Behavior interventions for situations where the student needs help learning the appropriate behavior

Active Teaching of Rules
This is intervention provides a framework to assist teaching in the use of modeling practice and feedback to instruction classroom behavioral expectations. The intervention starts with the explicit display of rules in each classroom environment followed by a review and discussion of the rules with the students. This is then followed by having individual students model the appropriate behavior focused upon in the rule. Finally, when children subsequently exhibit the desired behavior they are immediately praised. This intervention is related to direct instruction methodologies, which are supported by a substantial literature base. This intervention can be followed up with a contingent observation procedure (sit and watch) for children who exhibit misbehavior afterwards. This intervention is related to direct instruction methodologies, which are supported by a substantial literature base.  

CW-FIT is a behavioral intervention designed to explicitly teach and reinforce appropriate social behaviors through the use of a game like activity that can be implemented within the general education classroom setting. This intervention can be strategically implemented during “problem” times of the day to decrease problem behavior. CW- FIT incorporates multiple research-based behavioral strategies including direct instruction of skills, self and peer management, extinction by removing reinforcement (i.e. withholding attention when problem behaviors occur) as well as differential reinforcement of alternative.

EBI Brief for CW-FIT

Opportunities to Respond

This intervention has been shown to be successful in multiple classroom settings such as during the use of direct instruction, classwide peer tutoring, and computer-assisted instruction. An OTR is described as a teacher behavior (question, prompt, cue) that invites or solicits an individual student response or a unison response. These student responses can be verbal (i.e. answering a question), gestured (i.e. giving a thumbs up or thumbs down, response cards), or written (i.e. providing answer on a whiteboard). After the student(s) have responded the teacher then provides specific feedback on the student’s responses.

EBI Brief for Opportunities to Respond


Say Show Check

Each of the classroom rules and why adhering to each rule is important is verbalized to the class. Modeling what adherence to each rule would look like and what non-adherence to each rule would look like is next. Students then scrutinize non-adherence, re-practice appropriate rule behavior, and are praised for demonstrating proper rule following. This intervention is consistent with the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Model, and offers an example of how such a model would work in a single classroom.


  • Full Intervention Brief: Say Show Check


    Although there is a wealth of existing behavioral interventions, many rely solely on teacher implementation, require significant attention, and may be difficult to apply consistently (Briesch & Chafouleas, 2009).  In contrast, self-management interventions make students responsible for tracking their own behavior.  At the core of self-management, is self-monitoring where students are provide with the definitions of target behaviors and prompted to record their performance during instruction.  By becoming aware of their own behavior, students are given the opportunity to recruit naturally occurring reinforcers.  Several components are often used in addition to self-monitoring including goal setting, self-charting, and self-evaluation paired with reinforcement (Briesch & Chafouleas, 2009).

    Sit and Watch

    This classic intervention was designed to provide a simple method to aid a child in the acquisition of desired behavior through observing other children behave appropriately. Specifically, using a modified time-out procedure, the student is removed from an activity and instructed both why they were removed and what the appropriate behavior would have been. Then the child is instructed to observe appropriate behavior for a short time prior to reengaging in the activity. Finally, when the child behaves appropriately, they are immediately praised. This intervention can be used as a follow-up to the “Active teaching of classroom rules” intervention, also found in this book.

    Full Intervention Brief: Sit and Watch

    Modeling Videos: video 1 Video 2Video 3

    Social Competence Intervention (SCI)

    SCI is a social competence intervention developed by Stichter et al. (2010) that combines both cognitive-behavioral and applied behavior analysis principals within a group-based structure. Specifically, the intervention is designed to enhance the social competence needs of elementary, middle school, and high school youth with social skill deficits. Each version provides structure, consistency, and scaffolding for three specific age ranges (Elementary: 6-10; Adolescent: 11-14; High School: 14-18) to assist in skill acquisition and maintenance. It is best used for the HFA population, and others who exhibit similar social skills deficits. This intervention is structured with scaffolded instruction in the following targeted social skills units: recognizing facial expressions, sharing ideas using the appropriate speaker and listener skills, turn taking in conversations, understanding feelings and emotions, and problem solving.

    EBI Brief for the Social Competence Intervention (SCI)

    SCI Website with information and resources:

    Video Modeling and Video Self-Modeling for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Video modeling involves the use of a video taped recording in which an individual is presented as correctly performing a given task.  Students are able to learn the task by viewing a correctly executed example.  In the case of video self-modeling, the visual example of the task is created by the student.  Theoretically, the self-modeling may improve the impact of the intervention by enhancing student attention and self-efficacy through the experience of viewing themselves successfully performing the target skill, however, research indicates that student outcomes associated video monitoring compared to video self-monitoring are not significantly different (Bellini & Akullian, 2007) and either approach is acceptable.

    Visual Schedules

    When learning routines, some individuals may benefit from having steps presented in a meaningful sequence with a clear start and finish (Schneider & Goldstein, 2009). Particularly, children with challenging behaviors, an intellectual disability, or autism spectrum disorder benefit from the use of visual schedules. Visual activity schedules are especially helpful to improve transition and on-task behavior (Zimmerman, Ledford, & Barton, 2017; MacDuff, Krantz, & McClannahan, 1993).

    EBI Brief for Visual Schedules