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POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR FOR LEARNING. School-Wide Positive Behaviour for Learning Effective Classroom Management Module 1: Antecedent Strategies. Classroom Management Practices: Mini-Modules.

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School-Wide Positive Behaviour for Learning

Effective Classroom Management

Module 1: Antecedent Strategies

Classroom management practices mini modules
Classroom Management Practices: Mini-Modules

  • These mini-modules are designed to provide the slides and materials needed to teach staff, students and families about a SW-PB4L topic (and can be broken down into brief sessions or combined into longer sessions).

  • Notes have been written to assist with the presentation.

  • More information is available on this content.

  • Call your Regional Practitioner if you have questions

  • Good luck!

  • Delete this slide before beginning your session


Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Centre on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBiS)

Professor George Sugai, The Centre for Behavioral Education & Research, University of Connecticut

Professor Tim Lewis, Dean for Research & Graduate Studies at The University of Missouri-Columbia

Missouri School-Wide Positive Behavior Support, MO SW-PBS (Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education)







Essential Classroom BehaviourManagement Practices


What kind of students can display problematic behaviour
What “kind” of students can display problematic behaviour?

All students. Students with/without labels who are in general/ specialeducation can display problematic behaviour. This is not a special education issue. It is an educationissue.

We need to learn more about


effective classroom management

to be able to help allstudents

Evidence based practices in classroom management
Evidence Based Practices in Classroom Management

  • Maximisestructure and predictability

  • Establish, teach, review, monitor, evaluate and reinforce a small number of positively stated expectations

  • Maximise academic engaged time (i.e., actively engage students in observable ways)

  • Establish a continuum of strategies to acknowledge appropriate behaviour

  • Establish a continuum of strategies to discourage inappropriate behaviour

Simonsen, Fairbanks, Briesch, Myers, & Sugai (2008). Evidence-based practices in classroom management: Considerations for research to practice. Education and Treatment of Children, 31, 351-380.

Classroom management self assessment revised 2008
Classroom Management: Self-Assessment Revised (2008)

Simonsen, Fairbanks, Briesch, Myers & Sugai, 2008

What do we know
What Do We Know?

Classroom Management & Students…

“Non-compliant behavior in the classroom has

been the overall highest ranking reason for

office discipline referrals for grades 1-12”

(Colvin, 2009, p. 7-8)

What do we know1
What Do We Know?

Students who display non-compliant behaviour

are at risk for escalating and long-term negative

outcomes such as:

  • peer rejection, off-task behaviour, low academic achievement,

  • involvement with antisocial peer groups, drop out, and crime,

  • ineffective relationships, inability finding and keeping employment and serious mental health issues

The good news
The Good News!

“In the realm of education research effective classroom management is tied to student success with a confidence approaching absolute”

(Sprick, Knight, Reinke & McKale, 2006, p. 201)

When Teachers know and use positive & preventative management strategies many of the commonly reported minor classroom behaviours can be avoided

(Scheuermann & Hall)

The same behaviours that reduce classroom disruptions are associated with increased student learning

(Brophy & Evertson)

Effective classroom management
Effective Classroom Management

“The goal of effective classroom management is not creating “perfect” children, but providing the perfect environment using research-based strategies that guide students toward increasingly responsible and motivated behaviour.”

(Sprick, Knight, Reinke & McKale, 2006, p. 185)

Abc s of understanding b ehaviour patterns
ABC’s of Understanding Behaviour Patterns

  • A = ?

  • B = ?

  • C = ?

  • What happens beforethe behaviour occurs? What is the trigger? (Aor antecedent)

  • What is the behaviour (B)?

  • What happens afterthe behaviour occurs? What is the outCome? (Cor outCome/ Consequence)

    A B C

Antecedent strategies for preventing problem b ehaviour
Antecedent Strategiesfor Preventing Problem Behaviour

Class-wide Practices

  • Establish clear classroom expectations & rules

  • Provide predictability in the environment

  • Use effective instruction and commands

  • Arrange seating so that it is appropriate to the instructional activity

  • Use a brisk pace of instruction

  • Present material that is appropriately matched to student instructional level & prior knowledge

Why use antecedent strategies
Why Use Antecedent Strategies?

