7 Strategies to Squash Disruptive Behavior

Strategies that you can use to squash disruptive behaviors so that everyone can get back to learning.
By 
Katie Neumeier
 | 
September 6, 2022

When you actually sit and think about all that goes into behavior management at the classroom level, it sounds pretty crazy, right? But, research has shown that teaching students how to behave in academic and social settings is just as important as academics.

 Behavior management is not only necessary, it is what allows teachers to actually teach.   

What is Behavior Management?

In essence, behavior management is all about the ways in which we teach others how to positively exist in their environments. It is quite the balancing act. While focusing on teaching and maintaining positive habits we are also trying to reduce the negative ones. 

This is why so many different management systems and strategies exist. Many theories and researched practices have been tried all over the world and yet, there is no clear or “one size fits all” solution. 

No perfect solution can exist when class dynamics change constantly. The best thing we can do as educators is to fill our tool belts with as many strategies and tips as possible and take it one day at a time. 

Student Behavior Varies

There are a wide variety of student behaviors exhibited in the classroom on a daily basis. No two days in teaching are ever the same. 

When surveying the types of behaviors you are seeing there are two main factors to consider; the student’s frame of mind and what type of environment have you created. Many behaviors can be remediated at the Tier 1 level and do not require any specific interventions.

 If the expectations have been taught and the students have learned how to positively engage with their teacher and peers during class, usually all is well. A positive behavior framework such as PBIS typically keeps most behavior problems from persisting or even existing in the first place. 

But, unfortunately, there is always bound to be some type of disruptive behavior to be handled. Disruptive behavior is any undesirable behavior that keeps students from being on task and participating in a positive manner. It comes in many shades and varieties, but one thing is for certain, it is unwelcome. 

Is Disruptive Behavior “Bad Behavior”?

Disruptive behavior is not exactly “bad behavior”. It definitely can escalate to that, but at the most basic level, it is any behavior that shows the student is distracted and not participating in the way they should be.

As educators, we are striving to maintain a positive, inclusive environment. Therefore, any behaviors that do not serve that purpose are seen as ‘disruptive’. 

As stated earlier, disruptive behavior can manifest itself in many ways. Examples include…

Now that we know what disruptive behavior looks like, what can be done about it? Let’s go over some strategies that you can use to squash these disruptive behaviors so that everyone can get back to learning.

Let’s Squash It

Disruptive behavior is pretty much unavoidable in the classroom setting but luckily, there are many things we can do as educators to address and remediate these behaviors.

  1. Acknowledge & Reinforce Positive Behaviors 

If you have not yet read about or implemented PBIS yet at your school, it should definitely be added to your list of summer to-dos! PBIS is a framework that is proactive in nature and has educators focusing on positive reinforcement rather than penalizing negative behaviors. 

If you are struggling with minor disruptions in the classroom, focusing on the positives might be just what you need. Many times when students hear what they should be doing reinforced verbally and they notice other students being complimented or talked about positively for their behavior, which helps to halt the disruptions. 

This is especially true for elementary students. Most students love to be recognized, so creating opportunities for that positive talk and using narration in the classroom can do wonders when a couple of students get off task. 

  1. Focus on the Behavior, Not the Student

As educators, it is easy to get sucked into the emotion of the moment, especially if you are having to repeat directions for the billionth time. Nothing can be more frustrating than having a few students derail a great lesson with disruptive behavior. 

I totally get it. But one of the best things you can do when initially responding to disruptive behavior is to focus on the behavior instead of the student. If you are able to cut most of the feelings and emotions out of it and instead be direct about needing the behavior to stop, it will be a lot easier on both you and the student. 

  1. Address 1:1, No Blasting!

Just as students love to be seen doing the right thing, on the flip side, they do not enjoy being put on blast for their behaviors in front of their peers. 

You could equate it to your principal sending out a staff-wide e-mail and shouting out some of the amazing things teachers are doing, but then also calling out specific teachers for what they are not doing. This would be inappropriate right? The same goes for your classroom. 

Disruptive behavior can be and should be handled 1:1. As you are having that 1:1 conversation, it is important to be direct and firm, but also loving. Remember to focus on the behavior and leave all other emotions at the door. 

You can use When-Then statements as well to help the student understand how their disruptive behavior is affecting the class and learning environment.

  1. Follow Through with Logical Consequences

This strategy is classic behavior management 101, but it is extremely important and sometimes overlooked by educators. Children, by nature, will test the limits to see what they can get away with and if you will actually hold them accountable.

This “game of willpower” is only typically played at the beginning of the year, but there are students who will test the boundaries again and again for the entire school year. If you have been very clear and concise with your expectations from the beginning and a student is not meeting them, it is your job to then follow through with a logical consequence.

 I use the word “logical” because the consequence needs to match the behavior. The more you follow through and hold students accountable, the more your students will respect you and stay within the boundaries you have created for them in your learning space. 

  1. Motivate & Engage Learners: Provide Opportunities to Move

More often than not, disruptive behavior is the result of students not being engaged in the learning environment. A way you can proactively address this is to use motivational language during lessons and create spaces within your lesson plans to re-engage your learners. 

This looks like incorporating small group/partner work more often, providing opportunities to move, chunking your lesson into smaller parts, and finding a new way for students to learn the content. Differentiation and supplementing lessons not only support every learner in your room, but also is a proactive approach to keeping disruptions from happening. 

  1. Take Time to Reset

This strategy is a very powerful one and for many educators, is not used enough. If you are finding that a lesson is not going as planned or many students are starting to lose focus and stamina, it is time for a whole group reset! 

You can initiate one of these simply by saying “I am noticing that many of us are not…let’s reset” or “Wow, that was a lot of information in a short amount of time, let’s take a quick break to refocus”.

Whole group resets are a wonderful tool to not only reset behavior but also to help you alleviate any feelings you might be having about how your lesson is going. Breathe my friend, you are doing a great job!

  1. Change Student Location 

How often do you change up seating in your classroom? One easy fix to disruptive behavior may be to give your students a change of scenery and a chance to sit next to new people more often. 

Changing the seating arrangement should never be seen as a negative or a tool to penalize. Instead, frame it as a way for students to make new friends and work with peers they do not typically get to work with. 

Next Steps 

Disruptive Behavior is common, but luckily for us, is totally manageable. Adding these strategies to your tool belt will help you to be even more prepared in the classroom and will support you in getting rid of those unwanted disruptions. Want to add a little more motivation into your classroom? Consider implementing a reward system. Happy teaching!

Managing behavior is a crucial, but daunting task. School systems use frameworks such as PBIS, train teachers on the do’s and don’ts of classroom management, and hire teams of professionals to support them, all to try to keep behavior under control.

When you actually sit and think about all that goes into behavior management at the classroom level, it sounds pretty crazy, right? But, research has shown that teaching students how to behave in academic and social settings is just as important as academics.

 Behavior management is not only necessary, it is what allows teachers to actually teach.   

What is Behavior Management?

In essence, behavior management is all about the ways in which we teach others how to positively exist in their environments. It is quite the balancing act. While focusing on teaching and maintaining positive habits we are also trying to reduce the negative ones. 

This is why so many different management systems and strategies exist. Many theories and researched practices have been tried all over the world and yet, there is no clear or “one size fits all” solution. 

