The why and how of acknowledgement
1 / 75

The Why and How of Acknowledgement - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

The Why and How of Acknowledgement. 2013 Wisconsin PBIS Leadership Conference Session C6 Marla Dewhirst [email protected] Rick Koepke , Evergreen Elementary, Rothschild, WI. Definition of Positive Acknowledgement:

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about ' The Why and How of Acknowledgement' - vance

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
The why and how of acknowledgement

The Why and How of Acknowledgement

2013 Wisconsin PBIS Leadership Conference

Session C6

Marla Dewhirst

[email protected]

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.




  • Preview the need for acknowledgements of the classroom and how they tie into the school-wide acknowledgement plan.

  • Understand why we acknowledge appropriate behavior.

  • Generate classroom examples of incentives to utilize.

Acknowledgement system
Acknowledgement System

The purpose of an acknowledgement system is to:

  • Foster a welcoming and positive climate

  • Focuses staff and student attention on

    desired behaviors

  • Increases the likelihood that desired behaviors will be increased.

  • Reduces the time spent correcting student misbehavior

Why use acknowledgements
Why Use Acknowledgements?

  • Reinforce the teaching of new behaviors

  • Harness the influence of kids who are showing

    expected behaviors to encourage the kids who are


  • Strengthen positive behaviors that can compete with

    problem behavior

  • Prompt for adults to recognize behavior

Why use acknowledgements1
Why Use Acknowledgements?

  • Encourage school-wide behaviors to be displayed in

    the future

  • Improve our school climate

  • Create positive interactions and rapport with students

  • Overall, we earn time back to teach and keep kids in

    the classroom where they can learn from us!

    Every time any adult interacts with any

    student, it is an instructional moment!

Rationale what does 5 positives to 1 negative mean
Rationale-What Does 5 Positives to 1 Negative Mean?

  • Students should experience predominately positive interactions (ratio of 5 positives for every negative) on all locations of school.

  • Positive Interactions=

    • Behaviorally specific feedback as to what the student did right (contingent)

    • Smile, nod, wink, greeting, attention, hand shake, high five (non-contingent)

  • Negative Interactions=

    • Non-specific behavioral corrections

    • Ignoring student behavior (appropriate or inappropriate)

  • How does 5 to 1 happen
    How Does 5 to 1 Happen?

    All Staff are expected to:

    • Interact in a friendly, supportive manner at all times---students, parents, guests and colleagues

    • Initiate positive interactions by:

      • Making eye contact

      • Smiling nodding, winking

      • Welcoming

      • Offering a greeting

      • Asking if assistance is required

      • Provide positive feedback regarding appropriate student behavior

      • Maintain an attitude of respect and support, even when correcting student behavior

    5 1 ratio it s not just for kids
    5 : 1 Ratio, It’s not Just for Kids

    Business Teams:

    • High Performance = 5.6 positives to 1negative

    • Medium Performance = 1.9 positives to 1 negative

    • Low Performance = 1 positive to 2.7 negatives

      Losada, 1999; Losada & Heaphy, 2004

      Successful Marriages:

    • 5.1 positives to 1 negative (speech acts) and

    • 4.7 positives to 1 negative (observed emotions)

      Gottoman, 1994

    Gottman information
    Gottman Information

    • Predicted whether 700 newlywed couples would stay together or divorce by scoring their positive and negative interactions in one 15-minute conversation between husband and wife. Ten years later, the follow-up revealed that they had predicted divorces with 94% accuracy.

      • Marriages that last:

        • 5.1 to 1 for speech acts and 4.7 to 1 for observed emotions

    • Marriages likely to end in divorce:

      • 1 positive to 1.3 negative ratio likely to end up in divorce

    Social Competence & Academic Achievement












    Student Behavior


    Practices how staff interact with students
    Practices-How Staff Interact with Students


    *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

    Components of acknowledgement plans
    Components of Acknowledgement Plans

    Immediate/High frequency/Predictable/Tangible

    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

    Long-term Celebrations

    Used to celebrate/acknowledge accomplishment

    ALL kids, all adults

    Examples: Quarterly activities: popcorn party, class movie, class field day

    Guidelines for use of acknowledgements
    Guidelines for Use of Acknowledgements

    Reinforcements are for every student in

    the classroom, regardless of where they

    fall in the PBIS triangle.

