Teacher Toolbox
Classroom Management - Arousal Regulation / Attention


Strategies for helping a child with the arousal regulation problem of being defiant include:

  • Limit choices

    Example: Which of these two toys would you like to play with now? (NOT) What toy do you want?

    Do you want milk or water to drink with snacks? (NOT) What do you want to drink with snacks?

  • Maintain a predictable schedule:
  • Use a nonverbal cue to direct the student's attention to you before presenting the direction

    Example: Hand the student pictures showing what you will be discussing.

  • Explicitly define the purpose of the lesson and/or the student's expectation

    Work system with containers and finished folder for task for younger children.

    Explain what you expect on a writing assignment: Say, "Before you turn this into me, check that all the things on this list are complete."
        [ ] Sentences begin with capital letters
        [ ] Sentences end with a (. ? !)
        [ ] Known words are spelled correctly
        [ ] The sentences make sense
        Yes or No I read the sentences back to myself and they make sense, my writing is neat, and I tried my best.

  • Have the student restate the directions in their own words to check for their understanding.

  • Establish a consistent Behavior Management Plan.

  • When giving a direction, avoid using phrases "I want you to ..." to limit the triggers for power struggles.

    'Morning Work Time' class schedule