No perfect solution can exist when class dynamics change constantly. The best thing we can do as educators is to fill our tool belts with as many strategies and tips as possible and take it one day at a time. 

Student Behavior Varies

There are a wide variety of student behaviors exhibited in the classroom on a daily basis. No two days in teaching are ever the same. 

When surveying the types of behaviors you are seeing there are two main factors to consider; the student’s frame of mind and what type of environment have you created. Many behaviors can be remediated at the Tier 1 level and do not require any specific interventions.

 If the expectations have been taught and the students have learned how to positively engage with their teacher and peers during class, usually all is well. A positive behavior framework such as PBIS typically keeps most behavior problems from persisting or even existing in the first place. 

But, unfortunately, there is always bound to be some type of disruptive behavior to be handled. Disruptive behavior is any undesirable behavior that keeps students from being on task and participating in a positive manner. It comes in many shades and varieties, but one thing is for certain, it is unwelcome. 

Is Disruptive Behavior “Bad Behavior”?

Disruptive behavior is not exactly “bad behavior”. It definitely can escalate to that, but at the most basic level, it is any behavior that shows the student is distracted and not participating in the way they should be.

As educators, we are striving to maintain a positive, inclusive environment. Therefore, any behaviors that do not serve that purpose are seen as ‘disruptive’. 

As stated earlier, disruptive behavior can manifest itself in many ways. Examples include…

  • Initiating side conversations 
  • Making loud, repetitive noises
  • Tapping their pencil or foot on the ground continuously 
  • Ignoring instructions and requests
  • Interrupting others 
  • Being impulsive with their words or actions
  • Having a temper tantrum 
  • Arguing with peers or the teacher 

Now that we know what disruptive behavior looks like, what can be done about it? Let’s go over some strategies that you can use to squash these disruptive behaviors so that everyone can get back to learning.

Let’s Squash It

Disruptive behavior is pretty much unavoidable in the classroom setting but luckily, there are many things we can do as educators to address and remediate these behaviors.

  1. Acknowledge & Reinforce Positive Behaviors 

If you have not yet read about or implemented PBIS yet at your school, it should definitely be added to your list of summer to-dos! PBIS is a framework that is proactive in nature and has educators focusing on positive reinforcement rather than penalizing negative behaviors. 

If you are struggling with minor disruptions in the classroom, focusing on the positives might be just what you need. Many times when students hear what they should be doing reinforced verbally and they notice other students being complimented or talked about positively for their behavior, which helps to halt the disruptions. 

This is especially true for elementary students. Most students love to be recognized, so creating opportunities for that positive talk and using narration in the classroom can do wonders when a couple of students get off task. 

  1. Focus on the Behavior, Not the Student

As educators, it is easy to get sucked into the emotion of the moment, especially if you are having to repeat directions for the billionth time. Nothing can be more frustrating than having a few students derail a great lesson with disruptive behavior. 

I totally get it. But one of the best things you can do when initially responding to disruptive behavior is to focus on the behavior instead of the student. If you are able to cut most of the feelings and emotions out of it and instead be direct about needing the behavior to stop, it will be a lot easier on both you and the student. 

  1. Address 1:1, No Blasting!

Just as students love to be seen doing the right thing, on the flip side, they do not enjoy being put on blast for their behaviors in front of their peers. 

You could equate it to your principal sending out a staff-wide e-mail and shouting out some of the amazing things teachers are doing, but then also calling out specific teachers for what they are not doing. This would be inappropriate right? The same goes for your classroom. 

Disruptive behavior can be and should be handled 1:1. As you are having that 1:1 conversation, it is important to be direct and firm, but also loving. Remember to focus on the behavior and leave all other emotions at the door. 

You can use When-Then statements as well to help the student understand how their disruptive behavior is affecting the class and learning environment.

  1. Follow Through with Logical Consequences

This strategy is classic behavior management 101, but it is extremely important and sometimes overlooked by educators. Children, by nature, will test the limits to see what they can get away with and if you will actually hold them accountable.

This “game of willpower” is only typically played at the beginning of the year, but there are students who will test the boundaries again and again for the entire school year. If you have been very clear and concise with your expectations from the beginning and a student is not meeting them, it is your job to then follow through with a logical consequence.

 I use the word “logical” because the consequence needs to match the behavior. The more you follow through and hold students accountable, the more your students will respect you and stay within the boundaries you have created for them in your learning space. 

  1. Motivate & Engage Learners: Provide Opportunities to Move

More often than not, disruptive behavior is the result of students not being engaged in the learning environment. A way you can proactively address this is to use motivational language during lessons and create spaces within your lesson plans to re-engage your learners. 

This looks like incorporating small group/partner work more often, providing opportunities to move, chunking your lesson into smaller parts, and finding a new way for students to learn the content. Differentiation and supplementing lessons not only support every learner in your room, but also is a proactive approach to keeping disruptions from happening. 

  1. Take Time to Reset

This strategy is a very powerful one and for many educators, is not used enough. If you are finding that a lesson is not going as planned or many students are starting to lose focus and stamina, it is time for a whole group reset! 

You can initiate one of these simply by saying “I am noticing that many of us are not…let’s reset” or “Wow, that was a lot of information in a short amount of time, let’s take a quick break to refocus”.

Whole group resets are a wonderful tool to not only reset behavior but also to help you alleviate any feelings you might be having about how your lesson is going. Breathe my friend, you are doing a great job!

  1. Change Student Location 

How often do you change up seating in your classroom? One easy fix to disruptive behavior may be to give your students a change of scenery and a chance to sit next to new people more often. 

Changing the seating arrangement should never be seen as a negative or a tool to penalize. Instead, frame it as a way for students to make new friends and work with peers they do not typically get to work with. 

Next Steps 

Disruptive Behavior is common, but luckily for us, is totally manageable. Adding these strategies to your tool belt will help you to be even more prepared in the classroom and will support you in getting rid of those unwanted disruptions. Want to add a little more motivation into your classroom? Consider implementing a reward system. Happy teaching!

When you actually sit and think about all that goes into behavior management at the classroom level, it sounds pretty crazy, right? But, research has shown that teaching students how to behave in academic and social settings is just as important as academics.

 Behavior management is not only necessary, it is what allows teachers to actually teach.   

What is Behavior Management?

In essence, behavior management is all about the ways in which we teach others how to positively exist in their environments. It is quite the balancing act. While focusing on teaching and maintaining positive habits we are also trying to reduce the negative ones. 

This is why so many different management systems and strategies exist. Many theories and researched practices have been tried all over the world and yet, there is no clear or “one size fits all” solution. 

No perfect solution can exist when class dynamics change constantly. The best thing we can do as educators is to fill our tool belts with as many strategies and tips as possible and take it one day at a time. 

Student Behavior Varies

There are a wide variety of student behaviors exhibited in the classroom on a daily basis. No two days in teaching are ever the same. 

When surveying the types of behaviors you are seeing there are two main factors to consider; the student’s frame of mind and what type of environment have you created. Many behaviors can be remediated at the Tier 1 level and do not require any specific interventions.

 If the expectations have been taught and the students have learned how to positively engage with their teacher and peers during class, usually all is well. A positive behavior framework such as PBIS typically keeps most behavior problems from persisting or even existing in the first place. 

