3 Think Sheets: Students' Responses to Inappropriate Behavior

Young child sitting in corner as punishment
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Think Sheets are part of a consequence for a student who breaks classroom or school rules. Rather than sending the child to the principal's office, as part of a progressive discipline policy, a child can spend a lost lunch recess or time after school writing about the problem behavior and making a plan.

By focusing on the "problem," this think sheet provides instruction as well as a consequence and outlines objectives for parents. When we focus on the problem that was created and ask the student to identify more productive ways to deal with the problem, your focus is on the behavior and not on the student.

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A Think Sheet for Problem Solving

A problem solving think sheet

Rodney got into a fight on the playground when another child picked up the ball Rodney was playing with. Rather than sending him to the principal's office, his teacher, Miss Rogers, is keeping him in during the afternoon recess.

Miss Rogers and Rodney talk about the problem: Rodney lost his temper when the other child took the ball without asking. Rodney's plan is to tell the other student he needs to ask to play, and if the other student doesn't respond, he will tell the teacher with recess duty. Miss Rogers is putting the think sheet into the behavior binder behind Rodney's divider. They will review it before he goes out for recess the next morning.

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A Think Sheet for Broken Rules

A Think Sheet for breaking rules

This think sheet is great for students who break rules because it once again makes the focus on the rule rather than on the student. This might be more powerful to use when a student breaks a school, rather than a classroom rule. My preference is to make classroom rules a short list of no more than 5 and rely more on routines and procedures to shape and habituate acceptable behavior

This think sheet, like the previous think sheet, is an opportunity for students to put into words the reasons they believe they have lost a privilege. When giving a think sheet, you should make it clear that a student can finish their recess if they can write an acceptable think sheet. Be sure you are clear about expectations: Only complete sentences? Correct spelling?


Stephanie has broken the school rule about running in the halls again. She has been given a warning, she has been prompted repeatedly, but after losing 15 minutes of recess for the last time she was caught running, she will have to complete a think sheet or give up her whole half hour lunch recess. Stephanie knew that running was the rule she broke. She realized that she runs to catch up with the class because she does not transition well after reading to prepare for lunch. She has asked her teacher, Mrs. Lewis, to prompt her to start her preparation early.

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A Think Sheet for General Classroom Behavior Problems

Think sheet 3 for general problems and weaker writers.

This think sheet provides a framework for students who have difficulty with writing. By providing items to circle at the top, you eliminate part of the writing task, which for many students with disabilities can be onerous. You can also eliminate some of the expectations for writing: perhaps you will ask a student to list three things they will do instead at the bottom, rather than asking for complete sentences.

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Your Citation
Webster, Jerry. "3 Think Sheets: Students' Responses to Inappropriate Behavior." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/think-sheets-written-responses-inappropriate-behavior-3110513. Webster, Jerry. (2020, August 27). 3 Think Sheets: Students' Responses to Inappropriate Behavior. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/think-sheets-written-responses-inappropriate-behavior-3110513 Webster, Jerry. "3 Think Sheets: Students' Responses to Inappropriate Behavior." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/think-sheets-written-responses-inappropriate-behavior-3110513 (accessed June 7, 2023).