November 20, 2015
In an earlier blog, we discussed the PBIS 5 to 1 ratio concept and how it plays an important role in implementing the PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) concept in your classroom. If you follow the PBIS 5 to 1 ratio, you’ll be acknowledging student’s positive behavior at least 5 times more often than you acknowledge problem behaviors. While that may sound like a simple formula, actually providing positive acknowledgment may not be as simple or straightforward as it may sound.
In this blog, we will provide some 5:1 ratio relationship examples to better illustrate how you can best use positive acknowledgment in your own classroom. As you review these examples, keep in mind the key features of effective acknowledgment:
- It should be immediate
- Make it specific
- Make it sincere
- Vary the wording
- It should make reference to past behavior of the student (i.e., do not compare the behavior of the student to others)
When it comes to providing effective acknowledgment of positive behavior, it’s also important to tie your recognition in with your class rules or code of conduct.
5:1 Ratio Relationship Examples
Acknowledging Respect for Others
“Jason, you handled your disagreement with Steve peacefully and quietly. That showed a lot of respect for Steve, not to mention the rest of the class.” In this example, Jason handled what might have been a very difficult situation in a mature manner, which showed respect for others. Being respectful is a good behavior to include in a class’s code of conduct.
Acknowledging Being Responsible
“Mark, you’ve been on time for class every day this week. That is quite a change from your past behavior and shows that you are being responsible.” In this instance, the teacher is comparing Mark’s current positive behavior to his previous less-than-stellar performance.
Acknowledging Positive Actions with a Reward
“Sharon, thank you for putting away the art supplies. That demonstrated respect for others who will use them later. You’ve earned a silver star on your chart for today!” Extrinsic rewards can be very effective in the early stages of a PBIS approach.
Acknowledging Improved Behavior
“Joni, you sat quietly and paid close attention all the way through our Math exercises today. That shows a great improvement. Congratulations!” Sometimes, even the smallest accomplishment is worth acknowledgment. In this instance, the teacher is praising Joni for simply sitting quietly and paying attention. While that may be a small accomplishment for some students, it was an achievement for Joni, which is why it was recognized by the teacher.
Acknowledging Academic Achievement of a Team
“Team A, you did a good job by staying at your desks and working your way through the assignment. That showed a lot of determination and concentration on your part!” Don’t forget to acknowledge the efforts of teams as well as individuals. Learning to work effectively as a team can mean that the individuals within the team are learning a variety of positive behavioral skills, such as cooperation, respect for others, and accepting responsibility for your own actions.
“Ashley, good job in turning your homework in on time! That shows that you’re willing to cooperate and follow our class rules.” Making this type of statement in front of the class not only acknowledges Ashley, it also emphasizes the importance of the class rules.
Use 5:1 Ratio Relationship Examples in Your Classroom Today
These 5 to 1 ratio relationship examples demonstrate how to provide students with positive acknowledgment and reinforce your code of conduct and/or class rules at the same time. But remember that no one is perfect, and there will be occasions when you’ll need to admonish a student for negative behavior.
For more information about the 5 to 1 ratio or about PBIS in general, contact the experts at TeamYou today. We provide coaching, training and professional development for educators and administrators.
November 13, 2015
PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) is an approach designed to increase the amount of positive feedback students receive from educators in an effort to help students succeed both academically and socially. PBIS is not, however, a packaged curriculum. You’ll find plenty of examples online describing how different schools have implemented the PBIS approach, but you won’t find a specific script or manual to follow step by step. PBIS is intended to be a framework for educators; one in which each teacher or administrator can develop his or her own methods that best suit the school and the student body.
How, then, can you know if you’re providing the most effective amount of positive feedback to students? The answer is simple: follow the PBIS 5 to 1 ratio. Generally speaking, a teacher that follows the 5 to 1 ratio will acknowledge students’ positive behavior at least 5 times more often than acknowledging students’ undesirable or problematic behaviors.
Acknowledging Student Behavior
The first step in implementing the PBIS 5 to 1 ratio is understanding what constitutes acknowledgment of different types of behavior; which isn’t as obvious as it may sound. Your acknowledgment may be either verbal or an appropriate, and easily understood, physical gesture (a thumbs-up signal, a high five, or simply a nod, for example). Whether the behavior is positive or negative, the tone of your acknowledgment should be one of respect for the student. The goal is to draw attention to the behavior. Verbal acknowledgment of desirable behavior is easy: “You’ve done an excellent job in correctly finishing the assignment before the end of class.” Verbal acknowledgment of an undesirable behavior isn’t always so obvious: “This is the time to remain quiet and in your seats, with your eyes on me. Thank you.”