But, unfortunately, there is always bound to be some type of disruptive behavior to be handled. Disruptive behavior is any undesirable behavior that keeps students from being on task and participating in a positive manner. It comes in many shades and varieties, but one thing is for certain, it is unwelcome. 

Is Disruptive Behavior “Bad Behavior”?

Disruptive behavior is not exactly “bad behavior”. It definitely can escalate to that, but at the most basic level, it is any behavior that shows the student is distracted and not participating in the way they should be.

As educators, we are striving to maintain a positive, inclusive environment. Therefore, any behaviors that do not serve that purpose are seen as ‘disruptive’. 

As stated earlier, disruptive behavior can manifest itself in many ways. Examples include…

  • Initiating side conversations 
  • Making loud, repetitive noises
  • Tapping their pencil or foot on the ground continuously 
  • Ignoring instructions and requests
  • Interrupting others 
  • Being impulsive with their words or actions
  • Having a temper tantrum 
  • Arguing with peers or the teacher 

Now that we know what disruptive behavior looks like, what can be done about it? Let’s go over some strategies that you can use to squash these disruptive behaviors so that everyone can get back to learning.

Let’s Squash It

Disruptive behavior is pretty much unavoidable in the classroom setting but luckily, there are many things we can do as educators to address and remediate these behaviors.

  1. Acknowledge & Reinforce Positive Behaviors 

If you have not yet read about or implemented PBIS yet at your school, it should definitely be added to your list of summer to-dos! PBIS is a framework that is proactive in nature and has educators focusing on positive reinforcement rather than penalizing negative behaviors. 

If you are struggling with minor disruptions in the classroom, focusing on the positives might be just what you need. Many times when students hear what they should be doing reinforced verbally and they notice other students being complimented or talked about positively for their behavior, which helps to halt the disruptions. 

This is especially true for elementary students. Most students love to be recognized, so creating opportunities for that positive talk and using narration in the classroom can do wonders when a couple of students get off task. 

  1. Focus on the Behavior, Not the Student

As educators, it is easy to get sucked into the emotion of the moment, especially if you are having to repeat directions for the billionth time. Nothing can be more frustrating than having a few students derail a great lesson with disruptive behavior. 

I totally get it. But one of the best things you can do when initially responding to disruptive behavior is to focus on the behavior instead of the student. If you are able to cut most of the feelings and emotions out of it and instead be direct about needing the behavior to stop, it will be a lot easier on both you and the student. 

  1. Address 1:1, No Blasting!

Just as students love to be seen doing the right thing, on the flip side, they do not enjoy being put on blast for their behaviors in front of their peers. 

You could equate it to your principal sending out a staff-wide e-mail and shouting out some of the amazing things teachers are doing, but then also calling out specific teachers for what they are not doing. This would be inappropriate right? The same goes for your classroom. 

Disruptive behavior can be and should be handled 1:1. As you are having that 1:1 conversation, it is important to be direct and firm, but also loving. Remember to focus on the behavior and leave all other emotions at the door. 

You can use When-Then statements as well to help the student understand how their disruptive behavior is affecting the class and learning environment.

  1. Follow Through with Logical Consequences

This strategy is classic behavior management 101, but it is extremely important and sometimes overlooked by educators. Children, by nature, will test the limits to see what they can get away with and if you will actually hold them accountable.

This “game of willpower” is only typically played at the beginning of the year, but there are students who will test the boundaries again and again for the entire school year. If you have been very clear and concise with your expectations from the beginning and a student is not meeting them, it is your job to then follow through with a logical consequence.

 I use the word “logical” because the consequence needs to match the behavior. The more you follow through and hold students accountable, the more your students will respect you and stay within the boundaries you have created for them in your learning space. 

  1. Motivate & Engage Learners: Provide Opportunities to Move

More often than not, disruptive behavior is the result of students not being engaged in the learning environment. A way you can proactively address this is to use motivational language during lessons and create spaces within your lesson plans to re-engage your learners. 

This looks like incorporating small group/partner work more often, providing opportunities to move, chunking your lesson into smaller parts, and finding a new way for students to learn the content. Differentiation and supplementing lessons not only support every learner in your room, but also is a proactive approach to keeping disruptions from happening. 

  1. Take Time to Reset

This strategy is a very powerful one and for many educators, is not used enough. If you are finding that a lesson is not going as planned or many students are starting to lose focus and stamina, it is time for a whole group reset! 

You can initiate one of these simply by saying “I am noticing that many of us are not…let’s reset” or “Wow, that was a lot of information in a short amount of time, let’s take a quick break to refocus”.

Whole group resets are a wonderful tool to not only reset behavior but also to help you alleviate any feelings you might be having about how your lesson is going. Breathe my friend, you are doing a great job!

  1. Change Student Location 

How often do you change up seating in your classroom? One easy fix to disruptive behavior may be to give your students a change of scenery and a chance to sit next to new people more often. 

Changing the seating arrangement should never be seen as a negative or a tool to penalize. Instead, frame it as a way for students to make new friends and work with peers they do not typically get to work with. 

Next Steps 

Disruptive Behavior is common, but luckily for us, is totally manageable. Adding these strategies to your tool belt will help you to be even more prepared in the classroom and will support you in getting rid of those unwanted disruptions. Want to add a little more motivation into your classroom? Consider implementing a reward system. Happy teaching!

quote icon

When you actually sit and think about all that goes into behavior management at the classroom level, it sounds pretty crazy, right? But, research has shown that teaching students how to behave in academic and social settings is just as important as academics.

 Behavior management is not only necessary, it is what allows teachers to actually teach.   

What is Behavior Management?

In essence, behavior management is all about the ways in which we teach others how to positively exist in their environments. It is quite the balancing act. While focusing on teaching and maintaining positive habits we are also trying to reduce the negative ones. 

This is why so many different management systems and strategies exist. Many theories and researched practices have been tried all over the world and yet, there is no clear or “one size fits all” solution. 

No perfect solution can exist when class dynamics change constantly. The best thing we can do as educators is to fill our tool belts with as many strategies and tips as possible and take it one day at a time. 

Student Behavior Varies

There are a wide variety of student behaviors exhibited in the classroom on a daily basis. No two days in teaching are ever the same. 

When surveying the types of behaviors you are seeing there are two main factors to consider; the student’s frame of mind and what type of environment have you created. Many behaviors can be remediated at the Tier 1 level and do not require any specific interventions.

 If the expectations have been taught and the students have learned how to positively engage with their teacher and peers during class, usually all is well. A positive behavior framework such as PBIS typically keeps most behavior problems from persisting or even existing in the first place. 

But, unfortunately, there is always bound to be some type of disruptive behavior to be handled. Disruptive behavior is any undesirable behavior that keeps students from being on task and participating in a positive manner. It comes in many shades and varieties, but one thing is for certain, it is unwelcome. 

Is Disruptive Behavior “Bad Behavior”?

Disruptive behavior is not exactly “bad behavior”. It definitely can escalate to that, but at the most basic level, it is any behavior that shows the student is distracted and not participating in the way they should be.

As educators, we are striving to maintain a positive, inclusive environment. Therefore, any behaviors that do not serve that purpose are seen as ‘disruptive’. 

