Creating Positive Discipline Strategies and Classroom Magic

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If you have ever been in any public or private school community, there is always that room or that teacher whose class is simply “out of control.” You can feel the tension as you walk towards the classroom and feel the muscles tighten as your hand grips the door handle. You take one long breath before opening the door and exposing the outside world to Mr. X’s world of chaos. For Mr. X, classroom management is not a part of his professional toolkit. He freely acknowledges that his kids have taken over the classroom and he is just trying to survive through the rest of the year before he leaves to become an accountant.

Fredric Jones' Positive Discipline Strategies

You hand Mr. X two books written by a famous psychologist, Fredric Jones “Positive Classroom Discipline (1987)” and “Tools for Teaching (2000)” that will change his life and that of his students for the remainder of the school year and then you back quickly out of the classroom, ducking the paper airplane that sails easily through the narrow crack of the closing door.

The positive discipline strategies of Fredric Jones can be summarized in the most basic conceptual simplicity, " teachers should be able to teach in their classrooms and students should be able to learn using self-control measures to guarantee that both necessities happen in every classroom." Jones (2000) recommends that teachers implement the following five classroom management strategies in the classroom to maintain positive discipline for students:

1) Provide a structured classroom learning environment: A teacher in a structured classroom with expectations and consistency in instruction and classroom management creates classroom magic. The physical structure of chairs and room arrangement can allow the teacher greater access to students who need proximity and more individualized attention.

2) Create classroom control by creating effective instruction: Teachers can create effective classroom control by providing consistent instruction that is engaging and performance based. By implementing real-life application strategies in lesson planning, teachers can maintain student’s self-control and keep them interested in the learning process and outcome.

3) Set limits and classroom management consequences: Teachers are under contracts to maintain control of the classroom. By providing students with limits and consequences for off-task behavior and learning disengagement, the classroom becomes a win-win learning community for the teacher and students.

4) Build collaborative and cooperative learning communities: Jones (2000) proposed an incentive reward system titled PAT (Preferred Activity Time) that can be used to celebrate student achievements and accomplishments.

5) Have a back-up plan: Teachers should have a back-up plan that includes scenarios and consequences for minor infractions or one time student disruptions. The plan can be as simple as a warning or as complex as after school detention.


  • Jones, F.H. (2000). Tools for teaching. Santa Cruz, CA: Frederic H. Jones & Associates.
  • Jones, F.H. (1987). Positive classroom discipline. New York: McGraw-Hill.