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Keep CALM and Teach

Keep CALM and Teach
Empowering K-12 Learners With Positive Classroom Management Routines

First Edition

A Joint Publication With AMLE

September 2018 | 240 pages | Corwin

What do you say when . . .

More than ever before, students are coming to school with social, emotional, and behavioral issues that could have a negative impact on their learning. What’s more, the pressure on teachers for their students to perform well on high-stakes testing can take the focus away from addressing behavioral issues. Luckily, there’s a practical solution for managing behavior in the classroom. Get to know the CALM method—an actionable, clear, and easy to remember framework for redirecting student behavior.

CALM stands for Communication, Accountability, Leadership, and Motivation. It is an inclusive approach to behavior focused on building relationships, community, behavior skills, and academic achievement. The CALM framework provides teachers with successful behavior strategies that will create a comfortable, safe, respectful, and encouraging learning environment for students and teachers alike. Whether you’re new to teaching, working with at-risk students, or you’ve been working in the profession for years but want a fresh approach, this book will provide you with

  • Strategies to inspire a CALM classroom
  • Positive ways to redirect inappropriate behavior
  • Practical scripts to answer the question "What do I say when _______ happens?"
  • Step-by-step guides, checklists, and templates for ensuring a productive, engaging classroom community 

Developing classroom management skills and techniques that work can be extremely challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep CALM with proactive strategies for creating a culture of respect, accountability, and a strong sense of community!

About the Author
Chapter 1: The CALM Management Program
How I Got From There to Here

Teach Content and Behavior

CALM Management





Proactive Measures

Positive Reinforcements


Learning Goals

Behavior Goals


Reflection Questions

Quick Wins

Part I: CALM Communication
Chapter 2: Positive Behavior Expectations
Explicit Expectations Lead to Positive Results

In the Research

Beginning the CALM Classroom Process


Special Situations


Reflection Questions

Quick Wins

Chapter 3: Redirect Behavior Model
Redirect Behavior Model Defined

Empower Students

Framework of the Redirect Behavior Model

Implementing the Phases of the Redirect Behavior Model

Phase I: Explain Student Behavior Expectations

Phase I: Noncompliance—What to Do if a Student Does Not Accept the Redirection

Phase II: Encourage Student Ownership

Phase III: Problem-Solve With the Noncompliant Student

Delivering the Redirect Behavior Model

Say It and Move On

Make It Conversational

Be Prepared for Students to Feel Uncomfortable

Remain Calm

Redirect Behavior Model for Instruction


Reflection Questions

Quick Wins

Chapter 4: Voice-Movement-Task Model
Voice-Movement-Task Model Defined


When to Use






Reflection Questions

Quick Wins

Part II: CALM Accountability
Chapter 5: Accountability—Collaborative Work Groups
Think Beyond the Four Walls . . .

Small-Group Interaction Model

Prior to Activity (Standard Procedures for All Activities)

Peer Feedback

How to Teach Students to Provide Academic Feedback

Positive Behavior Expectations for Feedback

Role-Play Scenarios


Reflection Questions

Quick Wins

Chapter 6: Accountability—Conversations, Consequences, and Follow Through
Student Choices

Consequences to Promote Growth

Conversations to Promote Growth

Relying on Positive Consequences May Require a Change in Mindset

Positive Consequences

Consequences That Address Negative Behavior

Inappropriate Responses to Negative Behavior

Consequence Progression

Follow Through


Reflection Questions

Quick Wins

Part III: CALM Leadership
Chapter 7: Teacher as a Leader
Five Effective Practices for a Teacher Leader

Reflective Practice


Teacher Presence

Positive Mindset



Reflection Questions

Quick Wins

Chapter 8: Student as a Leader
The Student Communication Model

Community Council

Purpose of the Community Council

Appointing the Council Leader

When the Council Convenes

Community Council Whole-Class Meeting Protocol

Teacher Role



Reflection Questions

Quick Wins

Part IV: CALM Motivation
Chapter 9: Motivation Plan
Motivation Plan—Whole Class

Disengaged Student—Work for Wins

Disengaged Student—Mentor Tutoring


Reflection Questions

Quick Wins

Chapter 10: Final Thoughts
Key Takeaways

One Last Collaborative Group Activity

Where Do We Go From Here?


“As an ESL teacher educator, I am grateful that Dr. Lentfer’s CALM Management Program addresses the needs of diverse learners. With its strong focus on building relationships, the CALM Management strategies will empower teacher candidates, experienced teachers, teacher educators, and most importantly students of all ages, languages, and cultural backgrounds.”

Dr. Sandra Rodriguez-Arroyo, Associate Professor of Education, ESL/Bilingual Education and Literacy
University of Nebraska at Omaha

“This is one of the best classroom management books that I have read. The CALM management tools will help all educators at any stages of their careers. The activities, real-world examples, and reflection questions made the content interactive and meaningful. This book is an invaluable resource for teachers at all levels of their careers!”

Susan M. Swearer, PhD, Willa Cather Professor of Educational Psychology
University of Nebraska - Lincoln

“This book would be a great supplemental resource for my student teachers in their field assignments. Teacher candidates identify classroom management as one of the most difficult tasks to undertake. I will recommend this book to my student teachers as a way to positively look at classroom management and tackling student behavior issues.”

Natalie Young, Ed. D.
Professor at Northern Illinois University
Key features
New teachers, teachers with at-risk students, and all teachers will find:
  • Strategies to inspire a CALM classroom
  • Positive ways to redirect inappropriate behavior
  • Practical scripts to answer the question: "What do I say when _______ happens?"
  • Practical guides, checklists, and templates for ensuring a productive, engaging classroom community

Sample Materials & Chapters

Table of Contents


Chapter 1

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781506397757

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