This lesson introduces a part of a behavioral intervention plan which I have found to be indispensable across all subject areas with students with behavioral disabilities. It teaches specific behaviors that children need to display in order to remain on task when others around them "act out" and are disruptive.
A lesson plan for grades 6–8 Guidance
- recite 3 appropriate behaviors necessary to ignore the inappropriate behavior of others.
- model 3 appropriate behaviors necessary to ignore the inappropriate behaviors of others.
- relate token and tangible rewards to the long-term positive effects of remaining on task and maximizing learning potential.
Time required for lesson
- poster board (at least 3 sheets)
- assorted markers or crayons
- token system for positive reinforcement
Students must know classroom rules and be able to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate behavior.
- Teacher asks the question, “Why is it important for us to study and learn ____? (Math, Writing, Reading,etc.) (Teacher will guide the students to relevant answers and into general agreement that it is important to learn as much as they can while they’re in class.)
- Teacher will then suggest that sometimes students are unable to learn as much as they could because they are distracted by the inappropriate classroom behavior of other students. “Today we are going to learn 3 things we can do so that other people don’t stop us from learning all that we can while we’re together. Who can give me an example of an inappropriate behavior in the classroom that may distract you from learning?” After one good example- “What can we do when that happens?” (rhetorical-continue without accepting responses) “The first thing we can do is not look at the person.” (Write on board- “1. Do not look at the person.”) “The second thing we should do is not say anything.” (Write on board- “2. Don’t say anything.”) “And the third thing we should do is keep on working or doing what we’re doing.” (Write on board- “3. Keep on working.”)
- “To help us remember these important steps we’re going to make posters with pictures to hang in the classroom.” Divide the class into 3 groups and have them devise a poster for each of the 3 steps which clearly states the step and contains an illustration. After the posters are hung let the children role play. Have one student “act-out” while the others demonstrate the 3 steps to planned ignoring. (It is particularly interesting to see your better behaved students take this role!) To wrap it up, review the steps and discuss the long-term value of ignoring the inappropriate behavior of other students. (More time on task, learning more, getting better grades…) Then explain that students will have the opportunity to earn classroom tokens when they successfully follow the steps.
- This can be tied into a token system you have in place or one that would easily work for the size and nature of your class. I drop chips in a cup that my students have on their desks. They start each day with 5. They lose chips if they do not follow my directions within 20 seconds. They earn chips for planned ignoring and for appropriate on-task behavior (randomly). They must have 5 tokens to cash in for computer privileges at the end of the class and for 10 or more chips they select a prize from a box of school supplies and novelties. Periodically review the steps. Continually reinforce appropriate behavior.
Initially assess with an open-ended written assessment which gives the student a situation in which another student in the classroom is acting out inappropriately. Ask them to explain exactly what 3 things that should do and why. Periodically review the steps as opportunities are appropriate in the classroom and have students verbally review the 3 behaviors.
I recommend Positive Discipline in the Classroom by Jane Nelsen, Lynn Lott, and H. Stephen Glenn.
Thanks to Dare County School Psychologist Shirley Parker for offering this concept. Teaching my 6th graders Planned Ignoring has made “all the difference.” It works for me!
North Carolina curriculum alignment
- Goal 1: Acquire the attitudes, knowledge and skills that contribute to effective learning in school and across the life span.
- North Carolina Essential Standards
- Guidance (2010)
- P.C.2 Use analytical strategies to understand situations. P.C.2.1 Analyze long-term assignments (e.g., projects and research papers) to determine the most appropriate strategies to use to complete each assignment. P.C.2.2 Use time-management and task-management...
- P.SE.1 Understand the meaning and importance of personal responsibility and self-awareness. P.SE.1.1 Identify how to set boundaries that maintain personal rights while paying attention to the rights of others. P.SE.1.2 Use self-determination to build independence...
- Guidance (2010)