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The Tools for Teaching Blog

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...

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...

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...

November 1, 2017

Remember Larry?

Larry is the name we give to the student who is always getting into trouble. Larry will cause you to question your career choice. In this segment we will add a new twist to Responsibility Training that gives you a way of dealing with Larry that is both cheap and constructive.

Imagine a Hurry-up Bonus in which all of the students but Larry are in their seats ready to begin as the ti...

October 1, 2017

Having Fun with Responsibility Training

In the previous three segments we have described the mechanics of Responsibility Training. Responsibility Training represents a leap forward in the technology of incentive management in the classroom. It allows the teacher to generate cooperation from the entire class at very little effort while reducing wasted time.

In a nutshell, students earn Preferred Acti...

August 31, 2017

The Nuts and Bolts of Time Management

Responsibility Training teaches students to be responsible with everything they do in the classroom from bringing pencils to hustling during lesson transitions. However, all of these various forms of responsible behavior can be organized under one single heading: learning to be responsible with time. In this segment, we will examine those procedures that train...

August 2, 2017

Students Waste Time

In our previous segment we learned that incentive systems teach lessons. We might give our teenager an allowance, for example, not only because they need money, but also as a means of teaching money management.

What resource do students waste in the classroom? They waste time! They spend it as though it had no value. Dawdling is an art form. Students waste a sizeable portion of y...

July 3, 2017

Incentives Teach Lessons

Starting versus Stopping Behavior

Behavior management is conceptually simple. There are only two things you can do with a behavior. You can increase it, or you can decrease it. If you consistently increase the behaviors you want and consistently decrease the behaviors you do not want, sooner or later you will be left with what you want.

In the next several articles we will fo...

January 31, 2017

The Joys of Dawdling

For students, dawdling is an art form. No matter how much time you give them for a lesson transition, they will need more. They walk nonchalantly to the pencil sharpener, socialize as they slowly turn the handle, and then saunter toward their seats as they finish their conversations.

There is no reason to hustle. Students know that as soon as the lesson transition is over, you w...

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Things Change Quickly

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...

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