Classroom management is assessed.

Adam is a student in Mr. Potter's fourth-grade class. He is the youngest of 6 children in a blended family. His mother and step-father both work long hours to support their family. His father moved to another state recently. Adam is a bright child, but is not always well behaved. He enjoys entertaining his classmates by making jokes, often at Mr. Potter's expense.

Mr. Potter views Adam's disruptive behavior as a cry for attention. He doubts that Adam gets much attention at home due to having so many siblings and because his parents are rarely home. He tries to ignore Adam's behavior because he does not want to reinforce it.

One day during language arts, Adam began talking very loudly to the other students in his area. He was also laughing and telling jokes. Mr. Potter chose to ignore Adam's behavior, hoping that he would stop on his own. Adam didn't stop. Instead, his behavior became more raucous. Still Mr. Potter ignored it. Soon Adam was making enough noise that Mr. Potter was afraid that students in the neighboring classrooms would be disturbed. He verbally reprimanded Adam.

Adam was a bit quieter for the next few minutes. After that, however, he once again became loud and disruptive. Again Mr. Potter verbally reprimanded him. This time he also told Adam that if he continued with his disruptive behavior, he would have to go to the office. Adam's behavior became even more disruptive. Mr. Potter sent him to the office.

When Adam arrived at the office it was full of people-teachers getting their mail and making copies, volunteers signing in, students who were ill, students sent on errands, and other students who had been sent for disciplinary reasons. The school secretary told Adam to have a seat, which he did. He conversed with every person who entered the office as well as those who were there when he arrived. Half an hour after his arrival, he was sent back to class. He behaved quite well for the rest of the day, to Mr. Potter's relief.

The next day, when students were assigned to write a paragraph, Adam once again became disruptive. He loudly told jokes to his classmates, laughed until tears were streaming down his face, and threw a paper airplane across the room. Mr. Potter reprimanded him and asked him to stop. When Adam didn't comply, Mr. Potter sent him to the office, which was once again bustling with activity.

Over the course of the next two weeks, Adam was sent to the office for disrupting class each day, always during a writing assignment. Mr. Potter was perplexed. Even more perplexing was that within three school days other children were becoming disruptive as well, requiring that they too be sent to the office.

a. Explain completely how you would characterize Mr. Potter's classroom management techniques. Why did Adam's behavior persist in spite of the fact that Mr. Potter's attempts not to reinforce it with attention? What should Mr. Potter try in the future to prevent Adam from being disruptive?

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...ontinue to do it as long as the desired response is being achieved. Mr. Potter's classroom management techniques are not addressing the peer reinforcement of the behaviors, and are not providing Adam with any good reason to stop doing them. The behaviors are not costing him anything, and are earning him much-desired attention.

Mr. Potter did recognize the general nature of Adam's behaviors, but he should have recognized the fact that if a disciplinary action is followed by an increase rather than a decrease in problem behavior, it is obviously not effective. Adam has clearly found that the office is a wonderful place to chat with people and receive plenty of attention. Since Adam is doing this consistently during writing assignments, Mr. Potts should have recognized that Adam was deliberately escaping this task. To make it worse, Adam has probably been bragging to his peers about what a fantastic time he has in the office and how everyone talks to ...