    • Over time, move from:

      • other-delivered to self-delivered (extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation)

      • Highly frequent to less frequent

      • Predictable to unpredictable

      • Tangible to social

  • Adapt to data analysis feedback: “boosters”

  • Individualize for students needing greater support systems

  • Effective environments critical factors
    Effective Environments---Critical Factors

    Research conducted in the work environment (Buckingham and Coffman

    2002) , identified the following critical factors as positively

    contributing to an effective classroom.

    • Educators, Students and Parents:

      • Know what is expected

      • Know curriculum and instruction in place to get good learning outcomes

      • Receive recognition for demonstrating expectations

      • Have a co-worker who cares and pays attention.

      • Receive encouragement to contribute and improve

      • Can identify someone they “relate to”

      • Feel the mission of the class makes their efforts worthwhile

      • See staff and students committed to doing a good job

      • Feel they are learning new things and getting better

      • Have an opportunity to learn and teach

    Example strategies to acknowledge appropriate behavior
    Example Strategies to Acknowledge Appropriate Behavior

    • Examples:

      • Verbal praise

      • Thumbs up, high five

      • Token Economy

      • Notes/phone calls home or to


      • Student of the hour/day/week

      • Special privileges earned through

        group contingency

    Acknowledging appropriate behavior
    Acknowledging Appropriate Behavior

    Effective strategies are…

    • Clear and specific

    • Contingent on desired behavior

    • Applied immediately

    • Teacher initiated

    • Focus on improvement and effort

    • Provided frequently during acquisition

    • Fade as skill develops

    • Avoid comparison/competition across children

    • Sincere and appropriate for student’s age

    • Includes hierarchy of alternatives

    Specific and contingent praise
    Specific and Contingent Praise

    • Praise should be…

      • …contingent: occur immediately following desired behavior

      • …specific: tell learner exactly what they are doing correctly and continue to do in the future

        • “Good job” (not very specific)

        • “I like how you are showing me active listening by having quiet hands and feet and eyes on me” (specific)

    Establish a continuum of strategies to acknowledge appropriate behavior
    Establish a Continuum of Strategies to Acknowledge Appropriate Behavior

    • Specific and Contingent Praise

    • Group Contingencies

    • Behavior Contracts

    • Token Economies

    Acknowledgement of appropriate behaviors
    Acknowledgement of Appropriate Appropriate BehaviorBehaviors

    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.

    Group contingency considerations
    Group Contingency Appropriate BehaviorConsiderations

    • Promotes team work

    • Uses peer influences to

      correct inappropriate behavior

    • May result in conflict within the classroom

    • Good opportunity for modeling/role playing and teaching class wide appropriate behavior (embedding skills)

    Small group contingency
    Small Group Contingency Appropriate Behavior

    • Small Group

      • The reward is given to all members of a group.

      • Individual performance can effect the entire group.

        (Members must perform at or better than a specified level to receive a reward and are competing with other groups in the class.)

      • Team competition promotes higher interest and participation

      • Can promote unhealthy competition

      • Group may not have equal chance for success (may need to change the groups periodically)

    Example small group contigency
    Example: Small Group Contigency Appropriate Behavior

    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).

    Behavioral contracts
    Behavioral Contracts Appropriate Behavior

    • A written document that specifies a contingency for an individual student or in this case…whole class

    • Contains the following elements:

      • Operational definition of BEHAVIOR

      • Clear descriptions of REINFORCERS

      • OUTCOMES if student fails to meet expectations

      • Special BONUSES that may be used to increase motivation or participation.

    Establishing a token economy
    Establishing a Token Economy Appropriate Behavior

    • Determine and teach the target skills

    • Select tokens

    • Identify what will be back-up reinforcers

    • Identify the number of tokens required to receive back-up reinforcers

    • Define and teach the exchange and token delivery system

    • Define decision rules to change/fade the plan

    • Determine how the plan will be monitored

    • **Consider randomly delivering rewards**

    Tips for using tangible tokens
    Tips for Using Tangible Tokens Appropriate Behavior


    • Ensure an adequate supply

    • Take steps to prohibit counterfeiting

    • Develop a system for “spending” tokens

    • Establish an efficient system of record keeping


    • Works like money (use as an immediate reward, but actual “prize” is purchased later)

    • Takes less time

    • Less expensive

    Meeting token system challenges
    Meeting Token System Challenges Appropriate Behavior

    • Use tokens that students can “cash in” for back up reinforcers

    • Change the color and/or design of tokens frequently to discourage counterfeiting.

