Positive Framing

Highlighting Good Behaviors & Improving Classroom Management

Positive Framing Technique

Positive Framing is a technique that enables teachers to give constructive feedback to students while maintaining motivation. When a teacher utilizes positive framing, he/she guides students to the correct or appropriate behaviors by using a positive tone and careful wording to highlight his/her expectations. Sometimes teachers may fall into the trap of assuming intentionality behind negative behaviors, misappropriating crucial minutes class time to address and process mistakes, and narrating negative behaviors into larger issues. A simple, positive phrase can highlight what the teacher expects without shutting down members of the class with criticism or negatively narrating behaviors.

Vocabulary Warm-up in 6th Period TAM Class


When my students were completing their vocabulary warm-up on 2/10, I made sure to address negative/off-task behaviors and highlight positive behaviors using the positive framing technique. When most of my students had picked up a warm-up, retrieved their vocabulary definitions from their bookbags, and gotten started on the warm-up, I said, "I need to see a chart, vocab warm-up, and pencil on every desk." I noticed 3 students who usually forget a pencil, don't pick a warm-up on their way to their desk, and are usually among the last to start the warm-up look around and quietly correct their behavior by getting out a pencil or asking me if they had their correct supplies out. Once all students were working, I monitored their progress and highlighted context clues on some of the struggling students' warm-ups (see image 2 above), and circling 1 or 2 sentences I wanted each of these students to look at one more time. After going around the classroom a couple of times, I told the students, "I love that I see everyone working on their vocabulary warm-ups or getting ready to get onto Schoology to review and copy down the rhetorical appeal notes." . A few students nodded, went to get a Chromebook, and began to work on the notes, which gave me some more time to monitor the remaining warm-ups.

Throughout the warm-up process I noted that more of the students finished their warm-up than usual, and the struggling students still had some errors on their warm-ups, but only 2 students out of the 20 failed the warm-up, which is fewer than the 4 students from the class period before. The class's average score also went up from a 17.89/20 to a 27.38/30 or an 89.4% to a 91.2%. Since the warm-ups were similar in number of sentences, sentence length and variety, and number of vocabulary words utilized, I can safely attribute the increase in score and improved behavior on the positive framing technique that I used.

Future Plans

In the future, I can see where this technique could be useful in my 8th period Honors class when my students are working in groups, as they tend to talk to other groups and get off-task easily. I can also see how, by challenging groups of students, I can "pit" my 7th period Honors class against my 8th period Honors class with positive framed phrases and encourage my 7th period students to speed up their warm-ups, as they tend to take longer and talk more during their warm-ups than is necessary.