Edited by

Ingrid Bourg De Mers




St. Mary Parish Public Schools

July 1998


Table of Contents

To go quickly to a location click on the asterisk


Acknowledgements *

Discipline Focus Committee *

Introduction *

The Effective Classroom *

Procedures Differ from a Discipline Plan *

Classroom Procedures *

Classroom Management *

Discipline *

Why Kids Misbehave*

Behavior Analysis *

Behavior Analysis Form *

Strategies For Targeting Behavior *

Talking in class *

Off task behavior *

Refusing to work *

Students who can’t sit still. *

Students who use foul language *

Students involved in name-calling *

Students who practice verbal abuse *

Students who refuse to stay in class (skipping class or absenteeism with no excuse) *

Students who act violently or are out of control *

Teaching the student to control violent episodes *

Students who bring weapons, controlled substances, tobacco, school. *

Students who threaten violence *

Common Behavioral Strategies *

Mandates for Special Service Students *

What is a Functional Behavioral Assessment? *

Guidelines to Follow when writing an Individualized Behavior Plan*

Steps for Writing a Behavior Management Plan*


Questions for Troubleshooting a Behavior Management Plan *

Questionnaire For Identifying Potential Reinforcers *

Reinforcement Survey *

Reinforcement Survey *

Basic components of a Behavior Management Contract*







I would like to thank the Discipline Focus Committee whose time, energy and sincere interest in keeping children in the classroom helped to make this reference guide a reality.


I would also like to thank Mary Margaret McNemar, whose expertise in Functional Behavioral Assessment and writing behavior plans has been a major asset to this publication.


Ingrid De Mers



Discipline Focus Committee



Debra McClarity Special Service Teacher, Franklin Senior High


Dennis Oyler Regular Education Teacher, Hernandez Elementary


Jeanne Roane Educational Diagnostician, Office of Special Services


Steve Russo Assistant Principal, Berwick Jr. High School


Sally Tullier Special Service Teacher, Shannon Elementary




Students are expected to follow classroom rules and respect the rights of others. However,

not all students will comply with these expectations nor will they accept responsibility for

their actions. Such circumstances may make it necessary to determine the cause for the

misbehavior, the reinforcers or consequences needed to motivate behavior change, and

the strategies in dealing with misbehaviors in the classroom.


The purpose of this manual is to assist classroom teachers in dealing with behavioral

concerns and to provide techniques and strategies that will encourage an environment

conducive to optimal learning.



The Effective Classroom







The number one problem in the classroom is not discipline; it is

the lack of procedures and routines. There are three main reasons why students do not

follow procedures:

The students do not know the procedures.

The students have not been trained to follow the procedures.

The teacher has not thought through what happens in the classroom.



Since a PROCEDURE is how you want something done, it is the responsibility of the

teacher to have procedures clearly stated. A ROUTINE is what the student does

automatically without prompting or supervision. Thus a routine becomes a habit, a

practice or custom for the student. The following examples may help differentiate between

discipline and procedures:

Discipline: Has penalties and rewards.

Procedures: Have no penalties or rewards.


Discipline: Concerns how students behave.

Procedures: Concerns how things are done.



Procedures Differ from a Discipline Plan


Procedures and routines are different from a discipline plan. The student is generally not

penalized for not following a procedure or rewarded if a procedure is followed.


Example of a Procedure

There is a procedure for opening a lock on a locker. It’s usually two turns to the

right, one turn to the left, and a right turn to the number. There is no teacher penalty if the

procedure is not followed. The lock just does not open! Likewise, there is no teacher

reward if the procedure is followed. The lock simply opens.


Classroom Procedures


Every time the teacher wants something done, there must be a procedure or a set of

procedures. For instance, teachers should have procedures for taking roll, exchanging

papers, collecting lunch money, and moving from task to task. If not, time that should be

spent on learning will be wasted getting these procedures done.


Classroom procedures answer such questions as these:

What do students do when the bell rings ?

What do students do when the pencil breaks ?

What do students do when the fire drill bell rings ?

What do students do when the bus does not show up ?

What do students do when they finish seatwork early ?

What do students do when they have a question ?

What do students do when they need to go to the rest room ?

What do students do when they want to sign up for something ?


Tell your students that classroom procedures are for their benefit. Following procedures

will help them do their work with less confusion and thus help them to succeed. Knowledge

of classroom procedures tells your students such things as these:

-What they are to do when you want their attention

-Where to find the assignment

-How a paper is to be done

-Where you want the paper placed

-What they are to do when they enter the classroom

-How to go respond when they hear an emergency alert

-What to do if they want to sharpen a pencil



Every class needs to have a set of procedures. Procedures allow a class to operate

smoothly. A smooth-running, effective class is free of confusion and is a pleasure to teach

and learn in.

For more information about classroom procedures, refer to Harry K. Wong’s book, The First


Days of School, How to be an Effective Teacher.



Classroom Management


Classroom management begins with thoughtful planning. At the beginning of the year you need to clearly outline classroom expectations for all students. If rules are clear, then the outlined consequences will be expected when the rules are broken.


Classroom management techniques for a child who has behavioral difficulties

Do a lot of talking with the student. Also make sure the student speaks with the classmate with whom they have had the conflict. At the beginning of the year, the teacher would be a part of that discussion, but closer to the end of the year they know how to conference with each other. This is a really effective means of dealing with behavior issues because the student with the unacceptable behavior is learning how they are affecting the other kids. Rather than hearing it from the teacher all the time, they are actually hearing it from their peers, which gives them a really strong message. When it comes to inclusion, the more interaction the children have with each other, the more willing they are to accept each other and work together.


Strategies for behavior management


Many times behavior difficulties in children are due to them not fully understanding expectations, and not having the skills necessary to fulfill class guidelines. First of all, we can’t assume that because expectations have been explained that a student with or without a disability will understand those guidelines. We use additional materials where necessary to ensure that students develop an understanding of guidelines as well as the skills to follow expectations.


The behavior management used in a crisis is usually time out, especially if there are concerns about the safety of the child or others. It is critical to identify a child’s need for a break, and to provide that support without compromising the dignity of the child by having peers observe the child in a negative situation. Time out in this sense is not so much a punishment, but a teaching opportunity to help a student develop an internal locus of control.


Specifically, behavior management involves doing an informal inventory of the demands in a child’s day, and then thinking about whether a child possesses the skills necessary to fulfill those expectations. In this way, we then think about how we will modify the expectations so as to set the student up for success and not failure.


Individual Differences



When planning instruction for a group, a teacher must identify the differences among the people in the group. Below are listed several areas of differences which a teacher must research in his/her classes and accommodate by doing things differently (different activities, different objectives, different forms of measurement).


Differences in Mental Ability

Differences in Achievement

Differences in Sociability

Differences in Maturation

Differences in Experiences

Differences in Interests

Differences in Motivation

Differences in Learning Styles



Note: When individual differences are not provided for, poor student progress and behavior problems may result.













