Why pairing explicit instruction and behavior supports makes sense

Too often, we make instruction and classroom management separate issues. If you’ve worked in a classroom before, you know this isn’t the reality. Great instruction requires great classroom management and great classroom management requires great instruction. The two work together, in harmony, not opposition.

That’s why you should teach both instruction and classroom management together. We do this on our team, by working with the Strategic Instruction team here at Region 13. We collaborate to create classroom systems which take both classroom management, and instruction, into account. Here are three reasons we think you should bundle instruction and management together

Continue reading “Why pairing explicit instruction and behavior supports makes sense”

Personal Accounts: Trauma and SEL

Social Emotional Learning and Trauma

Today our specialist, Monica Kurtz gives us her thoughts on trauma and the importance of teaching Social Emotional Learning in our schools.

School shootings.  Outrage. Fear. Helplessness.  My newsfeed is filled with almost daily reports of another shooting, more victims.  More death. Working in a school, particularly in behavior, I have worked with students that scare me.  I can envision a dark future that involves them, weapons and widespread destruction. How do we combat that darkness?  I’m not the only person asking that question.

Continue reading “Personal Accounts: Trauma and SEL”

Tips for Setting up our Classrooms to Improve Classroom Management

When we talk about classroom management, we often lean on theory but forget the practical steps you can take. One of the best things you can do for your classroom, is learn how to physically set up your classroom for success. We asked Angela Isenberg to give us a few tips on how to properly set up your physical space to boost classroom management.

Continue reading “Tips for Setting up our Classrooms to Improve Classroom Management”

3 Reasons why Behavior Charts Are Not Effective

Why Behavior Charts aren't effective

Plenty of schools use behavior charts to track their students’ behavior. Behavior charts come in all shapes and sizes and are used primarily to motivate students to behave better while in class. At the core, the idea seems right: by tracking our students’ reactions throughout the day we encourage them to make better choices. But like many things, the idea works better than its practical applications.

Behavior charts can reinforce students who are already sociable and well behaved, but negatively affect those students who aren’t. Using charts in your classroom can affect students with a history of trauma, shame your students, and enforce strict obedience instead of actual change. Here are three big reasons why behavior charts aren’t effective.

Continue reading “3 Reasons why Behavior Charts Are Not Effective”

Tips to Setting up Efficient and Effective Classroom Rules

Setting Up Efficient and Effective Classroom Rules

The hardest part of starting any new school year, or even a new semester is setting up effective and efficient classroom rules. Classroom management can be difficult, because what works for one group of students isn’t going to work for the next. We asked Albert Felts to break down for us his process for setting up effective and efficient classroom rules and this is what he gave us:


I always think of classroom rules as the hill I want to die on. What that means, my rules need to be so consistently enforce, that the world stops when there’s a rule violation. If they’re not consistently enforced, then it’s not a helpful tool for students to navigate how we want our classrooms to run.

Continue reading “Tips to Setting up Efficient and Effective Classroom Rules”

Three Tips to Create Great FBAs and BIPs

Functional Behavior Assessments and Behavior Intervention Planning

We asked our education specialist, Amy Fanetti to give us a little bit of insight on how to write great functional behavioral assessments and behavior intervention plans. For newbies to the behavior world, functional behavioral assessments and behavior intervention plans are critical documents that guide us as we deal with behavior on a campus or in the classroom.

Functional behavioral assessments help us understand the purpose or reason for behaviors displayed by our students due to a variety of factors. Through interviews, data collection, and more, we come to understand why a specific student might be exhibiting a behavior, therefore helping us plan for the future.

Continue reading “Three Tips to Create Great FBAs and BIPs”

The Four Types of Leaders from Dr. Peter DeWitt’s Collaborative Leadership

We’re featuring a special guest post from our friends and super-smart co-workers, the Strategic Instruction Team. In it they break down Dr. Peter DeWitt’s four types of leadership, helping you identify which type you are.


As we look towards the fast-approaching New Year, we’re focusing on building stronger, more collaborative leaders. Your PBIS teams or your school behavior teams are strengthened or hindered by their leadership. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true: teams are stronger when everyone’s working together.

On our team (the Strategic Instruction Team at Region 13), we’ve been thinking a lot about leadership types and collaboration. Personally, we’ve always been strong proponents of collaboration in leadership roles. We believe everyone works best when leaders work with everyone, not just dictate what needs to be done in a classroom. We’ve been so inspired by Dr. DeWitt’s work that we’ve even invited him to present to us here at Region 13 on March 6th.

Continue reading “The Four Types of Leaders from Dr. Peter DeWitt’s Collaborative Leadership”

Announcing the 2018 – 2019 Behavior Coach Endorsement Program

Our Behavior team at the Education Service Center, Region 13 is pleased to announce we’re officially accepting applications for Cohort 12 of the Behavior Coach Endorsement Program! The endorsement program is an intensive, 240 hours of training for administrators, counselors, teachers, and paraprofessionals who wish to become a behavior specialist.

This program focuses on a multi-tiered system of behavior supports, as we spend the 240 hours training you in the following topics:

Continue reading “Announcing the 2018 – 2019 Behavior Coach Endorsement Program”

What is a Compass of Shame and Why is it Useful?

Compass of Shame

Shame is a big component of our daily lives, whether it’s warranted or not. Shame can be a confusing concept for some to grasp. Donald Nathanson, former director of the Silvan S. Tomkins Institute, explained shame as a “critical regulator of human social behavior” and Silvan S. Tomkins defined it as “occurring any time that our experience of the positive…is interrupted.” In both of these cases, shame plays a vital role in our behaviors. That’s why, Nathanson developed “The Compass of Shame” to help better understand the many ways that people react when they feel shame. We can use the Compass of Shame in our Restorative Discipline processes.

Continue reading “What is a Compass of Shame and Why is it Useful?”