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Improving Classroom Behavior Presented by Kristen Gray of the Positive Behaviors and Social Skills Institute Self-Evaluation

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improving classroom behavior

Improving Classroom Behavior

Presented by Kristen Gray of the Positive Behaviors and Social Skills Institute

self evaluation
  • Teachers need to continually monitor how their perspectives, attitudes, beliefs, expectations and experiences influence the ways in which they interpret the behaviors of their students.
  • Often teachers first need to change their own behavior in order to change the behavior of their students.
  • Are you as willing to change as you want your students to be?
what are some basic principles of classroom management
What are some basic principles of classroom management?
  • Students need clearly specified guidelines and consequences
  • Posting and reviewing rules doesn’t mean students understand them
  • Students require effective presentation and discussion of rules
  • Students need opportunities for guided and individual practice with rules and consequences
  • Teachers must assess to determine student understanding
how do you do this
How do you do this?
  • Role play
  • Embrace teachable moments
  • Embrace positive moments
  • Have students teach rules and procedures to new students (great form of assessment)
  • Use the Rules and Routines Checklist (paper copy provided in packet)
why do students misbehave
Why do students misbehave?
  • Students have a mistaken goal that misbehavior will get them the recognition and acceptance they want
    • Four Mistaken Goals
      • Attention
      • Power or control
      • Revenge or getting even
      • Display of inadequacy
  • They are bored
  • They lack social skills to cue appropriate behavior
what can teachers do to decrease inappropriate behavior
What can teachers do to decrease inappropriate behavior?
  • Recognize students’ mistaken goals and discuss it with them
  • Extinction (removal of positive reinforcement)
  • Punishment – application of unpleasant or aversive consequence immediately following an undesirable behavior)
  • Time out – removal of student from a positively reinforcing situation
focus on appropriate behavior
Focus on Appropriate Behavior
  • Positive Reinforcement – application of a pleasurable consequence following the display of a desirable behavior
    • Social Reinforcement examples may include a smile, a pat on the back, or a verbal recognition.
    • Tangible reinforcement examples may include a sticker, an edible treat, or a treasure from a treasure box.
  • Negative Reinforcement – the removal of an unpleasant consequence that increases the likelihood of that behavior being maintained or increased
  • Contract – an oral or written agreement between a student and the teacher that identifies the expected behavior and the consequences for exhibiting or not exhibiting that behavior
  • See Table 3.2 in handouts for specific reinforcers teachers can use to increase appropriate behavior (Vaughn)
what is a positive classroom climate
What is a positive classroom climate?

A positive classroom climate will promote appropriate behaviors and acceptance of all students.

how do you create this type of climate
How do you create this type of climate?
  • Make sure the physical arrangement of your room is conducive to the learning styles and needs of all students.
  • Remember that students are children or adolescents first; all students have the need to be accepted, recognized, and valued as members of the learning community.
  • Focus on the abilities of all students; remember that everyone can be a star in something.
how do you create this type of climate continued
How do you create this type of climate? (continued)
  • Celebrate diversity; stress to your students the value of students who represent different learning styles, behavior profiles, physical abilities, languages, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Demonstrate high regard for all students; treat each student as the most important student in the class.
  • Provide opportunities for students to work in mixed-ability groups.
  • See the Classroom Management Checklist in handout
class meetings promote positive classroom climate
Class Meetings Promote Positive Classroom Climate
  • Class meetings can meet weekly or as needed
  • Use meetings to solve crises and to deal with immediate problems
  • Use meetings to prevent problems and teach problem solving
  • Use meetings to increase social acceptance of everyone
what are hallmarks of an effective behavior management plan
What are hallmarks of an effective behavior management plan?
  • Views the system, setting, or skill deficiency as the problem
  • Adjust the system and settings and improves skills
  • Identifies and teaches replacement skills and builds relationships
  • Relies mostly on positive approaches
  • Has a goal of sustained results achieved over time
  • Is developed by a collaborative team
positive behavior support
Positive Behavior Support
  • Problem solving approach to behavior concerns
    • Looks at when, where, and why a student misbehaves
    • Team comes up with interventions that are most likely going to create the kind of environment in which the student can learn responsible behavior and achieve academic success
    • Comparable to a behavior IEP
  • National initiative funded in part through the Office of Special Education Programs (at the United States Department of Education)
  • contains more information on program
school wide discipline
Consistency is an advantage

