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Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them
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Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  2,158 ratings  ·  248 reviews
From a distinguished clinician, pioneer in working with behaviorally challenging kids, and author of the acclaimed The Explosive Child comes a groundbreaking approach for understanding and helping these kids and transforming school discipline.

Frequent visits to the principal's office. Detentions. Suspensions. Expulsions. These are the established tools of school discipline
Hardcover, 303 pages
Published October 21st 2008 by Scribner (first published 2008)
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Kevin O'Connell Yes, but only if you're willing to actually take the time to work with your child AND their teachers.

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Jul 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Having (fairly recently) completed my bachelor's degree in education, and remembering how little anyone can tell you about classroom management/behavioural issues, I think this text should be mandatory reading for all who want to teach. (big statement eh?? Let me try to back that up.)

Dr. Greene's main idea is that kids do well if they can. It's hard to believe that so many adults don't agree. When a child is misbehaving (for the 2nd or 22nd time) it can be difficult to remember that he/she is no
Jan 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teaching
I skimmed through parts of this book because it repeated itself, but I have been using Ross Greene's Plan B in my classroom and have seen the changes in my students. I love the empathy step, where you really dive in to see what is troubling the student. I've found that most of the time my thinking was incorrect. You cannot just assume you know what the student's "issue" is. THEN, and only then, can you begin to problem solve together. This gives the child the ultimate buy-in. They are helping to ...more
I liked the author's focus on how acting-out kids are lacking the cognitive skills they need to behave appropriately (there's a useful list of what skills kids may be struggling with). I liked his proposal of using collaborative problem-solving (CPS) to address kids' behaviors. Even though CPS is mostly common sense, I thought he did a nice job of spelling out how to make it work.

I was not convinced that "CPS" is the panacea he implies. Also, he didn't really address how to teach lacking skills
Aug 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
A good strategy to implement but I felt it could have been covered in one chapter or a short article....lots of common sense stuff that many good teachers do.
Jun 04, 2013 rated it did not like it
I was given this book to read as summer homework by our school principal. Obviously, the book resonated with our principal but it does not "speak" to me. Especially, since it resulted in taking yet more time out of my precious time off (1.5 weeks to read the book + 2.5 weeks of other summer training). As a result, I have a very negative attitude about this book.

Before I began reading the book, I read many of the reviews posted by Goodreads' readers. I found it interesting at the time that the ma
Alyssa Nelson
Do you believe that kids do as well as they are able or as well as they want to? Dr. Ross Greene believes that kids do as well as they are able and oftentimes, adults treat the problem as if the kids are wanting to misbehave. The truth is that kids who have the most behavioral challenges do so because they lack the skills necessary to behave appropriately and the disciplinary actions most often taken -- suspension or detention for school, or grounding, loss of privileges, etc. for home -- don't ...more
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It might not apply to every difficult situation at school, but it still should be required reading for every educator--at the very least, those who are called upon to provide intervention for students with difficult behavior problems. Sometimes, all it takes is to really listen to the student. I had the opportunity to use almost the exact conversation on page 118 with a student who had already exploded and was out of the classroom. I listened to him, reflected, invited to come up with a solution ...more
Jan 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I am only at page 60 presently, I am finding many of the ideas present in this book interesting however at this point in the book I am having trouble trying to formulate HOW I would actually effectively go about implementing some of these ideas in a classroom setting. As well as implementing them in coordination with other colleagues.

I am finding yet again another book written about a topic I am very much passionate about yet mostly written for a non-Secondary audience.