  • Increases student engagement with learning

  • Limits time for inappropriate behaviour

  • Allows for high rates of positive, specific feedback

  • Improves student perception of and preference for assignments they consider difficult

    (Heward, 1994; Kern & Clemens, 2007)

Antecedent approaches focus on

structuring the environment to

prevent problems & enhance motivation

Why use antecedent strategies1
Why Use Antecedent Strategies?

  • Feasible and easy to implement

  • Effective for students in general or special education

  • Do not require significant modification to existing instruction

  • May foster improvements in student–teacher relationships

    (Jolivette, Wehby, Canale & Massey, 2001; Kern and State, 2009)

Antecedent strategies
Antecedent Strategies

  • Maximise structure & predictability

  • Establish, teach, review, monitor, & evaluate positively-stated expectations

  • Maximise academic engaged time

  • Develop Predictable Routines

    • Teacher routines

    • Student routines

  • Design Environment to . . .

    (a) elicit appropriate behaviour &

    (b) minimise crowding and distraction

    • Arrangefurnitureto allow easy traffic flow

    • Ensure adequate supervisionof all areas

    • Designate staff & student areas

    • Seatingarrangements (groups, carpet, etc.)

2 establish teach prompt monitor evaluate a small number of positively stated expectations
2. Establish, Teach, Prompt, Monitor, & Evaluate a small number of positively stated expectations

  • Establishbehavioural expectations/ rules

  • Teach rules in context of routines

  • Prompt students of rule prior to entering natural context

  • Monitor students’ behaviour in natural context & provide specific feedback

  • Evaluate effect of instruction - review data, make decisions, & follow up

Establish behavioural expectations
Establish Behavioural Expectations

  • A small number (i.e., 3-5) of positively stated rules. Tell students what we want them to do, rather than telling them what we do not want them to do

  • Publicly post the rules/ expectations

  • Should match School-Wide expectations

  • Construct rules/ expectations based on need in the classroom

Teach rules in the context of routines
Teach Rules in the Context of Routines

  • Teach expectations directly

    • Define rule in operational terms—tell students what the expectation/ rule looks like within routine

    • Provide students with examples & non-examples of rule-following within routine

  • Actively involve students in lesson (game, role-play, etc.) to check for their understanding

  • Provide opportunities to practice rule following behaviour in the natural setting

Prompt and pre correct
Prompt and Pre-Correct

  • Prompt or remind students of the expectations

  • Provide visual prompts (e.g., posters, illustrations)

  • Use pre-corrections

    “verbal reminders, behavioral rehearsals, or demonstrations

    of rule-following or socially appropriate behaviors that are

    presented in or before settings where problem behavior is likely”

    (Colvin, Sugai, Good, Lee, 1997)

Monitor evaluate student behaviour
Monitor & Evaluate Student Behaviour

  • Active Supervision

    • Move

    • Scan

    • Interact



  • Collect data (and use to make decisions)

3. MaximiseAcademic Engaged Time

  • Actively engage students in observable ways

    • Activity Sequencing

    • Offering Choice

    • Opportunities to Respond

Instructional Classroom Management

  • Among the best behaviour management tools we have in the classroom are providing:

  • Effective Instruction delivered with fidelity

  • High rates of student participation

    • Using research-based curriculum

  • Tasks that promote high rates of accurate responses

    • 90% success rate or better

  • The most frequent re inforcers in the classroom should be academic success and teacher feedback

  • Instruction influences behaviour

    • Pacing

    • Sequence activities so preferred activities

    • follow more demanding activities

    • Student choice

    • Opportunities for student responses

      • Acquisition vs Practice

  • Student feedback from teacher

  • Instruction Influences Behaviour

    Antecedent strategies for preventing problem b ehaviour1
    Antecedent Strategies for Preventing Problem Behaviour

    1. Activity Sequencing

    • Intermingle easy with more difficult

    • Simple requests prior to more challenging

      2. Offering Choice

    • Type, order, materials, who, place, use of time

      3. Opportunities to Respond

    • Track students called on

    • Guided notes

    • Response cards . . .