    • Ensure an ample supply of tokens

    • Ensure all students have fair chance of earning rewards.

    • Provide visual prompts in all settings

    • Include information and encouraging messages on daily basis

    • Select criteria for earning rewards based on data already being collected (e.g., attendance, grades)

    • Continue school-wide efforts and align your classroom rewards system with the school-wide system.

    Classroom continuum of strategies
    Classroom Continuum of Strategies Appropriate Behavior

    Acknowledgement system self check
    Acknowledgement System Self-Check Appropriate Behavior

    As you develop your acknowledgement system make sure you check for the following:

    • The system is simple to use

    • Clearly defined criteria for earning rewards

    • Ongoing opportunity to earn rewards

    • Flexible enough to meet the needs of diverse students

    • Aligned with the school-wide reward system

    • Supportive of and aligned with the data collection system

    • Supportive of behavioral and academic success

    • Meaningful back-up reinforcers

    • Varied to maintain student interest

    • Age-appropriate

    • Hierarchical: Small increments of success are recognized with small rewards

    Reinforcing behaviors
    Reinforcing Behaviors Appropriate Behavior

    • It is important to only reinforce behaviors which are observable and measureable.

    • Clearly state the expectation –

      • Example: Students who are quietly standing in line, facing forward, keeping their hands and feet to them self

      • Non-Example: Students ready for lunch

    Guidelines Appropriate Behavior

    • Reward demonstration of school-wide expectations (contingent)

    • Avoid trying to motivate by withholding incentives

    • Avoid taking away incentives already earned

    • Should target all students

    When selecting reinforcers
    When Selecting Appropriate BehaviorReinforcers. . .

    • Remember: Not everyone is reinforced by the same reward

    • Try to personalize the reinforcers by offering variety

    • Rotate through different reinforcers so options vary throughout the year

    Tangible reinforcements
    Tangible Reinforcements Appropriate Behavior

    • Pair tangible reinforcers with praise statements.

    • Pairing tangibles with verbal praise gradually teaches students to become motivated by praise alone.

    Types of reinforcers
    Types of Reinforcers Appropriate Behavior






    Sensory reinforcers
    Sensory Reinforcers Appropriate Behavior

    Sensory reinforcers are things you can hear, see, smell, or touch:

    • Listen to music

    • Sit in special chair

    • Hold a stuffed animal/toy

    • Choose a poster

    • Watch a movie

    Natural reinforcers
    Natural Reinforcers Appropriate Behavior

    Natural reinforcers are things students like to do/ask to do during free time:

    • Play a game

    • Read a book

    • Free time with a friend

    • Play a sport

    • Be in charge of materials

    • Put up a bulletin board

    Material reinforcers
    Material Reinforcers Appropriate Behavior

    Material reinforcers work for students

    who require immediate reinforcement

    in smaller amounts:

    • Stickers

    • Materials: pencils, pens, paper,


    • Trading cards

    • Movie Tickets

    • Food coupons

    • Juice drinks

    Generalized reinforcers
    Generalized Reinforcers Appropriate Behavior

    Generalized reinforcers work for students who can delay gratification, as the reinforcer is exchanged for an item of value at a later time:

    • Raffle tickets

    • Tokens

    • Poker chips

    • Points/credits

    Social reinforcers
    Social Reinforcers Appropriate Behavior

    Social reinforcers should be paired with other types of reinforcers when students are first learning new


    • Smile

    • Wink

    • Compliment

    • Effective praise

    • Proximity

    Sample interaction activity
    Sample Interaction Activity Appropriate Behavior

    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!

