Positive Acknowledgement - pbisclassroomsystems

Classroom Systems
School-wide PBIS
Positive Acknowledgement Ratio
Chris Borgmeier, PhD
Portland State University
PBIS Classroom System:
Next Steps
1) Brief presentation of practice
2) Time to individualize practice to fit your
classroom, context & needs
3) Brief presentation of Reminders & Supports to
use your practice
4) Time to develop an individualized Plan for
Follow Along in the 4 to 1 Ratio Guide
Definitions of Acknowledgement of
Positive & Problem Behavior
 Acknowledgment: responding to student behavior
(verbal or gesture) in a way that provides attention
for positive/desired behavior or problem/non-desired
 The focus of the acknowledgement determines whether it
is a positive (response to desired behavior) or problem
acknowledgement (response to non-desired behavior),
while the tone and verbage should always maintain
respect for the individual, the determining factor is the
type (desired v. non-desired) of the behavior being
Why Acknowledge Desired
 Reinforce the teaching of new behaviors
 Behavior is likely to become a habit and recur in the
future only if demonstrating it has been beneficial
 Harness the influence of kids who are showing
expected behaviors to encourage the kids who are not
 Strengthen positive behaviors that can compete with
problem behavior
 Improve school climate
 Create positive interactions and rapport with students
Why Increase Positive
 After withdrawing praise from a classroom, off-task behavior
increased from 8.7% to 25.5%
 When the rate of criticism was increased, off-task behavior
increased from 25.5% to 31.2% with over 50% off-task
behavior on some days
 In classes where teachers provided less than 65% positive
statements, the percentage of students reporting that they
like school decreased over the course of the school year
 In classes where teachers provided more than 70% positive
statements, students reporting that they like school remained
high across the school year
5:1 Ratio
 Pay attention to What you Want to See
 Acknowledge positive behavior 5 times more often that you
respond to negative behavior
 Keep it genuine; not the same for all kids
 Negative interactions are not wrong and are sometimes
necessary; the key is the ratio
 There is a ceiling effect at 13 to 1 – but we are at very little risk
of achieving this in schools; more often we are at 1:1 or even
more negatives than positives
5:1 ratio, it’s not just for kids
Business teams
 High Performance
teams = 5.6 to 1
 Medium Performance teams = 1.9:1
 Low Performance teams = 1 to 2.7
Losada, 1999; Losada & Heaphy 2004
Married couples that last
 5.1
to for speech acts and 4.7 to 1 for observed emotions
Gottman, 1994
Gottman Study: 5 to 1 Ratio
 predicted whether 700 newlywed couples would
stay together or divorce by scoring their positive
and negative interactions in one 15-minute
conversation between each husband and wife.
Ten years later, the follow-up revealed that they
had predicted divorce with 94% accuracy.
Marriages that last:
5.1 to 1 for speech acts and 4.7 to 1 for observed emotions
Marriages likely to end in divorce:
1 (+) to1.3 (-) ratio likely to end up in divorce
Non-contingent Attention
 Provides time and attention that is not tied to
 Fulfills the need to be noticed and valued
 Benefits
Student teacher rapport
 Positive role-model for social interaction
 Improved climate overall
Greeting, show interest, invite questions, interest
conversations, provides opportunity to relate to all students –
even those with challenging behavior
Positive Interactions
 Positive interactions can be provided in a variety of
verbal praise
nonverbal acknowledgement
positive feedback re: appropriate behavior
smiling, nodding, winking
non-contingent attention
welcoming, greeting, asking if assistance is needed
Research on Praise & Acknowledging
Positive Behavior
Praise has the strongest research, with
increases shown in:
Students’ correct responses
Work productivity and accuracy
Academic performance
On-task behavior and attention
Compliance, positive comments about self
Cooperative play
Simonsen, Fairbanks, Briesch, Myers, & Sugai, 2008
Critical Features of Acknowledgement
 Acknowledgment of Positive Behavior (praise) is
most effective if it is immediate, specific, sincere,
varied, student referenced
Specific: explicitly describes the desired behavior performed
Sincere: credible and authentic
Varied: varied word choice, varied academic and behavior
praise, whole group, small group and individual
Student referenced: compares student performance to
previous performance and does not compare students to
others; acknowledge effort
Positive Acknowledgement/ Praise
 “Excellent job listening and following directions the
first time.”
 “Your eyes are on me and your mouth is quiet. Thank
you for being ready to learn.”
 “Wow, you completed your math work correctly
before the end of class.”
When Acknowledging Positive Behavior
 Identify the specific behavior being
 Link the behavior to one of the SW-Rules
 “Wow, thank you for helping to clean up the spill, that
was very Responsible of you”
 “Thank you, good job!”
Procedural Steps for increasing Positive
Acknowledgement Ratio
Identify challenging times, routines and behaviors that
occur throughout the day
Identify desired behaviors to focus on praising,
particularly during challenging times
Identify a range of phrases, gestures, methods for
acknowledging targeted desired behaviors, particularly
identify ways to replace corrections with
acknowledgement of proximal peers for desired behavior
Monitor for desired behaviors & acknowledge individuals
or group of students immediately following desired
Implement personal prompts and monitoring to
encourage replacement of corrections with
Increase positive feedback
 ID a specific problem behavior you would like to see
less of and define the opposite of this behavior
 Teach the expected behavior, ignore the problem
behavior and “catch” the students meeting
expectations w/ specific positive feedback
Coaching Classroom Management, 2006
Decrease corrections
 Ignore minor misbehavior, if attention seeking in
nature; provide positive feedback to students
engaged in positive behavior
 Ensure students know expectations – teach/re-teach
& provide positive feedback
 Provide “precorrections” in advance to set up
positive behavior
Coaching Classroom Management, 2006
Step 1: Identify Challenges & Positive
Your Turn
 Take a few minutes to Complete Step 1 of the
 Remember, we’d like to collect a copy of
your worksheet at the end of the training
today to plan for support
Trading Negative Acknowledgements
for Positive
Your Turn
 Take a few minutes to Complete Step 2 of the
 Share your strategies with a partner
Instruction influences behavior
“…Much teacher
praise is reactive to
and under the
control of student
behavior rather than
vice versa.” (Brophy,
Set up Systems to Increase Positive
 Good Behavior Game (whole group contingency)
 T-chart
 Teach behavioral expectations
 Student points for positive behavior following expectations
 Teacher gets points for negative behavior
 Hand out Acknowledgement Tokens or Tallies for
positive behavior
Small Group Contingency
• Pros & Considerations
Promotes team work -- reward is given to all
members of a group.
