Behavioral Interventions that Fit Teachers* Schedules

Behavioral Interventions
that Fit Teachers’
“Meeting the Challenge”
Behavior Conference
David Hulac, Ph. D., NCSP
April 7, 2014
What do we want to talk about today?
1) Brief Introduction to behaviorism
2) Basic principles of good classroom management (mostly reminders)
3) Techniques for working with problematic class-wide behaviors
Anatomy of Behavior
Evidence Based Practices in Classroom
Maximize structure in your classroom.
Post, teach, review, monitor, and reinforce a small
number of positively stated expectations.
Actively engage students in observable ways.
Establish a continuum of strategies to acknowledge
appropriate behavior.
Establish a continuum of strategies to respond to
inappropriate behavior.
(Simonsen, Fairbanks, Briesch, Myers, & Sugai, 2007)
Maximizing classroom structure
1. Maximize structure in the classroom.
Develop Predictable Routines
• Teacher routines: volunteers, communications, movement,
planning, grading, etc.
• Student routines: personal needs, transitions, working in groups,
independent work, instruction, getting, materials, homework, etc.
Design environment to (a) elicit appropriate behavior and
(b) minimize crowding and distraction:
Arrange furniture to allow easy traffic flow.
Ensure adequate supervision of all areas.
Designate staff & student areas.
Seating arrangements (groups, carpet, etc.)
(Simonsen, Fairbanks, Briesch, Myers, & Sugai, 2007)
Developing and teaching routines
“Most effective managers spend considerable time during the first several weeks helping
students learn how to behave in their classrooms. They had carefully thought out
procedures for getting assistance, contacting the teacher, lining-up, turning work in, and
standards for conduct during seatwork, group work and whole class activities.”
Emmer and Evertson, 1981
• Methods for accomplishing daily routines
• What are the two broad categories for instruction?
• Methods for accomplishing daily routines
• Include instructional periods
• Include transition periods
• Positive practice
From the Safe and Civil Schools Series
Sprick et al., 2010.
A few other things to think about
Classroom density
• As density increases:
• Attention decreases
• Social withdrawl increases
• Aggression, dissatisfaction & anxiousness increase
• Performance is most pronounced in complex activities
McKee & Witt, 1990
• VERY limited evidence.
• Some research suggests that natural light may decrease behavior
Classroom arrangement
• More disruption in rows (though ideal for lecturing).
• More on-task comments in circles
• Clusters may result in greater on task behavior
Always include an attention getting signal
• Both vocal and visual.
Image from
Targeting transitions
Strategies to Promote Classwide Engagement
• 1-2 hours per day may be spent transitioning (Sainto & Lyon, 1983;
Schmit et al., 2000)
• Number of inappropriate behaviors may be reduced if transitions are
made more efficient (Fudge et al., 2007)
In seat
In seat
Desk clear
Raise hand to speak
Use inside voice to
share with others
Respect others
No talking
Hands and feet to
No handraising
Hands ready to
Eyes on teacher
Hands and feet to
Eyes on
Raise hand to leave
• Red used when transitioning from one classroom activity to
• Teacher provides 2-min and 30-sec warning before moving CW to
• Once CW moved, provide directions for next activity
• After providing instructions, turn CW to yellow or green to elicit
questions regarding instructions
Timely Transitions Game
Developed by Campbell and Skinner
• Develop, teach, and post transition rules
• Class earns group reward if transition time equal to or less
than randomly drawn criterion
• 5 transitions selected and stopwatch used to measure
amount of time during which students misbehaved
• End of day: select one transition period and transition
• If below criterion, class earns one letter toward prize (e.g., P-A-RT-Y)
Post, Teach, Review, Monitor, and reinforce a small
number of positively stated expectations.
• In general, teachers are very good about posting rules and
Establish Behavioral Expectations / Rules
• 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.
• Should match SW Expectations
Prompt or Remind Students of the Rule
• Provide students with visual prompts (e.g., posters, illustrations,
• Use pre-corrections, which include (Colvin, Sugai, Good, & Lee, 1997).
• “better managers were also more careful monitors of student
behavior and dealt with inappropriate behavior when it occurred,
more quickly than did less effective managers. “ p. 345
Emmer and Evertson, 1981
Monitor Students’ Behavior in Natural Context
• Active Supervision (Colvin, Sugai, Good, Lee, 1997):
• Move around
• Look around (Scan)
• Interact with students
• Provide reinforcement and specific praise to students who are following
• Catch errors early and provide specific, corrective feedback to students who
are not following rules. (Think about how you would correct an academic
3. Actively engage students in observable ways.
Provide high rates of opportunities to respond
– Vary individual v. group responding
– Increase participatory instruction
Consider various observable ways to engage students
– Written responses
– Writing on individual white boards
– Choral responding
– Gestures
– Other: ____________
Opportunity to respond
• When students can frequently give answers to questions, their
engagement increases.
