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Understanding Classroom Behaviors by yurtgc548


Classroom Behaviors
Denise Jensen & Marcia Welsh
• Classroom behaviors that get in the
  way of learning.
• Why students may behave the way
  they do.
• Strategies to use in the classroom.
• Discuss with a partner and write
  down student behaviors that
  interfere with learning.
     Purpose of Behavior
•   All behavior is telling us something.
    Every behavior has a purpose, it is
    goal directed, attempts to meet
    their needs.
•   Identifying the goal of behavior
     - To understand the purpose
     - To reduce possible
    misinterpretation of a behavior
     - To teach alternative behaviors
       Why Do They

• Dreikurs: “Kids misbehave and seek
  “mistaken goals” when they do not
  have a sense of belonging or being
       Goals of Behavior
1.   Attention Seeking
2.   Avoidance/Inadequacy
3.   Power/Control
4.   Revenge
      Attention Seeking
Purpose: an attempt to get the
  recognition they feel they deserve.

    Blurting Out
    Refuse to work unless teacher hovers
    Ask irrelevant questions or comments
Seeking Power or Control
•   Argue
•   Contradict
•   Lie
•   Refuse to work or follow directions
     Seeking Revenge

• Treat others cruelly/bullying
• Set themselves up to be punished
• Engage in pranks
   Displaying inadequacy

• Passively refuse to participate
• Sit silently and don’t engage in
• Request to be left alone
       How to identify the
         “mistaken goal”
     If students:            Possible Goal:

• Stop behavior, but then      Attention
   repeat it
• Refuse to cooperate,         Avoidance/
  participate, or interact     Inadequacy
• Refuse to stop and           Power/Control
  increase misbehavior
• Become hostile/violent       Revenge
        How to identify the
          “mistaken goal”
If you feel:       The student is
                    probably seeking:

•   Annoyed        •   Attention
•   Threatened     •   Power
•   Hurt           •   Revenge
•   Powerless      •   Inadequacy
Other Goals of Behavior
• Tangible
  – Food
  – Object
  – Activity
• Sensory
  – Stimulation
  – Sensory Input
  – Habit
        ABC’s of Behavior
       Antecedent – Behavior -
Classroom Student’s   Possible     Possible
Task      Response    Contributing Solutions
• Discuss in small groups what you
  believe to be your role and purpose in
  the classroom?
• What goals do you have for yourself
  and your students?
• What barriers are getting in the way
  of achieving these goals.
    Manipulate the learning
     environment…not the
•  This is where you have the greatest
  control and will see inappropriate
  behaviors diminish…and maybe be
• We can only control our behaviors, we
  cannot force anyone to do anything.
Set students up for success

• Establish routines
• Discuss behavior expectations before an
• Use student input
• Use proactive cooperation. Get them in a
  cooperative mood
• Help them respond correctly. Give
  hints/cues so they are successful in front
  of their peers
   So What Do We Do?

• Help develop a sense of belonging
• Create a feeling that they are valued
• Develop a “supportive team” spirit
       Relationship is Key
• Work to establish a genuine relationship
• Provide genuine affirmation
• Preserve a student’s dignity, allow them to save
• Don’t take a student’s behavior personally – It’s
  not about you!
• Strive to be patient, fair, firm, and consistent
• Accept that you cannot force anyone to do
  something (you may win the battle, but lose the
• Keep your sense of humor
• Show and expect respect
       Strategies To Try
• Provide acceptable ways of gaining
  attention. This may need to be taught!
• Make an action plan in which student
  receives positive attention (greet
  student, praise student…)
• Provide academic supports (peer help,
• Avoid power struggles. Stay out of the
  “conflict cycle”. Seek solutions, not
• Involve student in making decisions,
• Give responsibilities
• Use an “I message” followed by a
  question (I’m hearing you use language
  that is not school appropriate. Could you
  restate your opinion in a way that is
 Examples of “I” messages

• You weren’t listening. You’re gonna end up
  on welfare or flipping burgers!

“I want my students to listen closely so they
  can learn important things that will help
  them succeed in life.” (Spell out the specific
  behaviors that will demonstrate that they are listening. E.g. eyes
  on the teacher, book open to the correct page, hands free on their
  desk, etc.)
• If you use garbage mouth one more
  time, you’re losing recess.

“I need to hear only school appropriate
  words. Please try your statement
• You’re a rude, inconsiderate student.

