One Simple Strategy to Improve Behavior and Increase Engagement

One Simple Strategy to Improve Behavior and Increase EngagementOne Simple Strategy to Improve Behavior and Increase Engagement

Do you occasionally have students with noncompliant behaviors that negatively affect the learning environment? Most teachers, therapists, and school staff would answer yes to this question. There can be “bad days” for any student resulting in an unproductive learning atmosphere affecting a students’ ability to stay focused and learn.  The Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions recently published research investigating one simple strategy to improve behavior and increase engagement.  One group of 10 teachers were trained in the Positive Greetings at the Door (PGD) strategy to improve the classroom behavior of 203 middle school students.

The Positive Greetings at the Door strategy is comprised of three intervention components:

  1. The teacher provides specific positive interactions (i.e., greeting using the student’s name, handshake) with each student as they enter the classroom to increase social belonging and promote a positive classroom environment.
  2. The teacher provides preventative statements to encourage successful transition into the classroom setting. For example, remind all students of what behaviors are expected for success prior to the lesson.  Offer encouraging messages to specific students based on past experience if needed.
  3. The teacher provides positive reinforcement to recognize students’ behavior for being on time to class.

Trained behavioral consultants collected pre- and post-observation data on academic engaged time and disruptive behavior over 2 months and were kept blind (in addition to the administrators) to the condition of the teachers (PGD group or Attention Control Group).  Using descriptive and inferential statistics, the  Positive Greetings at the Door strategy results indicated the following:

  • significant improvements in academic engaged time (there was a 20% gain in academic engagement time, which equaled an extra 12 min of on-task behavior per instructional hour).
  • significant improvements with reductions in disruptive behavior.

The researchers concluded that training teachers in the Positive Greetings at the Door strategy resulted in a simple, proactive and structured way of promoting academic engagement.

Reference: Cook, C. R., Fiat, A., Larson, M., Daikos, C., Slemrod, T., Holland, E. A., … & Renshaw, T. (2017). Positive Greetings at the Door: Evaluation of a Low-Cost, High-Yield Proactive Classroom Management Strategy. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 1098300717753831.

Positive Affirmation Posters and Cards for Children

Positive Affirmation Cards and Posters – Empower children to realize all of their talents.  All too often, children with special needs are told what they are unable to do, let’s teach them what they can do!  Positive affirmations help children to believe in themselves. The posters include simple text, animal pictures that compliment the text and colorful backgrounds.  Hang them up around the house, classroom or therapy room and provide the child with the small cards to carry around to reinforce the concept.  FIND OUT MORE.

Read tips on positive communication with parents.

Read 5 positive reinforcements ideas for therapy sessions.

Read suggestions on how to find the positive traits in students.

Read Build on a Child’s Strengths for more ideas to focus on the positive traits of a child.

Read more on improving participation.

One Simple Strategy to Improve Behavior and Increase Engagement