discipline strategies in the classroom

Discipline Strategies and Learning

How Effective Discipline Strategies in the Classroom Help With Learning

Why is it  important for teachers to introduce discipline measures to students on the first day of classes?

Discipline doesn’t have to be a scary word for students when teachers introduce measures in the right way and help to build good teacher-student relationships.

As part of the overall approach to classroom management, discipline strategies should focus on behavior management. How well students manage their own behavior in the class depends on their motivation.

In this article we look at discipline strategies in K -12 education and offer free downloadable resources for teachers to use in the classroom.

At the end of this article consider signing up to receive our FREE classroom management strategies guide for maintaining discipline in the classroom.

Consider Journal Writing

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Shop our New Weathering My Emotions Journal at Promptly Journals

 Sometimes students may need an outlet to showcase their ideas, or drawings, or different ways to express emotions to better value the meaning of discipline. Teachers should encourage students to use journals as part of their discipline strategies. Therefore, consider visiting promptly journals to view their wide selection of journals for every situation!

Effective Discipline Strategies

When students are told what discipline means and what rewards and consequences are a part of the discipline routine, then we can consider rewards and consequences as one means of effective discipline strategies. 


Rewards  are seen as tools for motivation. However, this idea of rewards and how effective they will be in behavior management depends on two factors; age and the kind of motivation. 


Students in the primary stages (K –  5 grades) look at rewards as a way to connect with their teacher and consequences as preventing them from connecting with their teacher. The more rewards they get, the more their teacher likes them and sees them as a good student. 

Students in the middle stages (6th grade and older) don’t see rewards as important in connecting with their teacher, because they generally see the value of connecting with peers to be more important.

middle school classroom

Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation

Teachers need to present rewards so that students find their motivation is for their own personal gain (intrinsic motivation) and not because they deserve the external reward (extrinsic motivation) the teacher has promised .

Gifts as rewards are always fun to receive, but students should know that the most important point in the reward system is to choose good behavior because it is important for one’s own happiness.

In other words, students should be looking at their intrinsic motivation – achieving rewards, and avoiding consequences, not for external gains, but because they want to work hard for their own happiness and success.

Types of Rewards

When students are presented with a system of rewards that shows appreciation and recognition of their efforts, and that all students have a fair chance at gaining rewards, then students will find the motivation they need to keep themselves well behaved during the lesson. 


When students are not fulfilling their responsibilities in the classroom when it comes to their behavior or their work, teachers should have students reflect on these issues. 

These types of consequences will get students thinking as to how their behavior should be so as to not cause problems for themselves and those around them. 

Behavior Issues

Students need to be aware of the consequences of their behavior as a way of understanding how their negative attitudes and behaviors are hurting their learning.

discipline strategies

Homework Issues

Why do teachers give homework? Well the answer is to help reinforce learning outside the classroom. Homework teaches students about responsibility. When students fail to meet this responsibility time and time again, it hurts their learning.

The consequences for not taking responsibilities is again to reflect on what effects their lack of responsibility has to not only themselves, but to those around them. 

Consequences that make students think about their actions, will make more of a positive impact on a student, then if they had something taken away, or worse, made to feel embarrassed or ashamed for what they did.

Effective discipline strategies make classroom management easier. 

If classroom management is made easier, then teaching and learning is made easier, and that means more time for interesting and valuable discussions can take place making learning enjoyable for everyone!

classroom attention

Discipline strategies are ways in which students recognize thier own behavior leads to actions which can lead to negative consequences if not managed correctly. What they are not is a form of punishment.

Discipline vs. Punishment

Discipline should not be the same as punishment. Punishment using harsh actions or words is intended to correct students’ negative behavior, but it has shown to do more damage to children’s confidence and self-esteem. 

Punishment has no place in the classroom. The attitudes and work students show in the classroom, and the teacher’s response can impact on their mental health and their learning.

homework reflection

Free Resources for Discipline Strategies

We provide free resources to help teachers deal with behavior and homework issues in the classroom. The resources we offer below work best for students in grades 4 and older. Download your free copy of our behavior and homework reflection sheets.  

Behavior Reflection Sheet

This sheet has the student firsts recognize the wrong behavior that got them the sheet in the first place. It then asks the student to reflect on why good behavior is important and how they will show good behavior moving forward. 

behavior reflection sheet

Homework Reflection Sheet

This sheet has the student first explain their lack of responsibility that got them the sheet in the first place. It then asks the student to reflect on why homework is important and how they will recognize their responsibility moving forward. 

homework reflection sheet

Discipline Strategies Video

See the points made in this article come to life! Watch the video below.

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Final Thoughts...

The dynamics in the classroom have changed since schools no longer allowed physical punishments as a form of discipline. 

While the threat of physical punishment may have silenced the expressions of thought, it didn’t do much in the way of intrinsic motivation – which is what really matters and what helps students improve their behavior and learning.

For more on the benefits to mental health through physical health in education, click here.

Whether teaching in the normal or “traditional” classroom or “online” classroom, discipline strategies must be part of any classroom management system. 

Click here to find more information for teaching online.  

For more on teachers and teaching strategies from EduKitchen – Recipes for Learning, click here

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1 thought on “Discipline Strategies and Learning”

  1. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article! It is the little changes that make the most significant changes. Many thanks for sharing!

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