    1 activity sequencing

    1. Activity Sequencing

    Task Interspersonal

    Behavioural Momentum

    What is activity sequencing
    What is Activity Sequencing?

    Thinking about and altering the manner in which instructional tasks, activities or requests are ordered in such a way that promotes learning and encourages appropriate behaviour.

    (Kern & Clemens, 2007)

    Why consider activity sequence
    Why Consider Activity Sequence?

    • Increases task performance

    • Decreases disruptive behaviour

    • Improves student perception of & preference for assignments they consider difficult

      (Kern & Clemens, 2007)

    Why consider activity sequence1
    Why Consider Activity Sequence?

    • For some students presenting difficult tasks back-to-back often sets the occasion for frustration, failure and problem behaviour.

    • Varying the sequence of tasks may not be necessary for average students, but can be very important for students who are at-risk for learning or behaviour concerns

      (Darch & Kame’enui, 2004)

    Strategies for effective activity sequencing
    Strategies for Effective Activity Sequencing

    • Intermingle easy/ brief problems among longer or more difficult tasks (task interspersal)

      (Kern & Clemens, 2007)

    Strategies for effective activity sequencing1
    Strategies for Effective Activity Sequencing

    • Deliver 3 to 4 simple requests prior to a more difficult task (behavioural momentum)

      (Kern & Clemens, 2007; Colvin, 2009)

    The theory behind the strategy is once a student is

    cooperating and engaged in one task (the simple

    requests), there is more chance of the student

    cooperating and engaging in the task that immediately

    follows (the more difficult activity) (Colvin, p.46, 2009)

    Activity sequencing examples
    Activity Sequencing: Examples

    • Read examples 1 & 2

    • Next, with your partner identify the activity sequencing strategy used …

      • task interspersal or

      • behavioural momentum

    Classroom application of activity sequencing
    Classroom Application of Activity Sequencing

    • In spelling or vocabulary lists include 3-5 simple, fun words such as student names, sports teams or holiday related terms, etc.

    • During a writing activity ask students to draw a simple stick figure at the end of each sentence or paragraph

    • Let’s think of another example . . (NZ input)

    2 offering choice

    2. Offering Choice

    Type, Order, Materials,

    Whom, Place &Time

    Why provide choice
    Why Provide Choice?

    “Providing opportunities for students to make choices has been demonstrated to be an effective intervention in preventing problem behaviour and increasing engagement”

    (Kern and Clemens, 2007, p. 70)

    Why provide choice1
    Why Provide Choice?

    “Providing students with the opportunity to make choices may not sound like an instructional practice. However, research indicates offering choices, especially during academic tasks, not only increases student engagement and reduces disruptive behavior, but can also improve response accuracy.”

    (Scheuermann & Hall, 2008, p. 294)

    Why provide choice2
    Why Provide Choice?

    • Feasible & easy to implement

    • Effective

    • Teach learners to become self-determined

    • Enables them to better control their environment

    • Allows opportunity for more frequent positive attention and feedback from teachers

    • May foster improvements in student-teacher relationships

      (Jolivette, Wehby, Canale & Massey, 2001; Kern and Clemens, 2007;

      Kern and State, 2009; Morgan, 2006)

    Strategies for offering choice
    Strategies for Offering Choice

    Examples of Class-wide choice:

    • Type of task or activity

    • Order for completing tasks

    • Kinds of materials that will be used

    • Whom to work with

    • Place to work

    • Choice of how to use time

    • The content you teach is NOT negotiable but the type

    • of assignment or ways of completing it can be

    • negotiated & is likely to enhance student participation

    • Allowing students choices does NOT change the

    • amount of work students are expected to complete

    • and does NOT change the essential components of

    • the task (Scheuermann & Hall, 2008)

    Offering choice example
    Offering Choice: Example

    • With a partner read the example

    • Identify & keep a tally of the types of choices this teacher offered

    • After a few minutes be prepared to share your responses

    Steps for using choice in the classroom
    Steps for Using Choice in the Classroom

    • Create a menu of choices you would be willing to provide to students

    • Look through your menu before planning each lesson

    • Decide what types of choice are appropriate for the lesson & where they fit best in the lesson

    • Provide choices as planned while teaching the lesson

    • Solicit student feedback and input

      (Kern and State, 2009, p. 5)

    Offering choice
    Offering Choice

    Remember . . .