As stated earlier, disruptive behavior can manifest itself in many ways. Examples include…

  • Initiating side conversations 
  • Making loud, repetitive noises
  • Tapping their pencil or foot on the ground continuously 
  • Ignoring instructions and requests
  • Interrupting others 
  • Being impulsive with their words or actions
  • Having a temper tantrum 
  • Arguing with peers or the teacher 

Now that we know what disruptive behavior looks like, what can be done about it? Let’s go over some strategies that you can use to squash these disruptive behaviors so that everyone can get back to learning.

Let’s Squash It

Disruptive behavior is pretty much unavoidable in the classroom setting but luckily, there are many things we can do as educators to address and remediate these behaviors.

  1. Acknowledge & Reinforce Positive Behaviors 

If you have not yet read about or implemented PBIS yet at your school, it should definitely be added to your list of summer to-dos! PBIS is a framework that is proactive in nature and has educators focusing on positive reinforcement rather than penalizing negative behaviors. 

If you are struggling with minor disruptions in the classroom, focusing on the positives might be just what you need. Many times when students hear what they should be doing reinforced verbally and they notice other students being complimented or talked about positively for their behavior, which helps to halt the disruptions. 

This is especially true for elementary students. Most students love to be recognized, so creating opportunities for that positive talk and using narration in the classroom can do wonders when a couple of students get off task. 

  1. Focus on the Behavior, Not the Student

As educators, it is easy to get sucked into the emotion of the moment, especially if you are having to repeat directions for the billionth time. Nothing can be more frustrating than having a few students derail a great lesson with disruptive behavior. 

I totally get it. But one of the best things you can do when initially responding to disruptive behavior is to focus on the behavior instead of the student. If you are able to cut most of the feelings and emotions out of it and instead be direct about needing the behavior to stop, it will be a lot easier on both you and the student. 

  1. Address 1:1, No Blasting!

Just as students love to be seen doing the right thing, on the flip side, they do not enjoy being put on blast for their behaviors in front of their peers. 

You could equate it to your principal sending out a staff-wide e-mail and shouting out some of the amazing things teachers are doing, but then also calling out specific teachers for what they are not doing. This would be inappropriate right? The same goes for your classroom. 

Disruptive behavior can be and should be handled 1:1. As you are having that 1:1 conversation, it is important to be direct and firm, but also loving. Remember to focus on the behavior and leave all other emotions at the door. 

You can use When-Then statements as well to help the student understand how their disruptive behavior is affecting the class and learning environment.

  1. Follow Through with Logical Consequences

This strategy is classic behavior management 101, but it is extremely important and sometimes overlooked by educators. Children, by nature, will test the limits to see what they can get away with and if you will actually hold them accountable.

This “game of willpower” is only typically played at the beginning of the year, but there are students who will test the boundaries again and again for the entire school year. If you have been very clear and concise with your expectations from the beginning and a student is not meeting them, it is your job to then follow through with a logical consequence.

 I use the word “logical” because the consequence needs to match the behavior. The more you follow through and hold students accountable, the more your students will respect you and stay within the boundaries you have created for them in your learning space. 

  1. Motivate & Engage Learners: Provide Opportunities to Move

More often than not, disruptive behavior is the result of students not being engaged in the learning environment. A way you can proactively address this is to use motivational language during lessons and create spaces within your lesson plans to re-engage your learners. 

This looks like incorporating small group/partner work more often, providing opportunities to move, chunking your lesson into smaller parts, and finding a new way for students to learn the content. Differentiation and supplementing lessons not only support every learner in your room, but also is a proactive approach to keeping disruptions from happening. 

  1. Take Time to Reset

This strategy is a very powerful one and for many educators, is not used enough. If you are finding that a lesson is not going as planned or many students are starting to lose focus and stamina, it is time for a whole group reset! 

You can initiate one of these simply by saying “I am noticing that many of us are not…let’s reset” or “Wow, that was a lot of information in a short amount of time, let’s take a quick break to refocus”.

Whole group resets are a wonderful tool to not only reset behavior but also to help you alleviate any feelings you might be having about how your lesson is going. Breathe my friend, you are doing a great job!

  1. Change Student Location 

How often do you change up seating in your classroom? One easy fix to disruptive behavior may be to give your students a change of scenery and a chance to sit next to new people more often. 

Changing the seating arrangement should never be seen as a negative or a tool to penalize. Instead, frame it as a way for students to make new friends and work with peers they do not typically get to work with. 

Next Steps 

Disruptive Behavior is common, but luckily for us, is totally manageable. Adding these strategies to your tool belt will help you to be even more prepared in the classroom and will support you in getting rid of those unwanted disruptions. Want to add a little more motivation into your classroom? Consider implementing a reward system. Happy teaching!

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About the Event

When you actually sit and think about all that goes into behavior management at the classroom level, it sounds pretty crazy, right? But, research has shown that teaching students how to behave in academic and social settings is just as important as academics.

 Behavior management is not only necessary, it is what allows teachers to actually teach.   

What is Behavior Management?

In essence, behavior management is all about the ways in which we teach others how to positively exist in their environments. It is quite the balancing act. While focusing on teaching and maintaining positive habits we are also trying to reduce the negative ones. 

This is why so many different management systems and strategies exist. Many theories and researched practices have been tried all over the world and yet, there is no clear or “one size fits all” solution. 

No perfect solution can exist when class dynamics change constantly. The best thing we can do as educators is to fill our tool belts with as many strategies and tips as possible and take it one day at a time. 

Student Behavior Varies

There are a wide variety of student behaviors exhibited in the classroom on a daily basis. No two days in teaching are ever the same. 

When surveying the types of behaviors you are seeing there are two main factors to consider; the student’s frame of mind and what type of environment have you created. Many behaviors can be remediated at the Tier 1 level and do not require any specific interventions.

 If the expectations have been taught and the students have learned how to positively engage with their teacher and peers during class, usually all is well. A positive behavior framework such as PBIS typically keeps most behavior problems from persisting or even existing in the first place. 

But, unfortunately, there is always bound to be some type of disruptive behavior to be handled. Disruptive behavior is any undesirable behavior that keeps students from being on task and participating in a positive manner. It comes in many shades and varieties, but one thing is for certain, it is unwelcome. 

Is Disruptive Behavior “Bad Behavior”?

Disruptive behavior is not exactly “bad behavior”. It definitely can escalate to that, but at the most basic level, it is any behavior that shows the student is distracted and not participating in the way they should be.

As educators, we are striving to maintain a positive, inclusive environment. Therefore, any behaviors that do not serve that purpose are seen as ‘disruptive’. 

As stated earlier, disruptive behavior can manifest itself in many ways. Examples include…

  • Initiating side conversations 
  • Making loud, repetitive noises
  • Tapping their pencil or foot on the ground continuously 
  • Ignoring instructions and requests
  • Interrupting others 
  • Being impulsive with their words or actions
  • Having a temper tantrum 
  • Arguing with peers or the teacher 

Now that we know what disruptive behavior looks like, what can be done about it? Let’s go over some strategies that you can use to squash these disruptive behaviors so that everyone can get back to learning.