“I feel bad when students behave in a
  mean way when I know that there are
  better ways to express things. How
  about saying it in a polite way so I
  won’t be distracted from what you
  truly want.”
• What is wrong with this class? Why does
  it take you forever to open your
  notebooks? How do you expect to learn
  anything if you take up half the morning
  fooling around?

“I get impatient when we don’t get to work
  promptly. I’m excited about teaching you
  things that will help you. I like to see all
  your notebooks opened and everyone ready
  to begin when the bell rings.”
        Let’s Give it a try!
• You’re out of your chair again!
• What’s wrong with you?
• You don’t have your assignment done again!
• You better start paying attention
• You’re late again
• What are you doing in the hall again?
  You’re always trying to find a way to get
  out of class.
• You’re doing it all wrong. Weren’t you
  paying attention?
Revenge Seeking
• Provide activities that help students
  view each other positively
• Build a relationship outside the
• Expect resistance due to trust issues.
  Be persistent.
Displaying Inadequacy
• Offer encouragement and support
• Blame the lack of success on
  curriculum, materials, even the way
  the lesson was presented, but do not
  blame the student
• Set the student up for success and
  recognize his/her effort…not grades
• Never show frustration…this may
  reinforce the sense of worthlessness
How do we guide students into
   appropriate behavior?
 Rephrase Our Comments: When addressing
   misbehavior, “delete” from our
 • “Why” questions (e.g. “Why did you do
 • The word “you” (e.g. “You better stop
 • The words “No” and “Don’t”
 • Lecturing/Nagging/Berating
     Need a reason for

• All of these place blame rather than
  seek solutions. They make matters
  worse rather than better!
  The “Why Questions”

• Asking “why” really translates into
  “I gotcha!”
• Promotes finding a defense…lying
  which now gives a new behavior to
  deal with
• Use “why” only when you really can
  produce concern/caring

• Attacks, hurts, is condescending,
• Fails to solve the problem
• Puts them “on stage”
• Often leads to more power struggles
   Remember the Goal!
• Examples:
     You ask a student to open his book
  and read. He pushes his desk,
  swears, walks to the other side of
  the room and yells, “I’m not opening
  that book.”
           His Goal:
• Avoidance/Failure

 Why??? He gets bossed around a lot
 at home. He had a problem before
 class and he’s upset about something
 else………….He can’t read

A student finishes his part of the
 activity ahead of his classmates.
 He starts drumming his hands on
 the desk. You ask him to stop, but
 he continues.
(Identify the student’s possible goal, how
  you are feeling, and a strategy to
  address the behavior.)

You ask a disruptive student to leave
 the room. He does, but on his way
 out he turns off the lights.

(Identify the student’s possible goal, how
  you are feeling, and a strategy to address
  the behavior.)

A student arrives in class wearing his
 hat. You remind him of the rules but
 he continues to wear it.

(Identify the student’s possible goal, how
  you are feeling, and a strategy to address
  the behavior.)
 Remembering the Goal!
• What is the goal for the classroom
• Consider the student’s motivation for
  the behavior
• Will traditional interventions
  (warnings, punishments, exclusion,
  and orders work or make the
  situation worse?)
• What can I do to adjust my behavior
  right now to meet the goal of the
  classroom? (offer help, planned
  ignore, involve the student)
• What type of follow-up is needed to
  teach the student new skills so
  he/she can learn socially appropriate
  ways to express himself/herself in
  the future?
Avoiding “No” and “Don’t”
• Doesn’t tell kids what behavior you want to
  see…so it won’t happen
• If you want a student to display a
  behavior, teach it like academic material
• Kids hear action words so
     “Don’t run” =“ Run”
     “Stop yelling” = “Yell”
Lecturing About Behavior

• Lecturing is nagging and comes across
  as blah, blah, blah, blah…..
• Nagging…causes embarrassment,
  negative self image, and retaliation
       Positive Strategies
•   Give clear directions
•   Use a neutral, calm voice
•   Give yourself and the student time
•   Use enforceable statements
•   Use few words
•   Offer choices
•   Discipline in private
•   Tag team
•   Follow through with consequences
 A Final Word: Respect!
How do we get respect? How do we
  show respect?
• Listen to the student
• Show concern for their welfare
• Pay attention to them Outside the
• Use humor…but avoid sarcasm
• Recognize effort, not

• Point out progress made no
  matter how small

• Believe in their potential
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