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Reducing Behavior Problems

When children exhibit disruptive behaviors in the classroom it can impact the learning experience for all students. In elementary school, many of the typical behavior problems can be prevented through effective classroom management, engaging instruction, and positive student-teacher relationships that promote good behavior. However, students who exhibit persistent or significant behavior problems may require additional support to address underlying psychosocial factors and develop improved coping skills.

The first step to helping these students is to identify and describe behaviors and recognize the conditions that trigger them. Once teachers have an understanding of the behaviors, they can modify the environment to better serve the student's needs and teach skills for social interaction and behavior management. Beyond the classroom, building collaborative relationships with colleagues and students' families allows for deeper insight into children's behavior and ongoing support and guidance in addressing problems. All of these supports will be most successful when they are part of a schoolwide approach to monitoring behavior, reducing problems, and promoting positive social interactions.

To learn more about the research underlying these practices, view the IES Practice Guide, Reducing Behavior Problems in the Elementary School Classroom.

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