Discipline, Learning, and the Creation of a 7th grade Language Arts Classroom

Centers for instruction Discipline-  A 7th Grade Classroom in a public school

Norms we live by today!

By “Love and Logic”

What is discipline?

It is a building up process… we use discipline with our athletes, as they build up their bodies and minds but in school we look to discipline as enforcement or punishment. Discipline occurs when we take the responsibility for our actions because we desire on the inside, to improve.  Discipline is about process and creative visualization in learning to feel successful by providing our students with ways to feel capable.

  1. Discipline -Students do have rights today and if they perceive their rights are violated, they will not respond positively to teacher requests. Period.
  2. If you believe that the future is an extension of the past and you have a tendency to look at what once worked and think, it worked before, it should work again, the discipline challenge will be difficult to solve.
  3. In our culture, most people live with a victim mentality- where things outside ourselves are the reasons for our downfalls …so it is a challenge to work with students who believe this way ( and teachers) orienting them to an internal locus of control. What do we do? We reframe the perspective of awareness! Let’s discuss.
  4. Achievement determines worth.

Where does perspective fit into this behavioral equation?  Perception is the driving force of all behavior. To affect and redirect disruptive, volitional behavior on a long term basis, we need to change the perception that drives the behavior.

A significant danger we all face is to interpret another person’s behavior based on our own perceptions. Wars, power struggles, angst and all conflicts arise with a lack of understanding and this affects how willing we are to reach out to another even when we don’t want to!!

Why do kids misbehave?

  1. To avoid pain- avoid the pain of insult to self – worth by putting the blame anywhere other than on self
  2. To maintain some sense of self-worth
  3. A positive spin in the case of student misbehavior is often related to a desperate attempt to maintain a sense of self-worth.  ( example would be to avoid a sense of failure)

So we need to change our focus of awareness! We need to interact with students in such a way that sidesteps these responsibility avoiding behaviors. We give our students information that will cause them to think differently about a situation.

When your field of awareness  changes, so is your motivation and behavior.

  1. A student believes personal self-worth depends on accomplishments (grades, athletics achievements, etc.)
  2. Ability is perceived as a critical component for attaining these accomplishments
  3. Therefore ability becomes a primary component of self-worth.
  4. If success is unlikely or unanticipated, behaviors are utilized that minimize implications of lack of ability.
  5. Student chooses apathy, aggressiveness, passive-resistance and other behaviors to protect self!!

Page 84- Field of Awareness

It is always our interpretation of an experience itself that affects our behavior

P86 Humanitarians and Hindus

Perception and Behavior- 5 steps

  1. Empathy-“I’ll bet that makes you unhappy.”
  2. Send the Power Message- What do you think you are going to do? I’d like to hear your ideas.”
  3. Offer choices “Would you like to hear what other kids have tried?”
  4. Have the student state the consequences. “And how will that work?”
  5. Give permission for the student to either solve the problem or not solve the problem. “Good luck I hope it works out.”

One Guideline /Principle

“You can do anything in this class you want, provided it doesn’t cause a problem for anyone else.” How does that sound?

The only catch is that I am a person too just like you in this class so we have to consider what would be a problem for me as well.

This rule suggests and incorporates:

  1. A student’s self-concept  needs to be either maintained or enhanced
  2. Control is a shared commodity
  3. Consequences need to be served with compassion, empathy and understanding
  4. Thinking needs to be shared

We respond to covert messages much more than to overt messages. Only 7% of our communication is communicated verbally!!

Three –legged table

  1. Magic person
  2. Build on strengths because all of us come to school to work on weaknesses as school has always been designed to remedy deficits.
  3. Allow the consequences to build self-worth.  Learning from consequences is a struggle that can cause pain but surviving the struggle is a great self-concept builder. We learn that we are capable


  1. Instruction with Learning Challenges 
  2. Auditory Processing- sounds are jumbled, soft, sharp, fast and unclear
  3. Word Retrieval- Speak to one another for one minute without using the words, I, the , is and it
  4. Working Memory- radio playing, cards of words held up, blinking lights- retrieve the information
  5. Use opposite hand to write quickly fine motor skills


Discipline and Behavior Management

Great educators are experimenters and power is a major issue between children and adults. When we offer kids choices rather than making demands, we model critical and reflective thinking.   Given a range of choices, a child has endless opportunities to choose wisely.