Same rules are enforced in same way throughout school

Lee Canter’s “Assertive Discipline” is best administered in a positive atmosphere where good behavior is recognized and praised liberally

If system is punishment-based, then it promotes an overall punitive atmosphere throughout the school

Students need encouragement and positive modeling

School-Wide Discipline
how are social skills different from behavioral skills
Social Skills

Social competence (having social skills) is defined as “those responses, which within a given situation, prove effective, or in other words, maximize the probability or producing, maintaining, or enhancing positive effects for the interactors.” Social skills allow us to adapt and respond to the expectations of society.

Behavioral Skills

Behavior skills are basically knowing how to act in a given situation, whether it be working with a partner, in a small group, as a whole class, on a team, or sitting in the lunchroom. Behavior skills determine our outward actions.

How are social skills different from behavioral skills?
what are some social skills intervention programs that can be used by classroom teachers
What are some social skills intervention programs that can be used by classroom teachers?

We will look at five: 1. Interpersonal Problem Solving2. FAST3. SLAM4. Mutual Interest Discovery5. ASSET

interpersonal problem solving
Interpersonal problem solving
  • Problem Identification
  • Generation of alternative solutions
  • Identification and evaluation of consequences
  • Solution implementation
  • Freeze and think. What is the problem?
  • Alternatives. What are your possible solutions?
  • Solution evaluation. Choose the best one. Remember: safe and fair; works in the long run.
  • Try it. Do you think this will work?
slam how to accept and respond to negative feedback
SLAM – How to accept and respond to negative feedback
  • Stop. Stop whatever you are doing.
  • Look. Look the person in the eyes.
  • Ask. Ask the person a question to clarify what he or she means.
  • Make. Make an appropriate response to the person.
mutual interest discovery
Mutual Interest Discovery
  • Designed to increase peer acceptance of students with special needs in the general education classroom.
  • Students well accepted in class are paired with those less well accepted.
  • Student pairs work in semistructured activities once a week for periods of about 40 minutes
  • Students design and conduct interviews with each other.
  • Students keep written record about partner and themselves to be shared with the class.
  • This is a comprehensive social skills training program that emphasizes the following 8 fundamental skills:
    • Giving positive feedback
    • Giving negative feedback
    • Accepting negative feedback
    • Resisting peer pressure
    • Negotiation skills
    • Personal problem solving
    • Following directions
    • Conducting conversations
  • Each fundamental skill is further divided into component skills that are sequenced for instruction in a 9 step procedure.
what are self management skills and how can you teach them to your students
What are self-management skills and how can you teach them to your students?
  • Self management skills enable students to:
    • be more aware of their own behaviors
    • govern the reinforcers for their own behavior
    • depend less on the teacher/adult
  • Self management requires a more active role from the student and a more collaborative role from the teacher
suggested steps for developing a self management plan
Suggested Steps for Developing a Self-Management Plan
  • Teacher and student identify and agree on the behavior to be changed
  • Identify when and where the behavior most frequently occurs
  • Establish realistic goals for changing the behavior
  • Identify a time-line showing how long the behavior-change plan will be in effect
  • Identify reinforcers and consequences
  • Self-evaluate the success of the program each day
thank you
Thank you!

Participating in this inservice is evidence that you are well on your way to improving the classroom behavior and social skills of your students. Our children are lucky to have caring and proactive teachers such as yourselves.


The information contained in this presentation comes from two sources:

  • Teaching Exceptional, Diverse, and At-Risk Students in the General Education Classrom. Bos, Vaughn, Schumm. 2000.
  • CEP 840, taught by Kathleen Moxley and Rebecca Shankland