Activities to Assist in Behavior Modification in Middle School
- Get your middle school students to follow standard rules.back to school image by Kurhan from Fotolia.com
To make rule-following behavior permanent, teachers must engage their behaviorally challenging students in behavior modification. While many middle school students learned the basic rules of classroom behavior in elementary school, some still struggle with essential behavior principles and need additional remediation. By working with those students who still need help refining their behaviors and implementing individualized behavior modification techniques, middle school teachers can reduce behavioral problems within the classroom and prepare their students for later-in-life behavior success.
- Create a visual reference to assist your behaviorally challenged students by making an illustrated instructions sheet. To prepare this activity, create a chart with three columns and four rows, all of equal size. Create copies of this chart, and provide a copy to any student who consistently struggles to follow the classroom rules. Sit with the student, and discuss the behavior problems that you consistently see him exhibiting. For example, if the child is always out of his seat, this may be an issue you choose to focus on. Write each selected issue in one of the boxes in the first column of the prepared chart.
After filling the first column, ask the student to create pictures that show the right and wrong way to follow each rule. Instruct the student to draw a picture of what it would look like when he does follow the listed rule in the second column, and a picture of what it would like when he doesn't in the third.
Once the student has filled the boxes, laminate the chart and place it in the student's binder. When the student struggles to follow one of the rules listed on his sheet, open his binder and draw his attention to the sheet, asking him to use it as a reference to assist him in doing the right thing.
- Many students struggle to follow rules because they have outbursts of energy or anger. Assist your student in controlling these difficult-to-handle situations by providing him with a journal. Give the student a theme or spiral-bound notebook, and ask him to record his thoughts and feelings in the book instead of having an unproductive outburst. Check the student's journal regularly and discuss his wise decision-making or the problems that he is consistently experiencing.
Daily Behavior Self-Check
- Make behavior-monitoring the student's job by engaging him in a daily behavior self-check activity. To prepare for this, type out your classroom rules. Below each rule, put a scale from one to five. Present this prepared chart to your student. Explain to him that you want him to think about how well he is controlling his behavior by grading himself daily. Ask the student to take the chart out at the end of each day and rate himself, giving himself a one if he followed the list rule poorly, or a five if he did an exceptional job. Discuss the student's self-imposed ratings daily and explore ways in which he could improve his future behavioral score.