Uses peer influences to correct inappropriate
The Team competition can promote higher interest
and participation
Can result in conflict within the classroom
 Individual performance can affect the entire group.
Must teach appropriate, respectful ways to encourage and redirect peer
Group may not have equal chance for success (may
need to change the groups periodically)
Example: Small Group Contingency
Mrs. Robinson’s class is divided into 4 groups.
• Example A: Members of the group help earn tokens
for their groups. Groups that earn at least 20 tokens
by the end of the day compete in the “Who Wants To
Be A Millionaire” game.
• Example B: The group with the most points gets to
be the first dismissed to lunch.
• Example C: The 2 groups receiving the highest
number of tokens for the day get a “free homework”
• Less Competitive Alternative: When a group gets
to 20 points each member of the group earns 5 extra
minutes of break time
ACTIVITY: Discuss Ways to Encourage
& Monitor your Ratio
 Post a visual reminder to praise students in area viewed
 Praise in Pairs: After praising one student, find another student
exhibiting similar behavior to praise
 Acknowledge creatively – use gestures (thumbs up, OK sign,
clapping, nod, high five) tangibles (stickers, stars), points toward
whole class or individual reward, calling parent to report student
 Move Pennies or paperclips from one pocket to other based
positive & negative acknowledgements
 Index Card Tearing (long side for positive, short side for
 Hash marks on tape on your arm or pant leg
Step 3: Individual Plan for Prompting &
Supporting Practice
Your Turn
 Take a few minutes to Complete Step 3 of the
 Make sure to Identify meaningful& feasible
Identify Personal Strategies for supporting implementation
Develop Peer Strategies for support – you can discuss with a
Team & School-wide Supports
 Team Supports (e.g. Dept.,
Grade Level, PLC)
 Make Classroom
improvement a regular part
of meetings and activities
 Begin meeting w/ 2 minute
Check-in, share ideas & give
feedback to:
Encourage implementation
Check-in, problem solve,
enhance implementation
 School-wide Supports
Reminder on Morning
Regular review/check-in at
staff meeting
Rewards for implementers
Recognize your Buddy
Recognize someone you
observed engage in the
Daily or weekly
implementation checks
via email link
Put sticker on staff board to
rate implementation
Group Discussion
 What school-wide strategies would be helpful for
you in supporting your implementation?
Regular reminders over announcements?
 Staff meeting review & sharing?
 Collect implementation data?
Daily email, survey monkey?
Descriptive Readings
 Brophy, J. (1981). Teacher Praise: A Functional Analysis. Review of Educational Research, 51(1), 5-32.
 Conroy, M. A., Sutherland, K. S., Snyder, A., Al-Hendawi, M. & Vo, A. (2009). Creating a positive classroom
atmosphere: Teachers’ use of effective praise and feedback. Beyond Behavior, 18(2), pp. 18-26.
 Gable, R. A., Hester, P. H., Rock, M. L., & Hughes, K. G. (2009). Back to Basics Rules, Praise, Ignoring, and
Reprimands Revisited. [Article]. Intervention in School and Clinic, 44(4), 195-205.
 Simonsen, B., Fairbanks, S., Briesch, A., Myers, D. & Sugai, G. (2008). Evidence-based practices in classroom
management: Considerations for Research to practice. Education and Treatment of Children, 31(3), pp. 351380.
 Sprick, R., Knight, J., Reinke, W., Skyles, T., & Barnes, L. (2009). Coaching Classroom Management:
Strategies and tools for administrators and coaches (2nd ed). Pacific NorthWest Publishing, Eugene, OR.
Research Studies demonstrating outcomes associated with the use of praise to reprimand
Becker, W.C., Engelmann, S., & Thomas, D.R. (1975). Teaching 2: Cognitive Learning and Instruction. Chicago: Science Research
Pfiffner, L. J., Rosen, L. A., & O'Leary, S. G. (1985). The efficacy of an all-positive approach to classroom
management. [Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 18(3), 257-261.
Sutherland, K. S., Wehby, J. H., & Copeland, S. R. (2000). Effect of varying rates of behavior-specific praise on
the on-task behavior of students with EBD. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 8(1), 2-+.
Relationship between praise, rewards, and intrinsic motivation
 Akin-Little, K. A., Eckert, T. L., Lovett, B. J., & Little, S. G. (2004). Extrinsic reinforcement in the classroom:
Bribery or best practice. [Article]. School Psychology Review, 33(3), 344-362.
 Cameron, J., & Pierce, W. D. (1994). Reinforcement, Reward, and Intrinsic Motivation: A meta-analysis.
Review of Educational Research, 64(3), 363-423.
 Deci, E. L., Koestner, R., & Ryan, R. M. (1999). A meta-analytic review of experiments examining the effects of
extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 125(6), 627-668.