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Acknowledging Positive Behavior

Acknowledging Positive Behavior

Why should I do it:

  • Recognizing students for following rules, directives, directions, participating, etc, is one of the most effective tools for managing, promoting, and correcting undesired behaviors. Children respond far much better typically to positive reinforcement then negative. Numerous studies continue to support and validate this social dynamic.

When should I do it:

  • For the big and very small things students do correctly/appropriately.
  • When students are exhibiting appropriate behaviors, following rules, are on task, using materials properly, utilizing their time well, are organized and prepared, do something nice for another, pay attention, etc.
  • As frequently as possible.

How do I do it:

  • Studies indicate a 5:1 ratio, or, 5 confirmations, praise and approvals for every 1 criticism or disparagement.
  • Give praises even more frequently to problem students.
  • When a student is seen behaving appropriately, paying attention, being on task, prepared for work, sitting quietly, being kind to others, etc, make a remark to the student about how happy or proud you are to see what they are doing appropriately. You could also say to the student, “Good Job”, “I like what you are doing”, “You are doing ________ so well!”, etc.
  • IMPORTANT! When giving praise, it is essential that you display a positive affect or demeanor while doing so. Express excitement and that you are pleased. This will increase the effectiveness of the technique.

Resources & Support for technique:
(Items with footnotes link to external websites)


Footnotes:

  1. Flora, S. R. (2000). Behavior Analyst Online., Gale, Cengage Learning. Praise’s Magic Reinforcement Ratio: Five To One Gets The Job Done. [http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Praise's+magic+reinforcement+ratio%3A+five+to+one+gets+the+job+done.-a0170112823].