Skip To ContentSkip To Content

    Positive Discipline in the Classroom (developed by Jane Nelsen and Lynn Lott) is a research-based classroom management program that empowers teachers with skills to build their students’ sense of community, prepare them for successful living, and increase academic achievement. Experiential learning methods give you skills to help students practice better cooperation, social skills, self-direction, responsibility, and mutual respect in the classroom.


    Positive Discipline uses brain science to understand how our brain works and the need to calm down before solving problems. In our school community we use the Brain in the palm of your hand model from Dr. Daniel Siegel, (Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center).

    With this model, we learned that when our brain is calm, the prefrontal cortex of our brain allows us to be empathetic, think and solve problems. When we are mad, sad or scared, our prefrontal cortex, shuts down and stops working. Our brain "flips the lid", which means our limbic system takes over and emotions leave us only with fight, flight, freeze options. When our brain flips the lid and our emotions take control, we cannot solve problems effectively, so first we need to calm down.

    In classrooms, students brainstorm different ways we all could use to help our brain calm down when we flip our lid. These ideas are displayed in our calm down area.
    Learn more about the brain and positive time out (calm down areas) here:


    The Zones of Regulation is a curriculum geared toward helping students gain skills in consciously regulating their actions, which in turn leads to increased control and problem-solving abilities. Using a cognitive behavior approach, the curriculum’s learning activities are designed to help students recognize when they are in different states called “zones,” with each of four zones represented by a different color. In the activities, students also learn how to use strategies or tools to stay in a zone or move from one to another. Students explore calming techniques, cognitive strategies, and sensory supports so they will have a toolbox of methods to use to move between zones. To deepen students’ understanding of how to self-regulate, the lessons set out to teach students these skills: how to read others’ facial expressions and recognize a broader range of emotions, perspective about how others see and react to their behavior, insight into events that trigger their less regulated states, and when and how to use tools and problem-solving skills.