How to Improve Student Behavior in the Classroom

Oftentimes, students will misbehave when they are not engaged or not motivated. By using positive reinforcements, you can redirect students’ misbehavior. Try praising positive behavior, teaching politeness, offering rewards, and encouraging your students. Another way to improve student behavior is restructuring the way you teach. Do this by rearranging your classroom, giving hands-on assignments, showing a daily agenda, and giving students breaks.

EditOffering Support and Positivity
Look for opportunities to praise positive actions. You surely want to correct disruptive behavior; however, when a student does something the right way, give attention to these moments. Encouraging positive behavior shows other students a positive example and lessens the attention given to misbehaving.
Redistributing praise will give every student the opportunity to do something well.

Thank a student for raising their hand to speak.

Give praise to the entire class, like “Thanks everyone for turning in your assignment on time!”[1]

Offer rewards to increase motivation and attention. Try classroom reward systems like offering bonus points or using a prize bucket to encourage students to better their achievements and actions. A student who is usually disruptive will start to interrupt less if they are motivated by doing well with their assignments or following the rules.[2]

Offer support and encouragement to boost your students’ self-esteem. Believing in your students and showing you care helps redirect misbehavior into positive actions. It will also help boost their self-esteem, and they will start believing in their own abilities more.
If a student is not understanding something, offer to show them after class.

If a student keeps interrupting class discussion, ask them personally if there is something they would like to talk about one-on-one at a later time.

If a student is really passionate about one subject, offer them additional reading materials on the topic. [3]

Give students breaks to learn in manageable chunks of time. Students can act disruptive when their attention is fading or if they are not engaged. Giving short breaks throughout your lesson will help break up the work and keep students attentive. Breaks can be simple, like stopping to do ten jumping jacks or taking a walk through the hallway.
Break frequency and length is personal preference. Aim to take breaks after long sections on one topic or when your students look like their attention is fading. Don’t take breaks longer than just a few minutes so they don’t interfere with your teaching time.

You can also find a relevant, short, and fun video on the internet to play as an intermission.

Giving breaks will also offer encouragement and a reward. You can say something like, “Okay class, after we finish the first draft of the essay, we will take a five minute reading break.”

Avoid hurting students’ feelings when calling on select students. Most classes will always have a few students who always raise their hands first. However, you want to call on all students as equally as you can. Try the “pick a stick” behavioral strategy to help ensure all students are called on and feelings aren’t hurt.
Write the students’ names on a Popsicle craft stick. Pick the stick in order to select the student to call on.

You can also assign each student a number and write the number down. Pick a stick and select the student who was assigned the same number as what is written on the stick.

Use this when assigning student jobs or choosing helpers as well. [4]

EditSetting Clear Guidelines and Expectations
Set rules early in the year so students know what is expected of them. Think about at least three rules before the school year starts. Give students the opportunity to add in two more rules. If a student has a voice in establishing expectations, they are more likely to follow the rules.
Grouping things in threes or fives can make it easier to remember.[5]

Help your students be more responsible. Gradually increase your students’ responsibilities by assigning small tasks, such as erasing the board or collecting homework. This will help them feel a greater sense of accountability. Identify your most irresponsible students and give them small tasks that will boost their accountability.
Small tasks will build responsibility, and responsibility will lead to better behavior. [6]

Set an example for you students by teaching politeness. Model the behavior you want your students to mimic by saying polite things and acting kind. Focus on encouraging “please and thank you,” “hello and goodbye,” and “excuse me.” Reinforcing proper manners will inspire more acts of politeness and change the tone of your classroom.[7]

Arrange your classroom in a spiral shape. This will create a positive learning environment. Place your teaching spot at the front of the room and arrange the students’ desks in a circle around this spot. You will be able to see all students, easily move around your classroom, and minimize distractions. Each student will easily see the front of the room.
Once they are familiar with this circular seating arrangement, your students will establish their own personal space in your classroom. Knowing their spot can help improve overall behavior because they get comfortable with this viewpoint.[8]

Show students the daily agenda so they know what to expect. Surprises can throw off a student, make them anxious, and cause them to misbehave. A simple solution is to write a daily agenda on your board, detailing what you will cover that day. If your students feel prepared for the day, they will feel less anxiety and behave better.
You can write things like, “watch movie,” “finish practice problems,” or “take test.”

Provide hands-on assignments to engage students in their work. Hands-on assignments include activities like building models, doing science experiments, or acting out scenarios. This will minimize students’ potential to get bored and cause disruptions. Incorporating an active learning style will keep all students engaged and can also be a fun way to learn.
For math classes, play a game such as Jeopardy and have students answer math problems correctly for points. The students or team with the most correct answers win.