Let’s Squash It

Disruptive behavior is pretty much unavoidable in the classroom setting but luckily, there are many things we can do as educators to address and remediate these behaviors.

  1. Acknowledge & Reinforce Positive Behaviors 

If you have not yet read about or implemented PBIS yet at your school, it should definitely be added to your list of summer to-dos! PBIS is a framework that is proactive in nature and has educators focusing on positive reinforcement rather than penalizing negative behaviors. 

If you are struggling with minor disruptions in the classroom, focusing on the positives might be just what you need. Many times when students hear what they should be doing reinforced verbally and they notice other students being complimented or talked about positively for their behavior, which helps to halt the disruptions. 

This is especially true for elementary students. Most students love to be recognized, so creating opportunities for that positive talk and using narration in the classroom can do wonders when a couple of students get off task. 

  1. Focus on the Behavior, Not the Student

As educators, it is easy to get sucked into the emotion of the moment, especially if you are having to repeat directions for the billionth time. Nothing can be more frustrating than having a few students derail a great lesson with disruptive behavior. 

I totally get it. But one of the best things you can do when initially responding to disruptive behavior is to focus on the behavior instead of the student. If you are able to cut most of the feelings and emotions out of it and instead be direct about needing the behavior to stop, it will be a lot easier on both you and the student. 

  1. Address 1:1, No Blasting!

Just as students love to be seen doing the right thing, on the flip side, they do not enjoy being put on blast for their behaviors in front of their peers. 

You could equate it to your principal sending out a staff-wide e-mail and shouting out some of the amazing things teachers are doing, but then also calling out specific teachers for what they are not doing. This would be inappropriate right? The same goes for your classroom. 

Disruptive behavior can be and should be handled 1:1. As you are having that 1:1 conversation, it is important to be direct and firm, but also loving. Remember to focus on the behavior and leave all other emotions at the door. 

You can use When-Then statements as well to help the student understand how their disruptive behavior is affecting the class and learning environment.

  1. Follow Through with Logical Consequences

This strategy is classic behavior management 101, but it is extremely important and sometimes overlooked by educators. Children, by nature, will test the limits to see what they can get away with and if you will actually hold them accountable.

This “game of willpower” is only typically played at the beginning of the year, but there are students who will test the boundaries again and again for the entire school year. If you have been very clear and concise with your expectations from the beginning and a student is not meeting them, it is your job to then follow through with a logical consequence.

 I use the word “logical” because the consequence needs to match the behavior. The more you follow through and hold students accountable, the more your students will respect you and stay within the boundaries you have created for them in your learning space. 

  1. Motivate & Engage Learners: Provide Opportunities to Move

More often than not, disruptive behavior is the result of students not being engaged in the learning environment. A way you can proactively address this is to use motivational language during lessons and create spaces within your lesson plans to re-engage your learners. 

This looks like incorporating small group/partner work more often, providing opportunities to move, chunking your lesson into smaller parts, and finding a new way for students to learn the content. Differentiation and supplementing lessons not only support every learner in your room, but also is a proactive approach to keeping disruptions from happening. 

  1. Take Time to Reset

This strategy is a very powerful one and for many educators, is not used enough. If you are finding that a lesson is not going as planned or many students are starting to lose focus and stamina, it is time for a whole group reset! 

You can initiate one of these simply by saying “I am noticing that many of us are not…let’s reset” or “Wow, that was a lot of information in a short amount of time, let’s take a quick break to refocus”.

Whole group resets are a wonderful tool to not only reset behavior but also to help you alleviate any feelings you might be having about how your lesson is going. Breathe my friend, you are doing a great job!

  1. Change Student Location 

How often do you change up seating in your classroom? One easy fix to disruptive behavior may be to give your students a change of scenery and a chance to sit next to new people more often. 

Changing the seating arrangement should never be seen as a negative or a tool to penalize. Instead, frame it as a way for students to make new friends and work with peers they do not typically get to work with. 

Next Steps 

Disruptive Behavior is common, but luckily for us, is totally manageable. Adding these strategies to your tool belt will help you to be even more prepared in the classroom and will support you in getting rid of those unwanted disruptions. Want to add a little more motivation into your classroom? Consider implementing a reward system. Happy teaching!

Register Now

About the Event

When you actually sit and think about all that goes into behavior management at the classroom level, it sounds pretty crazy, right? But, research has shown that teaching students how to behave in academic and social settings is just as important as academics.

 Behavior management is not only necessary, it is what allows teachers to actually teach.   

What is Behavior Management?

In essence, behavior management is all about the ways in which we teach others how to positively exist in their environments. It is quite the balancing act. While focusing on teaching and maintaining positive habits we are also trying to reduce the negative ones. 

This is why so many different management systems and strategies exist. Many theories and researched practices have been tried all over the world and yet, there is no clear or “one size fits all” solution. 

No perfect solution can exist when class dynamics change constantly. The best thing we can do as educators is to fill our tool belts with as many strategies and tips as possible and take it one day at a time. 

Student Behavior Varies

There are a wide variety of student behaviors exhibited in the classroom on a daily basis. No two days in teaching are ever the same. 

When surveying the types of behaviors you are seeing there are two main factors to consider; the student’s frame of mind and what type of environment have you created. Many behaviors can be remediated at the Tier 1 level and do not require any specific interventions.

 If the expectations have been taught and the students have learned how to positively engage with their teacher and peers during class, usually all is well. A positive behavior framework such as PBIS typically keeps most behavior problems from persisting or even existing in the first place. 

But, unfortunately, there is always bound to be some type of disruptive behavior to be handled. Disruptive behavior is any undesirable behavior that keeps students from being on task and participating in a positive manner. It comes in many shades and varieties, but one thing is for certain, it is unwelcome. 

Is Disruptive Behavior “Bad Behavior”?

Disruptive behavior is not exactly “bad behavior”. It definitely can escalate to that, but at the most basic level, it is any behavior that shows the student is distracted and not participating in the way they should be.

As educators, we are striving to maintain a positive, inclusive environment. Therefore, any behaviors that do not serve that purpose are seen as ‘disruptive’. 

As stated earlier, disruptive behavior can manifest itself in many ways. Examples include…

  • Initiating side conversations 
  • Making loud, repetitive noises
  • Tapping their pencil or foot on the ground continuously 
  • Ignoring instructions and requests
  • Interrupting others 
  • Being impulsive with their words or actions
  • Having a temper tantrum 
  • Arguing with peers or the teacher 

Now that we know what disruptive behavior looks like, what can be done about it? Let’s go over some strategies that you can use to squash these disruptive behaviors so that everyone can get back to learning.

Let’s Squash It

Disruptive behavior is pretty much unavoidable in the classroom setting but luckily, there are many things we can do as educators to address and remediate these behaviors.

  1. Acknowledge & Reinforce Positive Behaviors 

If you have not yet read about or implemented PBIS yet at your school, it should definitely be added to your list of summer to-dos! PBIS is a framework that is proactive in nature and has educators focusing on positive reinforcement rather than penalizing negative behaviors. 

If you are struggling with minor disruptions in the classroom, focusing on the positives might be just what you need. Many times when students hear what they should be doing reinforced verbally and they notice other students being complimented or talked about positively for their behavior, which helps to halt the disruptions. 