Instructional talk
Positive prompts
Wait time
Balance of positive to negative feedback
Source: Tressel, 2008
Instructional Talk
• The teacher engages in short lessons, and then provides an
opportunity to practice.
• Demonstrations, discussions etc.
Source: Tressel, 2008
Positive prompt
• Directed requests for action or response
• Recommend 3 to 4 opportunities per minute for a class
• Ensure each student has a chance to respond
• Prompt choral responses
Source: Tressel, 2008
Wait time
• Allow > 3 s for students to think of the correct answers.
Source: Tressel, 2008
Response Cards
• Students
• write-on boards to answer teacher questions,
• cover answer by drawing board to chest,
• simultaneously revealing when instructed by teacher
• Shown to increase participation and response accuracy (Narayan et
al., 1990; Gardner et al., 1994), as well as student behavior
Christle & Schuster (2003)
• Folded manila folder
inside plastic sheet
protector + dry-erase
marker + felt for
• Data collected on 5
students who
represented range of
student behavior
2 Meta-Analyses of Response Cards
• Randolph (2005): included 289 cases across 12 SCD studies (majority
• Off-task behavior decreased by 42%
• 82% of students preferred RCs to hand raising
• Randolph (2007): 16 SCD and 2 group design studies published since
• Off-task behavior decreased by 34%
• No differences in ESs between write-on and pre-printer response cards
Establish a continuum of strategies to acknowledge
appropriate behavior.
• Specific and Contingent Praise
• Group Contingencies
• Token Economies
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
Group Contingencies (Litow and Pumroy, 1975)
• Three types:
• “One for all” (Dependent Group Contingency)
• “To each his/her own” (Independent Group
• “All for one” (Interdependent Group-Oriented
Dependent Group Contingency
Williamson, Campbell-Whatley, & Lo, 2009
• 6 HS SPED students (10th grade)
• Teacher modeled & student
rehearsed on-task behaviors
• Teacher used 5-min MTS to
record on-task/off-task
• One student’s name was pulled
from a jar
• If that unnamed student met the
criteria (4/5 +’s), whole class
received reward
Independent: Token Economy
• Procedures (Kazdin, 1977)
• Teacher identifies 1-3 disruptive behaviors to be reduced
(or appropriate behaviors to be increased)
• Teacher provides positive tangible reinforcement
(tokens/tickets) when students perform appropriate
• Students may exchange tokens for rewards/prizes
• EX. candy, dolls, comics, pencils, etc
• Add response cost
• Whenever student performs undesirable (disruptive) behavior,
teacher removes a token (Filcheck et al., 2004 ; Wasserman & Vogrin, 1979)
• Students keep track of points (McLaughlin & Malaby, 1972)
• Teacher instructs student to add/deduct points from own chart
on desk
• System-wide K-6 (Boegli & Wasik, 1978)
• Tokens could be earned throughout day, distributed by principal,
teachers, librarian, custodial staff
• Others?
Potential concerns
• Children differ in their preferences for reinforcer dimensions
Quality: time coloring vs. stickers
Rate: how often tokens are delivered
Delay of reinforcement: how often tokens can be exchanged
Necessary response effort: how difficult it is to earn rewards
• Temporal discounting (Ainslie, 1974): rewards lose value as latency to
receipt increases
• Concerns regarding use of edible reinforcement
Independent group contingency
(Brantley et al., 1993)
• 25 4th grade students in general education class
• Identified 3 prosocial expectations: pay attention and finish your
work, get your teacher’s permission before you say something, stay in
your seat without touching others
• Class divided into 45-min intervals  Place check next to student
name on chart if student exhibited 2 or more prosocial behaviors
during interval
• Initial criterion = 5/7 checks on 4/5 days
Interdependent: Good Behavior Game
• Procedures (Barrish, Saunders, & Wolf, 1969)
Students divided into teams
Compete for rewards/privileges (daily and weekly)
Identify what periods will play game
Clearly define rules (inappropriate/appropriate behaviors)
If break rule, receive a mark on the board
Team with fewest marks or if both teams < 5 marks wins (decrease
marks as weeks go on)
• If maintain <20 marks/week, extra privilege
• A variety of settings from Kindergarten (Donaldson, Krous, Downs, & Berard, 2011)
through 9th grade (Kleinman & Saigh, 2011) in NYC public schools.