    • Every lesson does not have to include all of the choices on your list, but if each lesson you teach provides at least one opportunity for choice, students are likely to benefit

    • When you incorporate choice, start small (offer 1 or

    • 2 choices). You can then expand the number & type

    • of choice options you will incorporate into your lessons

    What is otr
    What is OTR?

    A variation of 4 key components:

    • Teacher instructional talk

    • Prompts given to students

    • Wait time for the response

    • Specific feedback for correct responding

      **Can be provided individually or to whole class

      (Stichter, Lewis, Richter, Johnson & Bradley, 2006)

    Why maximise otr
    Why maximise OTR?

    Demonstrated to significantly increase on-task behaviour

    • When students are productively engaged in their work there is less chance of problem behaviour

      (Colvin, 2009, p. 48)

    • When students are required to sit for long periods of time without the opportunity to respond or participate, it increases the likelihood that problems will occur- especially for at-risk and high-risk students

      (Colvin, 2009, p.48)

    Optimal rates of otr
    Optimal Rates of OTR

    • Teacher talk = 40-50% of the instructional period

    • Prompts = once per 3.5 minutes (on average)

    • Wait time = 3 or more seconds

    • Feedback = ratio of 4 positive to 1 corrective

      *Focus = Is the teacher creating opportunities for

      students to DO something rather than just

      being passive recipients?

      (Sprick et al., 2006; Stichter et al., 2006)

    Otr example
    OTR: Example

    • Read the classroom vignette

    • Determine how many opportunities to respond were provided to students during the instructional period

    • Identify whether each opportunity was an individual or whole class response

    Ways to increase otr
    Ways to Increase OTR

    • Track Students Called On

    • Guided Notes

    • Response Cards

    • Class-wide peer tutoring

    • Computer-assisted instruction

    A track students called on
    A. Track Students Called On

    • Are all students called on?

      • Think of ‘doable’ ways to do this. . .

      • Use a seating chart & mark off when a student is called on to answer an academic question.

      • Draw students’ names from a jar

      • Increases individual responding

      • Allow “phone a friend” if student does not know answer

    It is important that students experience high rates of

    success. Think about whether a student can correctly

    answer the question before calling on him or her.

    B guided notes
    B. Guided Notes

    • Opportunity to Respond is an instructional question, statement or gesture made by the teacher seeking _______________________.

    • Rate of teacher instructional talk is ___% of an instructional period.

    • Optimal rate of prompts is ___ average per minute.

    • Effective wait time is ___ or more seconds.

    • Three common strategies to increase OTR are:

      • Tracking students called on

      • Guided __________

      • Response ________

    C response cards
    C. Response Cards

    • Cards, signs, or items simultaneously held up by all students to display their responses

    • Types of response cards:

      • Preprinted cards with standard answers:

        • yes/no, true/false, agree/disagree,

      • Preprinted cards with multiple answers:

        • letters, numbers, parts of speech, characters in a story

      • Write-on cards or white boards w/dry erase marker

    • Easy to manipulate, display and see

    Use of response cards
    Use of Response Cards

    • Teach, Model and Practice the Routine

      • Teacher gives question and wait time

      • Teacher gives cue for students to show answer

      • Students show response

      • Teacher gives feedback about correct answer

      • Students put down card and prepare for next question

    Use of response cards1
    Use of Response Cards

    • Maintain lively pace

    • Short time between questions

    • Give clear cues

    • OK to look at classmates’ cards

    • Specific, positive feedback for correct answers and use of cards

    Methods of student engagement

    Individual Response Boards & Cards

    Clicker, Buzzers, Computer


    Methods of Student Engagement

    Response card practice
    Response Card Practice

    • Routine:

      • I will ask a question and give you time to think.

