Behavior interventions for situations with small group or class wide problems
The context of the environment in which behaviors occur is not usually considered when analyzing a child’s behavior. Instead, more attention is typically given to the consequences following that particular behavior (especially when it is a disruptive behavior being analyzed). While consequences of behaviors matter, what occurred BEFORE the problem behavior should also be considered when creating an intervention. Altering the antecedent of the target behavior has the substantial advantage of being proactive. As such, with appropriate modifications of the antecedents, a problem behavior (e.g. disruptive behavior or task demand refusal) can be avoided. This brief presents a series of classwide antecedent alterations that will change typical antecedents of problem behaviors to antecedents that prompt appropriate behaviors. See Kern and Clemens (2007) for an excellent through review of this class of intervention.
This classic intervention was developed by Barrish, Saunders & Wolf (1969) to reduce inappropriate behavior without the use of positive social reinforcement and contrived reinforcers (such as candy, pencils, etc). The name may be a little misleading because this intervention is focused on the reduction of inappropriate behavior using reinforcers already found within the classroom environment. This intervention is designed as a competition for two opposing groups of students. The teacher gives a list of “do not” rules and criteria for a reward. The teacher counts every time each team violates one of the rules. The team with the least amount of violations wins.
Randomized group contingencies is a classic evidence based intervention with articles reaching back to the early 1970 (e.g. Axelrod, 1973). The primary purpose of this intervention is to increase the likelihood that a group of students (or one target student within a group) continues to act appropriately. This package can be used for a small group of students or an entire class. This intervention is appropriate after all of the target behaviors (appropriate behaviors – – ex: capacity to sit in seat for at least 30 minutes, raise hand, etc.) for the classroom have been learned and demonstrated by each member of the group or it can be used to teach appropriate or disruptive behavior rules to a population of students (this intervention incorporates teaching rules of behavior). It provides an effective and feasible way to teach and maintain appropriate group behavior.
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.
Positive Peer Reporting (PPR) is a classwide intervention designed to increase the social involvement of socially withdrawn children. The primary component of PPR is that children are provided with structured peer praise for engaging in appropriate social behaviors. Children who are severely socially withdrawn, neglected, socially aggressive, or socially isolated can benefit from this intervention.
The Response Cost Raffle is an evidence-based intervention with a number of empirical demonstrations of effectiveness from which this brief was developed (e.g. Witt & Ellott, 1982; Proctor & Daniel, 1991). This behavioral intervention was designed to decrease the frequency of classwide inappropriate behavior. This intervention works because it motivates students to reduce their instances of inappropriate behavior through the use of negative punishment (taking away reward opportunities for students who misbehave). This intervention involves giving an entire class of students raffle tickets at the beginning of a predetermined instruction time. If a student engages in inappropriate behavior during the predetermined time, the teacher must remove one raffle ticket for each inappropriate behavior that occurred. When the teacher removes the raffle ticket(s), the teacher also removes opportunities for students to earn prizes by taking away their reward-winning opportunity (ex: raffle ticket) when they engage in inappropriate behavior.