get the points do not participate in the incentive.

Make Students Accountable

Another strategy is to have students create their own rules and expectations. Many students will take this seriously and come up with some great rule, but it must be emphasized that they are expected to follow those rules without exception. Allowing students to create their own system of rules and expectations makes them an equal partner in the process and increases responsibility for their own actions.

Model Expected Behaviors

Modeling expected behaviors is another way to support positive behavior in the classroom. Teachers often believe that students should just know how to act appropriately, but realistically this may not be true.

Different teachers have different rules for their classrooms. Some students may come from classrooms where the teacher may not have managed behavior well or may have been far more tolerant of misdeeds. As a result, correct behavior may have to be taught and modeled so that students will know exactly what is expected.

Be Flexible & Create a Blank Slate

A teacher should also be flexible. This may be easier said than done, but teachers may want to remember that they were children once. Kids will be kids, and mistakes will be made. With that said, students should be given a chance to redeem themselves if they do something wrong.

If the student cam work her way back up by modeling good behavior choices, she may be more willing to work towards that goal.Also, if a student does receive some sort of punishment for a behavior infraction, allow the student the opportunity to return to the classroom with a clean slate. He or she should be allowed to start over and earn his or her way just as any other student. Sure, there are those students who revel in disobedience and make this appear to be nearly impossible. Nevertheless, it is important to be fair when it comes to children in the classroom even those children who are our greatest challenges.

Lesson Summary

Positive behavior support is a means of eliminating the need for punishment when it came to student behavior by promoting positive behavior. It has been found to be an effective system for managing student behavior. When implementing positive support, it is important to:

  • Offer rewards and consequences, such as having pizza parties and offering computer time for well-behaved students
  • Make students accountable by allowing them to create their own rules and expectations
  • Model expected behaviors so that students know what is acceptable
  • Be flexible by allowing children to redeem themselves for their mistakes
  • Create a blank slate by letting punished students return to the classroom and start over like any other student

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