Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

A Good Question For Classroom Management


Marvin Marshall, who writes on positive classroom management strategies and who I have quoted often here, just wrote something in his monthly newsletter that struck me.

I’ve known that when there’s a behavior issue in class asking the student, “Why?” never is helpful. Now Marvin has a better suggestion. Instead, ask the student, “”What do you think we should do now?”

Makes sense to me.

Readers might also be interested in a series of posts I wrote earlier this year about classroom management:

When A “Good” Class Goes “Bad” (And Back To “Good” Again!) — April, 2008

Maintaining A “Good” Class — April, 2008

More About Maintaining a “Good” Class — May, 2008

“Why Do You Let Others Control You?” — September, 2008

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Hi, I really enjoyed this website. It got my thinking about some of ways I handle things in my class and that its time to try some new ideas.

    On another note. All of a sudden I am not receiving your latest posts. I have unsubscribed and resubscribed twice but to no avail. Any ideas?

  2. Jim,

    What RSS Reader are you using? Or are you subscribing by email?


  3. I totally agree this. By asking “why,” it gives the impression that we are looking for someone to blame. When we ask how we can solve the problem, we are looking beyond blame and moving towards a solution.

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