What if a child chooses something as a consequence, that is in his/her own mind, nothing more than a way of getting out of trouble? Although Dr. Marshall’s book has validated my beliefs on how to treat children, I do feel that in this one regard a self-imposed consequence could simply be a way out for a person in the wrong.
As well, if a child violates another person’s right, it seems fair that the person whose rights have been violated would have a say in whether they think the self-imposed consequence is a fair one. Could you please advise me if my thinking about is correct or not.
Dr. Marshall’s approach to discipline is certainly not meant … >>> READ MORE >>> →
How do I handle denial? I have several 5th grade students who deny their behavior. Even when I directly observe their Level A/B behaviors, they deny everything. I find this stops every conversation I try to have with them. It’s so frustrating! How can I guide students toward responsibility when they are in denial?
RESPONSE from a member of THE DWS MAILRING:
I’ve encountered this problem as well. Here are three ways that I deal with it:
1. During an after-class chat with these students, instead of saying “When you were throwing pens….”, I might say, “If someone was throwing pens during a lesson, what level would that behavior be at?” This way students aren’t directly confronted. Initially, … >>> READ MORE >>> →
The very first step outlined in Dr. Marshall’s Discipline without Stress Teaching Model is classroom management. He explains on p. 205 of his book, “Students need to be inducted into the organization of the classroom. The way to do this is to teach procedures.”
Further down on the same page, he continues:
Procedure gives structure, which is especially important for at-risk students. The label “at-risk” has nothing to do with intelligence. It simply means that these students are in danger of failing or dropping out of school. Often the lives of at-risk students are chaotic, and the only part of their lives that is stable is school. The reason they are in danger is simply because they don’t do … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Gradually, as I experienced continued success with using Dr. Marshall’s Discipline without Stress approach to help students develop self-discipline and a sense of responsibility, I realized that there was enormous potential and value in using his Levels of Developmentto inspire young people in all areas of their lives.
One day I decided to have a discussion with my grade one students about how they could use their understanding of the four levels to help themselves become better readers. We talked about the “Whole School Read” session in which we participate each morning. I asked the youngsters to describe hypothetical behaviors of students operating at each of the levels during this daily reading time.
Using their own words,they were able … >>> READ MORE >>> →
My teaching partner and I have a little girl in our grade one classroom this year who is very stubborn and actually downright defiant in a passive aggressive way. Right from the beginning of the year she would deliberately do the opposite of whatever the teacher was asking or quietly not do anything at all. When everyone was asked to print certain letters on the chalkboard she would draw pictures. When asked to get out her calendar binder, she would get out something entirely different. Then just before the end of calendar time, she would quickly take out her book and finish up what was expected. When everyone else would stand to celebrate a classmate’s birthday by singing a … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Like many of my Kindergarten students, I’m concerned about Damian because he doesn’t have an adequate vocabulary or many expressive oral language skills. His articulation when speaking is also extremely poor; he’s missing a very large number of top teeth (as a result of years of excessive sugar in his diet.) I’ve noticed that when he can’t find or clearly say the words he needs to communicate, he resorts to hitting or kicking to get his points across. In fact, after just a week in school, we had to make alternate arrangements for him at lunch playtime so that his opportunities for getting into trouble would be fewer. Damian now goes to the Resource Room for supervised play time and … >>> READ MORE >>> →
I’ve learned a great lesson from my teaching partner, Darlene, who has wonderful “people skills.” We share a grade one class. She begins the year with a quick phone call to every family, starting with those children who look like they may eventually have some behavior issues. She simply asks the parents to let her know how the child is adjusting to school and whether or not they feel comfortable coming. The parents are happy to have this conversation and are encouraged by it.
By starting home phone calls so quickly, she generally has only positive comments to make––usually kids are on their best behavior on the first days of school! This gets her off on the right … >>> READ MORE >>> →
A few years ago, I posted some ideas regarding good intentions that Darlene and I had learned in our workshops with Dr. Gordon Neufeld, a well-known Canadian developmental psychologist. Gordon’s ideas about attachments and relationships are quite unique and extremely helpful to anyone interested in using DWS.
Here’s the gist of his ideas regarding good intentions:
As adults we should actively look for times when a child is displaying or expressing good intentions––and then we should nurture those intentions. Despite the fact that the young person may NOT be able to carry out their good intentions, and that the situation may actually turn out negatively in some sense, we can applaud their initial desire to do the … >>> READ MORE >>> →
I think I work with the most masterful and quick-witted teacher alive! Here’s just one very small example of how Darlene took a negative situation (partly created by me!) and instantly found the positive kernel inside that could make a child feel encouraged and hopeful.