This is especially true for elementary students. Most students love to be recognized, so creating opportunities for that positive talk and using narration in the classroom can do wonders when a couple of students get off task. 

  1. Focus on the Behavior, Not the Student

As educators, it is easy to get sucked into the emotion of the moment, especially if you are having to repeat directions for the billionth time. Nothing can be more frustrating than having a few students derail a great lesson with disruptive behavior. 

I totally get it. But one of the best things you can do when initially responding to disruptive behavior is to focus on the behavior instead of the student. If you are able to cut most of the feelings and emotions out of it and instead be direct about needing the behavior to stop, it will be a lot easier on both you and the student. 

  1. Address 1:1, No Blasting!

Just as students love to be seen doing the right thing, on the flip side, they do not enjoy being put on blast for their behaviors in front of their peers. 

You could equate it to your principal sending out a staff-wide e-mail and shouting out some of the amazing things teachers are doing, but then also calling out specific teachers for what they are not doing. This would be inappropriate right? The same goes for your classroom. 

Disruptive behavior can be and should be handled 1:1. As you are having that 1:1 conversation, it is important to be direct and firm, but also loving. Remember to focus on the behavior and leave all other emotions at the door. 

You can use When-Then statements as well to help the student understand how their disruptive behavior is affecting the class and learning environment.

  1. Follow Through with Logical Consequences

This strategy is classic behavior management 101, but it is extremely important and sometimes overlooked by educators. Children, by nature, will test the limits to see what they can get away with and if you will actually hold them accountable.

This “game of willpower” is only typically played at the beginning of the year, but there are students who will test the boundaries again and again for the entire school year. If you have been very clear and concise with your expectations from the beginning and a student is not meeting them, it is your job to then follow through with a logical consequence.

 I use the word “logical” because the consequence needs to match the behavior. The more you follow through and hold students accountable, the more your students will respect you and stay within the boundaries you have created for them in your learning space. 

  1. Motivate & Engage Learners: Provide Opportunities to Move

More often than not, disruptive behavior is the result of students not being engaged in the learning environment. A way you can proactively address this is to use motivational language during lessons and create spaces within your lesson plans to re-engage your learners. 

This looks like incorporating small group/partner work more often, providing opportunities to move, chunking your lesson into smaller parts, and finding a new way for students to learn the content. Differentiation and supplementing lessons not only support every learner in your room, but also is a proactive approach to keeping disruptions from happening. 

  1. Take Time to Reset

This strategy is a very powerful one and for many educators, is not used enough. If you are finding that a lesson is not going as planned or many students are starting to lose focus and stamina, it is time for a whole group reset! 

You can initiate one of these simply by saying “I am noticing that many of us are not…let’s reset” or “Wow, that was a lot of information in a short amount of time, let’s take a quick break to refocus”.

Whole group resets are a wonderful tool to not only reset behavior but also to help you alleviate any feelings you might be having about how your lesson is going. Breathe my friend, you are doing a great job!

  1. Change Student Location 

How often do you change up seating in your classroom? One easy fix to disruptive behavior may be to give your students a change of scenery and a chance to sit next to new people more often. 

Changing the seating arrangement should never be seen as a negative or a tool to penalize. Instead, frame it as a way for students to make new friends and work with peers they do not typically get to work with. 

Next Steps 

Disruptive Behavior is common, but luckily for us, is totally manageable. Adding these strategies to your tool belt will help you to be even more prepared in the classroom and will support you in getting rid of those unwanted disruptions. Want to add a little more motivation into your classroom? Consider implementing a reward system. Happy teaching!

About the Presenter

Katherine Neumeier has spent the last 8 years in education working with Title I schools to build strong classroom practices and close academic gaps with English Language Learners and Special Populations. She has taught across multiple grade levels as well as coached educators, served as a reading specialist, and built an intervention program from the ground up. Integrating EdTech platforms as well as utilizing behavior management tools such as Liveschool have transformed and supported her role as an educator. She earned a bachelor's degree from St. Mary's University and a M.Ed from The University of St. Thomas.

Managing behavior is a crucial, but daunting task. School systems use frameworks such as PBIS, train teachers on the do’s and don’ts of classroom management, and hire teams of professionals to support them, all to try to keep behavior under control.

When you actually sit and think about all that goes into behavior management at the classroom level, it sounds pretty crazy, right? But, research has shown that teaching students how to behave in academic and social settings is just as important as academics.

 Behavior management is not only necessary, it is what allows teachers to actually teach.   

What is Behavior Management?

In essence, behavior management is all about the ways in which we teach others how to positively exist in their environments. It is quite the balancing act. While focusing on teaching and maintaining positive habits we are also trying to reduce the negative ones. 

This is why so many different management systems and strategies exist. Many theories and researched practices have been tried all over the world and yet, there is no clear or “one size fits all” solution. 

No perfect solution can exist when class dynamics change constantly. The best thing we can do as educators is to fill our tool belts with as many strategies and tips as possible and take it one day at a time. 

Student Behavior Varies

There are a wide variety of student behaviors exhibited in the classroom on a daily basis. No two days in teaching are ever the same. 

When surveying the types of behaviors you are seeing there are two main factors to consider; the student’s frame of mind and what type of environment have you created. Many behaviors can be remediated at the Tier 1 level and do not require any specific interventions.

 If the expectations have been taught and the students have learned how to positively engage with their teacher and peers during class, usually all is well. A positive behavior framework such as PBIS typically keeps most behavior problems from persisting or even existing in the first place. 

But, unfortunately, there is always bound to be some type of disruptive behavior to be handled. Disruptive behavior is any undesirable behavior that keeps students from being on task and participating in a positive manner. It comes in many shades and varieties, but one thing is for certain, it is unwelcome. 

Is Disruptive Behavior “Bad Behavior”?

Disruptive behavior is not exactly “bad behavior”. It definitely can escalate to that, but at the most basic level, it is any behavior that shows the student is distracted and not participating in the way they should be.

As educators, we are striving to maintain a positive, inclusive environment. Therefore, any behaviors that do not serve that purpose are seen as ‘disruptive’. 

As stated earlier, disruptive behavior can manifest itself in many ways. Examples include…

  • Initiating side conversations 
  • Making loud, repetitive noises
  • Tapping their pencil or foot on the ground continuously 
  • Ignoring instructions and requests
  • Interrupting others 
  • Being impulsive with their words or actions
  • Having a temper tantrum 
  • Arguing with peers or the teacher 

Now that we know what disruptive behavior looks like, what can be done about it? Let’s go over some strategies that you can use to squash these disruptive behaviors so that everyone can get back to learning.

Let’s Squash It

Disruptive behavior is pretty much unavoidable in the classroom setting but luckily, there are many things we can do as educators to address and remediate these behaviors.

  1. Acknowledge & Reinforce Positive Behaviors 

If you have not yet read about or implemented PBIS yet at your school, it should definitely be added to your list of summer to-dos! PBIS is a framework that is proactive in nature and has educators focusing on positive reinforcement rather than penalizing negative behaviors. 

If you are struggling with minor disruptions in the classroom, focusing on the positives might be just what you need. Many times when students hear what they should be doing reinforced verbally and they notice other students being complimented or talked about positively for their behavior, which helps to halt the disruptions. 

