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TLC: Technique 43 Positive Framing

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Ashley Trainer

on 28 October 2014

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Transcript of TLC: Technique 43 Positive Framing

Fact: People are motivated more by the positive than the negative.

Using Positive Framing means making consistent interventions to correct student behavior in a positive and constructive way.

It means you are narrating your classroom the way you want your students to be, even while you are working to improve the way they are!
Rule 1: Live In The Now
Avoid harping on what your students cannot fix. Talk about what should or even, what must happen next. Focus corrective actions on what students should do right now to succeed from this point forward.


Instead of "You weren't SLANTing", try "Show me SLANT!"

Instead of "Jose, stop looking back." try "Jose, I need your eyes forward."
Rule 2: Assume The Best
Don't attribute to ill attention what could be the result of distraction, lack of practice, or genuine misunderstanding.

Assuming the worst sets kids up to feel judged. We want to give kids tools to succeed.

Assuming the worst also makes you look weak, by constantly showing that students are defying you, you are demonstrating that you are not in charge.
Rule 4: Build Momentum and Narrate the Positive
Discuss: What is the difference between these teachers' statements:

Teacher 1: (stopping before giving a direction) I need 3 people. Make sure you fix it if that's you! Now I need 2. We're almost there. Ah, thank you, let's get started.

Teacher 2: (same setting) I need 3 people. And one more student doesn't seem to understand the directions, so now I need 4. Some people don't seem to be listening. I am waiting, gentleman. If I have to give detentions, I will."
Rule 4: Build Momentum, Narrate the Positive
When you are narrating, narrate things that are moving in the right direction, evidence of your own command of the situation, of students doing what they are asked. You normalize meeting the expectation and encourage more students to succeed.

Perception is reality. Narrate the positive and you beget the positive.

Motivation loves speed! Use commands that are quick and that multitask. "Who can tell us what 3 times 5 is? Track... David."
Rule 3: Allow Plausible Anonymity
Allow students the chance to reach your expectations as long as they are making a good faith effort.

Your first move to redirect could often be something like "Wait, I hear calling out!" or "I need to see SLANT", or "Lions, I need you quiet and ready go."

This begins by correcting students without calling kids out and using names, and supports students who needed to hear the expectation again in order to reach it. It sets the tone for shared expectations for behavior in your classroom.

You can deal with any students who are still off task after the general redirection.
TLC: Technique 43 Positive Framing
Assuming the worst sounds like:

"Just a minute class, some people don't think they need to push in their chairs when we line up."

"If you can't sit up, Charles, I'll have to keep you in from recess."

Assuming the best sounds like:

"Whoops, some friends have forgotten to push in their chairs. Let's go back and get it right!"

"Show me your SLANT, Charles."
Turn and Talk : What is the difference in the statements?
Rule 5: Challenge!
Kids love to be challenged, to prove they can do things, to compete, to win. So challenge them: exhort them to prove what they can do by building competition into the day.

Ways students can compete: against themselves, against class or table groups, against other classrooms, against the clock, their age, or a standard.

Examples of challenge statements:
- "I love the tracking I see. I wonder what happens when I move back here?"
- " Good is not good enough. I want to see perfect today!"
- " Let's see if we can get these papers out in 12 seconds!"
- "Let's see which row knows their facts. The row with the most correct answers can take two problems off of their homework tonight!"
Rule 6: Talk Expectations and Aspirations
Talk about who your students are becoming and where you're going... Frame praise in those terms. When they look great, call them "scholars" or "lions". Refer to success in terms that are greater than just 'pleasing' you. They are there to get ready to succeed in life. Keep their eye on the prize by constantly referring to it.

Keep positive by avoiding two things:

Rhetorical questions.
Don't ask questions that you don't want the answer to. Don't make a charade by asking, "Would you like to join us, David?" Just say, "Thank you for joining us on the rug, David."

Don't say "I'll wait" unless you will. Don't make your actions contingent upon your students unless that is truly what you want. Use strong, positive words like "I need you with us, ready to work."
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