• Gen ed (e.g., Barrish, Saunders, & Wolf, 1969)
• Transitional classes (students with low achievement and highly
disruptive behaviors; Johnson et al., 1978)
• Specials (i.e., during library; Fishbein & Wasik, 1981)
Mystery rewards
• Used successfully in preschool (Murphy et al., 2007) and
elementary settings (Lannie & McCurdy, 2007; Wright & McCurdy, 2012)
• Post positive expectations
• If all students in class/team meet criterion (e.g., 5 of fewer
checks), group gets a mystery prize
Focus on the positive
• Give points for following rules-rather than a mark for
breaking a rule (Tanol et al., 2010)
• Resulted in lower levels of rule violations
• Preferred by teachers
• Caught Being Good Game (Wright & McCurdy, 2012)
• Assign points if all team members on-task
Modifications: Lunchroom
McCurdy et al. (2009)
Fabiano et al. (2008)
• Lunchroom rules explicitly taught
• Class receives tick mark for rule
• Total # of infractions recorded at
end of lunch
• Criterion announced on Monday
and classes below criterion
received prize
• Each class receives 6 lottery
• One ticket taken away for each
rule violation
• Remaining tickets go into
drawing for class reward
• Exclude students from team points
• Modified that if one team member was responsible for a certain
number of points, they would not be counted as part of the team that
day (Hegerle et al., 1979)
• If one person got >4 marks/day, team could vote to exclude that
person; person missed opportunity to participate if team won that
week-worked in isolation (timeout) for next day to study alone (Medland
& Stachnik, 1972)
• Others?
Classwide Self-Management
Strategies to Promote Classwide Engagement
What are “Self-Management” interventions?
Selection / definition of target
Determination of performance goals,
comparing actual performance to
goals, monitoring performance over
Most often combined
in a package
Delivering instructional prompt(s),
observing / recording behavior
Selection and administration of
primary reinforcers, administration of
secondary reinforcers (e.g., tokens)
Types of Self-Monitoring
• Frequency count of inappropriate
verbalizations (Cavalier, Ferreti, &
Hodges, 1997)
• Instances of speaking during class
(Gottman & McFall, 1972)
• Was I paying attention? (AmatoZech, Hoff, & Doepke, 2006)
• Are you working? (Dalton,
Martella, & Marchand-Martella,
Independent Contingency: Kern et al (1994)
• Elementary students in self-contained classroom taught to rate ontask behavior and one individualized behavior
• Bell sounds according to VI 5-min schedule
• Consultant compares responses with student during initial training
• Points awarded based on student ratings, which could be redeemed
for privileges or items
Interdependent Contingency: Chafouleas,
Hagermoser Sanetti, Jaffery, and Fallon (2012)
• Setting: Three 8th grade classrooms
• Participants: 57 students
• Students rated themselves at end of day using 0-10 DBR-SIS scale on:
• Preparedness
• Engagement
• Homework completion
• Compared ratings with teacher (bonus points possible)
Chafouleas et al. (2012)
• Interdependent group contingency
• Each teacher divided her class into four to six teams of 3-5 students
• Average points were calculated for each team
• Students tracked their progress with team graphs
• Updated, and reviewed at the beginning of each class
• All teams with a cumulative score that met or exceeded the predetermined
criterion earned a reinforcer
Dependent Contingency:
Briesch, Hemphill, and Daniels (2013)
• Setting: Two 7th grade Pre-Algebra classes taught by the same
• Participants:
• Class 1: 20 students (9 male and 11 female)
• Class 2: 25 students (12 male and 13 female)
• Target behaviors:
• “SLANT” (Sit up straight, Lean forward, Ask questions, Nod your head,
Track the speaker)
Briesch et al. (2013)
• An audible tone occurred every 10-15 minutes on a VI schedule
• Each students rated his “SLANT” following the tone by displaying his
thumb up, down, or sideways
• Thumbs up: Met all expectations
• Thumbs down: Did not meet any expectations
• Thumbs sideways: Met some but not all of the expectations
Briesch et al. (2013)
• The classroom teacher rated the behavior of the students sitting at
one randomly-selected table following the tone
• The class received one point for every match between the students’
and the teacher’s ratings
• Up to 3 points were possible per interval (3 students at a table x 1 point each)
• Class received a small tangible reward if they maintained an average
of 80% accuracy in their ratings for the week
Briesch et al. (2013)
• Class 1
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
• PND = 83%
% Intervals Engaged
• SMD = 1.93
• Class 2
• Intervention: M = 92%,
• PND = 71%
• Baseline: M = 77% (SD = 7.76)
• SMD = 1.77
• Intervention: M = 89%
% Intervals Engaged
• Baseline: M = 78% (SD = 6.04)
Establish a continuum of strategies to respond to
inappropriate behavior.
Quick error corrections and
redirect to appropriate behavior
Differential Reinforcement
Planned ignoring
Response Cost
Time out from reinforcement
Teaching ignoring
• Expect an extinction burst.
• Easily implemented by a teacher.
• HOWEVER . . .
Picture from
What if a student’s behavior is motivated
by peer attention?
Group ignore
• Rewarding all other students for ignoring.
• Requires a specific practice section.
Source: Hulac & Benson, 2010
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