4 Easy Ways To Guarantee Behavior Plans Are Effective

When you're finding that some students need help with meeting behavioral expectations when you've explicitly taught them again and again, it may be time to consider implementing a behavior plan. We've all been there! Here are some ways to guarantee behavior plans are effective.

4 Easy Ways To Guarantee Behavior Plans Are Effective by A Word On Third

1. Co-create behavior plans with students.

Students will be more eager to work towards a target behavior when you've listened to their input and discussed plans with them. They'll feel a sense of significance, and you'll be able to explain why these target behaviors are important.

Here are topics to cover when you discuss and create plans together:

  • What does the target behavior look/sound/feel like?
  • When/how often will you measure if the student has met the target behavior?
  • What types of rewards can the student earn for demonstrating the target behavior?
  • What is the student's goal for meeting the target behavior? (A specific number of times per day?)
A wonderful resource that I regularly use to support my students is Solving Thorny Behavior Problems. This Responsive Classroom book (by the GENIUS Caltha Crowe) is super easy to read, and has chapters on everything from behavior contracts to problem-solving conferences.

2. Teach students to reflect.

When a student is working to meet a target behavior, don't just add a star or color in a box on their behavior chart. Ask them about what they think about their performance.

When I start implementing a behavior plan with students, I ask a lot of questions. Once students are used to reflecting, I simply ask if they think they met their target behavior and clarify/discuss further only if I disagree with students. This helps students to become more independent in self regulating.

3. Gradually challenge students until the behavior plan can be removed.

Some students will always need a behavior plan, but most won't. If a student is working toward a target behavior, start students at a reasonable (maybe almost easy) goal they can reach right away. Students need to feel good about accomplishing the target behavior. If the goal is too hard at first, why bother even trying to reach it?

After a while, gradually increase a part of the behavior plan. This part could be the frequency you expect to see the behavior plan; maybe you want to see it 6 times a day instead of 5. If could also be the time frame you are measuring it; maybe students need to show it for 30 minutes consistently instead of 20.

Eventually, see if you can remove the plan all together. This will take time, and you will need to use a lot of reminding language when you remove it. Just remember to remove it gradually.

4. Be consistent.

If there's anything you need to do in order for a behavior plan to work, it's be consistent!!!

If you don't reward students right away, it will fail.

If you don't measure the exact way you said you would, it will fail.

If you don't hold students to the same expectation for meeting the target behavior each time, it will fail.

If you skip a day/time frame of measuring the behavior plan, it will fail.

If you're not consistent, students will not take the plan seriously. If that means you can measure target behaviors less than you want, than so be it! You need to be able to be consistent, so you have to make the plan work for you!

If you're looking for some behavior plan resources, check out this resource in my TPT store! Using these tips, I've done all the hard work for you already!

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