How Can Using a Minor Form
Change Behavior?
St. Cloud Middle School
December 7, 2005
Stephanie Martinez
What is PBS?
• A collaborative, assessment-based process to
developing effective interventions for problem
behavior
• Emphasizes the use of proactive, educative, and
reinforcement-based strategies to achieve
meaningful and durable behavior and lifestyle
outcomes
• Aim is to build functional, effective environments in
which appropriate behavior is more effective than
problem behavior
2
Traditional Discipline Strategies
• Reactive in nature (occurs after the problem behavior)
• Assume students know how to behave and know what
is expected of them
• No acknowledgement of appropriate behaviors
• Oriented toward short-term changes (attempts to
address only the immediate problem)
3
“If a child doesn’t know how to read, we teach.”
“If a child doesn’t know how to swim, we teach.”
“If a child doesn’t know how to multiply, we teach.”
“If a child doesn’t know how to drive, we teach.”
“If a child doesn’t know how to behave, we…
…teach? …punish?”
“Why can’t we finish the last sentence as
automatically as we do the others?”
(Herner, 1998)
4
Traditional Discipline versus
PBS
•Traditional
Discipline:
•Positive Behavior
Support:
•Focused on the
student’s problem
behavior
•Goal is to stop
undesirable behavior
through the use of
punishment
•Replaces undesired
behavior with a new
behavior or skill
•Alters environments
•Teaches appropriate
skills
•Rewards appropriate
behavior
5
Does the Traditional Approach
Work?
• A middle school principal must teach classes when teachers are
absent because substitute teachers refuse to work in a school
that is unsafe and lacks discipline
• An intermediate/senior high school with 880 students reported
over 5,100 office discipline referrals in one academic year
• A middle school counselor spends nearly 15% of his day
“counseling” staff members who feel helpless and defenseless in
their classrooms because of a lack of discipline and support
• In one school year, 13-year-old Jason received 87 office discipline
referrals
• In one school year, a sixth grade teacher processed 273 office
discipline referrals
• Sugai (2000) 6
Goal of the Tracking Form
• Collect data that are necessary to identify
effective ways of changing inappropriate
classroom behavior (minor) before it results
in an office discipline referral (major)
7
Minor Forms: Traditional vs. PBS
•Traditional:
•Track # of times
behavior occurs
•Purely documentation
to show:
• Interventions have
been tried
• Cover teacher
• Proof for suspension
or expulsion
•PBS:
•To discover patterns so
that we can change the
behavior before it results
in a more seer behavior
or consequence
8
Classroom Tracking Forms
• Classroom behaviors take up considerable
amounts of teacher time that could be
better spent on instruction
• Forms assist in identifying the pattern of
behavior and determining interventions that
will be most effective for the student(s)
9
Guidelines
• Used as a tool to identify patterns of behavior
• When are the behaviors occurring? (math, transition)
• What are the recurring behaviors?
• What are the classroom interventions that have been
used? Are these interventions working or does
something else need to be utilized?
• Why is the behavior occurring? (motivation, example:
Johnny rips up his math sheet and is given time out
and gets out of his work. He always gets to avoid
doing his math work)
10
Patterns of Behavior
• Once you have identified patterns of behavior:
• Proactive (Environmental): try to prevent the behaviors from
recurring; look at the antecedents and environment
• Educative (Replacement Behaviors): first we need to making sure
we teach/re-teach desired behavior; teach a replacement behavior
• Reinforcement (Encourage appropriate behaviors and
discourage problem behaviors): make sure we only reinforce
those behavior we desire, are we addressing the function of the
behavior, make sure we are not reinforcing the undesired behavior
11
Minor Forms: Pitfalls to Avoid
• Using the form:
• for more than 1 behavior
• to track every single behavior rather than recurring
behaviors
• as a referral to “punish” students
• to contact parents with negative feedback repetitively
• to track the number of time the behavior occurs rather
than on “what is working”
• Using the same intervention repeatedly, try
something new
12
Why it is Important to Understand
Some Basic Behavior Principles
• Understanding these basic principles of
behavior will allow you to see why problem
behaviors are occurring in your class
• When you understand what is happening in
your class and why it is happening, you can
and will be able to develop more effective
class-wide interventions
13
Behavior Defined
• Anything we SAY or DO
• It is HOW WE REACT to our environment
• Behaviors are often LEARNED and continue
because they serve a PURPOSE or FUNCTION
• We engage in behaviors because we have
learned that a DESIRED OUTCOME occurs
14
Examples of Behaviors Defined
• Individual student – Sam becomes verbally
abusive [swearing, yelling (he can be heard
ten feet from him) , threatening such as “I am
going to make you pay"] to the teacher and
other students.
