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 when students are being responsible is a PBIS ratio relationship example.

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.

Teachers should acknowledge the efforts of teams, as students can learn positive behavioral skills, such as cooperation.

Acknowledging Cooperation

“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.

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