Applying Positive Behavior Modification in the Classroom – A Quick Reference for Teachers

Visit Center for Diversified ARTAn effective quick reference to help promote a positive learning environment. By utilizing behavior modification appropriately we can help children learn and develop positive behavior. This guide can be applied to any child or student population. There are 5 components to positive behavior modification; encourage and correct, apply appropriate consequences, repair and rebuild, and if needed, the components of a simple behavior modification plan(1).

1) Encourage and Correct:

  • Reinforce the rules
  • Promote a positive, supportive learning environment
  • Focus on strength and build self esteem
  • Encourage and stimulate risk taking and tackling difficult tasks
  • Provide information about their competence
  • Direct attention toward strategies that are useful for problem solving
  • Use correction in the least intrusive manner
  • Set clear expectations and consequences
  • Establish routines
  • Be consistent
  • Be specific about describing the behavior you want
  • Be assertive
  • Model appropriate behavior
  • Reinforce and praise appropriate behavior
  • Anticipate difficulties
  • After correction re-establish a positive relationship as soon as possible
  • Give clearly defined choices

2) Apply Appropriate Consequences:

  • Every inappropriate behavior must have immediate and direct consequences
  • Consistency is essential
  • Establish a common understanding of what inappropriate behavior is
  • Consequences need to be pre-determined and in some cases different for each individual child

3) Consider:

  • What is a fair consequence to a behavior
  • What consequences are non-negotiable
  • What will the student learn from the consequences

4) Repair and Rebuild:

  • Forgiveness and reconciliation
  • Assure students they are still accepted members of the class
  • Bad feelings of facing consequences are natural
  • Emphasize reconciliation and moving on
  • Model the behavior desired
  • Explain the desired behavior

5) Behavior Management Plan:

  • Clearly describe the behavior needing to be changed
  • State intervention procedure when behavior occurs
  • Specify consequences to the student if he/she behaves inappropriately
  • Follow through with consequences
  • Specify a time period when the plan should be reviewed for modifications

References: 1) Education Support Package – Curriculum Improvement – Classroom Management – Dealing With Behavioral Issues – a 15-page report targeting ESE populations. Published by: Australia’s Department of Education and Training  07/2006

Applying Positive Behavior Modification in the Classroom – A Quick Reference for Teachers Vol. 1 no. 8 ©November 2010, Published by Diversified ART™  ISSN 2166-3661
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About Diversified ART

Community-based artists guild, international artist registry, and digital gallery with classes, activities, and programs in the visual arts. Our organization focuses on the visual arts and social and environmental consciousness.
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