Archive | Behavior Management

Top 5 Tips for Connecting with Parents

Building great home-school relationships right from the start I once heard a school administrator remind her staff, “Parents don’t send their bad kids to school and keep the good ones home. They send us the best they’ve got.” Teachers don’t get to handpick our “clientele.” The mix of students will include kids with a variety of skills, […]

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Product: “Pads” on the Back

Like Getting a Hug on Paper by Dr. Jane Bluestein & Dr. Lynn Collins Now available as Post-It® Notes! After selling the last of thousands of the original product, we decided to reprint these “Pads,” this time as a set of sticky notes. The new pads are now available in 5 packs of 50 sheets, and […]

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Presentation: Parents in a Pressure Cooker

A comprehensive and positive approach for parents and caregivers Dozens of practical, positive, and effective strategies to help parents build kids’ cooperation, responsibility, and self-management in a caring, mutually-respectful, win-win environment. This program was designed as a half-day, full-day, or multi-day training to combine the discipline issues and power dynamics addressed in “You Can’t Make Me!”, with […]

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“Making Someone Wrong”

What does that really mean? It was just a little editorial comment in the column of the manuscript for my last book. I was explaining the power of conditional access to positive consequences, noting that it was not necessary to “make [kids] wrong or point out the error of their ways when they blow it” […]

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Book: Managing 21st Century Classrooms

How do I avoid ineffective classroom management practices? You know all those behavior management strategies we learned to use? Well guess what! Some of them are actually making things worse! It’s long past time for our approach to classroom management to catch up to the kids we’re teaching. This book explores common misconceptions about classroom management […]

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Obedient vs. Cooperative Behavior

There is a difference! As you can imagine, my perceptions and ideas about children’s behavior have evolved over the years, including shifts in the vocabulary and conceptual framework I use in my writing and seminars. These changes have been especially evident in relation to the concepts I explore in this post. Because it’s so easy […]

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It’s Only Disrespect if I Think it’s Disrespect

Attitudes are in the eye— and ear— of the beholder Do you have snarky people in your life? This post was adapted from material originally written for beginning teachers. The same ideas and strategies are equally effective in home and work environments, as well as any educational setting. Just substitute “student” (or “kid”) for “child,” […]

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Presentation: Bouncing Back: Resiliency

Building Resiliency and Persistence in Our Students Presentation by Dr. Jane Bluestein How often do we see students struggling with a new challenge and just give up? Some don’t even try, and can invent all sorts of excuses— sometimes with their parents’ support— to avoid the risk we all need to take when we’re learning […]

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An Alternative to Advice Giving

Asking questions to guide problem solving The questions that follow are provided to help with the mechanics of mastering the technique of “asking—not telling,” an effective alternative to giving kids advice that encourages independence and problem-solving competence. The questions are (more…)

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“Magic” Sentences for Effective Communication

Positive language for avoiding conflict, negotiating agreements, and taking care of yourself “Magic Sentences” are key phrases that offer practical ways to use specific language to prevent, minimize, or de-escalate conflicts with others. Different sentences will be useful in different situations. These examples represent a win-win approach to relationships, and while they were originally developed for […]

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10 Dangers of Encouraging Obedience and People-Pleasing

It’s not as desirable as it sounds! Parents can’t choose the mates of their children or the behavior of their children. You actually can’t choose anything for your children without disempowering them. —Abraham* Most of the parents and teachers with whom I work come to my presentations (especially ones like “You Can’t Make Me!” and […]

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Leading Learning with Glenn Capelli

The art, science, and craft of teaching Episode Summary: Did you ever have a teacher who changed your life? Dr. Jane Bluestein talks with author, speaker, and songwriter Glenn Capelli about how teachers can have a powerful impact on a child’s life— for good or bad. They discuss the importance of new and different experiences, including […]

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What’s Wrong with I-Messages?

Problems with a popular formula © 1991, 1999, 2003, 2013 This article was originally written for an issue of Families in Recovery, a parenting magazine that is no longer in print. Although the examples primarily feature parent-child interactions, the dynamics, issues, and alternatives are applicable to any relationship. A man in one of my workshops […]

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Improving Student Behavior through Positive School Climate

It’s not about the rules! From the January 2013 newsletter: There is a strange myth around kids’ behavior that if we just have enough rules (and severe enough punishments), the misbehaviors will disappear. What I’ve observed, however, is an even stranger reality in which the opposite tends to be true. In schools, the longer the […]

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What’s so Hard About Win-Win?

Getting past old win-lose traditions This article was written for Educational Leadership magazine. A similar version appeared in the September 2011 edition of that magazine. Talk about safe, respectful schools and at some point, the term win-win is bound to come up. First coined in the 1920s by human relations and management pioneer Mary Parker […]

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Stressful or Painful School Experiences

Events and experiences that can compromise emotional safety The items on this list were compiled from a number of print resources as well as surveys and interviews conducted over a two-year period. (Many items suggested in the literature overlapped or were repeatedly expressed in interviews and surveys.) Feel free to add your own observations and experiences […]

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Ways to Improve the School’s Social Culture

Practical strategies for positive change • Pay attention to peer-to-peer interactions. Increase awareness, advocacy, and a willingness to take immediate, positive action (regarding how kids treat one another). • Advocate for the underdog. Encourage kids to connect with children who seem isolated. Emphasize the value of inclusion. • Interrupt any instances of meanness, name calling, […]

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Rules and Boundaries

Effectively creating structure in your classroom When I started teaching, I had some reservations about being completely in charge and responsible for the rules, so I tried involving the students in this task. Part of my intention was an honest stab at building a positive, win-win classroom environment, wanting to acknowledge the students’ needs for […]

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