Defining behaviors



The basis for an optimal learning environment begins with good classroom management through established procedures and routines and teaching strategies that provide for individual differences. There are, however, certain prevalent behavior concerns that will need to be address individually. It is always easier to prevent behavior problems than to remediate them.


It is necessary to pinpoint the behavior causing learning or discipline problems and to define that behavior in concrete terms that are easy to communicate and simple to measure and record. If descriptions of behaviors are vague (i.e. poor attitude), it is difficult to determine appropriate interventions.



A child’s misbehavior is often a response to a need. Misbehaviors generally reflect a need for attention, power, revenge and a display of inadequacy.


Faulty Belief



Child’s Response

to Correction

Alternatives for


I belong only when I am

being noticed or served.

Attention Temporarily stops misbehavior . Later resumes same behavior or disturbs in another way. Ignore misbehavior

when possible. Give attention for positive behavior when child is not making a bid for it. Avoid undue service. Realize that reminding, punishing, rewarding, coaxing and service are undue attention

I belong only when I am in control or am boss, or when I am proving no one can boss me! Power Active- or passive-aggressive misbehavior is intensified, or child submits with "defiant compliance." Withdrawal from conflict. Help child see how to use power constructively by appealing for child’s help and enlisting cooperation. Realize that fighting or giving in only increases child’s desire for power.
I belong only by hurting others as I feel hurt. I cannot be loved. Revenge Seeks further revenge by intensifying misbehavior or choosing another weapon. Avoid feeling hurt. Avoid punishment and retaliation. Build trusting relationship; convince child that he or she is loved.
I belong only by convincing others not to expect anything from me. I am unable; I am helpless. Display of Inadequacy Passively responds or fails to respond to whatever is done. Shows no improvement. Stop all criticism. Encourage any positive attempt;, no matter how small; focus on assets. Above all don’t be hooked into pity, and don’t give up.



Behavior Analysis


To assist teachers in identifying why a student misbehaves a Behavior Analysis Form can be used. This form may assist teachers in targeting the behavior of concern. A critical part of altering student behavior is debriefing. Debriefing is asking the student questions relating to the behavior and probing students to brainstorm for an appropriate and alternative method of resolving the problem. The Behavior Analysis Form or a similar form should be used to redirect student behavior.


A copy of a form which could be used can be found in the next section.


Behavior Analysis Form

Please take a few minutes to analyze this situation by completing this form. Be specific and honest.

1. What did you do?



2. How did you feel?



3. What did the other person/people do?



4. How do you think the other person/people felt?



5. What was the result? What happened to you ?



6. What could you have done differently in order to make things work out better?



7. What could the other person/people have done differently to have made things world out better?


Strategies For Targeting Behavior



Following you will find a sampling of targeted behaviors. The behaviors listed appear to be those which occur most frequently in the classroom and therefore must be handled on a daily basis.

The targeted behaviors are followed by several strategies which can be used to handle the situation at the time the behavior is occurring.

NOTE: If parish or school policy dictates a specific consequence for a targeted behavior listed below, you should follow that policy.



Targeted Behaviors



Talking in class

>Redirect attention

>Assertive discipline (Lee Canter)

>Preferential seating

>Proximity control



Off task behavior


>Avoid falling into the criticism trap.

>Make it a habit to visually scan the room during independent work times.

>Establish a procedure for students to get assistance from you while continuing their


>Establish a consequence for off-task behavior .


>Discuss the problem and plan with students.

>Periodically reinforce students for working during independent work periods.




Refusing to work


>Focus on the situations where the student shows an interest. Praise him/her for the work they do in science, art, physical education or some other favorite subject.


>Ignore in a very matter-of-fact way any confrontations with the student. The negativistic child has discovered that negativism very often is a sure way to gain attention.


>Reduce your criteria for the correctness of a task while you’re working with his refusal to do work. Reduce expectations. Settle for small gains and resist constant preoccupation with success.


>Give your students a feeling of success through assignment of reasonable tasks and your personal encouragement.


Such pupils are supersensitive to any perceived unfairness by the teacher . Favored treatment of others, real or imagined, leads these children to sulk, brood, and do no work. Take care to treat all "refuse –niks" in the same way. Class discussions of fairness can help reduce angry, hostile feelings.



Students who can’t sit still.


>Provide as much structure as you can. Make classroom rules and procedures consistent from day to day. These children do not like surprises.


>Minimize distractions. The hyperactive child is very sensitive to all kinds of stimuli. Avoid seating him or her in the middle or back of the room. Keep such a child away from the window.


>Couple verbal messages with visual clues to reinforce a message. For example, if you want the child to work silently, place your index finger on you lips. If you want him to get his math workbook out of his desk, hold up a copy of yours.


>Slip a sheet of brightly-colored construction paper underneath the child’s paper to help him or her focus attention on the assignment.


>Set up a quiet corner somewhere in the room where this child can go during brief periods throughout the day. You may be able to move a bookcase and easel to from a small "office" on the side of the room.





Students who use foul language


>If you work with children whose cultural background permits greater lenience in language standards than you own, you may want to explain that there is "street" talk and "school" talk.


>Indicate calmly that the language used is improper for your classroom and uncalled for. Explain that in your class you expect the same language that is acceptable in your home.


>If the remark is an isolated outburst of temper, keep a record but try to adjust the matter by talking to the student in private.


>Don’t take the obscenity as a personal affront but as an offense against the class and school.


>Suggest that instead of swearing the students invent two or three personal expletives and use these to let of steam (e.g. fishcakes, shingle, drain).



Students involved in name-calling


>Work with the class to define the difference between name-calling and nicknames.

>Determine a mild consequence for any student who is involved in name-calling.


>Discuss how students should behave if someone calls them a name when you ‘re not around


>(Optional): If you know of a few students who will have a very difficult time ignoring name-calling, hold individual role-playing sessions.


>Implement consequences consistently and calmly.


>Periodically give the class a free period or a special privilege when 0they have significantly reduced the amount of name-calling


>If the problem is still prevalent after two weeks, set up a group reinforcement system.



Students who practice verbal abuse


>Examine the level and amount of work the student is expected to do in class.

>Establish a mild consequence for unacceptable wisecracks.

>Arrange a private conference with the student at a neutral time.


>When the student participates appropriately in class, interact with the student in a supportive way.


>When the student makes an unacceptable comment or engages in an unacceptable behavior, calmly inform him of the consequence.


>If the student makes a significant improvement, reinforce him for his self-control.



Students who refuse to stay in class (skipping class or absenteeism with no excuse)


>Work with the staff and school administration to establish a series of fair and consistent consequences for unexcused absences.

>Make sure that assigned work is within the student’s range of ability.


>Design a grading system that bases a percentage of every student’s grade on participation and effort.


>Establish consistent routines that demonstrate the importance of activities conducted in class.


>With students who are still truant in spite of the previous steps, set up a highly structured reinforcement system.





Students who act violently or are out of control


>Establish a procedure for getting help immediately.


>Identify personnel to help in a violent situation.



Teaching the student to control violent episodes


<Identify warning signals.

<Set up a time-out area where the student can go to cool down.

