Classroom Management & Discipline

August 13, 2015

Big Bang Theory: The Use of Positive Reinforcement

Sheldon Shaping Penny in Big Bang Theory

Big Takeaway's

  • You can change behavior faster with negative reinforcement, however the behavior worsens & the punishment has to worsen for it to be effective.
  • Positive reinforcement takes longer to change behavior, however the learned behavior sticks with them.
  • We must know the function (to obtain something or to avoid something) to know what a reinforces the behavior for a particular student.


  • Determine something the students actually want & use it as a positive reinforcement for the desired behavior.
  • Do not reward every time the desired behavior is displayed. (ie. make the reward meaningful).
  • Sample classroom rewards include: Miner Bucks, Late Homework Pass, Extra Credit on a Quiz, Locker Pass, BYOT time in class, Pick a Pandora Station, Sit with a Friend @ Lunch Pass, Eat Lunch Outside pass, etc.

Postive Teacher Attention Should be given at a rate of 4:1!! (4 Positives to 1 Correction)

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Whole Class Management Tools

Documenting & Managing Student Behavior

  • Address Label Documentation- Keep on a Clipboard, as you intervene with students, write student name/date/intervention. Pull off and stick into agenda on corresponding date.
  • Correction Cards (Non-Verbal Warning)- These are small, laminated index cards or card-stock cards that have corrective statements printed on them. These are used as a non-verbal reminder of the expected behavior. Choose the card that best fits the corrective statement you would like to make. Examples: Silence, please. Thank you for your silence. Thanks for getting to work. Thanks for being on task. Please stop. I only had 3 different ones and never needed any more. Place the card on the student’s desk that needs the reminder and continue talking/walking. Do not give any verbal feedback to the student about her behavior. I also put the number 2 on the back of each card before laminating them. This is used when I need to follow up with a verbal reminder (Reminder 2) b/c they did not stop disrupting after the non-verbal reminder. When I approach the student, I say the following: “If you choose to continue ________, then you choose __________.” The first blank is the behavior; the second blank is the consequence they will receive if they choose to continue.
  • RED & YELLOW Cards-Pass out to students when they are doing something incorrect that could result in a referral if the behavior continues. This is a way to provide a silent warning for students so that you do not have to stop class to address the student. (Cards can be found in the Dropbox below)
Yellow Card- Warning for student to correct the behavior.

Red Card- Means that a student needs to leave the room because a referral is going to be written.

Individual Student Behavior Managment