Can you believe that fall break has come and gone and the holidays are upon us? The weather has finally cooled down and the time outside for recess is no longer a guarantee. We know that all of these factors can lead to less than desirable behaviors from students. Would you like to prevent negative behaviors from occurring in your classroom? Here’s a quick cheat sheet for collecting data to make decisions so that you can implement a plan of action to reduce problem behaviors in the classroom.

teacher in a classroom

By spending a bit of extra time determining when and why new behaviors would arise, you will  save so much more time in the end. Putting in a little bit more, to receive a whole lot more is a no-brainer right? 

Studies show that coping with disruptive students is teachers’ number one problem. To avoid this problem, follow this quick cheat sheet for collecting data to make decisions and then implement a plan of action based on the data collected. 

First, identify the most disruptive or dangerous behavior. Take note of the “W’s” of the behaviors. Who is demonstrating the biggest issues? What, exactly, are they doing? When is it taking place? Why do they seem to be reacting in such a way?

Next, ask yourself “How” you are contributing to the situation. Are you preparing effectively? Did the student(s) have any questions or problems during the lessons of the day? If so, did you make sure to address their confusion? Did you give the student(s) attention when they were requesting it? Did you react positively to them, in general, before the behavior began?

Then, use the answers to these questions to begin developing your plan of action. Your action plan should include:

  1. The behavior that is causing the problem. 
  2. Why it is a problem and how improving the behavior will positively impact the student?
  3. Behavior you would like to see, instead of the inappropriate behavior. 
  4. Rewards and consequences 
  5. What role each person involved will play in your plan?

Remember, rewards and consequences do not have to include money or time. You can (and should, if possible) put most of the responsibility on the student to make these changes. After you have taught them how their behavior is impacting themselves and others, combined with the new expectations, the rest can be on them. Self regulation is a critical component to becoming a more mature and successful student. So, make this a part of the change! Don’t make more work for yourself!

There is more than one research study published, that cites 80% of classroom behavior issues stem from lack of planning on the teacher’s behalf. It makes sense! Teachers have so much pressure! Teachers must educate everyone, try the newest curriculum or program, remember Johnny needs his inhaler, prepare for the fire drill at 10:12 a.m…I could go on and on. Behavior is the one area that doesn’t seem to necessitate your immediate attention! But, if you just give it your immediate attention for awhile, you just might be able to put it on autopilot and have some peace to take care of all of the other requirements. 

In my seminars, we work on each component of the action plan, and discuss how to be as efficient and effective as possible. We work to discover that if you are able to drill down and make your plan extremely specific to your individual students, the changes you’ll see will be well worth the time and effort. 

Keep your cheat sheet near and dear to your heart. Download it here. It can improve your classroom dynamics and eventually lead to more academic success! 

Written by Amanda Rinehart

To find out more about Amanda’s in-person training seminars, please email us.