<Meet with the student privately.

<Contact the student’s parents.

<Secure the reinforcer.

<Draw up a contract.

<Set up a monitoring system.

<Work on keeping up a high degree of positive student-teacher interactions.

<Set up periodic private conferences.


<Keep a record of the number of times the student must use the time-out area and adjust the contract as the student becomes more and more successful.


<Keep in touch with the parents.



Students who bring weapons, controlled substances, tobacco, school.


Refer immediately to office



Students who threaten violence


<Try to identify how serious the problem is and how long it has been going on.

<Meet with the students and confront them about the reports of their behavior.


<Before the meeting with the parents, decide on reasonable consequences and think about preventative measures.


<Meet with the student and his parents.


<When the consequences have been paid, interact positively with the student.


<Examine the student’s ability to be successful in his classes.


<Refer to the office


Students who refuse to do anything—Passive resistance and failure to be motivated by anything.


<Determine if the students withdrawn behavior is a recent change or something that has been going on for a long time.


<Determine if the student is capable of doing the academic work in your class.


<Identify all the behaviors that have led you to the conclusion that this student has no problem.


<Use the information from the previous step to set goals for the student.


<Meet with the student to discuss the goal and to go over the goal setting form.


<Provide feedback to the student about how well (s)he is meeting the goal.


<If, after 2 or 3 weeks, the student has still not tried to meet your expectations, consider setting up a highly structured reinforcement system.



Common Behavioral Strategies


Teachers practice numerous behavioral strategies everyday in the classroom that are done with ease and can be very effective.


Planned ignoring

the pre-arranged systematic withdrawal of attention when an undesirable behavior occurs.


Signal interference

A pre-determined signal which is used to stop a behavior from escalating.

Proximity control

Physically moving close to the student to stop mild behaviors, i.e. talking, off-task, etc.

Interest boosting

The conveyance of enthusiasm for the subject and for teaching that subject to students.

Tension decontamination through humor

Humor interventions can be a simple smile or humorous comment. Remember it’s humor if the child finds it funny. Sarcasm and ridicule have no place in the classroom.


Restructuring classroom program

You make success definite when you make failure impossible. Break instruction into smaller segments. Build patterning and association into each lesson. Always monitor student work. Use cooperative learning techniques.


Mandates for Special Service Students


It is important to know that behavior management plans are to be written on any special services student with a history of behavior difficulties and/or students classified as behavior disordered and or any student suspended for any reason.

A behavior management plan must be written on this student’s first and any subsequent suspension(including ISSP).


Although the primary provider for special services for that student plays an integral part in the development of the plan, the classroom teacher must also be part of the planning and implementation of this plan for success.


The law also dictates that once a special service student is suspended a Functional Behavioral Assessment must be conducted within ten school days. The pages that follow will explain this assessment as well as how to write an appropriate behavior plan.


Although the following information was designed with the special service student in mind, any student having discipline difficulties could benefit from the assessment and a subsequent plan.



The 1997 Amendments to IDEA are explicit in what they require of an IEP team addressing behavioral problems of children with disabilities:


The team should explore the need for strategies and support systems to address any behavior that may impede the learning of the child with the disability or the learning of his/her peers.

In response to disciplinary actions by school personnel, the IEP team should, within 10 days, meet to formulate a functional behavioral assessment plan to collect data for developing a behavior intervention plan. If a behavior intervention plan already exists, the team must review and revise it (as necessary) to ensure that it addresses the behavior upon which disciplinary action is predicated.


Functional behavioral assessment is an approach that looks beyond the overt topography of behavior ( that is, what the behavior looks like) to focus upon identifying the factors that initiate, sustain, or end the behavior in question. It allows us to focus on why a student misbehaves, rather than just at the symptom of the behavior itself. The function of a behavior is not considered inappropriate, rather the behavior itself. Therefore, it is critical to not only decrease the undesired behavior, but to teach an appropriate behavior that serves the same function as the inappropriate behavior.


In conducting a functional behavioral assessment, it is important that the behavior in question be defined in concrete terms, avoiding general descriptions such as "aggressive," "disruptive," or "hyperactive." Define the behavior by describing it in observable terms.


Next, you must determine whether the behavior is a result of a skill deficit or a performance deficit. If the student does not know how to behave appropriately in a setting, or to display the desired skill, then his misbehavior may be the result of a skill deficit. A functional behavioral assessment would answer the following questions:


Does the student understand the behavioral expectations for the situation?

Does the student realize that he or she is engaging in unacceptable behavior, or has that behavior simply become habit?

Is it within the student’s power to control the behavior, or does he or she need support?

Does the student have the skills necessary to perform the expected, new behaviors?


If the answers to these questions are NO, then the student’s misbehavior is a result of a skill deficit. Behavior management strategies should be developed to teach the student the deficit skill, while rewarding its usage.


If the student has the skills necessary to behave appropriately in the situation, but for some reason chooses not to use that skill or modify his/her behavior, then the misbehavior may be due to a performance deficit. A functional behavioral assessment would answer the following questions:


Is it possible that the student is uncertain about the appropriateness of the behavior?

Does the student find any value in engaging in appropriate behavior (is it rewarding)?

Is the behavior problem associated with certain social or environmental conditions?

Is the student attempting to avoid a "low-interest" or demanding task?

What rules, routines, or expectations does the student consider irrelevant?


If the answers to these questions suggest the misbehavior is a result of a performance deficit, behavior management strategies should be developed to make the performance of classroom and school expectations rewarding, while providing consequences for failure to perform.






Conduct a functional behavioral assessment of the problem behavior to determine the function the behavior is serving.

The targeted problem behavior should be described in specific, observable terms.

Long-term goals for behavior should also be stated in positive behavioral terms with a suggested timetable for their attainment.

Alternative, acceptable behaviors should also be identified, taught, and rewarded to replace the targeted problem behavior.

The behavior plan should be described in sufficient detail to provide the child or his/her parents with an adequate basis for informed consent.

The relationship between each goal and each element of the intervention plan should be carefully explained to the student and his/her parents.

The intervention plan should describe how individuals from the student’s environment will be included. The plan should also describe how limits imposed on the child will be withdrawn as the child improves.

The person or persons responsible for conducting each element of the plan should be clearly delineated. This ensures some degree of accountability for the family.

The behavior plan should be reviewed and appropriately revised on a regular basis (at least once a grading period). If the plan does not appear to be effective it is advised that the established rewards should be reviewed.


The process of changing behavior essentially involves two basic elements:


Unlearning (or reducing in strength) the undesirable behavior

Learning the desirable behavior


This manual will take you through the steps necessary to systematically change undesirable behavior and to teach and/or strengthen positive, alternative behavior.





Identify the exact behavior to be eliminated and the desirable behavior to be promoted.


Conduct a functional behavioral assessment to determine whether the misbehavior is related to a skill deficit or a performance deficit. This will determine the function served by the inappropriate behavior and will suggest desirable, alternative behaviors which need to be taught and/or rewarded. Is the goal of the behavior to get attention? To gain power? To get revenge for something? To avoid doing something else?

