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Positive Discipline in the Classroom: Developing Mutual Respect, Cooperation, and Responsibility in Your Classroom

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  310 ratings  ·  35 reviews
The Acclaimed Bestseller That Can Improve Your Classroom Experience Forever!
Over the years, millions of parents have come to trust the classic Positive Discipline series for its consistent, commmonsense approach to child rearing. Hundreds of schools also use these amazingly effective strategies for restoring order and civility to today's turbulent classrooms. Now you too c
Paperback, Revised Third Edition, 272 pages
Published March 30th 2000 by Harmony (first published 1993)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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Apr 24, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: teaching-related
At times this reads like an infomercial or, at the very least, a shameless plug for all of Nelson's other books. (I had a good chuckle owing to the fact that all the footnotes reference her own titles.) I do think her premise holds some weight, certainly there is value in holding regular classroom meetings and teaching students problem solving skills. However, cynic that I am, I highly doubt her conviction that such meetings are the magic bullet, a sure-fire ticket to cure all classroom ills. Mo ...more
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education
I first learned about Positive Discipline through my current workplace about two years ago. Last year they asked us (and by 'asked us' I mean 'forced us') to buy this book so we could understand the concepts behind what we were supposed to be implementing inside our classrooms. I must say that imposition is a terrible way of getting someone to adhere to a new teaching strategy. It wasn't until I was moved into the psychology department that I decided to really give the book a try.

Well, it has be
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this book for my class at St Kate’s. I wanted to add it to my goodreads list so I can refer to it later; includes practical suggestions for working with children.
Sep 14, 2012 rated it liked it
I actually have an older version of this text (1993), titled "Positive Discipline in the classroom: how to effectively use class meetings and other positive discipline strategies". I think it's geared more toward elementary level educators, and I'm trying to figure out how to use the principles in a primary Montessori classroom (ages 3-6).

Ch 1 - The positive discipline dream: "Class meetings are effective when teachers are willing to give up control over students in favor of gaining cooperation
Jul 13, 2008 rated it did not like it
In fairness, I'm a high school teacher and this book seems to be geared more for the elementary level. But it was insulting to have it implied that if you're always nice to the students and smile a lot and use a gentle tone of voice, inappropriate behavior will disappear. Oh! And if your lessons are interesting and engaging, students will choose to work rather than doodle, write notes, text message, play cards...
Bea Elwood
Jul 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: work-stuff
If you have time to read a teaching guide written 15 years ago then this one has some good pointers. This is not the first book I've read however where the idea of creating a learning environment that fosters respect and accountability is made out to be a novel approach. I hope it is because in the last two decades we have embraced this concept so maybe it is time to update these guides to reflect that.
Carolina Campoy
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An interesting approach

This book is mostly for teachers or maybe even parents dealing with a solution-based system rather than a punishment/reward one. The book makes the case por Positive Discipline techniques to tackle the root of the problem rather than the behavior.
At points the book is a bit repetitive but it makes sense since most of us have a behavioral approach to discipline so the book is constantly showing the basis of PD.
It’s filled with both research and practical examples of what
Chris Heim
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you're a teacher who has read Nelsen's Positive Discipline and/or you practice Responsive Classroom techniques, then this book is a good fit for you. There are some inconsistencies with Responsive Classroom (PD doesn't espouse logical consequences, as RC does), but the overall concept of involving children in solving problems, and in speaking to them in respectful and empowering ways are similar. The class meeting structure detailed here is worth reading about, and I've tried (and enjoyed) th ...more
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Most readers would agree with the Positive Discipline philosophy. However, it requires an incredible paradigm shift and even a personality overhaul for some. It is a bit "pie in the sky" and workshop training and coaching is probably needed to put it into action.
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Book