At points I am ve
Aug 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Greene’s approach is a humane, respectful and practical alternative to the ineffective discipline strategies we have been using in our schools for decades. Dr. Greene offers a new conceptual framework based on research for understanding the difficulties of kids with behavioral challenges and explains why traditional discipline is not effective in addressing these difficulties. His work is based on the simple and positive notion that kids do well if they can. Many kids just lack the skills to ...more
May 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Like many would be reformers, Greene starts off on the wrong foot by making (some) educators the villains of the parable (a format which is much better used in the Arbinger Institute's Leadership and Self Deception: Getting Out of the Box and The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict). If I wanted to reform any institution from within, I would NOT start off with a hearty "you guys suck" position--a bit too much the stereotypical male coach. The author should revise this and allow the ...more
Jan 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
I don't disagree with the premise of the book, that traditional punishments aren't working in a lot of cases and I applaud him for putting the idea out there. However, I found the delivery to be condescending and the situations used for examples to be idealistic. What about the child that says "screw you!" when you introduce the idea and doesn't stop, no matter how persistent you are? Because those children most certainly exist. I also don't believe that all children want to succeed but lack the ...more
Mar 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I think this book is a valuable addition to teachers' knowledge. As a sub, I see that dealing with kids with behavioral challenges is consuming a huge amount of teacher time and resources. Most of the elementary schools I sub in now have not only a counselor, but also a behavior specialist. If this Plan B model can help solve some of these problems, I am all for it. Although, again, as a sub, I don't have much chance to use it, except for the emergency model.
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Educators shld read this book!!
Cindi Jackson
Nov 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book got a bit boring in places but it is an excellent resource for those who want to be very efficient in the model of CPS. I spent a week at an advanced CPS training with Dr. Green this summer and found him to be authentically concerned with the welfare of kids in schools who just don't seem to be getting their needs met in order for them to do well. I work at a therapeutic school where we use this model as our primary treatment modality and although it is time consuming, it works when it ...more
Jun 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book! I read it as a parent, not a teacher, but I still learned a great deal from it. It gave me some wonderful new ideas about how to deal with my son's challenging behaviors. Grounding, time outs, and loss of privileges only get you so far when dealing with a kid with severe adhd and ocd. This book opened my eyes to a whole new form of behavior modification where the focus is on teaching the kid the coping skills he needs to avoid the undesirable behavior, rather than just ...more
Jul 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
I have some questions about some of Greene's ideas, but his central premise is hard to argue with: Kids don't violate the rules because they are broken. They violate them because they don't really know how to follow them. He advocates a structured from of problem-solving with kids that allows them a role in coming up with a plan to teach them lagging skills. I think most teachers would like this book. He writes in clear language, and uses an ongoing narrative to illustrate his ideas.
Jan 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
One of the best books I've read on teaching kids with behavioral challenges. Shifting our perspective towards the belief that "Kids do well if they can" changes how the adults in their lives prevent and respond to misbehavior. It left me with some unanswered questions on practical applications, but overall is a great resource.
Thorn MotherIssues
Feb 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2009
Really interesting book about treating children's challenging behaviors like learning disabilities and dealing with them through collaborative problem solving rather than impositions of adult will. It's geared more toward teachers than parents, but applicable for both (and more) and is probably something I'll come back to when actually parenting.
May 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
This book was cheesy like an lifetime movie or an after school special.
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fresh perspective on kids with behavioral challenges. For the first time in a long time, it feels like a humane and doable behavior "program" that actually teaches kids something and builds healthy relationships between students, schools, and families. No ticket system, bribes, or detentions that serve to teach kids obedience but not self-control.

