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1-2-3 Magic for Teachers

By Thomas W. Phelan & Sarah Jane Schonour


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Reviewer: Allison Martin

Dr. Phelan's 1-2-3 Magic is a truly life changing child discipline method that has helped many parents and teachers over the years. Walk into any elementary school or special needs classroom and you are likely to see some version of 1-2-3 Magic techniques in place. For the right situation it really is akin to magic, as Dr. Phelan's methods work where many other discipline approaches are quite ineffective. The techniques described in 123 Magic work even with children who have only a emerging understanding of cause and effect, thus they are helpful for children who have ADD/ADHD, high functioning autism, sensory integration dysfunction, mental retardation, emotional delays, or other special needs.

In 1-2-3 Magic for Teachers, Thomas Phelan and experienced teacher Sarah Jane Schonour provide clear descriptions of behavior management techniques, adaptations to various circumstances and plenty of real life examples, so it is easy to understand and modify to your own classroom.

The underlying idea behind 123 Magic is simple. When your child misbehaves you count each infraction or the time till you get to 3, at 3 they receive a time-out or other consequence. In 1-2-3 Magic for Teachers specific adaptations for the classroom are provided, which take into account the larger number of students a teacher has in their classroom, the need for constant supervision, and useful modifications for reporting (such as use of visual aids). The focus of the book is attaining healthy relationships with your students, along with good classroom behavior.

In addition, to techniques for "stop" behavior (that is halting difficult behavior like rudeness, manipulation, whining, tantrums, and so on), Thomas Phelan and Sarah Schonour also provide tools for "start" behaviors (that is increasing good behavior, like doing chores, staying on task, etc.). 1-2-3 Magic for Teachers includes many, real life examples of implementation under different scenarios, such as hallways, fieldtrips, classroom settings, and transitions. Specific questions that teacher often have about implementing these behavior management techniques are also answered. Short sections provide specific advice for students with special needs, such as ADHD, autism, learning disabilities, physical impairments, and so on.

1-2-3 Magic for Teachers is a great resource for new and experienced teachers. Used properly, it really can be "magic."

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