Using Logical Consequences in the Classroom: Definition & Examples

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In this lesson, we will examine using logical consequences in the classroom. The logical consequences we will discuss include: solving problems, loss of privileges, and time-out.


In Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, each of the misbehaving children brought about their own consequences. While they likely learned their lesson, their consequences were not always safe or logical. Logical consequences are methods that are put in place to help students make better behavior choices. While appropriate consequences are adjusted depending on the circumstances and the student, logical consequences are generally divided into three categories. Let's learn more about logical consequences in the classroom.

Solve Problems You Create

One way to teach students to improve their behavior and take responsibility for taking care of each other is to set the expectation that students will fix the problems they cause. The following are examples of logical consequences that solve problems.

  • A student writes on a desk. She spends her free time cleaning all of the desks.
  • A student does not finish his homework. He stays after school to get it done.
  • A student hurts another student's feelings. She writes a letter of apology.
  • A student does not interact correctly with the playground equipment, so he spends a few minutes practicing how to use it correctly.

Lose Privileges

Another way to enforce logical consequences is by revoking privileges associated with the negative behavior. For example:

  • A student goes onto a gaming site instead of an approved research site in the computer lab; therefore, the student loses computer lab privileges.
  • A student is leaning back in her chair; therefore, the student loses the chair and is required to stand for the remainder of the lesson.
  • A student is disruptive when he sits next to his friend; therefore, the teacher chooses a seat for him.

Note that it is usually not a good idea to have a student miss recess time because many of the more disruptive students need movement and exercise breaks to be successful in the classroom. If necessary, losing one minute of recess is sufficient.


Another logical consequence when a student is disruptive or is feeling emotional is to provide a quiet place for the student to regroup until he/she is ready to rejoin the group. The following are examples in which a time-out would be a logical consequence:

  • The student is talking out of turn.
  • The student is not being safe with equipment.
  • The student is speaking to the teacher or other students in an angry or disruptive tone.

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