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The Tools for Teaching Blog

July 1, 2019

There are two different perspectives to consider when applying Tools for Teaching to the job of substitute teaching. The first is when you are about to have a substitute. The second is when you are about to be a substitute. Our treatment of substitute teaching will, therefore, have two parts: 1) your preparation for having a substitute, and 2) what to do when you are the substitute.

Having a Substi...

March 5, 2019

No matter where I go, teachers are looking for answers to the cell phone problem. Students are using their phones at inappropriate times to say the least - and fighting back when asked to put them away. Policing the use of cell phones in the classroom has become a daily battle and a source of frustration and exhaustion for many teachers.

So, how do we deal with it? Do we institute severe penalties...

February 11, 2019

Proximity and mobility - two concepts familiar to Tools for Teaching enthusiasts. The teacher’s proximity to the students is their best tool to prevent, discourage, and interrupt misbehavior. The teacher’s mobility in the classroom determines how effectively they can use their proximity. We call this “Working the Crowd” and the biggest obstacle to working the crowd is the furniture. A teacher’s mo...

July 3, 2018

Level 3: Tertiary Prevention in the Classroom

Perfect Alignment

The goals of PBIS and Tools for Teaching are the same – to manage classroom discipline problems proactively and effectively. Only in this way can normal student misbehaviors be prevented or at least limited so they do not escalate into office referrals.

In addition, both programs focus on practical procedures that have been proven i...

June 1, 2018

Level 2: The Second Level of Discipline Prevention

Focus on Prevention

Both Tools for Teaching and PBIS focus on the prevention of discipline problems. And both programs focus on practical, research-based procedures that have been proven in schools and classrooms.

In PBIS the language of prevention (primary, secondary, and tertiary) is superimposed over a broad range of behavior management procedures...

May 2, 2018

Level 1: Primary Prevention in the Classroom

I have received an increasing number of emails from district administrators and staff development specialists thanking us for helping them implement PBIS. They use phrases like, “has perfect alignment,” “gives us everything we need,” and “is positive and practical.” These emails led me to ask myself, “What in the world is PBIS?”

What Is PBIS?

In the 1990’s...

April 3, 2018

Teachers are always looking for ways to improve their classrooms, and classroom management is often at the top of the list. When your management system in place, your class can run like a finely tuned machine. However, some classes can be a challenge. The strategies you’ve used in the past just aren’t working and you search and search for help. You talk to colleagues, read books, scour the interne...

February 28, 2018

This article was originally posted in October of 2015. However, while topic is worth repeating, it also acts as a "part 3" to our two previous articles: January's "Exploiting Structured Practice" and February's "Adding Motivation to Mastery".

A Spanish Teacher’s Epiphany

It had been a month since training with Tools for Teaching, and our agenda for the follow-up meeting was to fine-tune and problem...

February 2, 2018

Beyond Weaning

Our focus over the past several segments has been on the prevention of classroom discipline problems. First, we looked at eliminating learned helplessness during Guided Practice by replacing the tutoring of helpless handraisers with efficient prompts of 5-10 seconds duration. Second, we looked at eliminating the need for most corrective feedback by creating mastery prior to Guided Pr...

January 2, 2018

Preventing Discipline Problems

“Is it possible to teach a lesson so effectively that the need for corrective feedback is nearly eliminated?” The answer is YES – if we employ Say, See, Do Teaching. With Say, See, Do Teaching, the heart of any lesson is a series of Say, See, Do Cycles in which we tell and show the students what to do next and then put them to work doing it before they forget. As they...

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Substitute Teachers and Tools for Teaching

July 1, 2019

There are two different perspectives to consider when applying Tools for Teaching to the job of substitute teaching. The first is when you are about t...

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