Describe the targeted misbehaviors and the replacement behaviors in terms that can be seen, counted, or timed.


Write a long-term goal for the replacement behavior, including a specific performance level. State the goal positively in terms of behavior you want to see, not what you do not want to see.


Obtain a baseline measure of the targeted misbehavior you wish to eliminate.


  • Decide on the interval of time the behavior will be observed. Choose the setting and time of day when the behavior occurs most frequently. Make at least 3 measures of the targeted behavior in order to get a more accurate baseline measurement of the behavior.
  • Determine the baseline measurement method to be used to get the best "picture" of the targeted behavior. Possible methods include:


  1. Production measures – observe and evaluate permanent products that result from a person’s activity such as number of problems completed, number of assignments completed, accuracy levels of assignments, etc.
  2. Frequency measures – count the number of times the student exhibits the behavior during a specific time period. Frequency counts are typically employed when one wants to determine the number of times the targeted behavior is performed or a particular product is produced (curse words used, spit balls, etc.)
  3. Duration measures – the behavior being observed is timed. Duration measures are particularly useful for observing behaviors that are continuous rather than discrete. Also, there are occasions when the problem behavior is not performed with great frequency, but when it is exhibited, it continues for a long period of time (thumb-sucking, temper tantrums, etc.) To conduct a duration measure accurately, specific behaviors must be identified and defined which signal the onset of the targeted behavior as well as the offset of the behavior. In addition, an instrument which keeps accurate time must be secured.
  4. Time-sample measures – interval time sample measurement is used when the behavior to be observed is discontinuous, not distinct, or does not have a definite beginning and ending. An interval time-sample measurement is a type of observation and recording method in which the presence or absence of targeted behaviors is recorded, if they occur within a specific time interval. There are three basic types of interval time-sampling methods:
  • Whole interval time-sampling – the targeted behavior must occur throughout the time interval to be recorded. This is useful when it is important to know whether the targeted behavior occurs continuously and/or without interruption.
  • Partial interval time-sampling – is used to observe behavior that persists for short time periods, such as cursing and obscene gestures. The targeted behavior is recorded if it occurs at any time during the specific time interval.
  • Momentary time sampling – is used when the targeted behavior is less fleeting or continues for a longer period of time than behavior recorded using partial interval sampling. This method is done by setting a timer at random time intervals. If the targeted behavior is occurring when the timer goes off, a mark is made on the recording form and the targeted behavior is counted.


5. Self-monitoring – the student keeps a record of how often the targeted behavior occurs, or how long the behavior lasts. This type of recording is usually verified by another adult observer. Self-monitoring often produces a decrease in the targeted behavior as the student becomes more aware of his/her behavior.


Observe and record a baseline level of the targeted behavior. It may be useful, for the sake of clarity, to plot the baseline data on a graph to get a visual picture of the student’s inappropriate behavior.


Review what consequences the child has encountered when the behavior was displayed in the past. Did the consequence alter the student’s behavior significantly?


Determine what is reinforcing to the student.


1.  Observe the student during the school day to see what he/she does without your direction. Although these behaviors my be inappropriate when you observe them (talking during class, drawing during a test, etc.), they may be potential reinforcers.

2.  nterview the student, either personally, with a questionnaire, or both. Find out what is reinforcing to the student and for what he/she will work.

3.  Interview the parents and/or previous teachers to identify the student’s specific likes and dislikes. It may be necessary to involve the parents in the delivery of rewards.

4.  It is critical that the rewards are selected with the student’s input. For those students who do not respond consistently to a specific reward, a menu of potential reinforcers and reinforcing events will be necessary. Frequent changes in reward systems may be necessary to prevent boredom.

5.  Consider using a mystery reinforcer. Many students find an unknown reinforcer exciting and will work for the opportunity to select from a bowl or jar of unknown reinforcers. The act of simply pulling a reinforcer in this manner is reinforcing to many students.


Devise a reinforcement system which will reinforce successive approximations of the desired behavior. Remember that effective plans use more than one reinforcement system.


Token reinforcement systems – Token reinforcement systems have three basic characteristics: the behaviors to be reinforced are clearly stated; a procedure is devised to administer a potentially reinforcing stimulus (token) when the appropriate behavior is performed; and has a set of rules for reinforcing stimuli and events. Guidelines for effective use of tokens systems include:


The target behaviors that will earn tokens must be clearly specified and written down. If both individual and group token systems are used, the individual target behaviors should be posted on the student’s desk. The rules governing individual and group contingencies should be reviewed frequently with the students.

The student must be able to perform the target behaviors for which tokens will be given.

The back-up reinforcers for which tokens are exchanged must be appealing to the students and should not be available outside the token system.

The number of tokens earned must be consistent with the difficulty or effort required to perform the behavior. For example, if a student has great difficulty controlling his aggression, reinforcement for nonaggressive behavior must be sufficient to provide a potent incentive for proper behavior.

If possible, the teacher should keep a record of the tokens earned by each child and/or the group.

Token exchange for the back-up reinforcers should occur at least once a day. Initially, exchanges may need to occur more often until the student has gained some interest in the plan and some control over his/her behavior. Do not require a student to perform appropriate behavior for an entire week for reinforcement, unless that is the level of performance the student is capable of at that time (i.e., that is the step the student has progressed to from his/her baseline performance).

Extend token reinforcement so the target behavior will be encouraged in a wide range of situations throughout the student’s school day. It is more effective for the student to experience reinforcement in a variety of settings for appropriate behavior to encourage generalization.

Devise the token system so that a student competes with himself/herself rather than with other students.

Always combine praise with tokens so that social reinforcement can ultimately be used to maintain desirable academic and social behavior.

A well-devised token system should gradually withdraw material reinforcers and rely on reinforcing activities and events. Ultimately, social reinforcement and reinforcing events should maintain the desired behavior.

The token system should be simple, functional, and not distract from learning. Check marks or dots are the easiest to be used in school situations.


Advantages of a Token System:

Satiation is avoided because tokens can be exchanged for a wide range of material reinforcers and reinforcing events. Children will work for them indefinitely if the back-up reinforcers include appealing activities and items.

Tokens will often promote the target behavior when children are unresponsive to social reinforcement. Some difficult, disruptive or unreachable children tend to respond very positively to a token system when other more traditional approaches fail.

Tokens are easily administered, and the number of tokens given can be adjusted to the time and energy required to perform the target behavior.

Because tokens are administered immediately after the target behavior is performed, the target behavior is effectively and exclusively promoted.

Token reinforcement systems make the children sensitive to the response-consequence relationship. When children learn that all behavior has consequences, self-control is likely to be enhanced.


Social Reinforcement – Effective use of teacher attention to promote behavior has been demonstrated with elementary and high school students. These studies show that as verbal approval of desirable behavior increases, the frequency of that behavior also increases. On the other hand, if teacher attention to deviant behavior increases, an increase results in that deviant behavior.


Advantages of social reinforcement include:

Social reinforcement is more natural than tokens and primary reinforcers.

