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.