August 26, 2015
When it comes to PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports), it’s not all about adopting and creating well-organized behavioral interactions, or enticing the outcomes of social and academic activities among students. It’s also about the rewards and celebrations that come along with successfully deploying and implementing this approach (because positive behavior support is not just a standardized scripted scenario). One of the most important parts of successfully implementing PBIS is to incentivize along the way and to offer a celebration at the end of the “road.”
There is plenty of information available on the different approaches to a customized PBIS prevention-oriented strategy. But reward systems are rarely mentioned and, most importantly, PBIS school-wide celebration ideas are virtually ignored. That’s because people tend to forget to reward students for their good behavior or for their efforts along the way. They also tend to forget that individuals respond to incentives whether they’re young or old, and whether they’re at school or work.
Although PBIS has no clear guidelines or restrictions regarding the application of methods that reinforce positive behavior, some strategies are more effective than others. When we talk about incentives for being responsive to the practices that are being implemented – proactive supervision, enhancing social interactions, self-control and so on — the rewards can be school-wide, classroom-wide, or more focused on the individual. And those incentives should follow a set of rules.
PBIS Individual Rewards
The individual rewards are meant to focus on specific positive approaches or the desirable behavior of individuals, thus creating healthy competition among students. While this type of challenge might not be successfully implemented with adults, young people are very responsive to gamified approaches that offer individual rewards and scores. But when it comes to PBIS, this type of recompense has its ups and downs.
Pro Tip: While individual rewards focus on celebrating the achievements of one person and can be performed any day, school-wide celebrations are about reaching certain milestones and acknowledging the accomplishments of the whole community.
PBIS School-Wide Celebration Ideas
When we talk about PBIS school-wide celebration ideas, the rewards are not about offering immediate prizes or honors to individuals. Instead, they’re about sending a message and rewarding the steps involved in building a positive school culture.
Not only can school raffles be a fun way to reward the school community, they can also be a way to gather data and reward individuals. Many schools attempt to orchestrate a school raffle, but some of them fail to be creative with it and don’t implement it properly. A school raffle should also provide feedback on student behavior and supply the school’s faculty with details about their progress. It’s also the perfect opportunity to publicly acknowledge optimal student behavior.
When setting up a school raffle, include spaces for the following details on the raffle tickets:
- The name of the student (to identify the student ticket holder).
- Teacher initials (to identify which class s/he is part of).
- Accomplishment (to identify how the student has progressed in terms of positive behavior, whether it’s being respectful, orderly, attentive, or responsible).
The prizes can be wildly creative, like winning a day in the principal’s chair or having a school day named in honor of the student. This will be a memory that will last until graduation and beyond, so the more creative and special the better.
Goal-Oriented School Events
PBIS school-wide celebration ideas can also present opportunities to give rewards that anyone can benefit from. For example, after students achieve a certain number of good deeds, educators can organize an event at the end of the month or the semester to celebrate those accomplishments. Here are some ideas on how to make it interesting:
- Scavenger Hunt – Scavenger hunts can be great fun for students and adults. This is a good opportunity to also create cohesion among students and involve the whole school.
- Movie and Popcorn – Show a movie in the gym and serve popcorn or sundaes. This is also a testament to organization, attentiveness and responsibility, since bringing a school full of children to a movie is a hard task to do under normal circumstances.
- School Yard Sale/School Bucks – Another great way to celebrate school-wide good behavior and positive school culture is by creating school yard sales. At the start of the semester, set up a system in which individuals receive “school bucks,” a type of currency that is personalized for each school and which will be used at the end of the semester to buy items from the yard sale. The items that will be displayed for sale at this event should be gathered by the community, including both parents and teachers. This is a great way to involve families of students and make them feel that they’re part of the process. It’s also an opportunity for the students to work their way into the PBIS system and develop some entrepreneurial skills at the same time.
Pro Tip: You can create a monthly schedule with goals and display it around the school for everybody to see. That way, students can work together in order to achieve those goals and make sure that the events are going to be performed each month.
As important as it is to emphasize the goals and rules you want students to follow (being respectful, organized, safe, honest, etc.), it’s also important to remember to reward the signs of good behavior and the evolution towards a better overall school culture. And there’s no better way to do it than by implementing successful PBIS school-wide celebration ideas. If you would like to learn more about PBIS, contact the experts at TeamYou today.