    • Describe what the student did right

    • Explain how the behavior relates to the expectation

    • Verbally link the behavior with the reinforcer

    Low cost reinforcers
    Low Cost Reinforcers Appropriate Behavior

    • Positive parent telephone contacts with students present

    • Coupons (purchased with established numbers of tokens) for the following:

      • Extra P.E. (Music, Art, Computer)

      • Sit by a friend for a class period

      • Use teacher’s chair at student’s desk

      • Sit at teacher’s desk

      • Lunch with teacher-once a month

      • Earned activity period for a preferred activity

      • Early release pass

    Summary Appropriate Behavior

    • Rewards are effective when

      • Tied to specific behaviors

      • Delivered soon after the behavior

      • Age appropriate (actually valued by student)

      • Delivered frequently

      • Gradually faded away

    Evergreen elementary

    Evergreen Elementary Appropriate Behavior

    Acknowledgement Systems

    Foundation Appropriate Behavior

    • Teaching Matrix

    • Keeping it positive

    • Staying fun

    Immediate high frequency acknowledgements
    Immediate/High Frequency Acknowledgements Appropriate Behavior

    • Predictable and Tangible

    • S.O.A.R. Slips

    • Eagle Pride: Ask Me Why bracelets

      • School Staff

        • Teaching Points

          • Playground: Line up when bell rings

            • Fun teaching/reminder video

            • Reinforcement Saturation

          • Bus Drivers

    Immediate cont d
    Immediate Appropriate Behavior(cont’d.)

    • Classroom Specific Acknowledgement Systems—(Becky Insert Pix?)

      • Coin Program

      • Punch Cards

      • Class Compliments

      • Points

    Intermittent unexpected
    Intermittent/Unexpected Appropriate Behavior

    • Hallway Smackdowns

      • Blue Wing vs Orange Wing

    • Principal Pop-ins

    • Bus Recognition

      • Pencil Hand-Outs

      • Sports Cards Hand-Outs

      • Announcements

    Intermittent unexpected cont d
    Intermittent/Unexpected Appropriate Behavior(cont’d.)

    • Golden Broom

      • Hallways

      • Introduction Assembly

    Golden broom before and after
    Golden Broom Before and After Appropriate Behavior

    Intermittent cont d
    Intermittent Appropriate Behavior(Cont’d.)

    • Golden Tray

      • Lunchroom

      • Golden Tray Promotional

    Intermittent unexpected cont d1
    Intermittent/Unexpected Appropriate Behavior(Cont’d.)

    • Staff Acknowledgement

      • Free Duty Coverage

      • Arrive Late/Leave Early Coupons

      • Staff Meetings

    • Friday S.O.A.R. Slip Drawing

      • S.O.A.R./Golden Tray Sample

    Long term celebrations
    Long-Term Celebrations Appropriate Behavior

    • Grade Level Quarterly Rewards

    • Wall of Fame

      • Mrs. Heinzen's 3rd Grade

      • Mrs. Stadler's 1st Grade

      • Handprint on Wall

    Long term celebrations cont d
    Long-Term Celebrations Appropriate Behavior(cont’d.)

    • S.O.A.R-mometer

      • Dance

      • P.J. Day

      • Icy-Pop Day

      • Extra Recess

      • Crazy Hair Day

      • Dunk-Tank

    Challenges Appropriate Behavior

    • Mindset Change

      • “Do what you’re told V.S. “Acknowledging Positive Behaviors”

    • Communication

      • Whole Staff

      • Parents

      • Students—Teaching Stations—Recess Rodeo

    Challenges cont d
    Challenges Appropriate Behavior(Cont’d.)

    • Consistency

      • Between individual staff

      • Between wings

    • Follow-Through

      • Action plan: What, How, Who indicated

    • Keep it fresh

      • Fun

      • New staff

    Hallway Appropriate Behavior

    Recess posters
    Recess Posters Appropriate Behavior

    S o a r board
    S.O.A.R. Board Appropriate Behavior

    Recess games
    Recess Games Appropriate Behavior

    Recess games1
    Recess Games Appropriate Behavior

    Student leadership
    Student Leadership Appropriate Behavior

    Wii fun
    Wii Fun Appropriate Behavior

    Wii fun1
    Wii Fun Appropriate Behavior

    Frequently asked question 1
    Frequently Asked Question Appropriate Behavior#1

    Shouldn’t children this age already know what is expected of them and how to behave?

    • Behavior that is acknowledged is more likely to occur again.

    • Behavior that is ignored is less likely to be repeated.