Key Features of the PBIS 5 to 1 Ratio
- Acknowledge the behavior immediately after it takes place. The timing of the acknowledgment is just as important as the tone.
- Be specific in your acknowledgment. Include a precise description of the behavior in your acknowledgment.
- Make it sincere. As most of us know all too well, students are just as capable of identifying sincerity in another person as adults are (sometimes even more so).
- Vary your acknowledgment. Don’t get into the habit of repeating the same verbiage over and over again.
- Make your acknowledgment student referenced. In other words, acknowledge the effort that a student puts forth in comparison to how he or she has done in the past; NOT how the student behaves when compared to other students.
While it’s important to always strive to provide acknowledgment in as positive a manner as possible, none of us are perfect. Eventually – and inevitably – you will respond negatively, particularly if the student behavior is extreme. And that’s okay. The important thing to remember, with PBIS 5 to 1 and the PBIS approach overall, is the ratio. As long as you respond positively 5 times more often than you do in a negative way, your implementation of the approach will probably be effective.
Don’t be surprised if this is something you need to work on. Most of us don’t intuitively use the 5 to 1 ratio concept in our personal lives, much less in the classroom. It may help to post a note to yourself somewhere around your desk as a reminder. Eventually, however, positive acknowledgment will become easier and easier. Just as it takes time to break old habits, it also takes time to develop new ones. Once you become accustomed to this new habit, you could very well discover that the PBIS 5 to 1 ratio benefits not only your students, but you, the teacher, as well.
If you want to find out more about PBIS in general, or the PBIS 5 to 1 ratio in particular, contact the education professionals at TeamYou today. We provide PBIS software, as well as professional development, training, and coaching for teachers and administrators.
November 6, 2015
It takes time to bring about change in any environment, and the same is true for the classroom. If you’re preparing to implement a PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) system in your classroom, there are some shortcuts you can take to create a positive behavior environment relatively quickly.
Make PBIS Tangible for the Students
Create a code of conduct for your classroom — preferably in the form of a poster or bulletin board — and post it in an obvious location that’s easy to see. Introduce the concept to students by going through each item listed and providing examples of how students would act appropriately in certain situations. Refer to the code of conduct whenever possible during the course of each school day to reinforce the concepts that make a positive behavior environment.
Reinforce the Code of Conduct With Role Playing
Providing examples is helpful, but allowing students to actively participate in a role-playing exercise can be an effective way to teach positive behaviors, as well as being fun for the class. Create a variety of situations, identify which behavior from the code of conduct is called for, then ask a child to display that behavior. If the students are older, present a situation then ask them to select the appropriate behavior and act it out for the class.
Fold Your Code of Conduct Into Other Lessons
Keep the code in mind as you teach other subjects, particularly history or reading assignments. Ask your class what parts of the code were followed by certain historical figures or characters in different situations. This will help the students understand how behaviors affect people in day-to-day life.
Be Positive Yourself – All the Time
It doesn’t take long in the teaching profession to realize how much you can influence the mood of a classroom. Being a role model for your students is an excellent way to create a positive behavior environment. It may not always be easy, but focus your effort each and every day on having a positive attitude and reacting to situations in precisely the same manner that you expect from your students, and that is set forth by the code of conduct.
Use Extrinsic Rewards to Recognize Desirable Behavior
Ultimately, instilling intrinsic motivation in your students is a great goal, but in the near term, extrinsic rewards help children see immediate positive results for displaying appropriate behavior. The rewards you use could be anything from stickers to certificates. You don’t need a complex token system in order to effectively use rewards – although you may want to establish a token system at some point in the future. Instead, the rewards you provide early on in implementing PBIS can be simple and spontaneously awarded. Just be careful to be fair and consistent when choosing which students receive rewards and that the reward is well deserved.
Take the Time to Monitor and Evaluate Your Progress
You’ll be monitoring the program through the course of every school day by analyzing the data you’ve collected, but remember to honestly evaluate whether your PBIS system is really working. If the results are less than what you would like, make adjustments accordingly. If stickers and certificates don’t seem to be effective rewards, for example, try using special privileges as rewards instead. The PBIS approach is just that – an approach. The way in which you implement it most effectively in your own classroom will depend on your own teaching style.
Create a Positive Behavior Environment With TeamYou Today
It doesn’t have to take a long period of time to create a positive behavior environment for your students. For more ideas about how to effectively implement a PBIS approach in your classroom, contact us at TeamYou today. We can provide professional development advice, as well as training and coaching to help you integrate the PBIS approach into your teaching method.