Attention, approval, and praise are easier to administer than tokens and primary reinforcers. Less time is involved and no record keeping is required.

Social reinforcement has no cost.

Social reinforcement can be used with any age group.


Disadvantages include:

Not all children will respond positively to praise or approval. The reinforcement property appears to be learned from pairing verbal statements with priority reinforcers.

Not all teachers are capable of genuinely communicating positive social reinforcement to their students.

During adolescence, adult approval and praise may not have very potent reinforcement effects. Peer approval is far more important.


Primary Reinforcement – involves reinforcers (usually food) which satisfy a biologically-based need. They are a highly reliable form of reinforcement and very effective when teaching a new skill. Primary reinforcement is particularly effective when teaching skills to more severely disabled students. After the initial introductory stage, primary reinforcers are rarely used alone. Once the target behavior reaches a steady rate, primary reinforcement is paired with the secondary reinforcers to maintain its potency.

Disadvantages of primary reinforcers include:

Satiation occurs rapidly if the same primary reinforcer is used repeatedly. Popcorn may work for 3 to 4 days, but may lose its reinforcement value after that time.

Parents often complain about the use of sweets as a reinforcer, because they contribute to tooth decay and dental bills.

Repeated use of primary reinforcers can be expensive.

School critics often regard candy and other material reinforcers as undesirable forms of motivation.


Contingency Management – The Premack Principle states that a low probability behavior can be increased in frequency when its execution is followed by an opportunity to engage in a high-probability behavior. For example, if a student rarely completes arithmetic assignments but enjoys and frequently reads mystery stories, the low-probability behavior (completing arithmetic assignments) can be increased by providing the opportunity to read mystery stories after each completed arithmetic assignment.


Type I – When the student completes an assigned task, he/she is immediately given a specific amount of free time to engage in a reinforcing activity. The time allowed to complete the assignment is not specified; however when the assignment is completed, the student is allowed to participate in a reinforcing activity for a definite time period.

Type II – individual graded assignments must be completed within a specific time period. If a student fails to complete an assignment of which he is capable because he doesn’t devote himself to it, his response costs him the free time to participate in a reinforcing event.


Procedures to follow when using contingency management include:

A separate reinforcing event area should be arranged containing a wide variety of games and activities.

Rules for the reinforcement area should be clearly specified. For example, once a student has selected an activity he cannot change it.

Periodically the games and activities should be withdrawn and replaced with others to preserve the reinforcing event.


Contingency management has several advantages including:

Because the items are not consumable or taken home, little expense is involved once the system is set up.

Contingency management is a more natural approach than tokens or primary reinforcement.

This system varies the rewards and is appealing to students.


Modeling – the student initially receives no reinforcement, however, he/she observes other students receiving rewards for appropriate behavior. Although the target student does not receive reinforcement at the time, he/she will tend to respond similarly to the student who did receive reinforcement. When the student imitates the appropriate behavior, he/she is rewarded similarly. In a group situation, when the target student misbehaves, a model student is rewarded for the appropriate or replacement behavior. Then when that desirable behavior is imitated, reinforcement is delivered. For modeling to be effective, a "good" model must be selected. Characteristics of a good model include:


The model should be important to the student. Students rarely imitate the behaviors of those they feel have no relationship to them.

Children model the behaviors of those students perceived as similar more frequently than those perceived as dissimilar.

Persons in authority are frequently imitated, therefore, they should model the desired behavior themselves, as much as possible.


Describe the changes in the reinforcement contingencies chosen, which will occur as the student’s behavior changes and moves toward his/her long term goal. This section should provide steps which move the student from his/her baseline level of performance all the way to the level of performance required in the long term goal. Early steps may require slight improvement over baseline, while later steps require progressively more change or improvement for reinforcement.


Be certain to include a description of the criterion that is to be used to determine when a shift from one level of reinforcement to the next is to occur.

The steps must reflect progress along the same performance standard that was used in describing the long-term goal (frequency to frequency; accuracy to accuracy).

This section would also describe any changes in reinforcement contingencies, not just within one procedure (i.e., the token system), but from one procedure to another as the student’s performance changes.


Determine the consequences to be used if the student continues to exhibit inappropriate behavior which has been targeted in his/her plan.


Time-out from reinforcement – targeted misbehavior may result in the contingent loss of opportunity to earn reinforcement for a specific amount of time. Guidelines for successful use of time-out include:


The situation from which the student is being removed must provide ongoing reinforcement of appropriate behaviors.

The time-out area should lack reinforcement potential.

If non-isolatory time-out is to be used (student remains in his/her desk but is not called on, is not spoken to, or reinforced in any way) some stimulus must be used so the student can identify the beginning and ending of time-out. For example, a red block placed on his/her desk, a card turned over, etc. can be used.

Time-out is typically imposed for 1 minute per year of age of the child (mental age for disabled children) with an upper limit of 5 minutes for elementary-aged children. Time-out periods of over 5 minutes are typically less effective because the student will find something to entertain himself/herself.


Consequence Continuum – this will vary depending upon the student and the nature of his/her behavior. A typical continuum may look like this:

First occurrence – a warning will be given

Second occurrence – in class time out will be used to give the student time to calm down and think about alternatives to his/her behavior.

Third occurrence – a privilege may be withdrawn.

Fourth occurrence – the student will go to a time-out area outside of class for a specific amount of time. If the child’s classes are departmentalized, he would remain in this time-out only until the next class began and the continuum would begin again.

Fifth occurrence within the same classroom – the child will be sent to the office where the parent will be contacted and discipline measures will be decided.

If the student intentionally hurts another individual, his/her parent will be called to pick him up for the remainder of the day.


It is important to note that sending a child to the office as a time out may be reinforcing to many students. There are many things to do, see, and listen to while sitting in the office in many schools. Time-out, by definition, means the student receives NO REINFORCEMENT contingent on his/her behavior. Be sure your time-out "spots" do not provide reinforcement for the offending student.


Debriefing – the student is asked questions related to his/her behavior to help gain insight into reasons for the misbehavior and to brainstorm for possible positive alternatives. Debriefing can be conducted orally with the teacher or in writing, using a Behavior Analysis Form. When necessary, the teacher and the student may role-play positive alternative behaviors to increase awareness of alternatives to the misbehavior.


Response Cost – the student is given a certain number of points/tokens at the beginning of each period or each day. Tokens are lost contingent on behavior. A specified number of tokens are needed at the end of the day or the period in order to earn reinforcement. Response cost is especially effective when it is implemented as a group contingency. In a group contingency, the entire group shares the consequences of the target student’s behavior. This is particularly useful in situations in which the group is reinforcing that student’s misbehavior.


Disadvantages: While this may seem like an ideal consequence, it should be avoided when possible. If one takes tokens away that the student has earned for appropriate behavior, then he/she has less tokens to exchange for reinforcers, and therefore, less opportunities for positive reinforcement to effect the desired behavior change. If response cost is used, the points/tokens awarded for the response cost system should be separate from the tokens earned for appropriate behavior within the token economy system.