For the month of June Darlene and I decided to work with our grade one class to create a musical circus performance for our school. We knew it was a crazy time of year to do a major production but earlier in the year we’d promised the kids that we would make a circus in May. When various school-wide plans interfered with that timing, we felt we had to keep our promise and do the … >>> READ MORE >>> →
I’m new to Discipline without Stress so bear with me. I’m wondering if whole-class incentives for staying on Level C or D is appropriate. For instance, if the whole class can stay on Level C or D for a certain amount of time, then could there be some sort of reward like a movie, free time or Preferred Activity Time? Does this completely fly in the face of Discipline without Stress? Are all incentives discouraged?
I can only speak for myself but here are several reasons why I, personally have decided not to offer incentives in my teaching:
1) The basis of the Discipline without Stress program is that it’s counterproductive to reward expected behaviors.
2) Once an … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Recently I surfed into a parenting blog.
It featured the following quote that spoke of an ancient form of what I would call “discipline positivity!”
In the Babemba tribe of South Africa, when a person acts irresponsibly or unjustly, he is placed in the center of the village, alone and unfettered. All work ceases, and every man, woman and child in the village gathers in a large circle around the accused. Then each person in the tribe, regardless of age, begins to talk out loud to the accused, one at a time, about all the good things he has done in his lifetime. Every incident that can be recalled with any detail and accuracy is recounted. All his positive attributes, … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Recently, I saw a posting on the ProTeacher group, in which a teacher shared a great process for helping young children learn to stay in line while walking.
Firstly the students were taught four procedures for how to walk appropriately in the school:
- Stand directly behind the person in front of you.
- Face your body forward.
- Hands stay down at sides.
- We walk quietly in the hall, without talking.
Then the teacher shared an effective and silent procedure that she uses to help students live up to these expectations. If a problem occurs as they are moving from place to place in the school, she stops the line and wiggles four fingers above her head. The class remains stopped until … >>> READ MORE >>> →
What is the best way to explain to children the difference between internal and external motivation––in other words, the difference between DWS Levels C and D? I am having trouble with this.
Initially I use very concrete examples connected directly to the classroom.
I describe Level C as the level where students do the right thing––what’s expected of them by the teacher––because the teacher is clearly expecting them to do it.
Some simple examples:
- The student will pick up toys off the floor when they are asked.
- The student will walk quietly in the hallway when a teacher is supervising.
- The student will clean up a mess he/she has made when
… >>> READ MORE >>> →
I was talking with a friend yesterday who told me the following story.
Recently she had been chatting with a man who coaches soccer teams of 8 and 9 year olds. He mentioned that this year he’d had a lot of difficulty in getting his players to work together as a team.
My friend, an experienced teacher, started to offer some suggestions; she knew of many activities that might encourage teamwork. But the man quickly stopped her.
“Oh, you don’t understand,” he said. “It’s not the kids who are the problem––it’s the parents! The parents have all promised their children that they’ll get two dollars every time they score a goal. The kids are so intent on getting … >>> READ MORE >>> →
For the past three years my elementary school has conducted a “School Procedures Tour.” In the first year we conducted it in the spring––as a response to what teachers felt was some poor behaviour around the school at that time. Following that, we became more proactive; we started our school year with our tour. By planning ahead like this we were able to anticipate possible problems before they happened and then simply created procedures that would avoid the problems altogether.
On the Procedures Tour ,students are introduced to, or reminded of, school procedures and expectations that all teachers hold for all students in four shared areas in the school. We have about 250 students in our school of … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Every once in a while, the subject of school awards comes up on the DWS mailring. Usually the person is concerned that their school requires teachers to present student awards. The concern is that this thinking doesn’t mesh well with the philosophy of someone wanting to foster internal motivation.
On another mailring recently, I read a post from a teacher whose school gives awards to every child in the school––but in quite a different way than most do. I asked her permission to reprint the idea here. I thought it might interest those looking for genuine ways to acknowledge children, without the typical problems associated with awards (as we usually think of them.)
Here’s her post:… >>> READ MORE >>> →
If 95% of the kids are attentively listening, but two boys are making faces to each other and laughing, clearly not paying attention, how do you refocus them without calling them out in front of the class? I get that it’s more effective to ask them about their behavior, but I wonder if I can I do that in front of everyone? And can I do the follow-up questioning in front of the whole class as well? I can’t really pull them aside when I’m the one teaching! Help, please!
When you follow the DWS approach, you are asking the student to assess a level of behavior. This has a different feel to it than “calling a … >>> READ MORE >>> →