This is especially true for elementary students. Most students love to be recognized, so creating opportunities for that positive talk and using narration in the classroom can do wonders when a couple of students get off task. 

  1. Focus on the Behavior, Not the Student

As educators, it is easy to get sucked into the emotion of the moment, especially if you are having to repeat directions for the billionth time. Nothing can be more frustrating than having a few students derail a great lesson with disruptive behavior. 

I totally get it. But one of the best things you can do when initially responding to disruptive behavior is to focus on the behavior instead of the student. If you are able to cut most of the feelings and emotions out of it and instead be direct about needing the behavior to stop, it will be a lot easier on both you and the student. 

  1. Address 1:1, No Blasting!

Just as students love to be seen doing the right thing, on the flip side, they do not enjoy being put on blast for their behaviors in front of their peers. 

You could equate it to your principal sending out a staff-wide e-mail and shouting out some of the amazing things teachers are doing, but then also calling out specific teachers for what they are not doing. This would be inappropriate right? The same goes for your classroom. 

Disruptive behavior can be and should be handled 1:1. As you are having that 1:1 conversation, it is important to be direct and firm, but also loving. Remember to focus on the behavior and leave all other emotions at the door. 

You can use When-Then statements as well to help the student understand how their disruptive behavior is affecting the class and learning environment.

  1. Follow Through with Logical Consequences

This strategy is classic behavior management 101, but it is extremely important and sometimes overlooked by educators. Children, by nature, will test the limits to see what they can get away with and if you will actually hold them accountable.

This “game of willpower” is only typically played at the beginning of the year, but there are students who will test the boundaries again and again for the entire school year. If you have been very clear and concise with your expectations from the beginning and a student is not meeting them, it is your job to then follow through with a logical consequence.

 I use the word “logical” because the consequence needs to match the behavior. The more you follow through and hold students accountable, the more your students will respect you and stay within the boundaries you have created for them in your learning space. 

  1. Motivate & Engage Learners: Provide Opportunities to Move

More often than not, disruptive behavior is the result of students not being engaged in the learning environment. A way you can proactively address this is to use motivational language during lessons and create spaces within your lesson plans to re-engage your learners. 

This looks like incorporating small group/partner work more often, providing opportunities to move, chunking your lesson into smaller parts, and finding a new way for students to learn the content. Differentiation and supplementing lessons not only support every learner in your room, but also is a proactive approach to keeping disruptions from happening. 

  1. Take Time to Reset

This strategy is a very powerful one and for many educators, is not used enough. If you are finding that a lesson is not going as planned or many students are starting to lose focus and stamina, it is time for a whole group reset! 

You can initiate one of these simply by saying “I am noticing that many of us are not…let’s reset” or “Wow, that was a lot of information in a short amount of time, let’s take a quick break to refocus”.

Whole group resets are a wonderful tool to not only reset behavior but also to help you alleviate any feelings you might be having about how your lesson is going. Breathe my friend, you are doing a great job!

  1. Change Student Location 

How often do you change up seating in your classroom? One easy fix to disruptive behavior may be to give your students a change of scenery and a chance to sit next to new people more often. 

Changing the seating arrangement should never be seen as a negative or a tool to penalize. Instead, frame it as a way for students to make new friends and work with peers they do not typically get to work with. 

Next Steps 

Disruptive Behavior is common, but luckily for us, is totally manageable. Adding these strategies to your tool belt will help you to be even more prepared in the classroom and will support you in getting rid of those unwanted disruptions. Want to add a little more motivation into your classroom? Consider implementing a reward system. Happy teaching!

All Reward Ideas for Students

🎉
👑
🎁
Drop Lowest Quiz
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Teacher Q&A
Grades K-12
Class/House
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Holiday Delivery
Grades K-12
Student
Tangible
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Snacks
Grades K-12
Student
Tangible
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
The Love Soiree
Grades 6-12
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Board Game Party
Grades 3-12
Class/House
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Food-Themed Party
Grades 6-12
Class/House
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Free Dress
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Kickback Vibes
Grades 6-12
Class/House
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Firebird of the Month
Grades K-12
Student
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Stairway Messages
Grades 9-12
Class/House
Event
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Holidays Around the World
Grades K-12
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
“Let's Make A Difference Week"
Grades 9-12
Class/House
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Class Pet
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Books
Grades K-12
Student
Tangible
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Parking Spots
Grades 9-12
Student
Privilege
Free

All Reward Ideas for Elementary School Students

🎉
👑
🎁
Sweatshirt
Grades K-12
Student
Tangible
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Extra Recess
Grades K-5
Class/House
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Partner Work
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Teacher Serenade
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
School Assembly
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Picnic Lunch
Grades K-12
Class/House
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Silly Science Experiments
Grades K-5
Class/House
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Dance Party
Grades K-12
Student
Event
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Line Leader
Grades K-5
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Video Game Rewards
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Final Fridays
Grades K-8
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Free Dress
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Special Screening
Grades K-12
School
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Snack Party
Grades 3-12
Class/House
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
School Supplies & Merch
Grades K-12
Student
Tangible
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Holiday Delivery
Grades K-12
Student
Tangible
Low Cost/DIY

All Event Ideas for Schools

All Free Reward Ideas for Schools

🎉
👑
🎁
Play Games
🎉
👑
🎁
The Big Ticket
🎉
👑
🎁
Locker Choice
🎉
👑
🎁
Podcast
🎉
👑
🎁
School Spirit Day
🎉
👑
🎁
Be a Comedian.
🎉
👑
🎁
Class Jobs
🎉
👑
🎁
School Assembly
🎉
👑
🎁
Tutor
🎉
👑
🎁
Talk Time

All Reward Ideas for High School Students

🎉
👑
🎁
Movie Night
Grades 9-12
Student
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Old School Cookout
Grades 6-12
Class/House
Event
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
School Dance
Grades 9-12
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Blood Drive
Grades 9-12
School
Event
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Dance Party
Grades K-12
Student
Event
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Snack Pack
Grades K-12
Student
Tangible
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Fake The Funk
Grades 9-12
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
School Spirit Day
Grades K-12
School
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Ice Cream Sundae Party
Grades K-12
Class/House
Event
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Holiday Delivery
Grades K-12
Student
Tangible
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Locker Choice
Grades 9-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Social Media Reporter
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Be a Comedian.
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Game-Based Simulation Learning
Grades 9-12
Class/House
Event
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Operate Equipment.
Grades 9-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Movie Posters
Grades 3-12
Student
Tangible
Low Cost/DIY

All Reward Ideas for Middle School Students

🎉
👑
🎁
Dance Party
Grades K-12
Student
Event
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Host a Virtual Party. 🎶
Grades 6-12
Class/House
Event
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Food-Themed Party
Grades 6-12
Class/House
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Social Media Reporter
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Trunk or Treat
Grades K-8
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Lunch Reservations
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Virtual Field Trip
Grades K-12
Class/House
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Extra Computer Games
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
The Love Soiree
Grades 6-12
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Positive Note or Call Home
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Pen Pouch
Grades K-8
Student
Tangible
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Assist the Custodian.
Grades 6-8
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Dress Up or Down Day
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Partner Work
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Teacher Q&A
Grades K-12
Class/House
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
House Induction
Grades 6-12
Class/House
Event
Free

All Student Reward & Incentive Ideas

💰
🎨
School Assembly
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Dress Up or Down Day
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
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Grades 6-12
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Grades 9-12
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Grades K-8
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Managing behavior is a crucial, but daunting task. School systems use frameworks such as PBIS, train teachers on the do’s and don’ts of classroom management, and hire teams of professionals to support them, all to try to keep behavior under control.

