Student Behavior Problems? Here’s Surprising, No-Fail New Strategies


teacher classroom management blog


Student Behavior Problems?
Here's Surprising, No-Fail New Strategies


K-12 Keynote Speaker Ruth Herman Wells

I'm the instructor for Youth Change's student behavior improvement workshops. My name is Ruth Herman Wells, M.S.

Over the years, I've invented thousands of terrific behavior improvement strategies for students with conduct problems. This is blog issue has a few of my favorites.


Student Behavior Management Strategies

The Girl in the Mirror

behavior improvement poster 147Have you ever noticed that most interventions are geared for boys, or are generic, one-gender-fits-all interventions?

Poster 147 is intended just for girls, although you can use it with boys if you wish. It's also a great reminder to use gender-proficient interventions when needed. You're student behavior will definitely improve as a result.

This provocative poster is the perfect conversation-starter for girls' counseling groups, health classes, contemporary issues classes, and living skills courses.

It also works well with individual students. It tackles a tough problem area: body image. It also raises issues of weight, self-image, beauty, culture and societal expectations of girls.

This student behavior intervention will start important conversations and provoke insights when mere words and generic methods can't.


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I'll Do It Someday

If you had a nickel for every time a youngster told you that they will do what you ask…someday.

This is a light, fun student behavior management intervention.

The next time you hear "someday" in answer to a request to a student, escort the student to your calendar and say: "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Where's Someday?"

Your goal is to teach students that someday doesn't exist.


Interventions for Drama Queens– and Kings

You don't work in a theater, but you are surrounded by drama. If you are tired of the theatrics at your school or agency, this very simple behavior intervention can become your new mantra.

Teach your students: "No Extreme Emotions." If you prefer to say it more positively, "Moderate Emotions Only."

If you work with adolescents, it may seem like you are saying "cool it" to a raging fire, but this saying can help. It is uncomfortable for youngsters to be in perpetual chaos, anger, anxiety, or distress.

Market "No Extreme Emotions" as a way out of the constant discomfort. Remember that children and teens don't necessarily realize that their conduct is out of the norm so teach them "Drama only belongs in theaters."

Consider having students make posters that illustrate this caption: More School, Less Drama.

The Recession or Depression? Game

There is an old saying about bad economic times: It's a recession when other people lose their jobs. It's a depression when you lose your job.

Teach your students about the terms "recession" and "depression," then help them determine if they are prepared to keep regularly occurring, ordinary recessions from becoming disastrous depressions.

Play the "Recession or Depression?" game. Divide students into two groups then ask each group to determine the truth about what can happen to people during economic downturns.

Reward correct answers by giving students play money. Penalize wrong answers by taking away money, or having the group "go into debt."

The purpose of using the play money is to make the game more concrete and real than you can achieve just using verbiage.

Ask students to determine which of the following facts are true. (All are true.)

-No diploma? You double your chances of
   being unemployed
-Dropouts are the first fired, last hired
-Graduates often send the layoff notices that
   everyone else opens
-Graduates can do and understand more than everyone
   else so they can do better than everyone even when
   the economy does worse
-Jobs that don't require a diploma are disappearing
-In bad economic times, there are more people than jobs
   so grads take the jobs dropouts could otherwise
   have gotten


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    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
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About Ruth Herman Wells

Author/Trainer Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. is the director of Youth Change Professional Development Workshops. In 2011, Ruth was rated as a Top 10 U.S. K-12 educational and motivational speaker by Speakerwiki and Speakermix. She is the author of several book series, a columnist, adjunct professor for two universities, and a popular keynote speaker and workshop presenter. Ruth's dozens of books includes Temper and Tantrum Tamers and Turn On the Turned-Off Student.