Teacher Toolbox
Classroom Management - Behavior in the Classroom

Consequences and Corrections

Consequences and corrections need to be meaningful, immediate, and related to the inappropriate behavior.  For example, if a student does not complete their assignments before participating in a free choice activity, such as computer time, then computer time needs to be removed from the child’s activity choice until the child can show that they can meet the requirement. When discussing the inappropriate behavior and the consequence with the child, it is important to communicate how the behavior impacts the child’s learning or interactions in the classroom.

Thinking chair

When a child needs "thinking time" or a quick reminder about the consequences of inappropriate actions, he/she sits in the thinking chair away from teacher and peer reinforcement. This strategy can be effective if used judiciously.

Waiting chair

Designate a special chair to help diffuse the anxiety of waiting for a turn. Also, see Whose Turn for another example of this idea.

It is important to analyze the possible cause of the inappropriate behavior in relation to the child’s ability, the task or situation demands, and the appropriateness of the request made on the child.  This will help to determine if there are possible learning difficulties, misunderstanding of directions, or confusion that would impact the child’s behavior.  These issues impact the type of consequence or correction the child may need.

When selecting consequences, try to avoid using recess time if possible.  Recess is a valuable learning time for children.  It provides opportunities for children to use their motor skills, to reorganize their thoughts as well as provide opportunities for children to apply their learning in a natural situation, and to practice using social skills.
Also, avoid adding extra homework assignments or additional class work as a behavioral consequence.  This could attach a negative connection to the learning process. When this occurs, children often become focused on the issue of the additional assignment, and not on the purpose of the task or the quality of their output.

Provide special types of seating arrangement for quiet or calm down areas of the room.