For English classes, try using “popcorn” reading, where one student reads a paragraph, and then calls on another student in the class to read the next paragraph. This keeps students listening and aware.[9]

EditDealing with Difficult Students
Take a breath and speak kindly when addressing challenging students. If you act frustrated or angry, this will rub off on your students and they will likely respond similarly. Take a second to compose yourself if you need it, but make sure you speak kindly to set the tone.
Making students feel good about themselves and their behavior is your goal. [10]

Let a misbehaving student respond and encourage a solution. Giving your student the opportunity to speak will make them feel validated and understood. Let them explain why what they did was wrong, and encourage them to come up with a solution.
This may go something like this:”John, that wasn’t a very nice response. Why is that a mean thing to say?” [11]

Ensure the student that you like them, just not their behavior. Reassure them by saying something like, “Hey Kayla, I like you, I just don’t like when you call out and answer before I call on you”. This will affirm to them that there isn’t anything wrong with them, just the action, and this will make them less likely to do it next time. [12]

Speak in private for specific or chronic behavior disruptions. Sometimes you have to speak more in depth about an issue with a student,. When this happens, have the conversation in private. In your office or after class can be good times for this. Describe the misbehavior specifically and outline the consequences of the action.
If necessary, this is a time to carry though with disciplinary actions, like detention or suspension. [13]

Try different strategies and use what works for your students.

Ask other teachers what has worked for them to improve behavior.

Every student is unique, and not every strategy will work for every student. Personal strategies may have to be created.

EditRelated wikiHows
Discipline Children in the Classroom

Control a Class

EditSources and Citations
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Today in History for 9th January 2019

Historical Events

1493 – 1st sight of manatees by Christopher Columbus
1923 – Juan de la Cierva makes 1st autogiro flight, Spain
1973 – Luna 21 launched, to Moon
1976 – C. W. McCall CB song “Convoy” hits #1 on the country music charts
1976 – Ringo Starr releases “Oh My My” in UK
1984 – Rock band Van Halen release their most successful album “1984”

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1554 – Gregory XV, [Alessandro Ludovisi], pope (1621-23)
1856 – Anton Askerc, Slavic priest/poet (Primoz Trubar)
1857 – Henry B Fuller, American writer (Under the Skylights)
1959 – Mark Martin, American stock car racing driver, born in Batesville, Arkansas
1965 – Joely Richardson, English actress (Body Contact, Wetherby), born in London, England
1969 – Johanna Ikonen, Finnish ice hockey defenseman (Finland, Olympics 1998), born in Eno, Finland

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1854 – Filippo Traetta, [Philip Trajetta], Italian composer, dies at 77
1968 – Louis-Francois-Marie Aubert, French composer (Habanera), dies at 90
1990 – Sir Edward McTiernan, Australian jurist, lawyer and politician (b. 1892)
1991 – Chris Baay, Dutch actor (Tomorrow It Will Be Better, Klatergoud, Surprise Raid), dies at 86
1993 – Alois Brunner, German/Syrian commandant of KZ-Lower Drancy, dies
2018 – Tommy Lawrence, Scottish football player and goalkeeper (Liverpool, Tranmere Rovers), dies at 77

More Famous Deaths »

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How to Knit Socks

Knitting socks can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! You can knit socks on a loom even if you have never knit before. If you are a little more experienced, then you can try knitting socks on a pair of straight needles. Or, if you have even more experience and want to create socks in the round, then use a pair of circular knitting needles!

EditMaking Knit Socks on a Loom
Attach a slipknot to the anchor peg on your loom. This is the small peg on the side of your loom. Loop the yarn around your index and middle finger 2 times to form a slipknot. Then, pull the first loop over the second loop and tug the tail of the yarn to tighten it. Place this loop onto the anchor peg.[1]
Do this 1 time to begin the sock.

Choose a chunky or super bulky weight yarn for knitting on a loom.

Wrap the yarn around each peg in the loom 1 time and repeat. Next, begin your cast on rows by wrapping the yarn around each 1 of the pegs 1 time. Wrap in the shape of a lowercase letter “e.” Go around each peg from inside the loom first, then around the peg towards the outside of the loom, back into the center, and towards the next peg.[2]
Repeat this for each peg on the loom.

Wrap the yarn around each peg a second time and repeat. Repeat the exact same wrapping process a second time. These 2 rows will be your cast on rows.[3]

Lift the bottom yarn loop up and over the top loop and repeat. Insert the end of the hook into the bottom loop on the first peg in your loom (next to the anchor peg) and lift this yarn up and over the top loop and off the peg. This will leave 1 loop on the peg.[4]
Repeat this for every peg in the round.