  1. It is ok to delay the consequences.  A Missouri teacher experimented with this approach. One of his sixth grade students “talked back” to him. His immediate response was, That kind of talk is not acceptable in this classroom. I’m going to have to do something about that. I don’t know what it will be because I am busy teaching right now. I’ll let you know what I decide in the morning. Don’t worry about it tonight. “

When we try to solve problems in the heat of the moment when everyone is upset, nothing is accomplished except built up resentment and power struggles expanding.

Myth- you don’t have to like me but you need to respect me… ridiculous!!

You cannot make someone angry and sell them something at the same time!

Human beings will perform for the person they love. If a person loves himself, he or she will do it for himself. If he doesn’t have that high self-esteem or belief in self, he will have to do it for someone else until the time comes that he does it for himself.


How do we increase the self-esteem as we build on strengths and hook the students into learning that is relevant and meaningful. Use the phrase, “I noticed”

Then our next step is to request “will you do this for me?” This intervention is based on the research that shows a student’s improved behavior or cooperation can be traced and linked to the personal connections he/she develops with a special adult.   

Scenario:  Student: “I’m not staying after school and there is no way in hell you can make me!”

Teacher: Don’t worry about it. We can do it anytime. Let’s call your parent and see which day of the week would be convenient.

  1. Student comes in throws books on desk, mumbles a few inappropriate words, gives you the look and starts talking to neighbors
  2. You request that a student leave the room or change seats and she refuses, shouting , “you always pick on me, It is not fair, leave me the hell alone” What are your options? 

Page 29 Garbage into Gold

Page 40-41

How I am planning my school year:

  1. When students enter, they are given a blank check to be filled out periodically throughout the day- they will keep track of their amounts.
  2. Greeted with a smile, handshake and an affirmation
  3. Do-now will be given in two parts- the first is a gratitude statement for something that happened in the last 24 hours that feels relevant and meaningful to each student.  The second part will be related to the content from the day before. Each student will create a quiz or review question in the form of a poem, clue, question, rap, or illustration
  4. Instrumental music will be playing most days in my room with three areas. There will be a traditional area with chairs and desks, a community area with tables and a lounging area with a couch, chairs and bean bags. I will have three lamps placed throughout the room with coverings over the fluorescent lights.

The areas will be work/research areas with computers used in all three.  A library will be established with books, notebooks and writing materials along with flash drives, discs and technology options.

One wall or corner will be established for student work and any items they would like to bring from home, i.e. trophies, favorite animals, collections, posters, etc. Another corner will be a community area where service projects, information and discipline forms and guidelines will be made available.

Each semester, we will blog our work for parents, staff and students to share. We will also blog our work on service projects and guest speakers from the community that will be mentoring and facilitating our content. 

We will have an area for snacks, relaxation and chill time. This time will be allocated each day when needed or earned. As a class we will decide how to use these areas.    In our classroom we will blog a monthly newsletter to parents and sometimes the community. Our work will be displayed EVERYWHERE and our mottos will be:

Process and the Journey are the roads to success

Our greatest tools are the mistakes we make and learn from each day

Inquiry is how we learn.


Together we will look at the standards for the week and decide how we can use prior knowledge and what we already know to make these as relevant and meaningful as possible

Persuasive paragraph- job interview, grant proposal, car wash business, babysitting, etc.

Pre-Algebra- entrepreneurship, creating power points and math problems on a blog or web site, tutoring business

Science- Method of Inquiry, String theory, metaphysics, brain, research, careers, colleges,  


Twice a week, students will create quizzes and assessments for class and parents to share in their learning


We will tweet our research and findings to one another using a tweet deck and blogs

Class book to be read and voted on.

Submit our work to magazines, educational journals and publishers of all genres 


We will explore multiple intelligences and learning styles integrating into the curriculum. 


Leave a Reply

Verified by MonsterInsights