Behavior Modification


I chose to research behavior modification because I am fascinated with creating a positive learning environment and effectively curbing negative or disruptive behaviors. After listening to an NPR Podcast, which is included below, about how discipline in America is failing our youth, I am even more passionate about working with disruptive behaviors from a positive and constructive mentality. I also have not received a lot of practical ways modify students' behaviors and classroom management techniques, so I took this opportunity to bolster my knowledge of the subject. I hope to utilize the techniques I learned in this process in my classroom in the future.

The Five Most Important Things I Learned During this Process:

  1. Suspension doesn't work as a discipline system. We must hold ourselves to higher expectations as teachers.
  2. Positivity rules the classroom. Don't get stuck in negative patterns of classroom management because negativity begets negativity.
  3. Change long-term behaviors by implementing tiny habits after habits already in place.
  4. Avoid public punitives. Solve problems off to the side, NEVER in front of the class. Don't draw attention to negative behaviors or you will reinforce them.
  5. Identify the negative behavior that needs to change, and the function of the behavior. This way, a behavioral intervention can be developed. Look at patterns of events or behaviors to determine if they precede or follow the occurrence of the behavior.

One Minute Powerpoint


If you only view one element of my Wiki page, go to Resource Number 7 because it is the quickest resource that offers practical ways to modify behavior in the classroom. It's also quite entertaining. I also highly recommend NPR's This American Life- it's entertaining and thought provoking. What kind of teacher do you want to be and how do you want to affect your students' lives?

Additional Resource!!
This one was so good that I had to retroactively add it in here. If you only have a few minutes, just check out the 7th Resource video on classroom behavior management techniques. However, this article is easy to read and offers the 12 most common mistakes used in the classroom to manage behaviors, then offers real suggestions how to counteract these mistakes. . If you are serious about managing your classroom effectively (inside OR outside), READ THIS ARTICLE! I give this article a 7 out of 5, I thought it was that useful.

Resource 1.


This NPR This American Life Podcast is about various discipline systems utilized in America. What we currently have in place? Suspension. Taking disruptive students out of the classroom to miss more classtime- and it's not working. Check it out below. I give this a 6/5, it's that good.

For the bleeped version go here. Otherwise, visit the website for the full version.

Resource 2.


Behavior Modification in the classroom article.
This is an online article/resource that maintains that behavior modification techniques never fail. Rather, they are either applied inefficiently or inconsistently, which leads to a less than desired change. This article is an excellent resource that specifically uses ADHD children as examples. I give it a 4/5 because it’s very long and not super engaging, but offers fantastic examples and explanations.

Resource 3.


I give this video a 4/5 and was found on TeacherTube. The video is long and boring. However, it provides very detailed information from a psychological perspective to creating behavioral plans in response to behavior problems. The authors of the video also provide additional resources for teachers to develop behavioral plans. This is an excellent background resource.


Here are a couple of images that simply explain how to do a functional behavior assessment. Identify the behavior, determine the function of the behavior, then implement an intervention to change such behavior. These images get a 5/5.
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Resource 4.


Let's move further into some basics of behavioral modification. This slideshow from Slideshare gives a basic background and some helpful information. I give it a 5/5.


Resource 5.


This is a quick slideshow from Slideshare that gives very simple but effective techniques to modify children's behavior. This is geared towards younger kids, but can be applied to high school students. I give this a 5/5.


Resource 6.


Don't yell, or yell louder to take control of your class. How can you create an environment and trusting bonds with challenging students? Don't get caught creating a negative environment before students even step into the classroom. This video instructs very simple and positive ways to develop rapport with your students as well as controlling their behavior. I give this video a 4/5 and found it on YouTube.


Resource 7.


Fast-paced video that offers 10 quick ways to manage your classroom from a high school teacher who has been teaching for 15 years. I give this video a 5/5 because of its practical applications in the classroom, though I disagree with some of the methods he uses. I also have a slightly different style of classroom management, but still found this video really useful. Here's a quick rundown of the top 10 Discipline strategies he uses:
1. Don’t focus on classroom management, focus on learning. Create a product-based classroom.
2. Short Rules. Avoid micromanaging by creating flexible class rules.
3. Model the Cray Cray- show the kids where you can go if need be.
4. Canned Lines. Have pre-made
5. Avoid public punitives. Solve problems off to the side, never in front of the class.
6. The lecture redirect. Don’t put a focus beam on the focus kid.
7. Engage immedicatly. Plan opening really well.
8. Snitched get Stitches. Deal with the kid as a human being in your classroom.
9. Avoid public punitives. Find out more about that kid and make more of a connection.
10.Never make it personal. Never, ever make an argument personally.



Resource 8.


This presenter asks her students “If you could design school to be anything you wanted it to be, what would it look like, what would it feel like, what would you be doing? Ok, so this video isn’t about classroom management or behavioral modification, per se. However, it is an inspiring story about the importance of student-driven classrooms and igniting the passions of our students. I give this video a 4/5, and I found it on YouTube.



Resource 9.


BJ Fogg: Changing Behavior with Tiny Habits
In this TEDTalk, BJ Fogg, a professor at Stanford University, talks about long-term behavior changes using small habits. Motivation has nothing to do with changing long-term habits. This is a great tool to use with students when they may be struggling with larger behavior changes. I found this video interesting and enlightening, for my own life too! For this reason, I give it a 4/5, even though he doesn't directly talk about classroom behavior.


Resource 10.


Jeni Cross: "The 3 myths of Behavior Change: What you think you know that you don’t”
Myth 1: Education will change behavior.
Myth 2: Change Attitudes to change behavior.
Myth 3: People know what motivates them to take action. Social norms influence out behavior.

In this TEDTalk, Jeni Cross discusses 3 myths of ways to change behavior, in the context of changing behaviors related to global climate change. I give this video a 3/5 because it doesn’t directly pertain to behavior modification in the classroom.