9 Examples of Positive Behavior Support & Interventions


Teachers and school staff have a challenging job. We are tasked with guiding and molding the future leaders of our nation towards academic excellence. In order to do so, schools and classrooms must have systems in place to support students in making positive choices. When effective behavior supports and interventions are in place, educators can discourage and avoid disruptive behavior that detracts from teaching and learning. Students learn best in an environment that is academically focused and devoid of negative and problem behaviors. This allows teachers to focus more on teaching and learning versus addressing unruly or negative behaviors within their classroom.

Positive Behavior Supports and Interventions (PBIS) is a system that is beneficial for all students and provides effective interventions to ensure that all students are demonstrating positive behaviors. The PBIS framework fits within a multi-tiered system that allows educators to target and support all students, regardless of their needs. PBIS Tier 1 supports are universal supports that address the needs of the majority of students. Tier 2 supports are more targeted and focus on 10-15% of students who may need more support or additional interventions from Tier 1. Lastly, Tier 3 supports are in place for on average 5% of students who may need intensive intervention. This provides individualized support for students who have more robust behavioral needs. Within the multi-tiered system, students with disabilities who receive support from an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Special Education programs are easily supported on an ongoing basis. This includes helping students who have Autism Spectrum Disorders or developmental disabilities and may need Tier 3 supports in place.

→ You can use the Kickboard Software App to keep track of and analyze classroom and school-wide supports as you implement the PBIS process in your school.


What are behavioral interventions?

Teachers typically know their students very well and can continue to learn more through observing challenging behaviors within their classroom. Proper analysis of behaviors can give educators insight into the diverse needs within a school or classroom and help them respond appropriately. Challenging behaviors are often a form of communication and can give teachers and school staff essential information to support a particular student. One common format of observing and recording behavior is using the ABCs of behavior assessment. When educators initiate behavior observations to inform their work with a particular student, the ABCs of behavior assessment is a common way to make a streamlined observation and analysis. This method of data analysis is often used within Special Education programs to assess and respond to ongoing student needs. An ABC data assessment is often used to gather information to help create effective Positive Behavior Supports and Interventions. ABC refers to:

  • Antecedent: Events, actions, or circumstances that occur before a behavior
  • Behavior: The precise behavior that the student is demonstrating
  • Consequences: The action or response that follows as a result of the behavior 

After using the ABC method to notice challenging behaviors, it is important to implement the appropriate positive behavioral interventions to avoid misbehavior. Positive behavioral interventions are highly effective and help educators build a warm, focused, and friendly school and classroom culture. With the necessary interventions taking place, all students will be prepared to learn and excel academically. Some common Positive Behavior Interventions are as follows: 

  • Minimizing disruptive behavior in the learning environment with incentives or tracking
  • Developing a strategy to encourage positive behavior and replace challenging behaviors
  • Setting specific expectations
  • Teaching self-management or replacement skills


9 Examples of Positive Behavioral Interventions

Below are some examples of PBIS interventions you can use in your classroom to positively reinforce student behavior and expectations for all students:


Set clear routines for everything you would like students to do in your classroom. Do not assume that students know the expectations for your classroom, and be sure to show them how you would like things to be done. Although it can be tedious, this is key to building a classroom environment that is consistent and predictable. When building and executing classroom routines, it is important to remain explicit so that students clearly understand your expectations. Give students multiple opportunities to practice classroom routines, provide ongoing support for routines and behaviors, reinforce expected behaviors, and explain the consequences if the expectations are not met. For example, you may create hand signals for essential classroom functions such as getting water or going to the restroom, or a simple signal to use when you should wait for their turn to speak. 

 Take a Break

At times, students may become overwhelmed or overly stimulated. Students may benefit from a 3-5 minute break to reset and get focused. Consider allowing students to rest and reset before an activity or before transitioning to a new task. Breaks can be used as a time for self-management and self-regulation. Self-management allows students to pause, reflect, and adjust problematic behavior. Helping kids build these skills will allow you to get back to teaching and learning as quickly as possible. You can also help students build skills to self-regulate. This will allow students to determine when their behavior is impulsive and get back in the mindset to learn. This can often be accompanied by meditation, breathing exercises, or movement exercises that ease the mind and body. 

