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The "Why" Behind Classroom Behaviors, PreK-5

The "Why" Behind Classroom Behaviors, PreK-5
Integrative Strategies for Learning, Regulation, and Relationships

Foreword by Tina Payne Bryson

September 2020 | 312 pages | Corwin

Reframing behaviors for competence, confidence, and successful outcomes

With dysregulation and neurodevelopmental diagnoses on the rise, classrooms are more diverse than ever. Despite efforts to support each student’s needs and sensitivities, educators are often left frustrated and unsupported when strategies for managing all kinds of behaviors, from anxiety to acting out, prove ineffective, short-lived, or even detrimental to the students’ and teachers’ happiness and progress.

Through a reflective lens, this book equips teachers and support staff to help all students thrive by identifying and fostering each teacher’s and child’s individual differences and unique strengths. Written in an accessible, conversational style, this book will help educators:

-  Build confidence in identifying and addressing behaviors in order to support student growth and brain development
-  Learn about an interdisciplinary approach that combines education, occupational therapy, and psychology to better understand and navigate brain-based regulation, relationships, and behaviors in the classroom 
-  Use relevant research, illustrations, and strategies for reflective and experiential moments
-  Discover strategies to facilitate co-regulation, establish positive classroom relationships, address sensory needs,                          communicate with parents, and practice self-care

This reflective, insightful book provides workable strategies to help all students, as well as those who care for them, feel more competent, confident, and successful.

About the Authors
Chapter 1: Searching for the “Why?”
A Brief Introduction to Interpersonal Neurobiology

Applying a Brain-Based, Relational Lens to the Educational Setting

Chapter 2: Regulation as the Foundation for Learning
What Is “Regulation”?

Reframing the Developmental Expectations of Regulation

Developmental Milestones in Regulation

Promoting Regulation in the Classroom

Chapter 3: The Teacher-Student Dyad and Classroom Community
Understanding the Teacher-Student Dyad and Regulation-Response Cycle

The Power of Mirror Neurons

Harnessing the Positive Power of Mirror Neurons

Rupture and Repair

Facilitating the Continued Development of a Teacher-Student Dyad

Chapter 4: Foundations of Sensory Processing for Regulated Learning
Foundations of Sensory Processing in the Classroom

Teacher-Student Dyad and Sensory Processing

Sensory Systems and Their Impact on Learning

Facilitating Sensory Integration for More Engaged Learning

Chapter 5: Building a Sensory Smart Classroom
Sensory Preferences and Sensory Processing Disorder—What’s the Difference?

Recognizing Different School-Based Sensory Needs

Chapter 6: Developing an Awareness of Individual Differences and Promoting Integration
Recognizing Individual Differences

Moving Toward Integrated Learning

Teaching Students to Search for the Why

Language-Based Learning Disabilities

Nonverbal Learning Challenges

Giftedness and 2E

Other Common Diagnoses That Impact Learning

Common Misconceptions Regarding Learning Disabilities

The Power of Early Intervention

Supporting Integration of Students With Individual Differences

Chapter 7: Handwriting That Promotes Integrated Learning
Developmental and Sensorimotor Facets of Handwriting

Writing as an Integrated Brain Activity

Regulation and Handwriting

Facilitating Improved Handwriting

Chapter 8: Considerations for Specialty Teachers
A Note about Relationships and Regulation in Specialty Classes

Sensorimotor Factors in Specialty Classes

Learning Differences Unique to Specialty Classes

Boosting Regulation and Participation in Specialty Classes

Chapter 9: Redefining Behavior Plans
A Note About Behavior Plans

Structure, Appropriate Boundaries, and Clear Expectations

Natural Versus Punitive Consequences

The Power and Peril of Praise

The Lifespan of a Meltdown and In-The-Moment Strategies

Putting It All Together: A Newly Defined Behavior Plan

Chapter 10: Supporting Students Who Need Additional Help
Understanding Supports Within Your School

Accessing External Supports

Establishing a Teacher-Parent Dyad

Preparing for a Parent Meeting


"This book provides practical, realistic, and useful guidance to Pre K-5 teachers everywhere. The authors effectively convey the key aspects of brain and bodily functioning that impact on student behavior and the reflections and interactive scenarios help the read put theory into practice. "

Kellee Oliver
Coordinator of Pupil Personnel Services ,Hopewell Area School District, Aliquippa, PA

"This manuscript digs deeper than the usual classroom behavior books do. With it's deep dive into brain research, it helps the reader better understand the why behind so many of the behaviors that are seen in the classroom today. I was able to implement many of the strategies immediately into my own classroom. "

Hope Edlin
Teacher ,Bethel Elementary, Simpsonville, SC

"With the pressure of test scores, the “why” helps us to address and help students become successful. This book will be very beneficial for teachers to use."

Stephanie L. Turner
Teacher, Bradley Academy, Murfreesboro, TN

"Educators are always asking why students do what they do. We need to ask why. This book will provide practical, realistic and useful guidance for educators. It will allow students to develop progress academically and emotionally in a positive supportive environment. "

Tamara Daugherty,
Third Grade Teacher, Zellwood Elementary, Zellwood, FL

"Searching for the Why is highly useful, and needed for teachers.  The current brain -based research, clear writing style that makes it easy to understand, good real life examples of typical misbehaviors, charts for diagnosing one’s own students, and very good advice on preparing for meetings with parents and special education staff is essential for educators in the field."

Searching for the Why
Marcia LeCompte
Former Primary Teacher, Baton Rouge, LA

Whilst this book does seem to contan some good information I did miss that it was Pre K5- As such I have passed to the Early Years teachers to review and potentially adopt for their course.

Mr Craig Andrew Busby
Business Law, City of Oxford College
May 3, 2023

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