Discipline Strategies for the End of the Year
For students, spring is an energizing time of the school year. The days are getting longer and the weather is warming up, conjuring the possibilities of summer break. Students who are graduating are starting to prepare for their transition to a new school. It is a time of excitement and impending change. Because all this extra energy can spill over into the classroom and disrupt students’ learning, the end of March is an ideal time to check back in with your current discipline strategies and assess what will be most effective for the final stretch of the year.
Below you will find articles on a variety of strategies for responding to misbehavior, including logical consequences, positive time-out, positive teacher language, role-play, and problem-solving conferences, as well as advice on responding to defiance in the moment and helping students refocus on academics. You will also find books and Quick Coaching Guides that offer a more extensive look at these practices. We hope these resources can support you as you strengthen and update your own approach to discipline so it meets the needs of your students during the final stretch of the school year.
- “How Logical Consequences Are Different From Punishment”—Approach discipline with the underlying belief that students both can and want to do better. (For more on this subject, also check out “Responding to Misbehavior With Empathy.”)
- “How to Use Positive Time-Out to Teach Students How to Calm Down and Regain Self-Control”—Teach students the skills that lead to self-control using positive time-out. (For more on this subject, also check out “Time-Out and Teaching Self-Regulation.”)
- “Approaching Discipline With Compassion”—Effective discipline requires teacher empathy. In this article, learn how to use guidelines to clarify expectations, lead with curiosity, and collaborate with students to solve behavior issues. (For more on this subject, also check out “Responding to Misbehavior With Empathy.”)
- “Want Positive Behavior? Use Positive Language”—Set your students up for success by conveying your belief in them and reinforcing the positive behaviors you notice.
- “Strategies for Solving Thorny Behaviors”—Learn more about four strategies for responding to misbehavior: role-play, problem-solving conferences, individual written agreements, and class meetings.
- “Responding to Defiance in the Moment”—Learn how to deescalate emotionally charged moments of student defiance. (For more on this subject, also check out “When Children Are Defiant.”)
- “Strategies for Getting Students Back on Track”—Try out these developmentally specific strategies for helping students get back on task academically.
- “Navigating Challenging Middle School Behaviors in the Second Half of the Year”—Help your middle school students navigate challenging behaviors while preserving their dignity.
- “Five Steps for Responding to Midyear Misbehavior”—Many of the strategies that are effective for addressing midyear behavior issues are also applicable to this time of year. (For more on this subject, also check out the strategies in “Ways to Address Common Behavior Challenges That Pop Up Midyear”
Interested in a more comprehensive look at Responsive Classroom discipline strategies? These books and Quick Coaching Guides have everything you need:
- Elementary school teachers can learn more with Teasing, Tattling, Defiance & More, Teaching Self-Discipline, and Responsive School Discipline.
- Middle school teachers should check out Seeing the Good in Students.
- Additionally, the following Quick Coaching Guides address specific strategies for addressing behavior issues:
Now is a great time to start preparing your students for an ending to the school year that is both productive and joyful. Begin today by proactively assessing what discipline strategies will be effective with your students during the final months of the school year.
Ted Powers is an editor for Responsive Classroom.