• Make sure the behavior is defined in such a way
that if a stranger were to come in the room they
could identify it
• Include in the definition student word choices,
gestures, etc.
15
Behavior Principle 1
• Understanding the function of behavior is the
first step in changing behavior
• We need to understand WHY behavior is
occurring before we can effectively change it.
Collecting information from the minor forms is
a way for you to begin to understand why.
• Individual student – Why does Sam get 2 office
discipline referrals a week in Math class but never
gets one in Spanish?
16
Behavior Principle 2
• Understanding why the behavior occurs comes from
repeated observation of:
• A
• B
• C
Antecedents (stimulus before the behavior)
Behaviors (the observable and measurable act)
Consequences (what occurs after the behavior
that serves to maintain or increase frequency of
behavior )
• Your Minor Form collects the information. Look at your
notes in the incident description for the antecedent.
17
Behavior Principle 3
• Behaviors occur because they are signaled by an
event in the environment (antecedent) and
reinforced by consequences.* What do students get
or avoid as a result of their behaviors?
• Individual Student – Sam starts to become
verbally abusive when he is asked to answer a
problem aloud. He is then sent to the office.
Sam has had three minor incidents of the
same behavior.
• *Some consequences are more effective than other for promoting
positive behavior and removing problem behavior
19
Using the Minor Form
• Sam has had 3 minor forms for his abusive
language during math class after being asked
to answer a question aloud. The three different
interventions the teacher tried were:
1. Time out in class
2. Time out in another teachers class
3. Cool-off pass with the guidance
counselor
• What do you think Sam is trying to get or
avoid?
20
Behavior Principle 4
• Behaviors that lead to satisfying outcomes
are likely to be repeated; behaviors that
lead to undesired outcomes are less likely to
be repeated
• Individual student- When Sam tries to
answer a question, other students laugh at
him and Sam stops participating. So, Sam’s
problem behavior allows him to escape from
an aversive situation (public math
performance).
21
Behavior Principle 5
• Behavior is strengthened or maintained by
reinforcement
• If Sam attempts to answer one question in
class, he is allowed extra time on the
computer. Sam attempts to answer questions
more often. (reinforcement)
22
Behavior Principle 6
• Behavior is weakened by withholding
consequences (usually social) that have
maintained it
• Sam’s teacher helps him prepare to answer
one question successfully so that his peers
will not be prone to laugh at him and makes
certain that she and the entire class praise
his efforts.
23
Behavior Principle 7
• Consequences must consistently and
immediately follow the behaviors they are
meant to impact
• Sam gets appropriate verbal praise and
recognition from the teacher and
classmates when he answers a question
and also earns additional computer time for
participation
24
Behavior Principle 8
• Also, behavior can be strengthened,
weakened, or maintained by modeling
• Sam’s teacher’s recognition of student
success increases the probability that all
students in her class will participate
25
Review: Patterns of Behavior
• Once you have identified patterns of behavior:
• Proactive (Environmental): try to prevent the behaviors from
recurring; look at the antecedents and environment
• Educative (Replacement Behaviors): first we need to making sure
we teach/re-teach desired behavior; teach a replacement behavior
• Reinforcement (Encourage appropriate behaviors and discourage
problem behaviors): make sure we only reinforce those behavior
we desire, are we addressing the function of the behavior, make
sure we are not reinforcing the undesired behavior
26
Patterns of Behavior: Sam
• Why is Sam using verbally abusive language
during math?
• What are some ideas for Sam:
• Proactive (Environmental)
• Educative (Replacement Behaviors):
• Reinforcement (Encourage appropriate
behaviors and discourage problem
behaviors):
27
Review: Guidelines
• Used as a tool to identify patterns of behavior
• When are the behaviors occurring? (math, transition)
• What are the recurring behaviors?
• What are the classroom interventions that have been
used? Are these interventions working or does
something else need to be utilized?
• Why is the behavior occurring? (motivation, example:
Johnny rips up his math sheet and is given time out
and gets out of his work. He always gets to avoid
doing his math work)
28
Additional Resources
• See Handout: Principles of Behavior-ABC Activity
• Tool to assist you for the 1-2 students who are having
the most difficulty in your class
• Use your Minor forms to establish the patterns of
behavior
• Helps you come up with a plan to address their
behavior
• See Handout: Newsletter from Positive Outlook
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Contact Information & Resources
– FL - PBS Project
• Website:
http://flpbs.fmhi.usf.edu
• (813)974-6440
• flpbs.fmhi.usf.edu
– OSEP Center on PBIS
• Website: http://www.pbis.org
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