Common Behaviour Management
Questions Answered:

  • What is the best way to create a behaviour intervention plan?

    To create an effective behaviour intervention plan, collect data through observations and interviews to determine the most common behaviours a student exhibits. From the data, determine the most frequent misbehaviours that need to be addressed, such as “Gets out of seat without permission, which can lead to negative peer interactions”. 

    Once you’ve determined the two most common misbehaviours, script the replacement, or desired, behaviours that the student should exhibit. For example, “Remain in seat at all times unless given permission to get up by the teacher”. Directly teach and model the behaviour for the student and reinforce the behaviour through verbal affirmation or incentives.

    Create a method to collect behaviour data for the student to determine the effectiveness of the behaviourintervention plan over time. Data can be collected through various methods, such as using points based trackers, charting merit totals, or recording observational data. 

  • What are successful behaviour management strategies?

    Successful behaviour management strategies provide clear expectations for students and focus on reinforcing positive behaviours to prevent misbehaviours from occurring. Having a classroom management plan that clearly outlines systems and procedures that are implemented consistently can prevent misbehaviours and make it easier to get students back on track.

    Even with the best plans, however, undesired behaviours occur. Strategies for addressing the behaviours can vary depending on the type and severity. In choosing redirection and consequence strategies

    • Be fair and consistent. Students are more likely to respond calmly and accept critical feedback when they know what to expect and what is expected of them. 
    • Choose the least invasive redirection or consequence possible to minimise emotional escalation or further misbehaviour. Less invasive behaviour management strategies include positive narration, nonverbal redirections, and increased teacher proximity.
    • Acknowledge when a behaviour is successfully adjusted. Positively affirming a student who uses feedback to correct a behaviour promotes a growth mindset and balances the negative experience of receiving a redirection or a consequence.
  • Can you provide examples of behaviour interventions that work?

    Choosing a behaviour intervention is a skill that is developed through practice and experience. Behaviourinterventions work best when a teacher chooses interventions that are responsive to the unique personalities and needs of the students s/he teaches. Behaviour interventions vary in complexity and invasiveness, ranging from nonverbal cues to isolation from peers.

    The least invasive intervention strategies are nonverbal cues—silent signals that remind a student of class expectations and provide an opportunity to fix the behaviour. These cues are most appropriate for behaviours that are not actively disruptive or unsafe or for students who are triggered when redirected in front of peers. Nonverbal signals include strategies like hand signals, holding up coloured post-its, and increasing teacher proximity to a student

    Verbal redirections serve the same purpose as nonverbal cues but are slightly more invasive as they briefly stop instruction and can single out a student. Verbal cues can address the student directly or the class as whole. They include strategies like positive narration, restating an expectation, giving a directive, and simply saying a student’s name.

    If less invasive strategies aren’t effective or the behaviour is more severe, then consequences are needed. Consequences can and should differ to match the behaviour. At times, a consequence like a demerit or moving down a colour may be all that is needed to stop a behaviour. Other times, the behaviour breaks culture in a more significant way and requires a more significant consequence, like removal from peers to a timeout area or an administrator’s office.

    Logical consequences are a way to maintain fairness and consistency in the implementation of interventions. Logical consequences attempt to match behaviour and consequence more directly. For example, if a student writes on a bathroom wall, then s/he could clean the bathrooms or the classroom as a reminder of the work that goes into keeping a school building clean for everyone.

    For students that consistently don’t respond to interventions and need an individualised plan, a behaviourintervention plan should be created. These plans directly address target behaviours and involve methods, such as peer or teacher mentors, check-in/check-out systems, built in breaks throughout the day, and other calming and accountability strategies that curb misbehaviours. 

  • Do you recommend developing a behaviour journal?

    Behaviour journals can be a successful behaviour management strategy for students who enjoy writing and prefer a quiet, isolated activity in order to deescalate their emotions. When using a behaviour journal as a management tool, it is important to set clear expectations for the use of the journal and make those expectations explicit for the student. Consider questions like “How long does the student have for journaling before s/he must participate in class again?” and “Should the student stay at an assigned desk to write or is there a cool down area available for journal time?”

    It is important to remember that any behaviour management strategy will work only for a certain percentageof students. Successful classroom management plans anticipate diverse needs among students and provide a menu of options for de-escalation and emotional regulation. 

  • What are some best practices to follow when creating behaviour interventions plans?

    When creating a behaviour intervention plan, it is best practice to include all stakeholders in the process. Involving the student, teachers, parents, coaches, and other important staff (i.e. bus drivers) increases investment and encourages faithful implementation of the plan. 

    Gathering info from multiple sources also provides data about the student's behaviours across various settings, like the classroom, home, and school bus, which is helpful in determining the most important behaviours to target. A target behaviour should happen frequently and across various settings to be addressed in an intervention plan. 

    A strong intervention plan targets only two to three behaviours at any given time. Focusing on a couple of key behaviours makes the plan more manageable for both students and teachers and makes clear a path to success. Once a behaviour is mastered, according to collected data, a new target behaviour can be added to the plan.

    Once a plan is created, all stakeholders should meet to review the plan and be trained on how to collect implementation data. Clear communication about target behaviours, recommended methods for correcting misbehaviour, student preferred incentives and rewards, and use of data trackers helps to ensure investment in and faithful implementation of the plan across all components of a student's day.

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