August 19, 2015
One of the first steps in implementing a PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) system into a school should be to delegate a team that oversees the commitment and maintenance of the program. In order to effectively implement the system, 80% of the school staff should be committed to integrating the program into the school culture. The team delegated to handling and supervising the implementation has to ensure support at all levels and that the PBIS system has school-wide representation, with the principal in the center acting as the main spokesperson for the program.
Setting Behavioral Expectations
The next step is to establish the behavioral expectations using a PBIS matrix in which all locations within the school are noted, along with the appropriate behavior that is expected from students within those particular settings. The focus should be on encouraging positive attitudes and behaviors in students, which will make it much easier for children themselves to focus their attention on the positive behaviors rather than on the negative behaviors they should be avoiding.
Establishing a Rewards Program
Setting up a rewards system can increase the effectiveness of a PBIS program. First, the students must understand what behaviors are expected of them and what rewards they’ll receive when they conduct themselves appropriately. Rewards can range from social recognition – putting the students’ names and accomplishments on a bulletin board, for example – to intrinsic rewards (like getting out of school early) and tangible rewards (coupons, for example). You can see some of the most common rewards in the image below.
Educators should remember the importance of praising positive behavior as much and as often as possible, and limiting the amount of verbal correction given as a result of students’ negative behavior. Use the 4 to 1 ratio as a general rule: praise positive behavior 4 times as often as you correct negative behavior.
Establishing a Strict Discipline System
Any school implementing a PBIS system should divide the challenges they face into minor and major categories. The PBIS oversight team should decide who is taking care of the minor issues (which should preferably be left to the staff) and who is taking care of the larger issues (which should be handled directly by the office).
Both minor and major problems should be completely described to students and staff of the school, as well as to the students’ families. An office referral form should be created for use in tracking down and combating major behavioral problems.
Managing the Collected Data with a PBIS Data Management System
Efficiently managing collected data is a crucial step in monitoring and supervising the progress of any PBIS program. This is also critical to making the correct decision when dealing with recurring problems. The School Wide Information System is a data management program that tracks and identifies all of the major behavior criteria, and one which should be implemented in every school that utilizes the PBIS approach.
For all data entries, concrete procedures should be created in order to better monitor the behaviors and the evaluation process. Regular meetings should be held to discuss all the data that has been collected and how it can help with the process of making decisions to solve problems or to make interventions where necessary.
Pro Tip: For better results, the data must be summarized for each individual, as well as for entire groups of students, or for all of the students during any period of time.
A PBIS Data Management System Identifies Behavior Patterns
The PBIS data management system is an extremely effective tool that can assist the oversight team review behavior patterns at the school level by simply answering a few basic, yet important questions:
- How often are office referrals issued?
- What are the issues that are causing the undesirable behaviors?
- Where they are most often manifested?
- When are they most likely to happen?
- Which students are frequently involved in these events?
The PBIS data management system also helps to identify and define the behavior patterns with a varying amount of detail. The students’ behavior patterns can be observed by team members, who can then produce reports at the end of every school year. Measures can then be planned for the upcoming year to diminish the undesirable behavior and encourage positive behavior as much as possible.
This type of PBIS data management system has the ability to:
- Define data collection measures – The system is customized for each and every student to better monitor individual progress.
- Upload and store the much-needed documentation.
- Summarize the collected data for further decision-making – The goals and objectives from the student’s support plan are transferred in a well-organized student file, which plays an important role in the quality of the decision-making process. Data can be entered extremely efficiently and periodically reviewed as necessary.
The PBIS approach has been proven over and over again to be successful in creating positive behaviors in students. But in order to gain all the benefits offered by PBIS, an effective PBIS data management system is a must-have. For more information about PBIS, contact the TeamYou experts today.
August 13, 2015
The PBIS behavior matrix is a chart that clearly communicates your school’s expectations for positive behaviors in various school environments. It aides teachers and administrators in teaching, modeling, and reinforcing PBIS in the classroom, hallway, playground, cafeteria, and home.
The purpose of a PBIS behavior matrix is to identify and display positive behaviors that meet behavioral expectations across all school contexts and settings. Usually, a matrix features two axes: Expectations and Contexts. It is a shorthand reference that helps teachers, principals, aides, and parents consistently reinforce a set of key behavioral expectations during students’ daily routines. When it is visibly displayed in the classroom and other settings, it helps to increase students’ understanding of schoolwide expectations, and even offers specific examples of actions students can take to meet these expectations. For example, a PBIS behavior matrix may show that to maintain respect in the cafeteria, students should use inside voices, say please and thank you, and allow anyone to sit beside them.
