Classroom Discipline

Classroom Discipline book cover

Guiding Adolescents to Responsible Independence

by Linda Crawford and Christopher Hagedorn
For Middle Level • Grades 5-9, with application to high school


Award-Winning Book
2009 Midwest Book Awards – First Place

Midwest Independent Publishers Association




Work with colleagues to implement a consistent discipline approach school-wide


Because many adolescents struggle to connect to school or to exercise the self-control needed to learn, rule-breaking happens, disrupting learning and eroding community. Adolescents are not likely to succeed in school unless someone consciously teaches and provides rigorous practice for the social and emotional skills they need.

Classroom Discipline is about student growth. It describes how to build a classroom climate in which students become responsibly independent because teachers guide them incrementally toward the emotional, social, and academic skills necessary for successful self-management. You will learn how to implement the following best practices for adolescent discipline:

  • Effective teacher mindset for discipline
  • Building relationship
  • Goal-setting
  • Social Contract, creating rules
  • Modeling and practicing rules and procedures
  • Engaging students in school
  • Redirecting rule-breaking
  • Problem-solving repeat rule-breaking


SECTION I Introductions
Chapter 1: Introducing Responsible Independence
Chapter 2: Teacher Mindset and Skills

SECTION II Establishing Relationship and Order
Chapter 3: Establishing Relationship

Social conferences
Chapter 4: Establishing Purposes and Agreements
Preparing for Goal Setting with Assessment
Goals and Declarations
Social Contract
Chapter 5: Living Our Agreements in Daily Routines
Modeling One Routine at a Time
Recording Ideas to Support Expectations
Role Play
Reflective Loop
Reinforcing, Reminding, and Remodeling
Chapter 6: Engaging Students
Meet Students Where They Are Developmentally
Engaging Students through Relevance
Engaging Students through Pacing
Engaging Students through Participation
Engaging Students through Clarity and Order

SECTION III Responding to Rule-breaking
Chapter 7: Redirecting

Growth through Adjusting Behavior
Nonverbal Cues
Verbal Cues
Loss of Privilege
Fix It on the Spot
Take a Break
Take a Break Out
Effective Redirecting
Chapter 8: Problem-solving
Problem-solving Social Conferences
Problem-solving Meetings
Role Play
Conflict resolution: Problem-solving between Students
Apology of Action

Appendix A: Adolescent Development
Appendix B: Assessment
Appendix C: Goals and Declarations
Appendix D: Social Contract
Appendix E: Modeling
Appendix F: Redirection and Problem-solving
Appendix G: Behavior Management beyond the Classroom

This honest and user-friendly text presents challenging situations with warmth and understanding and outlines solutions to complex problems with clarity and wisdom. Educators who embrace and implement, with open hearts and minds, the ideas and strategies offered here, will surely guide even their most reluctant and challenging students to responsible independence, the foundation of lives that are whole and full.
Karen J. Rusthoven, Ed.D., Principal, St. Paul MN

One of my favorite teachings is the importance of "connection before correction." Often, the best thing a teacher can do to improve student behavior is to stop focusing on the behavior and to start focusing on building the relationship. One of the many things I loved about this book is the emphasis on meeting the needs of students as a foundation for creating a positive learning environment.
Jane Nelsen, Ed.D., author of Positive Discipline

LINDA CRAWFORD is the founder and executive director of Origins. An experienced teacher for 40 years, she is co-founder of the Developmental Designs approach to integrated social and academic learning for adolescents. Her books include The Advisory Book, To Hold Us Together: Seven Conversations for Multicultural Understanding, and Lively Learning: Using the Arts to Teach the K-8 Curriculum.

CHRISTOPHER HAGEDORN taught secondary-level English for 16 years, implementing many of the teaching practices described here. As an Origins consultant, workshop facilitator, and writer, he has provided professional development and supporting articles and materials for middle-level educators for nearly ten years.

Classroom Discipline is the second book in Origins' Best Practices Series reflecting the foundational beliefs and practices of the Developmental Designs for Middle School approach to integrating social and academic teaching and learning.

The Origins Program, 2009, 304 pages, soft cover
ISBN: 978-0-938541-13-4