Classroom ManagementKathleen Cotton (1990) has estimated that discipline occupies about half of a classroom teacher's time, with the other half remaining for instruction. Teachers identify their most urgent need for assistance in the area of dealing with student behavior and classroom management (Elan, Rose, & Gallup, 1999). The goals of developing effective systems of classroom management are to increase time available for instruction, reduce the stress level of teachers and students in the classroom, and ultimately result in self-discipline for all.
Supporting Individual StudentsThe Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) explicitly requires IEP teams to address persistent behavioral challenges by conducting a Functional Behavioral assessment (FBA) and designing behavior support plans based on information gained in the assessment process. By identifying possible functions that a behavior may serve for an individual, functional assessment helps us understand why a behavior often continues. Positive behavior intervention and support plans are created to address particular functions and have multiple components, including prevention or environmental strategies, instruction in replacement behaviors and/or new skills, reinforcement strategies, reduction-oriented consequences, lifestyle enhancements, and support considerations for team members. The goals of positive behavior support extend beyond decreasing behaviors of concern to include building adaptive and socially appropriate skills, and improving an individual's overall quality of life. Goals should be collaboratively developed by the individual, his or her family, and the support team. Goals should be based on a positive, long-term vision for the individual. For more information about developing function-based support plans, visit the Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice.
Social and Emotional LearningFor decades, schools have drawn distinctions between academic and social-emotional learning. Many schools are now realizing that the two kinds of learning are intimately connected. Enhancing students' social and emotional skills is crucial to improving their academic performance. Recognizing and managing emotions are fundamental to social and emotional learning. When young people learn to understand and get a long with others, to make sound decisions and behave ethically and responsibly, students not only learn more, but caring school climates are created.
Our WorkThe staff at the Center for Education and Life-long Learning (CELL) works with individual schools and corporations to develop and implement school- and district-wide initiatives of SW-PBS. Schools or districts contract with CELL to conduct initial assessments of needs and priorities, provide initial training to school or district teams and/or coaches, and provide on-going technical assistance to facilitate the development and implementation of school-wide plans. To see a video clip about SW-PBS created by the staff at CELL, visit The Forum on Education (.mov file).
Sandy Washburn, a research associate with CELL, is a trained facilitator of Oregon's School-wide Information System (SWIS), and can provide training and technical assistance to schools that wish to use the system.
CELL offers a one-week summer intensive workshop in the area of classroom climate and discipline. Drawing on the works of Robert Marzano, Fred Jones, Allen Mendler, Richard Curwin, Ruth Charney, Maruice Elias, and others, the intensive workshop provides in-service teachers with opportunities to explore, develop, and apply effective management strategies and practices. For sample materials and activities, see the resources section below. The workshop emphasizes interactive instructional formats and effectively utilizes the practices and strategies that teachers are encouraged to use in their own classroom.
Additionally, and typically in the context of SW-PBS, staff at CELL offer on-going technical assistance to teachers that wish to explore certain topics in classroom management. Many self-assessments exist to help teachers determine their needs in the area of classroom management. Teachers are encouraged and assisted to assess their own skills and prioritize areas for improvement. When a number of staff within a school wish to explore a particular management model or approach to classroom behavior, our staff can facilitate purposeful implementation of the practices contained within a given approach through study groups and peer networks.
The process of conducting an FBA and a behavior support plan is a team-based process. CELL staff provide training and assistance to teams or to individuals charged with facilitating the process.
Although there are a wealth of programs and curriculum materials designed to promote social and emotional competence, the Committee for Children offers a nationally recognized program.
ResourcesAdult Responses to Behavior (121kb .pdf file): This document offers some general guidelines for responding to behavior.
Mental Set (62kb .pdf file): This document describes the idea of mental set, which appears to be the most critical aspect of effective classroom management.
TextsCharney, R. S. (2002). Teaching children to care: Classroom management for ethical and academic growth, K-8. Greenfield, MA: Northeast Foundation for Children.
Curwin, R. L., & Mendler, A. N., (1999). Discipline with dignity. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervisors and Curriculum Development.
Danforth, S., & Smith, T.J. (2005). Engaging troubling students: A constructivist approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Jones, Fred (2000) Tools for Teaching. Santa Cruz, CA: Frederick Jones and Associates.
Kohn, A., (1996). Beyond discipline: From compliance to community. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervisors and Curriculum Development.
Marshall, M. (2002). Discipline without stress, punishments poor rewards. Los Almitos, CA: Piper Press.
McIntyre, T. (2003). The behavioral survival guide for kids. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing.
Mendler, A., (1997). Power Struggles: Successful techniques for educators. Rochester, NY: Discipline Associates.
Mendler, A., (2000). Motivating students who don't care. Bloomington, IN: National Education Service.
Mendler, A., (2001). Connecting with students. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervisors and Curriculum Development.
- Dr. Mac's Amazing Behavior Management Website: This is one of the very best sites devoted to helping teachers with behavior management. Be careful of the discussion forum-not always the most sound advice.
- Fred Jones is the author of Tools for Teaching: The Fundamental Skills of Classroom Management. Fred's website features a teacher study group activity guide that goes with Tools for Teaching. Also there are chapters from some of his other books, cartoons, and regular updates.
- The Responsive Classroom® is an approach to teaching and learning that fosters safe, challenging, and joyful classrooms and schools, kindergarten through eighth grade. Developed by classroom teachers, it consists of practical strategies for bringing together social and academic learning throughout the school day. This link addresses behavior and management.
- Positive Discipline: Jane Nelson opposes many popular classroom management researchers.
School-Wide Positive Behavior Support
- Peaceful Playgrounds: This website includes ideas for layout, games, etc. The information is sold, and is a very good investment, considering that many playgrounds are managed and supervised by folks with little training.
- PBS TeacherSource: This website provides high quality instructional activities and supports. Because there is a focus on diversity, inclusiveness and community, the resources are helpful in integrating these values into academics.
- PBS Parents: This website features games for kids, information and resources for parents, and good information related to behavior and discipline.
- New Games: This website focuses on cooperative games and offers materials for purchase online.
- Committee for Children: This long-standing organization is devoted to preventing violence in schools by attending to the social and emotional learning of children.
- Educators Against Hate: This website offers activities and strategies for confronting hate.
- George Lucas Educational Foundation: Subscribe to a free magazine, read about innovative projects around the country , and find grant resources.
- Citizenship Resource Guide: This guide, published by the Indiana Department of Education, offers grade-level curriculum guides and extensive lesson plans.
- Literature for Elementary and Middle School Students: This .pdf document has an extensive bibliography of Children's book titles of citizenship education Primary through High School.
- No Name-Calling Week: This website offers information about organizing "No Name-Calling Week" and sample lessons related to bullying, harassment, and the social concerns of adolescents.
- Peace Learning Center: This website features free conflict-resolution materials, environmental education activities, lesson plans, posters, and other helpful resources.
- Teaching Tolerance: This website and its free magazine are musts for teachers concerned with social justice.
- Thinkquest: A library of websites put together by students and teachers to offer an exploration of a particular topic, including conflict resolution.
- Utah's Character Education Program: This website features a list of websites that were gathered to help support Utah's initiative.
- Youthlight: This website offers a guide to using literature about that focuses on social and behavioral issues.