Choose Expectations For Your PBIS Behavior Matrix
Expectations are the key behaviors that teachers and school administrators would like students to exhibit throughout the day, such as respect, responsibility, cooperation, and safety. The Expectations on a PBIS behavior matrix are not a comprehensive list of all positive behaviors and qualities. They are typically a succint and memorable list of the 3-5 most important qualities you would like to reinforce. For example, Snow Creek Elementary School—home of the Panthers—created an acronym for their PBIS behavior matrix: PAWS stands for Pride, Attitude, Wise Choices, and Safety.
Other examples of positive expectations you can choose from your school-wide PBIS behavior matrix include:
Take Contexts and Environments into Consideration
Because you want positive behaviors to be exhibited everywhere students go, your PBIS behavior matrix should take each daily school environment and context into consideration. Most commonly, students will spend the majority of their school hours in the classroom, hallways, cafeteria, playground, athletics fields or gymnasium, auditorium, and administrative offices. For each of these areas to remain safe, peaceful, and positive for all students, the expected behaviors must be exhibited in context-specific ways. Preparedness can be demonstrated in the classroom by arriving on time with homework completed, but in physical education it is demonstrated by wearing proper gym attire.
Common locations and contexts schools include in their PBIS behavior matrix include:
- Computer Labs
- Parking Lots
- Administrative Office
List Measurable, Positive Behaviors
A PBIS behavior matrix is not very useful or effective if it does not include guidelines for various locations and contexts. Instead of simply asking students to participate, show them what participation looks like in each environment with clear behavioral instructions they can easily understand.
Each box in your matrix should contain several positively stated descriptions of what each of your behavior expectations looks like within the given context. For example, if you choose Safety as one of the key Expectations in your PBIS behavior matrix, here are some ways you can break that down into positively stated, measurable expectations across contexts:
- Safety in the Classroom:
- Use class materials for their stated purpose
- Keep all four legs of your chair on the floor
- Keep your desk and floor area clear and organized
- Safety in the Hallway:
- Walk on the right side
- Take stairs one step at a time
- Keep backpacks and belongings off the floor
- Safety on the Playground:
- Stay in supervised areas
- Walk on the blacktop
- Use equipment properly
The behaviors stated in the matrix should be measurable, so that students can easily evaluate their own success and adjust. When creating a PBIS behavior matrix for young children, graphics, pictures, and colors can be used to communicate expectations in a visual and captivating way.
Strategies For Creating Your PBIS Behavior Matrix
One strategy is to go through each environment a student encounters in their daily routine, and envision how you would like students to behave. Look for consistent themes in your behavioral expectations so you can identify the most essential behaviors you want to reinforce. Then ask yourself what students can do, specifically, to accomplish those behavioral expectations in each particular context.
A second strategy is to use previous data you have collected on student behaviors across multiple contexts. Not all schools have recorded data available to analyze. If you don’t, consider starting to collect behavioral data now, it is extremely helpful in identifying short and long term PBIS goals and strategies for your unique school environment. If you do have data to review and learn from, use it to identify the most common problem behaviors affecting your school.
Beside your list of undesired behaviors, write a contrasting, positive behavior that you would like to replace it with. For example, if an identified problem is that too many students are running in the hallway, a contrasting positive behavior would be for students to always walk on the right hand side. Once you have a list of desired behaviors, look for overriding expectations that each behavior can fall under. Walking on the right hand side of the hallway may fall under Cooperation, along with sharing equipment on the playground and working together to clean up learning stations in the classroom.
How to Implement Your PBIS Behavior Matrix
Once you have created your PBIS behavior matrix, share it widely with all school staff and administration, as well as parents. Post the matrix visibly in your classroom, and even distribute copies to each individual student. You may find it helpful to verbally review the matrix as a class, walk through each environment and demonstrate the behaviors, or even quiz students on expectations. The most important component of PBIS behavior matrix implementation is consistent reinforcement of the expectations from all authority figures a student encounters throughout the day.
Team(You) is an easy-to-use digital incentive program that can be used to motivate positive classroom and school-wide behaviors. Contact Team(You) today to learn how our classroom PBIS software can help you reinforce positive behaviors schoolwide.