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February 7, 2016

School Wide Behavior Support System

As you can see from the "green" sticker, we made our School Improvement Goal for January in regards to the 100 Club. Our goal was to have 160 students in the club and we currently have 169. Way to go! The target for each classroom was 10 students in the club. The range for classrooms is 2-17. The next check point is March in which the target will be 15 students per classroom. Positive reinforcement is critical to improving student behavior. In classrooms where the positive reinforcement ticket system is being implemented consistently, we are seeing fewer disruptive behaviors. I looked at some current research which continues to support the notion that positive reinforcement is a valuable tool. I have taken an excerpt from some research regarding positive reinforcement that I wanted to share.

"According to Chitiyo and Wheeler, educators can teach students appropriate behaviors by establishing classroom routines, modeling desired behaviors, and building naturally occurring reinforcement aimed at displaying positive behaviors and improving the classroom environment through the use of positive reinforcement. The use of positive reinforcement as an effective, high-impact strategy for improving students' behaviors has been supported by documented research for a variety of school circumstances for both individual students and groups of students. In today's schools, many teachers send students to the office for displaying attention-seeking and/or avoidance behaviors as opposed to behaviors that are considered to be violent or aggressive. The majority of school-based disciplinary referrals comprise of behaviors that are disruptive and distractive in nature rather than behaviors that are considered to be more severe indicated that decreasing disruptive behaviors is extremely important. It is import for teachers to establish a classroom environment where students feel safe, comfortable, and welcomed. According to Conroy, Sutherland, Smnyder, Al-Hendawi, and Vo creating a positive and engaging classroom atmosphere is one of the most powerful tools teachers can use to encourage children's learning and prevent problem behaviors from occurring. This tone can be established by teachers' reactions to students' behaviors. Students are more likely to behave in predictable ways in order to gain their teachers' attention. Teachers can capitalize on this by providing positive attention through feedback to promote desired behaviors. A study by Wheatley evaluated a behavior management plan called the Lunchroom Praise Note System, intended to improve students' behaviors in unstructured settings through a formal praise system. The unstructured settings included lunchrooms, hallways, playgrounds, and school buses. This plan comprised of three steps: teaching appropriate behaviors, allowing students to practice behaviors, and implementing a praise system for appropriate behaviors. The results for the study, which examined approximately 200 students, found a sizeable reduction in inappropriate students behaviors. Specifically, the amount of litter in the lunchroom decreased by 94%, inappropriate sitting decreased by 64%, and instances of running decreased by 75%. Wheatley's study demonstrated that formal praise systems are able to enhance intrinsic motivation to improve students' behaviors. Wheatley further stated that research has provided evidence that these types of programs are just as effective in common areas where large groups of students gather as well as in smaller more structured classroom settings.

Are you implementing our School Wide System with fidelity? What action steps can you implement to reach the March target of 15 students? This week we will focus on the cafeteria. What will you do to TEACH, MODEL, REINFORCE? It takes ALL of us if we are to be successful. Recognizing appropriate behavior is key to lasting results!

Thank you to Zach Scherb, Nichole Cason, Tiffany Smith, Tracy Schimonitz, and Megan O'Brien for chaperoning the Lights Out Event