Mr. Byrne is implementing a punishment when his students do not behave as desired. The behavior attempted to be modified is the student’s attentiveness and respect. Mr. Byrne is currently using a positive punishment to modify their behavior.
Mr. Byrne could begin by replacing the punishment with a positive reinforcer which is proven to be more effective due to difficult to meet arguments of punishment (e.g. appropriate harshness, timing, etc). When the students are not disruptive and cooperate he may assign them less homework (this would be negative reinforcement). He may also reward them with candy or fun activities for the following day (this would be positive reinforcement). To reduce disruptive behaviors, Mr. Byrne may consider a positive punishment (in the form of scolding) but only in extreme cases. For less severe disruptive behaviors, he may consider not allowing the delinquent to participate in the activities or enjoy the candy (negative punishment). Note that it may be best to reward on a case basis (only students who were not disruptive) rather than generalizing for the entire class because it may induce dissonance in the students who did not deserve what they were given. Any combination or permutation of the above are also acceptable, discretion advised.