Toilet roll and other tools for discipline

29th September 2006 at 01:00
Study offers behavioural tips to protect teachers in early years 'danger zone'

Using toilet rolls to make "behaviour binoculars", playing classical music and aromotherapy candles in the classroom are a few of the 101 tips in a new book to help teachers improve pupils' behaviour.

Showing children red and yellow referee cards is another way to deal with disruptive children in the classroom and to help curb bad behaviour, according to the research by Derby university's education department.

The book, out next month, provides teachers of children aged three to seven with practical ideas and advice on when to reward and punish behaviour and how to deal with problems such as tantrums, bullying and special needs.

Co-author Simon Brownhill said: "This book will not provide a quick fix in terms of dealing with behavioural issues in the classroom. Behaviour management is hard work and teachers will need to select strategies to use in their class carefully and use them consistently and regularly for them to have the maximum impact.

"However, we have provided a teaching tool which we believe can really change classrooms. Without these tips, you're entering a danger zone.

"I first used toilet rolls as 'behaviour binoculars' when I was teaching.

The results are amazing - children sit up and behave as you tell them you are going to use the binoculars to scan the room for good behaviour."

The book looks at how teachers can read signs from their pupils' body posture and tells them how they can use tone of voice and gestures effectively. For example, it advises that teachers should only speak when all the children are listening. When trying to draw the children in and get their attention, it recommends using a low, quiet voice to encourage them to listen.

Fiona Shelton, one of the authors, said: "We can read a lot about the mood of children by the way they hold themselves. Reading body language can be very useful in preventing unwanted and inappropriate behaviour in the classroom."

For example, folded arms can often be a sign of defence or defiance, so teachers are advised to keep their hands by their sides in order to be more approachable and encourage children to open up. Similarly, pointing can be perceived as aggressive behaviour.

101 Essential lists for managing behaviour in the early years is published by Continuum Books

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