Can we use less than 5 steps on the consequence hierarchy?
Isn't three strikes enough?
A: I would highly recommend
against eliminating steps. The court system and most districts have
approved and supported Effective Behavior Management because
it affords students due process. I do not believe that three strikes
sufficient due process for students to be suspended from the learning
Redirects (whammies) are not consequences. They are reminders for
students to remain on task.
I believe that every student has a right to a warning. Step 1
I also believe that there must be a minimum of two classroom consequences.
Steps 2 and 3.
If a student is being removed from the classroom for misbehavior,
they are in reality being suspended from the learning environment.
Any time a student is suspended from the learning environment, the
parent has a right to know. Step 4.
Removal from the classroom to the (buddy room or) administration
is step 5.
2. Teacher consequence (usually 5 minutes time out or 1 minute after
3. Teacher consequence (usually 10 minutes time out or 2 minute
4. Parent phone call
5. Buddy room/administration
Q: What do I do with a student who
won't do his work? How much time do I give him to follow
A: If a student isn't doing
their work or refuses to, first you have to determine if the student
can do the work. If you ask them to write their name on a piece
of paper and they refuse, it's likely that the student can do it.
Therefore not completing the task is misbehavior. However, you cannot
give a consequence to a student for not doing their work if they
are unable to complete the assignment. This would be an academic
issue, not a behavioral one.
Now, if a student refuses to do work that you are 100% sure they
are capable of, follow the plan as if it was any other mischevious
behavior. First redirect the student, "Mark, please write your
name on the paper." Give the student a reasonable amount of
time to comply. If they continue to misbehave (by not working),
redirect the student again. If they continue to misbehave, give
them the third and final redirect with a choice, "Mark, you
have a choice, do your work or you're going in the book."
If he continues to misbehave and doesn't do his work, put him in
the book and give him a consequence.
But how do we know when to give him the next level consequence?
You have to ask yourself, can I teach if Mark isn't doing his work
or if he has his head down on his desk? The answer is yes. So teach.
In order to give a student an additional consequence for the same
behavior, you have to ask yourself if the behavior is continuous
and disruptive. If the student keeps his head down on the desk for
the whole period, that is continuous. But it is not disruptive and
therefor you can teach.
If he exhibits the same behavior the next day follow the same procedure.
After three days of non-working you can implement the Rule of Three
and take him to the next level. Within two weeks the student will
be at a level four and you can begin to involve the parents, administration,
Q: How might we adapt steps 2 and
3 for P.E.? The challenge is that we have tried to send
students to a particular area before, but a teacher must police
them or the students leave and wander or play.
A: As with any situation,
the students must be taught how to behave in a time out or buddy
room situation. Regardless of whether it is in a normal classroom
environment, in P.E., on the yard, it is crucial that the behavior
be taught, in this case, how to behave in time out. They must also
know the consequences for misbehaving while serving a consequence.
We can not expect students to do anything that we have not taught
Q: What if I make multiple attempts
to contact the parents, leave messages, but cannot reach an adult
on the phone?
A: It is the teacher's responsibility
to make their best effort to contact the parents
in the event that the student has reached that level in the consequence
hierarchy or any similar situation. That means to make several attempts
to call the numbers they have and the numbers on the office emergency
card and leave messages when possible.
If unsuccessful, it is my recommendation that the teacher go to
an admistrator and say, "I need help getting in touch with
the parents of this student. I have done everything I can to get
in contact with these parents. I can not be successful with this
student unless I have the cooperation of these parents. I need your
help." At that point it is the responsibility of the administration
to assist the teacher in getting in touch with the family, either
by involving a translator, community liason, parent volunteer, assisting
them with a home visit, or any other means necessary.
Q: What do we do about tardies?
A: There are two ways to
handle tardies. In both cases, we recommend that teachers utilize
the Tardy Book located on pages 47-48 in the Effective Behavior
Option 1: Follow the plan. Most schools have adopted
the rule "Come on time" in one form or another. If a student
is late, not only do they sign the tardy book, but they are entered
into the Classroom Behavior Log with a consequence. Remember, being
tardy is a choice and a behavior. The teacher simply follows the
plan and treats the tardy as any other mischievous behavior.
Option 2: The tardy policy mirrors the classroom
behavior plan such that tardies are documented in the tardy book
and consequences are issued in a similar five-step progression to
the classroom plan, i.e.:
1st tardy: Warning
2nd tardy: Classroom consequence issued by the teacher
3rd tardy: Classroom consequence issued by the teacher
4th tardy: Parent phone call
5th tardy: Administrative consequence (potentially progressing from
lunch detention to after school detention and/or Saturday school)
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