Wrap the yarn around each peg 1 time and lift each loop up and over and repeat. Repeat the wrapping process again for each peg on the loom. Then, lift the bottom loop up and over the top loop on each peg.
Repeat for a total of 10 rows.[5]

Place the stitches from the first row onto the pegs. To create a cuff for the sock, bring the bottom edge of the knit piece up through the center of the loom. Then, use your fingers and the loom hook to open up a stitch from the first round and place it onto a peg. Continue placing 1 stitch onto each of the pegs until you have a total of 2 stitches on each peg.[6]
Make sure that the stitches you are putting onto the pegs are the same ones that you knit with those pegs. Check the rows to ensure that they are even.

Lift the bottom loop over the top loop and repeat. Use the hook to lift the bottom loop on the first peg up and over the top loop. Repeat this for the whole round. This will secure the cuff of the sock.[7]

Loop the yarn around each of the pegs 1 time and repeat. Then, lift the bottom loops over the new loops you have created. Knit the rounds by wrapping the yarn around each peg 1 time and then lifting it up and over the top of the peg.[8]
Repeat this for 5 rows.

Knit pegs 1 through 12 for the heel flap. Wrap the yarn around pegs 1 through 12, but do not go beyond peg 12. Then, lift the bottom loop of the yarn up and over the top of each peg to knit.[9]
Repeat this for 4 rows.[10]

Decrease and repeat for the next 6 rows. To decrease on the loom, start each row by lifting 1 loop off the first peg and placing it onto the peg next to it. Then, wrap the yarn around pegs 2 through 12 and knit them as usual. Knit the 2 loops on the second peg at the same time.[11]
Repeat this for the next 5 rows for a total of 6 decrease rows.

When you are finished, look for 3 empty pegs on either side of the remaining heel stitches (pegs 4 through 9).

Pick up the stitches from the sides of the heel. Place 1 of each of these stitches onto an empty peg. Use your hook to lift up the stitches that you have taken off of the pegs and put them back onto the empty pegs.[12]
For example, place 1 stitch onto pegs 1 through 3 and 10 through 12. Then, place 2 stitches on pegs 4, 9, 13, and 24.[13]

Knit and repeat until the foot portion of the sock is the desired length. Once all of the stitches are back on the loom, wrap the yarn around each of the pegs in the loom. Lift the bottom loop (or the 2 bottom loops if there are 2) up and over the top loop to knit.[14]
Continue to knit until the sock is the desired length. You can measure the length against an existing sock, or put your foot through the loom to check the length.

Wrap the yarn around the loom 1.5 times and cut it. Wrap the yarn around the outside of the loom 1.5 times. Cut the yarn at the end of this length.[15]

Thread a yarn needle, sew through a loop, and repeat. Insert the end of the yarn through the eye of a yarn needle. Then, begin sewing through each of the loops on the loom. Insert the end of the needle through a loop on the loom. Go into the loop from the bottom of the loom so that the needle is right up against the peg. Push the needle all the way through the loop and pull until the thread is taut. This will lift the loop up and off the peg.[16]
Repeat until all of the loops are on the strand of yarn and off the loom.

Invert the sock and sew up the toe. Turn the sock inside out so that you can sew up the toe from the inside. This will hide the seam. Hold the edges of the sock together and insert the needle through 2 stitches at a time. Pull the thread taut after each stitch.[17]
Repeat until the sock is completely sewn up and then tie off the last stitch and cut the excess yarn.

Make your second sock in the same way.

EditUsing 2 Straight Knitting Needles
Make a slipknot to start the cast on row. Loop the yarn around your index and middle finger twice. Pull the first loop through the second loop. Then, tug on the tail of the yarn to tighten the base of the slipknot. Slide the loop off your fingers and onto 2 knitting needles held together. Tug the tail again to tighten the slipknot around them.[18]
The slipknot counts as your first cast on stitch.

Make sure to use a medium-weight yarn for knitting on 2 needles.

Cast on 36 stitches while holding 2 needles together. This will result in looser cast on stitches and help to ensure that the socks will be large enough to fit over your feet. Form a loop of yarn with your fingers, pinch and twist it 1 time at the base, and then slide it onto the 2 knitting needles.[19]
Repeat until you have a total of 36 cast on stitches.

Work in the rib stitch for . Knit 1 and then purl 1 stitch going all the way across the row to work in the rib stitch.[20] Then, reverse the pattern going back across the row.[21]
The rib stitch will make the top of your sock stretchy, which will help to keep it in place.

