Saturday, May 5, 2012

Logical Consequence Against the Defiant

As I've said before, I've been reading a book by Robert Mackenzie called "Setting Limits in the Classroom." One of the best and simplest ideas that I got from it was the idea of logical consequences. I had a particularly successful opportunity in utilizing it a few days back.

These students were playing with wood chips in this patch of area where the trees are. One of the school rules is that they are not supposed to play in that area. So, I told them once, "You need stop playing with the wood chips. Otherwise, you'll have to stay inside (i.e. the auditorium rather than the playground) for the rest of the day." In their defense, they weren't doing anything particularly mischievous or harmful, but some students have (e.g. throwing wood chips around or simply making a mess). They agreed to stop doing it. So, I walked away. They started playing with the wood chips again. I returned to them and said, "Ok. All three of you need to go inside." Two of them agreed to listen. I thanked them for doing so. One of them was trying to defend themselves.

Her: Ok. We'll stop playing with them.

Me: I already told you to stop before. You had your chance. You'll have another chance next time.

Her: But, other students play with wood chips.

Me: Yea, but that doesn't mean it's right when they do it. No one is allowed to play with the wood chips. Alright. Time to go inside.

Her: You're unfair!

Me: No I'm not. I just said. No one is supposed to be playing with them. Ok. Time to go inside.

Her: (pauses for about a minute... Finally, she gives up and walks inside)

It doesn't end there though. After we headed down, that same student tried to challenge me again.

Her: Mr. Auto, can I open you up and check if you're made in China because you're fake?

Me: (Pause for 5 seconds) You just called me fake. You just insulted me. If you insult me again, you'll stay in the portable for the rest of the day (i.e. the remaining hour left in the after school program).

Her: (She says nothing... and walks away)

Just to be clear, in the first case, they didn't use the wood chips properly, so the logical consequence was to have them go inside. The consequence was administered to show them what happens when they refuse to follow school rules on the playground. If you can't follow school rules while on the playground, then you can't be on the playground.

In the second case, that girl wasn't being respectful to me, so the logical consequence would have been to send her inside. If you can't be respectful to your peers and teachers on the playground, then you cannot be on the playground.

So, the gist is if they cannot follow the rules for a given area, then as a reminder, they will temporarily lose their privilege to use that area.

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