Behavior Management Tips

Students raising hands in classroom
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As teachers, we often have to deal with uncooperative or disrespectful behavior from our students. To eliminate this behavior, it's important to address it quickly. A great way to do this is by using a few simple behavior management strategies that help promote appropriate behavior.

Morning Message

The best way to start your day in an organized way is with a morning message to your students. Each morning, write a short message on the front board that includes quick tasks for the students to complete. These short tasks will keep the students busy and, in turn, eliminate the chaos and chatter in the morning.


Good morning Class! It's a beautiful day today! Try and see how many words you can create from the phrase "beautiful day."

Pick a Stick

To help manage the classroom and avoid hurt feelings, assign each student a number at the beginning of the school year. Put each student's number on a Popsicle stick, and use these sticks to choose helpers, line leaders or when you need to call on someone for an answer. These sticks can also be used with your behavior management chart.

Traffic Control

This classic behavior modification system has proven to work in elementary classrooms. All you need to do is make a traffic light on the bulletin board and place the students' names or numbers (use the number sticks from the idea above) in the green section of the light. Then, as you monitor the student's behavior throughout the day, place their name or number under the appropriately-colored section. For instance, if a student becomes disruptive, give them a warning and place their name on the yellow light. If this behavior continues, place their name on the red light and either call home or write a letter to the parent. It’s a simple concept that the students seem to understand, and once they go on the yellow light, that is usually enough to turn their behavior around.

Keep Quiet

There are going to be times when you receive a phone call or another teacher needs your assistance. But, how do you keep the students quiet while attending to your priority? That's easy; just make a bet with them! If they can stay quite without you asking them, and for the whole time you're busy with your task, then they win. You can bet extra free time, a pizza party, or other fun rewards. 

Prize Incentive

To help promote good behavior throughout the day, try a prize box incentive. If a student wants a chance at picking from the prize box at the end of the day they must…(stay on green light, hand in homework assignments, complete tasks throughout the day, etc.) At the end of each day, award the students that had good behavior and/or completed the task assigned.

Prize Ideas

  • Suckers
  • Candy
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Bracelets
  • Stamps
  • Stickers
  • Any small trinket

Stick and Save

A great way to motivate students to keep on track and reward for good behavior is to use sticky notes. Every time you see a student displaying good behavior, place a sticky note in the corner of their desk. At the end of the day, each student can turn in their sticky notes for a reward. This strategy works best during transitions. Simply place a sticky note on the desk of the first person who is ready for the lesson to eliminate wasted time in between lessons.

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Your Citation
Cox, Janelle. "Behavior Management Tips." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Cox, Janelle. (2023, April 5). Behavior Management Tips. Retrieved from Cox, Janelle. "Behavior Management Tips." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 4, 2023).