Monday, March 23, 2009

Behaviour Managment Ideas

Here are some ideas collected from a music teachers workshop at Sandgate State School.

By no means an extensive list, but more than enough to give you some fresh ideas.

Complete list can be found at

Behaviour Management Ideas
  • Nonverbals – positive ones eg smiles, thumbs up, wink
  • Be brief – don’t give the behaviour any more time
  • Be positive and energetic
  • Move around so that the students at the back become the front row etc.
  • Change activities frequently
  • Establish a set of class rules together and refer to them frequently (a rule referral can be as simple as “I like how you are using walking feet in our classroom”)
  • Encourage on task student behaviour using a variety of positive non verbal and verbal prompts such as using parallel acknowledgement (eg. Amy is off task – but John – who is seated beside her is on task. Say “John, I really like the way you are sitting up straight and tall and listening” Amy will almost certainly sit up straight and tall then – make sure that you reward her with a positive – either verbal or non verbal). This helps you to reaffirm your expectations in a positive manner.
  • To get the attention of the whole class “1,2,3 copy me” – 1st time, hands on head, 2nd hands on shoulders, 3rd, hands in laps. By the 3rd time the whole class will have stopped what they are doing and will be watching
  • Checklist at the start of the class. Ask students and check off checklist
    • Are you sitting on the floor?
    • Have you got your hands in your lap?
    • Are your eyes on the teacher?
    • Are you listening?
    • Are your mouths closed? (The students shouldn’t answer the last question as their mouths should be closed )
  • Smile – be encouraging and supportive
  • Have high expectations of respect, manners and participation
  • Play games to diffuse situations
  • Have a behaviour sheet with questions such as
    • What rule did you break?
    • What problem did this cause to your teacher and classmates?
  • Teach from different positions- including being on the floor amongst the students
  • Invade student body space (a nice non verbal that keeps the lesson moving)
  • Have extremely clear expectations
  • Be what you want the student to be
  • Try to find something to like in each child
  • Write lesson expectations on board with the word free time included – and have music rotations for free time.
  • Make a point of noticing the quiet ones – especially with littlies
  • When getting upset, make sure you are getting upset at the behaviour – not the student
  • “up the front for the month”
  • As a teacher make mistakes and point them out. Students need to know that you stuff things up too.
  • Use a microphone for the students – the love it!!
  • Reward positive, ignore negatives
Check out our website at for the complete list and more exciting and fun things to do in the classroom.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful concise list of management ideas! So easy to share with a music teacher after they have had a rough day...and that is exactly what I did with your blog site and general contact. They were very grateful. Thank you Debbie....keep the great ideas rolling.