[Article excerpt]

  • Provide thorough explanations for rules or expectations. Knowing what to expect is critical for help strong-willed kids feel secure.
  • Establish a contract for behavior and agree upon the rules and consequences. Outlining each party’s “role” can help students feel like their opinion matters and that they have some control over the classroom environment.
  • Let students choose how to demonstrate knowledge (groups, presentations, worksheets, posters, teaching others, etc.) Head-strong kids are often the ones the “traditional school model” doesn’t work well for. They’re often creative, inventive, and problem-solving kids who like to make their own rules and have their own thoughts about what is right and wrong. After all, they try to find their way around our rules all the time. Why not let them have a little choice every now and then?!
  • Be specific with rules and expectations! Try to write expectations such as, “Keep hands and feet to yourself” rather than the overly general “Be Respectful.”

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