The Secret Step To Behavior Interventions


You likely know that Kickboard’s behavior intervention plans take care of the number-crunching for you. But do you know the secret step to make them more effective?

Psst… We’ve got a secret! Well it’s technically NOT a secret, it’s just a step all too often overlooked in the busy lives of educators like yourself.  But it’s a critical step, a powerful step, and a step that will help your behaviorally-challenged students meet their goals – but only if you’re intentional about it! So what is this secret step in your behavior interventions? Check out this informative infographic that will change everything!


Effective Progress Monitoring

That’s it! That’s the secret!

But what does effective behavior progress monitoring look like?

You likely know that Kickboard’s behavior intervention plans take care of the number-crunching for you. Once you’ve determined the target behaviors a student is trying to change and set a quantifiable goal, Kickboard plots the progress over time on an easy-to-read graph. We’ve found that one of the most powerful ways to progress-monitor is actually doing it with the student. CLICK HERE for an example of one such motivating encounter between staff and student.

Remember this, adults! TAKING ACTION in response to a student’s progress, or lack thereof,  is just as important as regularly monitoring the growth.  Here are some scenarios of a student’s behavior progress and our recommended actions.

Ideally, you want a Kickboard progress-monitor graph that looks something like this:

This Kickboard graph indicates that, while not yet meeting his goal since his plan continues for several more weeks, the student is making positive progress. If he maintains this current rate of improvement (ROI), he will meet his goal in the given timeframe.


Maintain the intervention! Do not make the mistake that progress means “he’s done”.  Changing behavior takes time so continue the current supports to give the child the transformation time he needs. Make sure to use this Kickboard graph to continue to monitor his forward progress and ensure he maintains this momentum.


What if you find yourselves looking at a progress-monitor graph that looks like this?

Notice there are several weeks’ worth of a student’s daily data in this Kickboard progress graph, enough to be statistically significant, and the overall progress is up as noted by the positive slope. However, given the current trend, it’s not quite enough progress for the student to meet his goal in the given time. 


Consider adding something to the current intervention plan to give the student an additional boost of support. Continue monitoring the revised plan to ensure he begins to make greater gains to get back on track for meeting his goal.


A progress graph should NEVER look like this:

This Kickboard graph indicates that the student is not on track for making his goal and he’s been trending downward for far too long. Unfortunately, this type of scenario is common in many schools. Staff initiates the plan, loses track of time, and inadvertently the student’s lack of progress goes undetected until the next RTI meeting rolls around.

Sadly, the blame is often misplaced on the student rather than the adults. (How often do you hear remarks that start with “Well if the student would just….” ?) This type of outcome should actually be owned by the adults involved in the plan, not the student!


Recognize quickly, after a statistically significant number of Kickboard data points (3 to 5) of a downward trend, that the behavior intervention isn’t working. Regroup and brainstorm as an RTI team. Staff should either add more supports to the existing plan or start an entirely new intervention.


In addition to these recommended progress monitoring actions, we also suggest you remember these BEST PRACTICE TIPS when creating your intervention plans in Kickboard:

  • Ensure “TARGET BEHAVIOR” is the behavior you want to decrease because it is the student’s most significant negative behavior.
  • Use CULTURE ANALYSIS to decide the starting value. Ask the question: About how many points or dollars is the student losing per day or per week as a result of this misbehavior?
  • If you see LIMITED DATA and very few data points on your progress graph, investigate why.  Kickboard will show a progress line after three data points – so if three days have passed (or three weeks if you’ve set the plan to capture weekly data), you should see a trend line. If not, it could mean you have not selected the right behavior. Or, it could be a matter of the student’s teachers not tracking behaviors with fidelity. Act quickly to revise plans or address daily tracking so that the data can inform your intervention!
  • Use ALTERNATE BEHAVIORS in the plan and teach the student ways to replace the negative behavior with the designated positive behavior. The positives will counter the negatives when Kickboard tabulates the daily or weekly data point.
  • MINIMIZE THE NUMBER OF TARGET BEHAVIORS IN A PLAN. Students with behavior challenges aren’t likely to transform if you ask them to change 15 behaviors at once. Select the one – or at most two – behaviors you believe will have the greatest effec (perhaps the student’s most frequent misbehavior). Then, once the student meets his or her goal for that behavior, start a new plan with the next behavior the student needs to improve.

Effective progress monitoring requires a definite adult mindset and adult action.  Staff must first view a behavior intervention as a temporary testable hypothesis and they must enter the intervention with an understanding that if it hasn’t made a difference, they (the adults) must quickly respond by making a change in practice and trying something new. Luckily for you, your school uses Kickboard – so you’ll never be just a click away from the secret to more effective progress monitoring!

Want to download the infographic for printing, enlarging, or sharing? Click here!