      • I will say “Answer”

      • Show your card with your answer toward me.

      • Hold card up until I say “Cards down”.

      • Place card on table and put eyes on me.

    Antecedent strategies for preventing problem b ehaviour2
    Antecedent Strategies forPreventing Problem Behaviour

    1. _____________________________

    • Simple requests prior to more challenging

    • Intermingle easy with more difficult

      2. ______________________________

    • Type, order, materials, who, place, use of time

      3. ______________________________

    • Track students called on

    • Guided notes

    • Response cards


    • Carnine, D.W. (1976). Effects of two teacher-presentation rates on off-task behaviour, answering correctly, and participation. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 9, 199-206.

    • Colvin, G. (2009). Managing noncompliance and defiance in the classroom: A road map for teachers, specialists, and behavior support teams. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

    • Colvin, G., Sugai, G., Good, R.H., & Lee, Y. (1997). Using active supervision and precorrection to improve transition behaviors in an elementary school. School Psychology Quarterly, 12, 344—363.

    • Council for Exceptional Children, (1987). Academy for effective instruction: working with mildly handicapped students. Reston, VA: Author.

    • Darch, C. B. & Kame’enui, E. J. (2004). Instructional classroom management: A proactive approach to behavior management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

    • Gunter, P., Hummel, J., & Venn, M. (1998). Are effective academic instructional practices used to teach students with behavior disorders? Beyond Behavior, 9, 5-11.

    • Heward, W.L. (1994). Three low-tech strategies for increasing the frequency of active student response during group instruction (pp.283-320). In R. Garner, III, D.M. Sainato, J.O., Cooper, T. E., Heron W.L., Heward, J., Eshleman, & T.A. Grossi (Eds.) Behavior analysis in education: Focus on measurably superior instruction. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.


    • Jolivette, K., Wehby, J. H., Canale, J., & Massey, N. G. (2001). Effects of choice-making opportunities on the behaviour of students with emotional and behavioral disorders. Behavioral Disorders, 26 (2), 131-145.

    • Kern, L. and Clemens, N.H. (2007). Antecedent strategies to promote appropriate classroom behavior. Psychology in the Schools, 44(1), 65-75.

    • Kern, L. and State, T. M. (2009). Incorporating choice and preferred activities into classwide instruction. Beyond Behavior, 18(2), 3-11.

    • Morgan, P. L. (2006). Increasing task engagement using preference or choice-making: Some behavioral and methodological factors affecting their efficacy as classroom interventions. Remedial and Special Education, 27 (3), 176-187.

    • Powell, S. & Nelson, B. (1997). Effects of choosing academic assignments on a student with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 30 (1), 181-183.

    • Scheuermann, B. K. and Hall, J. A. (2008). Positive Behavioral supports for the classroom. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.


    • Simonsen, B., Fairbanks, S., Briesch, A., Myers, D. & Sugai, G. (2008). Evidence-based practices in classroom management: Considerations for Research to practice. Education and Treatment of Children, 31(3), pp. 351-380.

    • Skinner, C.H., Smith, E.S., & McLean, J.E. (1994). The effects on intertribal interval duration on sight-word learning rates of children with behavioral disorders. Behavioral Disorders, 19, 98-107.

    • Skinner, C.H., Belfior, P.J., Mace, H.W., Williams-Wilson, S., & Johns, G.A. (1997). Altering response topography to increase response efficiency and learning rates. School Psychology Quarterly, 12, 54-64.

    • Sprick, R. S., Knight, J., Reinke, W.M., & McKale, T. (2006). Coaching Classroom Management: Strategies for Administrators and Coaches. Eugene, OR: Pacific Northwest.

    • Stichter, J. P., Lewis, T. J., Richter, M., Johnson, N. J. & Bradley, L. (2006). Assessing antecedent variables: The effects of instructional variables on student outcomes through in-service and peer coaching professional development models. Education and Treatment of Children, 29(4), 665-692.