Satiation – Satiation is the point at which, through repeated administration of a reinforcer, the reinforcer becomes ineffective and extinction occurs. Satiation is most successful in situations where the targeted misbehavior itself is thought to be reinforcing to the student. In this situation, the student is required to repeat the offending behavior. After numerous repetitions, the behavior loses its reinforcing qualities and extinction occurs.


Restitution – this consequence requires the student to correct the immediate effects of his/her inappropriate behaviors. Restitution is a popular consequence for misbehavior, since it requires the student to examine the effects of his/her behaviors on others. The nature of the restitution depends on the nature of the response. There is no universal consequence in restitution.


Overcorrection – requires the child to make more than restitution for the misbehavior. A child who litters around his/her desk for example, is required to pick up trash throughout the classroom, not just around his/her desk.


Positive Practice – requires the student to rehearse appropriate alternatives to the targeted misbehavior. This procedure not only helps to decrease the behavior, but it also helps the child learn an appropriate alternative behavior in that situation. For example, each time a student slams the classroom door, he/she is required to open and close the door without slamming it 25 times.


Specify procedures to periodically assess the student’s progress toward meeting his/her long term goal. This measure should be conducted in the same manner as the baseline measure and the results documented in the student’s IEP folder and on his/her progress reports.


Outline how the artificial support of tangible reinforcers, tokens, prompts, and/or consequences will be faded out as the long-term goal is reached while maintaining the "new," appropriate behavior. In addition, describe how any consequences will be faded, if they are not naturally faded by the student’s improved behavior. Social reinforcers and many group contingencies should not be faded out, but continued to support and reinforce appropriate behavior.


The final section of a behavior management plan should be the signatures of all teachers who will be working with the behavior plan (remember, the plan should be implemented throughout the student’s day), the student, the student’s parent(s), and the school principal. The plan should be dated and attached to the IEP with a goal which refers to the attached behavior management plan.









Flow Chart – Developing Individualized Behavior Management Plans

Questions for Troubleshooting a Behavior Management Plan

Reinforcement Surveys



Jr./Sr. High

Behavior Management Plan Form

Sample Behavior Management Plans

Basic Components of a Behavioral Contract

Sample Contract Forms

Potential Reinforcers


















Questions for Troubleshooting a Behavior Management Plan


Below are questions to check the components of a behavior management plan. When a program is completed, the answer to each of the questions below should be "yes." If the answer to any question is "no," then the program is not yet completed.





Does this section let the reader know what the problem behavior is?

In the case of behavior deficits (the student does not perform desired behaviors), does this section communicate what the student does do rather than what he does not do?

Is the long-term goal stated?

Is the long-term goal stated in terms that are observable and measurable?

Is a performance standard specified for the long-term goal?




Is a baseline procedure specified for the targeted behavior?

Does the baseline procedure assess the targeted behavior in terms of the same performance standard that was specified in the long-term goal?

Is the baseline procedure spelled out in great detail (including type of measure, number of samples, length of samples, and conditions under which the samples are to be taken)?

Is the baseline measure (outcome of data collection) specified?




Are the types of reinforcers to be used specified?

If tokens are to be used, is there a description of the back-up reinforcers, their cost, and how they are determined (survey, etc.)?

If tokens are used, is the system of exchange described (when, by whom, etc.)?

If group contingencies are to exist in addition to individual contingencies, are the group contingencies described?

If the program is designed for a few individuals within a group, does the program tell how the other students in a group can earn reinforcers?

Have the procedures for administering social reinforcers been described?

If modeling is to be used, are the exact procedures and contingencies clearly described?





Is there a set of steps for each targeted behavior?

Do the steps progress from the student’s baseline level of behavior to the long-term goal?

Do the steps progress along the same performance standard specified in the target behavior?

Are the criteria for determining when to move from one step to the next clearly spelled out?




If consequences or response-weakening procedures are to be used, are the exact procedures described?

Are the specific behaviors which earn consequences outlined?

Are the consequences individualized to the student, rather than a generic school policy?

If the student’s behavior history indicates aggressive or violent behavior, is a severe behavior clause included?




Are the criteria for evaluating the student’s progress toward the long-term goal presented?

Is the frequency of assessment specified?

Are the assessment measures the same as used in BASELINE?

Is the location of this data specified (where will it be reported and/or kept)?




For each targeted behavior, is the sequence of steps that will lead to the termination of reinforcement specified?

If social reinforcers or other reinforcement procedures are to be left in place, is there a description of these and how they will be delivered?



Questionnaire For Identifying Potential Reinforcers


Below are questions which will help one to identify potential reinforcers for use with children and adolescents. These questions may be presented to a reading child in the form of a written questionnaire, or they may be given orally to a nonreading child. Some of the questions may be inappropriate for some situations, and may be omitted.


Who is your favorite grown-up? What do you like to do with him/her?



Who is your favorite adult at school?



What is the best reward anyone can give you?



What would you buy if you had $5.00 to spend on anything you wanted?



List 2 things you like to do the best.



Name something you would really like to do.



If you did well at school, what could the teacher give you for your good work?



List your top 2 favorite TV programs.



What activity in school in the most fun for you?



What are your favorite games?



What are the jobs at home that you like to do the most?



List your top 3 favorite stories.



If you had 15 minutes of free time each day to do anything you wanted, what would you do?


List your top 3 favorite things to eat or drink.



What are your favorite sports?



Do you like to build things? If so, what do you like to build?



What are your favorite computer games?



Circle the following items that you would like the teacher to give you for good work and/or good behavior:


Stickers Free Time Play board game Snack


Candy Watch Video Popcorn Leader in Line


Work Puzzle Talk to a Friend Write on Board Call Home




Reinforcement Survey



For each of the following items, indicate whether you would like to receive and/or participate in each item as follows:



1 = Not Interested 2 = Interested 3 = Very Interested



_____ cookie ______ potato chips _____ chew gum


_____ pop ______ candy bar _____ popcorn


_____ stickers ______ baseball card _____ behavior certificate


_____ play checkers ______ work puzzle _____ read a book


_____ computer game ______ 15 minutes free time _____ write on chalkboard


_____ sidewalk chalk ______ time to draw/color _____ talking to a friend


_____ video for class ______ teacher’s helper _____ taking care of class pet


_____ lunch w/ principal ______ listening to music _____ making announcement

on intercom



List 3 favorite things to do:










Reinforcement Survey

(JR/SR High)


For each of the following items, indicate whether you would like to receive and/or participate in each item as follows:



1 = Not Interested 2 = Interested 3 = Very Interested



_____ potato chips ______ eat chips in class _____ chew gum in class


_____ pop ______ drink pop in class _____ popcorn


_____ play checkers ______ work puzzle _____ read a book


_____ computer game ______ 15 minutes free time _____ surf Internet


_____ talk to a friend ______ listening to music _____ making announcement

on intercom

_____ trash can basketball ______ reduced homework coupons





List 3 favorite things to do:










STUDENT NAME: DOB: ID#: ___________________________






STUDENT NAME: DOB: ID#: ______________________________


EXCEPTIONALITY: DATE OF PLAN: TEACHER:________________________









STUDENT NAME: Betty Smith DOB: 9/22/89 ID#: 00000_________


EXCEPTIONALITY: Learning Disabilities DATE OF PLAN: 8/14/98 TEACHER: Mrs. Jones


DESCRIPTION OF BEHAVIOR: Betty disrupts class by talking to her neighbors. She rarely completes assignments, often drawing instead of working as directed.

