Category: Behavioral Modification Techniques

Bullying Role Play

Bullying is a pattern of aggressive behavior that has the intention of hurting another person. Schools try to create a safe environment where children are free from this kind of behavior, but that is not always the case. In order for classrooms to be prepared to handle bullying, try to role play the behavior. For example, allow students to play the different roles, i.e. the bully, the victim and a by-stander. Be sure all students can define what bullying is and what they can do to defend themselves or to help someone else. Be sure to define your role as a teacher to help students who might be involved in being bullied or see it occurring.

This role-playing exercise does several things. It allows students to understand what bullying is so they can identify it if it happens. It also allows … Read More »

Pass the R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Respect for one another is one of the greatest tools against students mistreating other students. One way to teach respect is to play “Pass the Respect”. Start by defining the word “respect” for your students which is having a high regard for someone else so you say and do things to them that are the right thing. Then write the word RESPECT on an object such as a can, card, block, etc. Have the children sit in a circle on the floor and have each student state a way in which they can show respect to the person sitting next to them. Have the speaking student pass the RESPECT object on to the person sitting next to them and continue the game until the object goes all the way around the circle. You will likely have to guide them in … Read More »

Play I.O. – Immediate Obedience

How many hours of classroom time are wasted having to remind students to do what you have asked them to do? To get students in the habit of responding immediately to your directives, play I.O. – Immediate Obedience.


Start by explaining what immediate obedience means to make sure they understand the terminology. Begin the game by having everyone come to military attention and put their hand to their brow when you say “Attention I.O.” Then instruct them with a task, for example: “Put your books and pencils away”, “Push your chair up to your table”, or “Line up at the door quietly”. Mix up your directives so different groups have to do different things at the same time.


The practice will help to teach the students who are not as familiar with what it means to obey and to do it … Read More »

Did It Make a Difference?

You have spent a school year focusing on integrity. Did it make a difference? Maybe you have seen an improvement in behavior, test scores or relationships between students. Maybe you have seen a decrease in cheating, tattling or bullying or maybe you’re not sure it did make a difference. Maybe the students still struggle with behavior, test scores or relationships. Maybe you didn’t see a remarkable difference, but I assure you it made a difference.


One day, Whit came home from school and went straight for the garbage bags. Without a word to his mother, he began to go through the toys in his room. He carefully selected toy after toy to place in the bag. He wanted to give his toys to children who didn’t have any. Why? Because Whit’s teacher told him “G is for Generous.” He wanted to … Read More »

Praise Pass

Choose a particular character quality in which you see your students needing to improve, such as kindness, honesty, determination or being positive and then teach or review with them the definition of that quality and how to display it to ensure they all understand.  Award students a “Praise Pass” when you see them using the quality appropriately and when they are caught doing the right thing. Next, assist that student in catching someone else exhibiting the quality as well. They then get to “Pass the Praise” onto that person by recognizing him or her. You can make certificates the students can take home and show their families which can state something like: “Today I used the character quality of KINDNESS at school.  My teacher is so proud of me.  I helped my classroom be a better place because I chose to … Read More »

Spot It and Shout It

When you spot a student exhibiting a character trait that your classroom has been learning through Integrity Time, have some type of system where you and the class can appropriately give a “shout out” to that student. This may be as simple as verbally recognizing the behavior or allowing the student a special privilege in the classroom. It may also be a chant your class comes up with in which they can all participate. Immediate reinforcement not only increases this behavior in that particular student, it encourages those around them to begin using it as well.


by Allyson Willis

Be a Catalyst for Positive Change

You can be a catalyst for positive change with a difficult student – one small step at a time. Difficult children are difficult for a reason which usually stems from their environment. Every child has value and part of why you probably were inspired to teach in the first place was to love and meet the needs of all the children who are brought into your path.


When you have a student with a difficult trait, they often times either do not have the skill to do something different or do not have the self-control. Pick the opposite behavior of that trait and teach them what that trait looks like. Then write that trait on a piece of paper and tape it to their desk. Every time the difficult student exhibits that opposite, positive trait, praise them or recognize them in … Read More »

Picking One

As teachers, we strive for perfection and often want to tackle everything at one time, but here’s a new strategy to consider. Pick one behavior at a time on which to work with students who may challenge your patience with their behavior.

Make a list of the specific behaviors you would like to see your students change. PICK ONE, yes, just one at a time!
Talk with your students about this behavior and teach them what you want them to do instead of what they are currently doing.
Make a small chart for their desk with the word “GOAL” written on the chart. Then make squares for the number of times you want them to exhibit the behavior for the day. For example, if your students constantly shout out the answer to a question, tell them you want them to raise their hand … Read More »

Redirecting Behavior

It is easy in the classroom to focus on the negative even when we do not mean to do this. “Don’t touch those; Don’t say that; Stop running; Quit talking…..” And the list goes on and on. Turn your language around to tell your students what you DO want them to do. “Put your hands in your lap; Ask in a nice tone of voice; Walk; Do your work quietly.”

We tend to want to correct rather than direct. Students want to know what they are supposed to DO, and they are looking to your leadership. As soon as they follow your direction, be sure to follow up with a positive affirmation.