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Why should I do it:

  • Easy and fast with good results many times
  • Saves instructional time
  • Minimizes distractions and misbehaviors
  • Improves students’ attention and focus
  • Keeps the class on track
  • Provides effective prompts with little effort
  • Brings students back to the task at hand
  • Does not have a significant negative association
  • Can be utilized in the middle of instruction, activities, and discussion

When should I do it:

  • When students are off task, inattentive, goofing around, talking out of turn, etc
  • When students are misbehaving
  • When students are getting off topic
  • When students are not doing an assignment or task correctly
  • When students appear confused or lost

How do I do it:

  • Simply provide a student or students with a quick reminder of what they should be doing, where they should be, what the expectations are, the class rules, routines, etc
  • Do not make your redirection more than one or two sentences.
  • Give your redirection and keep going on with what your were doing
  • Be clear and concise with redirection statements
  • Make your redirection to the point
  • Redirection can also be non-verbal, such as eye contact or proximity control

Resources & Support for technique:
(Items with footnotes link to external websites)


  1. Guerra, J. (2011). How to Redirect Off-Task Behavior In the Classroom. [].
  2. SUBstantial News. March 2010. Stop and Redirect Inappropriate Behavior. [].
  3. Cole, R. Strategies for Redirecting Child Behavior. [].
  4. Long, J. Redirecting Child Behavior – The Art of Distracting Children. [—The-Art-of-Distracting-Children&id=3159666].