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The Tools for Teaching Blog

July 14, 2020

Preferred Activity Time can be a challenge in this time of distance learning and we all know that we have to get creative - but creative doesn’t have to mean ground breaking. Don't put extra pressure on yourself to "wow" the students with every activity. The trick is to keep it simple and keep it relevant. Remember, Preferred Activity Time is part of Responsibility Training. The purpose of Respons...

May 1, 2020

Staying Sharp While at Home
We've all had to make some serious adjustments lately, but when it comes to school, "The show must go on." Many of you are teaching from home, which means converting your lessons into Zoom meetings, turning your materials into Google Docs, and relying heavily on parents to facilitate learning. Many of those parents are also having to work from home while becoming proxy...

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...

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PAT in a Virtual Classroom

July 14, 2020

Preferred Activity Time can be a challenge in this time of distance learning and we all know that we have to get creative - but creative doesn’t have...

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