The Why and How of Acknowledgement. 2013 Wisconsin PBIS Leadership Conference Session C6 Marla Dewhirst firstname.lastname@example.org Rick Koepke , Evergreen Elementary, Rothschild, WI. Definition of Positive Acknowledgement:
The Why and How of Acknowledgement
2013 Wisconsin PBIS Leadership Conference
Rick Koepke, Evergreen Elementary, Rothschild, WI.
Definition of Positive Acknowledgement:
Positive acknowledgement is the presentation of something pleasant or rewarding immediately following a behavior. It makes that behavior more likely to occur in the future, and is one of the most powerful tools for shaping or changing behavior.
The purpose of an acknowledgement system is to:
expected behaviors to encourage the kids who are
the classroom where they can learn from us!
Every time any adult interacts with any
student, it is an instructional moment!
All Staff are expected to:
Losada, 1999; Losada & Heaphy, 2004
Social Competence & Academic Achievement
*3-5 school-wide expectations
*Classroom managed vs. office referred behavior
*Behaviors like we teach academics with Cool Tools
*In the moment reminders/redirection
*Pre-correct to “get” expected behavior
*Adults practice what we preach
*Students practice what we teach
Immediate, intermittent, long-term reinforcements for expected behaviors to
ensure future compliance
*Consequences for non-compliance
*Review of expected behavior
*Addition of needed behavioral/academic supports
Delivered at a high rate for a short period while teaching
new behaviors or responding to problem behavior
Name behavior and tie back to school-wide expectation upon delivery
Examples: “Caught Being Good”, “Lincoln Loot”, “Titan Bucks”, positive referrals, points for privilege levels – turned in for tangible/non-tangible prize
Bring “surprise” attention to certain behaviors or at scheduled intervals
Used to maintain a taught behavior
Examples: Raffles, special privileges, principal random call
Used to celebrate/acknowledge accomplishment
ALL kids, all adults
Examples: Quarterly activities: popcorn party, class movie, class field day
Reinforcements are for every student in
the classroom, regardless of where they
fall in the PBIS triangle.
Research conducted in the work environment (Buckingham and Coffman
2002) , identified the following critical factors as positively
contributing to an effective classroom.
Effective strategies are…
Specific and Contingent Praise-Make eye contact and use behaviorally specific language. Provide immediate feedback and acknowledge appropriate behavior often.
Group Contingencies All for one-If entire class completes work on time they all get 10 minutes free time. One for all-Students divided into groups. Groups earns points, and group with most points wins reward. To each his/her own-Independent Group Contingency-everyone who earns points receives a reward.
Utilize Behavior Contracts (group or individual)
Token Economythat can be based on how school reward system operates.
correct inappropriate behavior
(Members must perform at or better than a specified level to receive a reward and are competing with other groups in the class.)
Mrs. Robinson’s class is divided into 4 groups.
Example A:Members of the group help earn tokens for their group. Groups that earn at least 20 tokens by the end of the day are admitted to compete in the “Spelling Bee” or “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” game.
Example B:Mrs. Robinson’s class is divided into 4 groups. Each member must earn 5 tokens each day in order for the
entire group to participate in the game (receive a
Example CThe 2 groups receiving the highest number of tokens for the day participate in the game (receive a reward).
As you develop your acknowledgement system make sure you check for the following:
Sensory reinforcers are things you can hear, see, smell, or touch:
Natural reinforcers are things students like to do/ask to do during free time:
Material reinforcers work for students
who require immediate reinforcement
in smaller amounts:
Generalized reinforcers work for students who can delay gratification, as the reinforcer is exchanged for an item of value at a later time:
Social reinforcers should be paired with other types of reinforcers when students are first learning new
Thank you, Mary, for picking up the trash
on the floor. Because you demonstrated
responsibility, which is one of our
expectations, I want to acknowledge you
with a Beary Good Slip. Good job!
Shouldn’t children this age already know what is expected of them and how to behave?
Praising feels unnatural. Won’t kids
think it sounds phony?
Isn’t Praise Manipulative and Coercive?
Isn’t giving a reward like bribing students to do what you want them to do?
Won’t students come to depend on tangible rewards? Don’t extrinsic rewards decrease intrinsic motivation?
Shouldn’t rewards be saved for special achievements?
Do students in middle and high school still need acknowledgement?