To me, it is obvious that Greene has actually worked in schools, has heard conversations at faculty meetings and between teachers and parents becaus
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
Some really practical tools for working alongside children with challenging behaviour in the classroom. The book is quite readable and gives some excellent examples of how the tools can be implemented. Highly recommended.
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-shelves
This book & the philosophy & method within it are game changers! If I could give it more than 5 stars, I would. Lives hang in the balance, we must reach our challenging kids. My constant companion? The words, "Kids do well if they can". Let's all start figuring out what skill those tough kids, and adults, in our lives are lacking, or behind, on and engage them in helping find solutions that build those skills.
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
As a fifth year teacher, I appreciated the approach that this book has for dealing with student's challenging behavior. I come from a RJ (restorative justice) background, and my school believes in RJ as our means to deal with behavior. What struck me was thinking about the student's "unsolved problems/triggers". Us teachers are dealing with so much that it is hard to think that there are times where we ourselves trigger behaviors and we have the power to stop it. For anyone thinking that what th ...more
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent ideas, in theory. Looking forward to seeing how they pan out in practice. If a whole school were to get on board I can see how the Collaborative and Proactive Solutions method could make a significant difference in classrooms and in the lives of students. It would require commitment on the part of all parties, but would be so worth the effort.
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Highly recommend this book for teachers of all ages!
Jul 09, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work
I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I agree that the current system of punishment does not work for most kids. But there are certain situations when it is necessary (student threatens a teacher, brings weapons to school, etc. All things that have happened with my students in these first couple months of school). As a licensed mental health and behavioral counselor in an alternative school, I like the idea of a collaborative relationship with students. When I meet with each of ...more
May 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this for a book study at work. In response to a world where discipline doesn't necessarily seem to bring about lasting, positive change in children with challenging behaviors, Dr. Greene presents a different conceptual framework for viewing and interacting with those children. The premise is that children will do well if they can. If they aren’t doing well, then that is likely indicative of a skill deficit they have. Not only does Dr. Greene offer a general (for all children and all behav ...more
Garrett Zecker
This book was an exceptional foray into the modern approach to students who are falling through the cracks in today's approaches to traditional discipline and rewards in situations (namely public schools). The issue at hand is not readily apparent unless you read a few chapters in, but the bulk of the thesis is that many young people who are constantly dropping out or doing bad in school academically, behaviorally, et al, are suffering from emotional delays. They are basically behind in some asp ...more
Allyson Johnson
Dec 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lost at School written by Ross W. Greene is about children with behavioral issues. In the book it describes situations in school where children act out. The book reveals ways to handle situations in schools so they do not get out of hand. For example Greene tells a story of a student who acted out in class. The teacher did not handle the situation well and the student responded defensively. Greene makes us aware that not all kids develop at the same rate. When a students responds that they do no ...more
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
An important book. Essential for educators to read. Greene boils down a therapeutic approach to dealing with challenging students that he calls collaborative problem solving, or Plan B. He models for the reader what this process can look at one-on-one with a student, as a whole class, and as a whole school by constructing an ongoing narrative based on the stories of a couple of fictional challenging students. Given that he's got a point to make, the narrative is somewhat artificial of course, bu ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
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  • It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success
  • Black Ants and Buddhists: Thinking Critically and Teaching Differently in the Primary Grades
  • The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander
  • In Schools We Trust: Creating Communities of Learning in an Era of Testing and Standardization
  • Discipline with Dignity: New Challenges, New Solutions
  • 'I Won't Learn from You': And Other Thoughts on Creative Maladjustment
  • On Solid Ground: Strategies for Teaching Reading K-3
  • Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids' Brains and What Schools Can Do about It
  • Mosaic of Thought: Teaching Comprehension in a Reader's Workshop
  • Wondrous Words: Writers and Writing in the Elementary Classroom
  • Teaching Reading in Small Groups: Differentiated Instruction for Building Strategic, Independent Readers
  • The Knowledge Deficit: Closing the Shocking Education Gap for American Children
  • Late, Lost & Unprepared: A Parents' Guide to Helping Children with Executive Functioning
  • Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger's, Depression, and Other Disorders
  • The Reading Zone: How to Help Kids Become Skilled, Passionate, Habitual, Critical Readers
Dr. Ross Greene is the New York Times bestselling author of the influential books The Explosive Child, Lost at School, Raising Human Beings, and Lost & Found. He is the originator of the innovative, evidence-based treatment approach called Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) described in these books. The CPS model provides a compassionate, accurate understanding of behavioral challen ...more
“A kid shouldn't need a diagnosis to access help.” 14 likes
“The long-term answer to a kid not caring about your concerns is to care more about his.” 7 likes
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