Kerry and her teaching partner, Darlene, continue to share how they use the Hierarchy from Discipline Without Stress.
After teaching the hierarchy, we rarely refer to the bottom two levels. Perhaps once or twice a week we may need to do this but seldom more than that. We find that the key to success with the hierarchy is to focus almost exclusively on the higher two levels by always motivating the kids to aim for Level C—or higher if they want.
We find we can help students achieve Level C motivation most of the time by being proactive in our use of the hierarchy. BEFORE DOING MOST ACTIVITIES, WE PROACTIVELY DISCUSS OR TELL STUDENTS WHAT LEVEL C LOOKS LIKE.
In other words, before we move to the door to line up for a walk down the hall, we discuss what appropriate behaviour looks like (and what it looks like are the procedures that we have previously taught). Before we move to the carpet we do the same thing. We talk about how people operating on Level C will manage as they move from their desks to the carpet, how they will seat themselves, how they will choose a good spot for themselves, etc. Then we have one or two students volunteer to demonstrate. Often we choose as volunteers those students who might not yet be successful independently. With the class watching them, they are delighted to be a positive role model for others. Before an independent work time, we review what options the students have for when they have completed their tasks. As the students become better readers, we write notes on the board to remind them of options and tasks. Always we aim to provide structure through procedures to avoid unnecessary discipline problems.
More of Kerry’s posts are available at her blog.