discipline strategies

Discipline Strategies

What Discipline Strategies Work Best In The Classroom

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.

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 teachers guide for building success in the online classroom.

Table of Contents

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!

When students are told what discipline means and what rewards and consequences are a part of the discipline routine, then classroom management is made easier. 

Rewards vs. Consequences

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

Age Requirements

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. 

middle school classroom

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.

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.

Lottery Rewards

When students are presented with a lottery system of rewards they appreciate the recognition of their efforts (i.e. name gets placed in a draw box) and that all students have a fair chance at gaining the ultimate reward – FREE HOMEWORK PASS!

Age requirements: any age!

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

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. 

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.

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 firsts 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 responsibilty moving forward. 

homework reflection sheet

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.

Free Classroom Management Strategies Guide

Click to download your free copy of our guide on classroom management strategies

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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Danya Khelfa
Danya Khelfa

Founder of EduKitchen

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