This book is pretty great. It’s filled with actionable advice that every teacher should have access too. I’ve yet to implement everything in the book but I have started class meetings.
Teo Ekstrom
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nice book with lots of practical ideas. The central idea is to host Class Meetings which build community, decrease problem behavior, etc. I'm unsure how strong it would be applied, but I'll probably find out next year!
Rebecca Alleman
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fantastic insights into behavior and how to motivate less compliant children. Asking questions “what do you need to do for x”, providing limited choices, teaching the impact of behaviors on others, and the basic tone of “you are capable” are so important.
Danielle Barger
Mar 25, 2020 rated it liked it
I’d say 3.3 ish. This was the textbook used for a class I took toward renewing my teaching license. Easy to read format. Helpful for someone who is beginner teacher especially. Definitely took away some good ideas.
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
An excellent resource to have in a teachers library to refer back to often to remind of proper practices when students start getting the best of you and test you too much.
Beth Preston
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book for teachers who want to be kind but firm. It encourages teachers to assist students in problem solving and helps hugely with classroom management! It is highly recommended!
Aug 20, 2009 is currently reading it
I'm in the midst of re-reading this book as I use it in my classroom. It's not well written, but I think it's a pretty good guide. Some things have already made a difference in my class: the win-win conversation seemed to really click for all of us. Unfortunately, already, on the third day of school, I'm feeling a lot of the same frustration and disappointment I felt last year when I tried to go through a similar process with my students. Last year, I finally gave up. This year, the kids are sti ...more
Oct 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Positive discipline is the idea of using class meetings and mutual respect to run a classroom.

I think several of the ideas used in this model are fantastic: the wheel of choice, encouraging teachers to understand why they react the way they do, and talking to children with respect. Most importantly, this book helped me realize that when I'm asking children what's happening and when we talk about choices we're making, I'm not messing up or giving too much freedom. I'm helping them feel valued and
Jan 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book had excellent suggestions for discipline which are both concrete and backed by a sensible philosophy. Many of the ideas are ones I have stumbled across by accident myself, and they work phenomenally - if you are dedicated. The tips will be great for the classroom and (though I haven't read the original Positive Discipline book) undoubtedly at home.

The book is easy to read and understand, but not at all dumbed down.

The reason I felt I couldn't give five stars is because the book feels u
Aug 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Educators
Recommended to Shannon by: former principal
This book turns classroom management on its head. I'm very interested in trying to implement class meetings in my classroom this coming year. It has become blindingly obvious that, at my school, punitive measures have proven useless. So, what do I have to lose by engaging my students to problem-solve for themselves?

I feel very optimistic after reading this book. I hope that I can make it work for my classroom! Leslie- You need to check this one out!!
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mine, ece
Pretty nice discussion of how to use Positive Discipline in an elementary school classroom -- not necessarily in a preschool classroom, though. The concepts in general could be adapted fairly easily, but the activities are for sure higher grade level material.

that being said, it has some interesting stuff, and brings together a lot of the theories that I already know about and practices I do. So that's nice.
Feb 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009, teach
This book challenges you to make a better classroom by giving over control of every aspect of it. The school I teach at uses the Positive Discipline philosophy as our discipline policy and I've seen how well it works. The book includes many different activities from starting your positive discipline from scratch, and answers the many questions and objections you may have.
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Excellent ideas. An entire process for turning a classroom into a place kids are excited to be part of. Unfortunately, needs to be implemented as a whole, as it doesn't seem to work if any parts are left out, which can be a time consuming process, especially if not started in the beginning of the school year.
Nov 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this book is great for providing very practical instruction on the positive discipline philosophy and the mechanics of circles in the classroom. I think Positive Discipline paired with Restorative Justice provide the most positive and productive school environment. Kids learn essential skills like empathy, conflict resolution, healthy self esteem, assertiveness and respect.
Aug 01, 2011 rated it liked it
On the positive side, reading this book has given me some new ideas to think about. But I must say, I'm a little skeptical that class meetings can make everything so rosy. I guess I haven't given it a try and therefore have no room to be a naysayer.
Apr 05, 2007 is currently reading it
gives seemingly good suggestions for classroom management that focus on encouragement and classroom meetings as opposed to punitive measures.
Jul 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Another good refresher. I'm really looking forward to trying to implement class meetings.
Dec 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Love this book! Great ideas on how to manage a positive productive classroom. Most of the information could be compressed into a much shorter book, but I used many of the ideas and loved them.
Mar 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Good stuff. I use it as a reference book mostly. When something creeps up in the classroom it refreshes my memory on how to handle it.
Jul 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is an example of classroom applying unconditional parenting's values.
Mar 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Read this for my management presentation... great reference book for the whole-child approach to discipline. Used by constructivist elementary schools for professional development!
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Dr. Jane Nelsen is a licensed Marriage, Family and Child Counselor in South Jordan, UT and Carlsbad, CA.

She is the author and/or coauthor of the Positive Discipline Series.

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