When you actually sit and think about all that goes into behavior management at the classroom level, it sounds pretty crazy, right? But, research has shown that teaching students how to behave in academic and social settings is just as important as academics.

 Behavior management is not only necessary, it is what allows teachers to actually teach.   

What is Behavior Management?

In essence, behavior management is all about the ways in which we teach others how to positively exist in their environments. It is quite the balancing act. While focusing on teaching and maintaining positive habits we are also trying to reduce the negative ones. 

This is why so many different management systems and strategies exist. Many theories and researched practices have been tried all over the world and yet, there is no clear or “one size fits all” solution. 

No perfect solution can exist when class dynamics change constantly. The best thing we can do as educators is to fill our tool belts with as many strategies and tips as possible and take it one day at a time. 

Student Behavior Varies

There are a wide variety of student behaviors exhibited in the classroom on a daily basis. No two days in teaching are ever the same. 

When surveying the types of behaviors you are seeing there are two main factors to consider; the student’s frame of mind and what type of environment have you created. Many behaviors can be remediated at the Tier 1 level and do not require any specific interventions.

 If the expectations have been taught and the students have learned how to positively engage with their teacher and peers during class, usually all is well. A positive behavior framework such as PBIS typically keeps most behavior problems from persisting or even existing in the first place. 

But, unfortunately, there is always bound to be some type of disruptive behavior to be handled. Disruptive behavior is any undesirable behavior that keeps students from being on task and participating in a positive manner. It comes in many shades and varieties, but one thing is for certain, it is unwelcome. 

Is Disruptive Behavior “Bad Behavior”?

Disruptive behavior is not exactly “bad behavior”. It definitely can escalate to that, but at the most basic level, it is any behavior that shows the student is distracted and not participating in the way they should be.

As educators, we are striving to maintain a positive, inclusive environment. Therefore, any behaviors that do not serve that purpose are seen as ‘disruptive’. 

As stated earlier, disruptive behavior can manifest itself in many ways. Examples include…

  • Initiating side conversations 
  • Making loud, repetitive noises
  • Tapping their pencil or foot on the ground continuously 
  • Ignoring instructions and requests
  • Interrupting others 
  • Being impulsive with their words or actions
  • Having a temper tantrum 
  • Arguing with peers or the teacher 

Now that we know what disruptive behavior looks like, what can be done about it? Let’s go over some strategies that you can use to squash these disruptive behaviors so that everyone can get back to learning.

Let’s Squash It

Disruptive behavior is pretty much unavoidable in the classroom setting but luckily, there are many things we can do as educators to address and remediate these behaviors.

  1. Acknowledge & Reinforce Positive Behaviors 

If you have not yet read about or implemented PBIS yet at your school, it should definitely be added to your list of summer to-dos! PBIS is a framework that is proactive in nature and has educators focusing on positive reinforcement rather than penalizing negative behaviors. 

If you are struggling with minor disruptions in the classroom, focusing on the positives might be just what you need. Many times when students hear what they should be doing reinforced verbally and they notice other students being complimented or talked about positively for their behavior, which helps to halt the disruptions. 

This is especially true for elementary students. Most students love to be recognized, so creating opportunities for that positive talk and using narration in the classroom can do wonders when a couple of students get off task. 

  1. Focus on the Behavior, Not the Student

As educators, it is easy to get sucked into the emotion of the moment, especially if you are having to repeat directions for the billionth time. Nothing can be more frustrating than having a few students derail a great lesson with disruptive behavior. 

I totally get it. But one of the best things you can do when initially responding to disruptive behavior is to focus on the behavior instead of the student. If you are able to cut most of the feelings and emotions out of it and instead be direct about needing the behavior to stop, it will be a lot easier on both you and the student. 

  1. Address 1:1, No Blasting!

Just as students love to be seen doing the right thing, on the flip side, they do not enjoy being put on blast for their behaviors in front of their peers. 

You could equate it to your principal sending out a staff-wide e-mail and shouting out some of the amazing things teachers are doing, but then also calling out specific teachers for what they are not doing. This would be inappropriate right? The same goes for your classroom. 

Disruptive behavior can be and should be handled 1:1. As you are having that 1:1 conversation, it is important to be direct and firm, but also loving. Remember to focus on the behavior and leave all other emotions at the door. 

You can use When-Then statements as well to help the student understand how their disruptive behavior is affecting the class and learning environment.

  1. Follow Through with Logical Consequences

This strategy is classic behavior management 101, but it is extremely important and sometimes overlooked by educators. Children, by nature, will test the limits to see what they can get away with and if you will actually hold them accountable.

This “game of willpower” is only typically played at the beginning of the year, but there are students who will test the boundaries again and again for the entire school year. If you have been very clear and concise with your expectations from the beginning and a student is not meeting them, it is your job to then follow through with a logical consequence.

 I use the word “logical” because the consequence needs to match the behavior. The more you follow through and hold students accountable, the more your students will respect you and stay within the boundaries you have created for them in your learning space. 

  1. Motivate & Engage Learners: Provide Opportunities to Move

More often than not, disruptive behavior is the result of students not being engaged in the learning environment. A way you can proactively address this is to use motivational language during lessons and create spaces within your lesson plans to re-engage your learners. 

This looks like incorporating small group/partner work more often, providing opportunities to move, chunking your lesson into smaller parts, and finding a new way for students to learn the content. Differentiation and supplementing lessons not only support every learner in your room, but also is a proactive approach to keeping disruptions from happening. 

  1. Take Time to Reset

This strategy is a very powerful one and for many educators, is not used enough. If you are finding that a lesson is not going as planned or many students are starting to lose focus and stamina, it is time for a whole group reset! 

You can initiate one of these simply by saying “I am noticing that many of us are not…let’s reset” or “Wow, that was a lot of information in a short amount of time, let’s take a quick break to refocus”.

Whole group resets are a wonderful tool to not only reset behavior but also to help you alleviate any feelings you might be having about how your lesson is going. Breathe my friend, you are doing a great job!

  1. Change Student Location 

How often do you change up seating in your classroom? One easy fix to disruptive behavior may be to give your students a change of scenery and a chance to sit next to new people more often. 

Changing the seating arrangement should never be seen as a negative or a tool to penalize. Instead, frame it as a way for students to make new friends and work with peers they do not typically get to work with. 

Next Steps 

Disruptive Behavior is common, but luckily for us, is totally manageable. Adding these strategies to your tool belt will help you to be even more prepared in the classroom and will support you in getting rid of those unwanted disruptions. Want to add a little more motivation into your classroom? Consider implementing a reward system. Happy teaching!

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Grades 6-12
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See all Rewards

Want more ideas?

Rewards that Rock 🎸 has 100+ rewards, incentives, and event ideas to build your school culture.
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Learn more about the author, 
Katie Neumeier
 

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