Low level interventions (Marzano)

Remember -

Before a C1 or C2 removing a student, have you tried:





‘Sit down and talk to me because I really care about your learning and believe that you can do this.’

Own the room        

Meet and greet, work straight away, out from behind the desk, touch desks.

Prep 4 Learning

Have a task that is immediately started that requires little or no explanation. Check that every student has started it

‘Thank you to those that have their TLA 5 out and have started the prep for learning activity.’

Say thank you

Please sounds like begging: thank you is assertive and communicates expectations

‘Shirts, skirts and sleeves, thank you’

Maybe and...

Redirect the behaviour

‘I was only talking about the work’

Maybe and I still need you to face this way and pick up the pen, thank you.

‘But other teachers let me’

Maybe and in this class I use a seating plan, sit over there thank you.

‘This work is boring’

Maybe and it is still important for your personal success so I’ll help you

Anchor point

Use one or two places in the room to stand

Use student names

Use a seating plan and use student names. Aim to have a positive interaction with every student during the lesson.

Closed choice

Give an alternative, less desirable option

Bracket the behaviour

Praise the students near to the misbehaving student

Pressure of time

Highlight the time left to do the work

Casual question

To refocus the student

‘How’s the work going, David?’

Steady stare

Pause whatever you are doing and give a steady, neutral stare

Break off

Abruptly break off mid sentence and wait for silence

Cue for silence

Stand in the same few places in the room when requiring attention


Use gestures, facial expression and body posture


Move nearer to the misbehaviour whilst continuing to teach, to the side is least confrontational


Describe the behaviour, not the child


Give an activity to distract the student, for example cleaning the whiteboard

Broken record

Repeat the instruction, although never repeat more than 3 times and remember to give take up time.


Tell the student what you want them to do. Never assume that they do, use assertive but neutral language.

Partial agreement

Partially agree with the student to be seen to compromise.

‘You’re probably right, the work is desirably difficult, but the more you practise, the easier it will get, thank you.’

Tactical ignoring

Do not respond to the low level behaviour. Recognise and reward others to get the rest engaged and then deal with student behaviour.

Private interactions

Remember that students don’t want to lose face in front of their peers. They will escalate if confronted in front of the class. Get them out of hearing, or give the impression of privacy by speaking quietly.

I notice….would it help if...

Notice the behaviour/how the child might be feeling and offer a choice

I notice that maintaining focus is tricky for you at the moment; would it help if I explain again?

I notice that you are unhappy about X, would it help if you had 5 minutes to calm down and we talk about it then?

Bright Spots

Catch students making the right choices and displaying effective learner behaviour. However, don’t over praise compliance with basic expectations.