The Pro-Active Model to Classroom Management

Teacher pointing to students in class
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Classroom management is crucial in supporting the inclusional model, especially when there are students in the classroom with behavorial/social differences. The best lesson plan in the world will founder without a disciplined student body, and discipline is not easy. Studies have shown that proactive or positive discipline yields greater rewards than the outdated model of the ruler across the knuckles.

Rather than punish, proactive teachers establish relationships with their students, resolving conflicts before they erupt in the classroom. Below is a checklist for teachers that stresses proactive discipline planning.

The SLANT Strategy

Every great teacher knows that planning is important. But a great classroom plan needs engaged students. The SLANT strategy is a great way to begin building relationships with the kids in your class.

SLANT is an acronym for the body language of an engaged student:

S- Sit up

L- Listen

A- Ask and answer questions

N- Nod your head

T- Track the speaker

These physiological exercises have been show to benefit students by keeping them engaged throughout the lesson. Remind your kids: “Where’s my slant?” “Are you slanting?”

Along with SLANT, consider the following checklist. It will keep you prepared for anything that comes your way in the classroom.   These questions will significantly impact the effectiveness of your classroom routines.

Beginning of the day (after each recess/transition):

  1. ___ What signal is in place to get your students' attention?
  2. ___ Is there a procedure in place entering the class?
  3. ___ Do students know what to do at each entry time? (Entering in the morning: Write in their journal, after 1st recess: DEAR - drop everything and read, etc.)
  1. ___ What consequences are in place for the disobedient student?
  2. ___ What do students do with returned homework or notes from home?

During work times - whole or small group:

  1. ___ What is the signal or routine for leaving your classroom (for using the washroom, etc.)?
  2. ___ What is the procedure for the students who finish early?
  3. ___ How do you establish an acceptable noise level?
  4. ___ How do students get help, and when do they leave their seats?
  5. ___ When can students sharpen their pencils or put something in the trash or recycle bin?

Student Work:

  1. ___ What is the routine for incomplete or missed work?
  2. ___ What is the consequence for late work?
  3. ___ Where do your students put completed work?
  4. ___ How do you track student work?


  1. ___ What routines are in place for dismissal?
  2. ___ What routines are in place during announcements?
  3. ___ What are your expectations during group work to ensure that students are on task?

This checklist is just the beginning for planning a proactive classroom. Learn more about a positive classroom management using the Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports system (PBIS).