Classroom Behavior Managment: Common Mistakes

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Barbetta, P.M., Nora, K.L., & Bicard, D.F. (2005). Classroom behavior management: A dozen common mistakes and what to do instead. Preventing School Failure, 49(3), 11-19. Summary:
Mistakes are common in the classroom, but there are tips on how to manage your classroom that will eliminate the chaos and help your students learn. Prevention is an effective form of behavior management. From the beginning you need to establish a set of rules and regulations so that the students know your expectations. There are twelve common classroom behavior management mistakes, but are followed by suggestions as to what we should do instead. The systems should be able to meet the changing needs of the classroom and students.

The first few mistake rules are basic concepts that teachers need to know. One is being able to define misbehavior by its function not by how it looks. Number two and three is to assess the behavior directly instead of asking a question or approaching the problem in a different way instead of trying harder for it to work. Number four is to set and establish classroom rules right away, but do not have too many because it makes it more difficult for both the teacher to enforce and students to comply. The fifth one is to treat some behaviors as “can’t dos” like lack of skills not all as “won’t dos” as in lack of motivation. Number six is an easy fix by planning transition time appropriately instead of lack of planning.

Number seven has true knowledge by ignoring wisely instead of ignoring all or nothing at all. Make sure to understand what you should ignore and what you should not. Number eight moves onto misuse and overuse of time out. The student’s reinforcement opportunities are withdrawn when in time out. Moving onto number nine is that you should have clear expectations of your students that you reinforce consistently. Your students are more likely to obey when the teacher is consistent than when they are inconsistent. Number tens mistake is not...
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