Knit until the sock is the desired length. You can make the sock as long or as short as you like. Measure it against your foot or against an existing sock to determine when the sock is long enough.[22]
For example, you could make an ankle sock, a mid-calf sock, or a knee-length sock.

Bind off the last row. When you have finished your sock, knit 2 stitches to start casting off. Then, lift the first stitch up and over the second stitch. Knit 1 again and lift up and over again. Continue to knit 1 and lift 1 up and over the new stitch.[23]
Repeat this to the end of the row.

Sew up the seam to close the toe and side of the sock. To complete your sock, leave a tail that is about after you finish binding off. Then, thread this yarn through a yarn needle. Fold the rectangular piece in half lengthwise and begin sewing from the corner of the toe. Sew all the way cross the toe, and then down the length of the side of the sock. Tie off the end of the yarn and cut the excess to secure your sock.[24]
Do not sew across the sock opening!

EditKnitting With Circular Needles
Use a pair of US size 1 (2.25 mm) cable needles to cast on 64 stitches.[25]Make a slipknot and place it onto the right-hand needle for your first cast on stitch. Loop your working yarn over your left-hand needle. Then, insert your right-hand needle into the loop. Yarn over again and pull the yarn through the loop.[26]
Repeat until you have 64 total stitches.

This is the ideal number of stitches for a medium-sized pair of socks for an adult, but you can cast on 8 more for larger socks or 8 less for smaller socks.[27]
Opt for a fingering or sock weight yarn to make socks on US size 1 (2.25 mm) circular needles.

Work in the rib stitch for to create the cuff. The rib stitch will make the top of the sock a bit stretchy. Alternate between knitting 1 and purling 1 for the whole round to work in the rib stitch.[28]
Repeat this for each round until the cuff measures .

Knit for . After you finish knitting the cuff, begin working the leg and ankle portion of the sock. Knit all of the rounds until the body of the sock measures .[29]
You may use a different stitch if desired, but the knit stitch is the easiest option.

Shape the heel of the sock by working short rows. Work back and forth across a small portion of the sock to shape the heel. Follow this sequence for working the heel of your sock:
Place a stitch marker at the beginning of the round.

Knit the next 3 stitches.

Purl the next 29 stitches.[30]
Place another stitch marker after the 29th purl stitch.

Repeat the knit 3 and purl 29 row a total of 28 times.

Pick up stitches to complete the round. After you have finished working across the heel rows, use the end of your needle to pick up the stitches along the sides of the heel. Insert your right-hand needle into the first stitch on the edge of the heel portion of your socks. Then, loop the yarn over the end of the needle and pull this loop through the stitch.[31]
Continue to do this until you have picked up all of the stitches on 1 side of the heel. Then, knit until you get to the other side of the heel and pick up these stitches in the same way.

Work decreases to shape the foot portion of the sock. Knit 2 and then knit 2 together until you are back to the original number of stitches in the round. To knit 2 together, insert your right-hand needle into the first 2 stitches in the round. Then, yarn over, and pull through both stitches.[32]
As an example, if you have 100 stitches in the round and need to get back to 64, knit 2 and then knit 2 together until the total number of stitches in the round equals 64 again.

Knit until the foot portion of the sock is the desired length and bind off. Measure the sock against an existing sock or against your foot. When the sock is the desired length, bind off the stitches. Knit 2 to start binding off the round. Then, lift the first stitch up and over the second stitch. Knit 1 again and lift up and over again.[33]
Continue to knit 1 and lift 1 up and over.

Sew up the end of the sock. Leave a tail and thread the end of it through the eye of a yarn needle. Then, turn the sock inside out and sew up the toe. Hold together the stitches at the end of the toe and sew through 2 stitches at a time to secure the end of the sock. Tie the end of the yarn through the last stitch and cut the excess to finish the sock.
Repeat the process to make a second sock.

Follow a pattern to make a specific type of socks. There are many free patterns available online.

EditThings You’ll Need
EditMaking Knit Socks on a Loom
2 skeins of chunky or super bulky yarn

24 peg loom

1 loom hook

2 skeins of chunky weight yarn


Yarn needle

EditUsing 2 Straight Knitting Needles
2 skeins of medium-weight yarn.[34]
1 pair of US size 7 (4.5 mm) straight knitting needles.[35]

Yarn needle

EditKnitting Socks With Circular Needles
2 skeins of fingering or sock yarn

US size 1 (2.25 mm) cable needles

2 skeins of fingering or lightweight yarn


Yarn needle

EditSources and Citations
EditQuick Summary
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