Chapter 7: Improving Classroom Behavior and Social Skills

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Upon completion of this section the learner will:

  • Describe how to observe, record, and manage classroom behaviors.
  • Identify effective classroom management strategies.
  • Discuss less intensive classroom behavior strategies as well more formal management systems, and their implications for classroom management.
  • Compare and contrast different methods of assessing social skills.
  • Describe interventions to improve social skills.
  • Discuss and evaluate important considerations of social skills training.


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Part 2: Summary of Ideas

All students must know how to interact appropriately in group learning experiences.



Students misbehave in school for a variety of different reasons, such as gaining attention, gaining control, gaining retribution, or because of distrust of others.

Much of students' behavior is controlled by the classroom environment.

Classroom behaviors can be better observed, managed, and evaluated if they are operationalized and monitored by formal observation and recording systems, such as event recording, duration recording, time sampling, and interval recording.

Establishing a positive classroom atmosphere is an important key to effective behavior management.

Less intensive strategies, such as establishing rules, praise and ignoring, proximity, direct appeals, and reprimands, are helpful in maintaining appropriate classroom behavior.

More formal management systems for effective behavior management include positive reinforcement, punishment, token systems, attribution training, public posting, timeout and level systems, the "Good Behavior Game," and contracting.

Self-monitoring and self-instruction training is helpful in allowing students to take more awareness in, and control of, their own behavior.

A variety of strategies can be used to deal effectively with confrontations and to prevent them from escalating.

School-wide discipline systems have been effective in managing classroom behavior across entire school environments.

Several methods exist for assessing social skills, including surveys, checklists, role play, and direct observation.

Social skills are usually trained by modeling, reinforcement, shaping, and modeling-reinforcement. Several strategies can be effective in promoting generalization of social skills.

The effectiveness of social skills training, like other academic and behavioral interventions, should be monitored and validated in individual cases.

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Chapter Activities

One of the most important facets of classroom management is establishing and maintaining a positive, supportive classroom atmosphere.




Read Chapter 7 in the text. Use the Chapter 7 Graphic Organizer to "see" the big ideas in the chapter. Fill in blank sections of the graphic organizer. Add the graphic organizer to your class notebook.


Examine the following World Wide Web links and consider their perspectives based on information from Chapter 7. Print out useful information and add it to your class notebook.

Schwab Foundation for Learning Resource Index


The Disability Link Barn






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