Frame it Positively
What do I do when my student insists on doing or showing something immediately?
Try not to use negative words to respond to your student. For example if J.T. wants to show the class a new souvenir and is told, “No, not now. It is not Show and Tell time”, his behavior will most likely escalate. Instead, Frame it Positively: “Yes, that is a great idea, I would want to show that too. The best times today are right before recess or right before departure – which do you like the best?” This can immediately de-escalate J.T.’s anxiety about showing the item and he can feel some control over a situation the teacher has structured for him.
This created term refers to a form of interruption redirection. Though Interruption/Redirection is a term typically used to decrease stereotypic behaviors, in this case the adult’s verbal response interrupts a student’s obsessive thought, perceived immediate need or off-task behavior and replaces it with a question choice and in some instances empathetic statement first. The process negates adults using the words “no, not, don’t, can’t, later”. This procedure can prevent and/or de-escalate behavior issues.
- Child's Age: 3-5, 6-10, 11-13, 14-17, 18+
- Planning Effort: Low
- Difficulty Level: Moderate
Ability to understand student needs within the moment
- If the student is “in the moment” and displaying interfering behaviors – immediately assess the function and student needs.
- Agree and empathize with the student, per the above scenario: “Yes I would want to show that too….”.
- Begin to provide a structured choice question and options the student has control over such as: “The best times today are right before recess, or right before departure.”
- Be sure to delete from your vocabulary the following words: “NO, NOT, DON’T, CAN’T, LATER“.
Documents and Related Resources
responsiveclassroom.org (website article)
If you have questions or concerns about the Watson Institute’s use of this information, please contact us.