LTG: Betty will participate in classroom assignments/activities without disrupting the class (talking out, talking to neighbors, drawing at inappropriate times, not completing assignments) for 4 of 5 days for one 9-week grading period.

BASELINE DATA: A frequency count of talking in class without permission was collected on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (dates) during reading and again in math. The results are as follows:

Reading: M – 5; W – 3; F – 4; Average – 4

Math: m – 3; W – 3; F – 4; Average – 3.1

Betty talked without permission an average of 4 times per class period in reading and 3.1 times per class period in math.

REINFORCEMENT PROCEDURES: A reinforcement questionnaire was administered to Betty to determine reinforcing activities. Based upon this information, the following strategies were chosen:

1. Classroom contingencies associated with the teacher’s classroom management plan will continue to be implemented.

2. Mild misbehavior, unless disruptive to the entire class, will be ignored.

3. Verbal praise will be given often when Betty is following directions or working on class assignments as directed.

4. A token economy will be used. A chart will be placed on Betty’s desk to record check marks as tokens. Tokens will be exchanged for reinforcers after reading (am), after lunch, and after math (P.M.).

5. A menu of reinforcers and reinforcing events based on Betty’s responses to the reinforcement questionnaire is attached. Betty will have the opportunity to choose a new menu of reinforcers at the beginning of each grading period, or more often if necessary. Costs of items will be adjusted according to the reinforcement level as specified in STEPS.



STUDENT NAME: Betty Smith DOB: ID#: __________________________



STEPS FOR IMPLEMENTATION: Betty’s academic day will be divided into twelve 30-minute segments. Recess and lunch times are excluded. Betty will earn 1 token per segment in which no talking without permission occurs and in which her assignments are completed as directed, except during reading and math. During these 2 subjects, Betty can earn 2 tokens during the final 30 minute segment of reading and 2 tokens during math for a total of 16 possible tokens per day. When Betty earns 14 of 16 tokens per day for 5 consecutive days, she will have the opportunity to earn 1 token per hour (2 segments) except during reading and math where she continues to earn 2 tokens. When Betty earns 8 of 10 possible tokens per day for 5 consecutive days, she will have the opportunity to earn 2 tokens at the end of reading and 2 at the end on math only. When she earns 4 of 4 possible tokens per day for 5 consecutive days, the she will have the opportunity of earn 1 at the end of reading and 1 at the end of math. This level of reinforcement will continue until her long-term goal is reached.
CONSEQUENCES: Natural consequences will be used. If Betty talks without permission or does not complete an assignment as directed, she will no earn tokens for that time segment. In addition, debriefing will be used. Betty will discuss her behavior and positive alternatives with her resource teacher. In addition, detention may be assigned for reading in accordance with SFA policy.
ASSESSMENT OF PROGRESS: At the end of each 9 week grading period, a frequency count will be conducted in the same manner as described in Baseline to determine progress toward her LTG. Data will be recorded in Betty’s IEP folder and on her progress report.
STEPS FOR WITHDRAWAL OF CONTINGENCIES: When Betty’s behavior reaches the criterion stated in her LTG, the token system will be terminated. All other strategies and consequences will remain in effect for the remainder of the school year.










STUDENT NAME: Michelle Jones DOB: 6/30/87 ID#: 11111


EXCEPTIONALITY: Learning Disabilities DATE OF PLAN: 8/14/98 TEACHER: Mrs. Hebert


DESCRIPTION OF BEHAVIOR: Michelle frequently displays inappropriate verbal responses and disrespect toward teachers/authority figures. These behaviors typically occur when asked to follow instructions or when given correction. Examples include "shut up; you can’t make me do that; just chill out" etc. She is currently receiving Mental Health counseling and is prescribed Vistaril for anxiety.

FUNCTIONAL BEHAVIOR ASSESSMENT: Analysis of Michelle’s behavior across school settings suggests these inappropriate remarks occur most often when she is experiencing personal stress (argument with parents) or to escape from difficult assignments due to poor skills.

LTG: Michelle will interact with teachers/authority figures with appropriate verbal responses for 4 out of 5 days for 2 consecutive 9-week grading periods.

BASELINE DATA: A frequency count of inappropriate verbal responses was conducted on M, T, W (dates). The results are as follows:

M – 12; T – 8; W – 10; Average 10 per day

REINFORCEMENT PROCEDURES: Michelle completed a reinforcement survey to provide a list of potential reinforcers. They included: video; 15 minutes free time; listening to music; chewing gum in class; read a book; talking to friends. Cost of each item is listed on the attached reinforcement menu. The reinforcement items and their costs will be reassessed at least once every 4 weeks to adjust for reinforcement level and to prevent boredom. Additional strategies include:

1. Verbal praise will be given for appropriate behavior.

2. A token economy will be implemented. Stickers will be used as tokens and placed on a card on Michelle’s desk.

3. Tokens may be exchanged for rewards at the end of each day at 2:30pm.

4. Tokens and rewards will be accompanied by social praise.

5. Opportunities for positive social skill practice and role-play will be provided in the resource classroom for Michelle as well as other students in the resource classroom at that time, so she will not be singled out.





STUDENT NAME: Michelle Jones DOB: ID#: _________________________



STEPS FOR IMPLEMENTATION: Michelle’s day will be divided into 6 one-hour segments. She ill receive one token at the end of each hour during which no inappropriate remarks occur. After 2 consecutive weeks in which at least 5 of 6 tokens are earned each day, she will have an opportunity to earn one token at the end of each two hour segment. After 2 consecutive weeks in which at least 3 of 3 tokens are earned each day, she will be awarded two tokens per day in which no inappropriate remarks are noted. After 2 consecutive weeks in which at least 2 of 2 tokens are earned each day, she will be awarded 1 token per day in which no inappropriate remarks are noted for the remainder of the plan.
CONSEQUENCES: Each time Michelle responds inappropriately to instruction or correction, she will be required to Take a Break in the back of the classroom for 5 minutes. She loses the opportunity for reinforcement for that time segment. In addition, periodic de-briefing sessions will be held with the teacher to discuss Michelle’s reaction to instruction and more acceptable alternatives.
ASSESSMENT OF PROGRESS: At least once each grading period, a frequency count similar to the one described in baseline will be conducted. Data will be charted and recorded on Michelle’s IEP/progress reports. By the end of one 9-week period, Michelle’s average for inappropriate remarks should have decreased by 50% (5 per day).
STEPS FOR WITHDRAWAL OF CONTINGENCIES: When Michelle’s behavior reaches the criterion stated in her LTG, the token economy will be terminated. Verbal praise and all other classroom contingencies will remain in effect for the remainder of the school year.