    • No good behavior should be taken for granted or it may decline.

    Frequently asked question 2
    Frequently Asked Question Appropriate Behavior#2

    Praising feels unnatural. Won’t kids

    think it sounds phony?

    • The more you praise, the more natural it will feel.

    • If you praise appropriate behaviors that truly happened, there is nothing phony about it.

    • Kids who get praise will tend to praise others.

    Frequently asked question 3
    Frequently Asked Question Appropriate Behavior#3

    Isn’t Praise Manipulative and Coercive?

    • The purpose of praise is to reinforce and increase positive behavior with the student’s knowledge.

    • Praise helps clearly describe expectations so that students can successfully meet them.

    Frequently asked question 4
    Frequently Asked Question Appropriate Behavior#4

    Isn’t giving a reward like bribing students to do what you want them to do?

    • A bribe attempts to influence or persuade someone to produce a desired behavior that hasn’t yet happened.

    • A reward reinforces a desired behavior that has already happened.

    Frequently asked question 5
    Frequently Asked Question Appropriate Behavior#5

    Won’t students come to depend on tangible rewards? Don’t extrinsic rewards decrease intrinsic motivation?

    • Tangible rewards should be accompanied with social rewards.

    • When a message that recognizes a student’s efforts as being responsible for success is given with a reward, internal motivation will actually be strengthened.

    Frequently asked question 6
    Frequently Asked Question #6 Appropriate Behavior

    Shouldn’t rewards be saved for special achievements?

    • By acknowledging only the “big” behaviors, adults send the message that every day behaviors of courtesy, responsibility, and respect are not important.

    • Small steps on the way to achievement need to be recognized.

    Frequently asked question 7
    Frequently Asked Question Appropriate Behavior #7

    Do students in middle and high school still need acknowledgement?

    • People of all ages, including adults, need to be recognized and acknowledged for their efforts.

    • Students of all ages need recognition, praise, and rewards particularly during the difficult transition of adolescence.

    Acknowledgements Appropriate Behavior

    • Book-Best Behavior: Building Positive Behavior Supports in Schools. Sprague & Golly, 2004.

    • PDF-LRBI Checklist: Positive Reinforcement. Utah State Office of Education: Least Restrictive Behavior Interventions (LRBI) Resources.

    • PPT-Acknowledgement Systems: Catch ‘em being Good by Chris Borgemeier, PhD. Portland State University

    • PPT-Maximizing Effectiveness Using Positive Behavior Support Methods in the Classroom: Reward Systems, Florida’s Positive Behavior Support Project

    • PPT-Effective Classroom Practice: Strategies to Acknowledge Appropriate Behavior-Center for PBS, College of Education, University of Missouri

    References Appropriate Behavior

    • Brophy, J. (1998). Motivating Students to Learn. Boston: McGraw Hill.

    • Conroy, M. A., Sutherland, K. S., Snyder, A., Al-Hendawi, M. & Vo, A. (2009). Creating a positive classroom atmosphere: Teachers’ use of effective praise and feedback. Beyond Behavior, 18(2),

      pp. 18-26.

    • Evertson, C., & Emmer, E. (1982). Preventive classroom management. In D. Duke (Ed.), Helping teachers manage classrooms. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

    • Evertson, C. M., Emmer, E. T. & Worsham, M.E. (2003). Classroom Management for Elementary Teachers. Boston: Pearson Education.

    • Freiberg, J., Stein, T., & Huan, S. (1995). Effects of a classroom management intervention on student achievement in inner-city elementary schools. Educational Research and Evaluation, 1, 36-66.

    • Good, T. & Brophy, J. (2000). Look Into Classrooms. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

    • IRIS Center, Research to Practice Instructional Strategies. Nashville: Vanderbilt University.

    • Johnson, T.C., Stoner, G. & Green, S.K. (1996). Demonstrating the experimenting society model with classwide behavior management interventions. School Psychology Review, 25(2), 199-214.

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

    • Newcomer, L. (2007, 2008). Positive Behavior Support in the Classroom. Unpublished presentation.

    • Shores, R., Gunter, P., & Jack, S. (1993). Classroom management strategies: Are they setting events for coercion? Behavioral Disorders, 18, 92-102.

    • 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.

    Resources: Appropriate Behavior