PBIS is a preventative system for school and classroom behavior management. PBIS classroom management is best supported when a school-wide PBIS system is in place.
Once PBIS is established school-wide, a PBIS classroom management plan encourages teachers to recognize and reward positive student behaviors, as opposed to punishing students for undesired behaviors. This establishes a predictable and safe classroom, as well as a positive relationship between teacher and students.
Use this checklist to develop a PBIS management plan for your classroom.
The first step of developing a PBIS management plan begins with designing the physical environment of your classroom. As a teacher, I have been as specific as considering how I want my classroom to smell and feel when students enter. Whether you enjoy elaborate themes in your decorating or you are a minimalist who is more concerned with function and purpose, the layout of your classroom is the first step to creating order and predictability.
When organizing your physical classroom space consider how your desks and tables will be arranged based on the activities you will do in your classroom. Items in your classroom should be organized so that students know the desired purpose of each space in the classroom and can locate all supplies. Once you meet your students create a seating chart that takes into account student learning and personality. Feel free to readjust your seating based on the needs of your classroom, consider collaborative grouping as well as behavior when creating a seating chart.
After you’ve purposefully designed your physical space, collaboratively create classroom rules. When students are given the opportunity to contribute to the rules that will govern their class they develop a sense of ownership for their classroom. Teachers and students can collaborate to make rules that will create a great classroom environment. Create rules that address how students are expected to interact with each other, how students are expected to interact with the teacher, and how students are expected to interact with the physical space. Create your rules and post them in the classroom.
Along with your set of rules, develop predictable classroom routines for your classroom. Students thrive on structure so be sure your routines are consistent. Although developing rules can be collaborative, creating routines is based on the teachers’ discretion. Develop a predictable pattern for how you would like students to move through common classroom transitions and activities. This process can feel tedious but considering how you want students to move through your classroom is essential.
Here are some routines to consider establishing:
Explicitly teach students how routines should look and sound in your classroom. Give students multiple opportunities to practice the classroom rules and routines; provide ongoing support for routines and behaviors; reinforce expected behaviors and explain the consequences if the expectations are not met.
Once rules and routines are established consider how students will be rewarded and positively reinforced. Reward systems can follow a school-wide plan, be specific to your classroom, or can be a combination of both. Rewards can be individual, group or class-based. In the same way students contributed to the class rules, allow them to contribute to the rewards. This will create buy-in and motivate students to work towards rewards they really want. Students are very creative, last year my class suggested watching a movie on the ceiling as a class reward!
Be sure to create a reward system that is manageable to establish and maintain. Consider rewards that do not require additional preparation or a burdensome financial investment on your end. Be sure that rewards are delivered consistently to encourage and reinforce positive behaviors.
Classroom expectations must be reinforced to encourage students to consistently demonstrate those behaviors. PBIS is preventative and positive so this part of the framework is very important. To begin, acknowledge positive behaviors when students complete a routine or expectation appropriately. For example, “Thank you for raising your hand.” According to PBIS.org, it is recommended that classroom teachers acknowledge positive student behavior at least five times more often than they acknowledge student problems.
Teachers must hold students accountable when they do not follow rules and routines. Responding to problem behavior is essential to implementing PBIS in the classroom. According to PBIS.org, “...consequences for classroom rule violations should be aligned with school-wide consequences, respectful, age appropriate, clearly defined and taught, and enforced consistently.” Consistency is key. Students should be able to predict what will happen if a particular rule or expectation is not met. When responding to problem behaviors, corrections should be brief, specific to the problem behavior, and delivered with a calm and neutral voice. Additionally, consequences should be consistent for all students.
Finally, create engaging classroom instructional opportunities. Engaging students during instruction will reduce problem behaviors. According to PBIS.org, “Strategies to engage students include providing high quality academic instruction with content matched to student needs, providing frequent feedback to students, using instruction time productively, connecting teaching to students lives, and giving students frequent opportunities to respond.” Consider taking a facilitator's role during classroom discussions by asking open-ended questions and using student answers to drive instruction. Allow students to work independently, in pairs and in small groups during instruction.
Creating an effective classroom management system has positive effects for teachers and students emotionally and academically. Once an effective classroom management system is established teachers are able to focus on high quality instruction that is academically rigorous and differentiated to meet individual student needs. Be sure teachers have classroom management plans to ensure a successful year of teaching and learning!
Here at Kickboard we have seen school culture transform because of effective implementations of PBIS. We also have the tools and resources to support your school team as they begin to implement PBIS as a way to promote positive school culture. Click here to learn more about how Kickboard can support PBIS in your school.