Mar 14, 2022

Transforming the Classroom with My Disruptive Behavior Solution (Part 1)

As educators, we know all too well the challenges posed by disruptive behavior in our classrooms.  It’s a constant juggling act to maintain a positive learning environment while ensuring every student’s needs are met. 

But, before I dive into sharing some new things I'm doing in my classroom to manage challenging behaviors, I want to give you a quick intro…

To give you a frame of reference, I've been implementing these techniques since the beginning of the year, and they are working well for my students. Whether you teach kindergarten like me or any other grade, I believe these ideas are adaptable and can be applied to a variety of grade levels. There is a lot I can say about this topic, but to make it more manageable I’m going to break this into two episodes with this podcast episode being part one and part two will be released later this month.

It wasn't long ago, shortly after Christmas break, I remember telling my husband Jeff how I had everything “under control” with my students. However, come mid-January, I felt like I was being hit by a bus every single day. I was hit with defiance, disrespect, constant interruptions, and disruptions even from students who were well-behaved before that week. That's when I realized I needed to hit the reset button and rethink my approach. So today, I'm sharing with you what I've been doing to create a significant turnaround in my classroom. 

Now, keep in mind, there are no guarantees that these strategies will work for you or that I won't face challenges ahead. However, I have seen a noticeable difference in my student's behavior, and that's what I want to share with you.

And I want to clarify that I don’t claim to have the perfect solutions or the "right" way of doing things. What I'm sharing is what's worked for me this year and has improved my students' behavior and our relationship in the classroom which has come about due to consistency, calmness, communication, and support from both administration and fellow teachers. Know that,  if you don't feel supported by your administration, don't dismiss these ideas because there are still things you can do within your classroom to make a difference. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

Consistent Classroom Routine

Every single day, I've created a simple and consistent routine for all subjects. The expectations remain the same whether it's reading, word work, listening to reading, writer's workshop, or math. These include staying in one spot, working at a whisper level (level zero or one), and focusing on the task at hand. The language used is the same, making it easy for students to grasp and remember the expectations across all subjects.

Implement Soft Start and Announcement Routines

We begin the day with a soft start, where students have six activity choices while staying in their seats. It allows them to ease into the day comfortably. After announcements, we transition smoothly with a clean-up song. This predictability helps in maintaining a calm and orderly classroom.

Community Circle and Classroom Pledge

We gather for Community Circle where we discuss our daily classroom goals and evaluate our behavior together. Our classroom pledge emphasizes reflecting respect, being responsible, showing kindness, and always doing our best. This fosters a sense of shared accountability among students.

Utilize the “Zones of Regulation”

Teaching students about the Zones of Regulation has been transformative. They learn to identify and regulate their emotions effectively, promoting better behavior and self-control. We provide strategies to cope with different feelings, empowering students to make better choices.

Teach Students About Positive and Negative Consequences

We reinforce positive behavior with positive office referrals and messages to parents. At the same time, we discuss negative consequences, so students understand the impact of their choices. This approach helps them take ownership of their behavior and encourages positive decision-making.

Teaching Self-Advocacy

I've taught my students to advocate for themselves, set personal boundaries, and use calm language to address disruptions. This approach fosters a respectful classroom culture and prevents conflicts.

Calming Techniques and Flow Time

We practice calming techniques like deep breathing and counting to ten to help students refocus and self-regulate. Go Noodle Flow Time has been valuable for meditation, mindfulness, and self-reflection.


Implementing these strategies consistently has significantly improved behavior in my classroom. Creating a calm, positive, and predictable environment has helped my students take ownership of their choices and feel empowered to advocate for themselves. Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all solution, and challenges may still arise. However, with patience and an open mindset, we can continue to improve the classroom experience for both ourselves and our students. Stay tuned for Part 2, where I'll share more effective classroom management techniques.



  1. Shift your mindset - Remember, it’s NOT you against them; rather be proactive by establishing routines and procedures that’ll set your students up for success. 
  2. Explicitly explain to students what your expectations look like and sound like.  Create anchor charts as reminders for your students to refer to throughout the day. 
  3. Set daily goals and reflect upon them throughout the day.  Also, provide students strategies that’ll help them meet the goal as well as be clear on consequences (both positive and negative). 


  • Click here to get my “Community Circle Song”
  • Classroom Pledge:
    • I will reflect respect.
    • I will be a responsible student.
    • I will display good manners. 
    • I will practice acts of kindness.
    • I will promise to always do my best!
    • I pledge to be respectful, responsible, and safe! 


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Click here to send me your questions.




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