STUDENT NAME: Jacob Boudreaux DOB: 6/2/89 ID#: 22222


EXCEPTIONALITY: Other Health Impaired DATE OF PLAN: 9/14/98 TEACHER: Mr. Jones


DESCRIPTION OF BEHAVIOR: Jacob is an Other Health Impaired student with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. He often does not complete assignments during reading class and cannot accept correction by the teacher. When corrected, he frequently becomes angry, curses the teacher, throws objects, or attempts to leave the campus.

FUNCTIONAL BEHAVIORAL ASSESSMENT – Observation and documentation of Jacob’s behavior indicates that he often misbehaves when he does not understand what to do or when he does not understand why his responses were incorrect. In addition, Jacob craves teacher attention in any form.

LTG: Jacob will complete all assignments as directed by his teacher with at least 80% accuracy for 4 of 5 consecutive days for 2 consecutive grading periods.

BASELINE DATA: Jacob was observed in reading on three occasions (dates). A frequency count was made of assignments completed within the time allotted by the teacher was completed. The results are as follows:

Monday – 1 of 4; Tuesday – 2 of 4; Wednesday – 3 of 4. 6 of 12 (50%) of his assignments were completed for an average of 2 assignments per day.

REINFORCEMENT PROCEDURES: A reinforcement questionnaire was administered to determine reinforcing activities and events. Based upon this information, the following strategies were chosen:

1. Reinforcers will be divided into 3 categories: List A, List B; and List C.

2. Jacob will be praised for working well during an assignments. Praise may be verbal or nonverbal (thumbs up, pat on back).

3. Classroom contingencies in conjunction with the classroom management plan will remain in effect for all students, including Jacob.

4. Jacob will receive 5 minutes of free time on the computer for a successful lesson as specified in steps.

5. After successfully completing each assignment with at least 80% accuracy in reading, Jacob will be given a choice of reinforcers from List A, B, or C, according to the criterion in Steps.

6. At the end of the week, Jacob will have a private conference with the teacher to discuss his success that week. He will be rewarded according to the criteria in Steps.

7. Mild Misbehavior will be ignored.




STUDENT NAME: Jacob Boudreaux DOB: 6/2/89 ID#: 22222


EXCEPTIONALITY: Other Health Impaired DATE OF PLAN: 9/14/98 TEACHER: Mr. Jones


STEPS FOR IMPLEMENTATION: Jacob will earn 5 minutes of computer time for the completion of each reading assignment completed with at least 80% accuracy to be taken following the reading period. On Fridays, immediately following reading, Jacob will review his successes with his teacher. If he has completed at least 25% of his assignments for the week at 80% accuracy, he will earn a choice of 1 reinforcer from List A. If he has completed at least 50% of his assignments with 80% accuracy, he will earn 1 choice from List B. If he has completed 75% at 80% accuracy, he will earn a choice of 2 from List B; 100% of assignments completed at 80% accuracy will earn choice of 1 from List C. After 2 consecutive weeks at 75% completion rate, Jacob will earn 5 minutes of computer time for every 2 completed assignments. End of week rewards will remain the same. After 2 consecutive weeks at 75% completion rate at this step, Jacob will learn 5 minutes of computer time for completing all assignments during reading. End of week contingencies will change and a new plan will be formulated.
CONSEQUENCES: If Jacob does not complete assignments within the allotted time, he will be unable to obtain the reinforcer specified. If negative behavior (arguing, throwing objects, cursing, attempting to leave campus) occur during attempts to instruct or redirect Jacob, a consequence continuum will be implemented. For the first occurrence, Jacob will be given a warning. For the second, he will be moved to the rear of the classroom to cool off in the Take a Break chair. For the 3rd occurrence, he will be taken to the principal and his parents will be called.
ASSESSMENT OF PROGRESS: Once every 9 weeks, a frequency count will be taken by the teacher for 3 days to determine the number of assessments completed with at least 80% accuracy. Data will be charted by the classroom teacher on his progress reports and kept in his IEP folder.
STEPS FOR WITHDRAWAL OF CONTINGENCIES: When Jacob’s behavior reaches the criterion stated in the last step for implementation, a new plan will be developed to maintain his behavior for the remainder of the school year.









Date agreement begins, ends, or is renegotiated (at least 1 week; no more than 3 weeks for behaviorally disordered students).


Behaviors targeted for change are stated in measurable terms


Amount and kind or reward or reinforcer to be used is stated and the contingency is made clear.


The schedule of delivery of the reinforcer is made clear.


The contract include the signatures of all those involved.


A schedule for review of progress is set up (at least once per day).


The Contract may include a bonus clause for sustained or exceptional performance.


The Contract may include a statement of consequences to be imposed if the specified behavior is not performed.



For more information on dealing with discipline of students please refer to the following references. Asterisk items can be located at your school.


Classroom Discipline & Control, Fred & Carol Chernow

Conflict in the Classroom, Long, Morse & Newman. Belmont, California: Wadsworth (3rd Ed.), 1976.

Effective Discipline, Deborah Smith. Austin , Texas: Pro-Ed, 1984.

1-2-3 Magic, Thomas Phelan, Ph.D. Glen Ellyn, Illinois: Child Management Inc., 1995.

Positive Classroom Management, A Step-by-Step Guide to Successfully Running the Show Without Destroying Student Dignity, DeGiulio, Robert. Thousand Oakes, CA: Corwin Press, Inc., 1995.

The First Days of School, How to Be An Effective Teacher, Harry & Rosemary Wong. Sunnyvale, CA: Harry Wong Publications, 1991.

The Teacher’s Encyclopedia of Behavior Management, 100 problems/ 500 plans, Howard, Lisa and Sprick, Randall. Longmont, CO: Sopris West, 1997.*

The Tough Kid Tool Box, Jensen, Reavis, & Rhodes, Longmont, CO: Sopris West, 1996.*

The Tough Kid Book, Practical Classroom Management Strategies, Jensen, Reavis, & Rhodes, Longmont, CO: Sopris West, 1995.*

Strategies For Effective Teaching, A Professional Development Manual, Louisiana Teacher Assistance and Assessment Program, Dept. of Education; Baton Rouge, LA, 1995.

Ride Manual* see SWAT Facilitator.


*Check with Special Service Liaison or SWAT Facilitator


Web Sites



You can find additional information regarding writing behavior plans or conducting behavioral functional assessments in the references listed below .



Developing an Individualized Behavior Management Plan. York, PA: William Gladden Foundation, 1993.


George, Paul. Classroom Discipline and Contingency Management. Gainsville, FL: Teacher Education Resources, 1979.


Jensen, W. R., Rhodes, G. & Reavis, K. The Tough Kid Toolkit. Longmont, CO: Sopris West, 1996.


Maples, Ernest G. & Santana, Ronnie T. Designing a Behavior Management Program: A Practitioner’s Guide. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown, 1990.



Neal, Pat. Writing a Behavior Management Plan. Louisiana State Department of Education.