 Silent Signals

Create silent signals to remind your students to pay attention and remain on task. These signals can be for your whole class, or you can establish special signals for a particular student who needs extra behavioral support. Silent signals are an effective intervention because they quickly reinforce behavioral expectations with minimal disruption. You can come up with signals for your class, or you all can create signals that work best for your community together. You can create signals to express your expectations for your kids, and you can also create signals to allow your students to express their needs to you.


Proximity is another great silent intervention. By simply getting physically closer to a student, you can get them on task without giving verbal instructions. Make it a habit to circulate your classroom while students are completing tasks to keep them focused. You can even rest your hand on their shoulder to get the student’s attention. Use proximity when teaching a lesson, during independent work, or in transitions to a new task. This is a great strategy teachers can use to redirect student behavior.

 Quiet Corrections

When students are off task, they often seek attention. Teachers need to remove the stage when addressing them. Avoid using shame and intimidation to correct a student; instead, quietly and quickly bend down and whisper to the student what you would like them to do and the consequences they will receive if the expectation is not met, then move away. If the student still does not meet this expectation, administer an appropriate consequence. Quiet corrections allow you to remain in control of the situation and keep the public stage out of the student interaction.

 Give Students a Task

Problem behaviors affect your classroom and other students. If you notice a student has a behavioral challenge at a certain time of the day, consider giving them a task or errand to complete for you. For example, you may have them send a message to another teacher. This will give the student a chance to reset and come back and join the class. Also, consider ways to encourage leadership and peer interaction by pairing the student up with a classmate as a helper on an academic task. This communicates that you are willing to provide support while encouraging interactions that help build community.

 Positive Phrasing

This refers to focusing on the positive results of a behavior. As teachers, we can easily get into the habit of threatening students with statements like, “If you don’t…then I will….” This type of phrase is negative reinforcement and creates tension. Instead, positively reinforce the target behavior. When doing so, children are more easily encouraged to demonstrate the behavior you want to see consistently. This can be done when establishing class rules. This positive reinforcement supports PBIS and ensures that children have the resources to meet your needs. An example of positively phrasing behavior is saying, “We always walk in the hall” instead of saying, “Don’t run in the halls.”

Another example of focusing on negative behaviors is if a student is not completing their homework and the teacher says, “If you don’t complete your homework tonight, you will stay inside and complete it at recess tomorrow.” To positively reinforce the desired behavior, the teacher could say, “ If you finish your homework tonight, you will get to go outside and play with your friends at recess.” Both express the need to complete homework, but the effectiveness of the second statement is clear and can more effectively help reach a change in behavior. Click here to learn more about how positive reinforcement improves student behavior.

 State the Behavior You Want to See

Positively narrate the appropriate behaviors you want to see or acknowledge children who meet expectations right away. This rewards positive behavior and repeats the expectation for students who may not have heard the first time. For example, when students are lining up, and all of them are not ready, you can quickly state the specific behavior 1-2 students were doing correctly. In no time, other students will mimic that behavior to receive positive praise as well. It is important to acknowledge and praise appropriate behaviors in your classroom constantly. On the other hand, you must adequately address and not praise or bring attention to negative or disruptive behaviors within the learning environment.

 Tangible Reinforcers

Rewards are an effective way to encourage positive behaviors. Rewards can be edible treats, toys, or a desired activity. Many educators can give free or inexpensive rewards that are not a financial burden. Be sure that you set clear guidelines for how to earn rewards. Set realistic goals so students can earn the reward consistently and maintain motivation. Get student input so the rewards are items or activities that the student desires. Click here to find examples of free or inexpensive PBIS awards that you can use within school settings.

Ultimately, we want students to make positive choices to meet positive behavioral and academic outcomes successfully. It is important that students receive the necessary interventions and supports to make this possible. It is equally important for school staff to receive the proper training to maintain the positive treatment of kids within schools. Creating a school that embodies PBIS at its core is a great way to create a school culture where students are supported behaviorally. The goal of PBIS is to ensure that students are working towards positive behavior and are supported by educators based on their needs. These supports are in place to support all students, including those who may receive special education support for conditions such as autism spectrum disorders. This ensures that all students develop the skills they need and are receiving individualized behavior supports. It also ultimately ensures that teachers focus on academic outcomes, maintain racial equity, and meet the diverse needs of students who are embedded into your school culture.

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Here at Kickboard, we have seen school culture transform because of effective implementations of PBIS. We also have the tools, strategy, and resources designed to support your school team as they begin to implement PBIS to promote positive school culture and make sure you are supporting students. Click here to learn more about how Kickboard can help you with supporting children in your school.