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Setting Limits in the Classroom, Revised and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Setting Limits in the Classroom, Revised: How to Move Beyond the Dance of Discipline in Today's Classrooms Revised Edition

55 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0761516750
ISBN-10: 0761516751
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Setting Limits in the Classroom, Revised: How to Move Beyond the Dance of Discipline in Today's Classrooms

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Product Details

  • Series: Setting Limits
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; Revised edition (April 22, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761516751
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761516750
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #560,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert J. MacKenzie, Ed.D., is an educational psychologist, and marriage, family, and child therapist with more than 15 years experience working with family and classroom behavioral problems. He is the author of Setting Limits (Prima), a guide to establishing reasonable boundaries at home.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 55 people found the following review helpful By a beginning teacher on March 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
In college and throughout my student teaching, I felt strong in my classroom management. Then I started substitute teaching in urban schools, and I found myself at a loss and not understanding what I was doing wrong. Then an assistant principal handed me this book. This book saved me! This book has practical advice and skills you can begin applying the very next day. The advice makes sense and it works! I wish I would have read this book in college. They should teach a college class using these methods! Without classroom management, how can we actually teach? Read this book. Of all the books I had to read for college, this has proved the most valuable in the practical "real" world of teaching.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Armstrong on November 6, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Robert MacKenzie is an educational psychologist who has specialized in handling school-related discipline problems. This is his third book. It is the best book that I have seen relating to what parents and teachers can do to help youngsters learn how to behave well. Among its best parts: "detoxifying" "bad" kids into "aggressive learners" (those who challenge limits constantly), and "disobedient" kids into "kids who learn by testing and experience."

This book is appropriate for all teachers, school administrators who have site responsibility, and perhaps for central administrators who need help building a coherent system-wide set of policies on discipline. This book also will assist parents in handling their children's school-related discipline issues, such as homework.

The theoretical bases of this book are partly tough love (say what you mean, mean what you say, and do not say it meanly), natural consequences (if a child makes an error, let them experience the natural consequences, a la Dreikurs), and logical consequences (to defuse power struggles). The heart of the book is setting limits with kids and shortening down the time from discussion to action (from warning to consequence). There is no "cute" theory or exhortations to love the children more.

MacKenzie sees teachers as integral to the guidance process, as more capable in helping children than the administrators or guidance counselors, who may be more distant from the problem and the child. Thus, this book may leave teachers and parents feeling "empowered."

I was left with one question: In MacKenzie's view, when are youngsters expected to develop personal responsibility to "buy into" their own self-discipline and not have any problems in school?
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Wyote VINE VOICE on June 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
I live abroad teaching English; I love the lifestyle but I have to deal with culture gaps as well as communication barriers in my classroom, often without any communication between me and the school's administration or the students' parents.... Discipline is often a big problem for me.

I believe this book is 100% correct and very helpful. In the two weeks since I read and implemented the ideas I've learned in it, the behavior in my classes (especially the youngest kids) has improved so much. I was burning out fast, and now I'm beginning to enjoy my job again.

My situation is different than normal teachers, with its own challenges and advantages. An EFL teacher like me will have to be a little creative using these techniques because communicating with the kids is much more challenging. But it can be done.

The book briefly mentioned having a system of rewards such as "PAT" or "Preferred Activity Time." Here is my one disagreement with the book, and it is a small one: this is one of the most effective methods of classroom management I know of.

A second criticism, and another small one, is that the book assumes you basically know how to teach; for instance, if you want younger children to behave well you have to keep them busy and entertained. That is part of classroom management, but the author of this book evidently considers it basic teaching skills and outside the scope of her book.

Harry Wong's book, "The First Days of School," is a little broader in scope than this book, and although it doesn't deal with classroom management nearly as thoroughly, I recommend it along with this book to any struggling teacher, EFL or not.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By John Provasnik on September 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
I was a newly out of college substitute teacher when I picked up this book. It is amazingly easy to read with many examples. I love how the book breaks down different type of behavior techniques into 3 major categories. This enables every reader to find the ground they stand on before using the book's suggestions for properly handling behavior problems. The most important piece of information I received was to make sure my action messages were consistent with my verbal messages--everybody seems to funk up in this area.

Honestly, who would have thought it would be so simple--even for a meek pacifist--to break from your old habits, even if you're in the midyear. GET THIS BOOK. You will not want to put it down because all of the information is logical, not difficult to follow, and it DOES make an immediate difference. Behavior management is all in your words and actions and this book helps you to make sure your sending the right messages, consistently.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A. Bittinger on September 20, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I struggled with classroom management as I switched tracks from pre-school/K to 4th and 5th grade. My first year of teaching was rough because i did not set enough expecations in the beginning of the year. by april they were wearing me out after only an hour!

this year, determined to start fresh, i used many of the techiniques in this book. mostly i love that you don't have to "trick" the kids into acting appropriately. i was so resistant to gold stars and the like. really stating what you mean, being clear, and having an clearly-stated consequence has worked well so far this year. even kids coming into my room from another class know that i mean business. (without being mean)

i higly recommend this book for anyone who needs to get the kids to stop walking all over you!
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