The PBIS World Book

Praise Student Frequently

Why should I do it:

  • Some students need outward motivators
  • It helps keep students engaged
  • Provides encouragement
  • Boosts confidence, self-concept, and self-esteem
  • Increases student buy-in
  • Builds rapport and trust
  • Is uplifting
  • Increases students’ desire and drive to please and succeed
  • Increases students’ resilience
  • Helps embed an internal desire to try, succeed, and persist
  • Helps students to push through difficulty, barriers, blocks, etc

When should I do it:

  • Positive praise, according to research, should always be done with every student at a ratio of at least 4 positive praises to 1 criticism
  • When students are stuck, frustrated, getting bogged down, etc
  • When students exhibit good behavior, expectations, help others, show generosity, share, etc
  • When students put forth good effort
  • When students succeed, overcome, persist, push through, achieve, etc
  • When students demonstrate positive behaviors
  • When students use productive coping skills, problem solving skills, etc
  • When students are independent, self-start, etc
  • When students look down, need encouragement, are having issues, personal difficulties, peer conflict, etc
  • When you want to increase a positive behavior
  • When you want to improve trust and rapport with students
  • When a student steps outside their comfort zone, looks embarrassed, seems to feel stupid, takes a risk, etc

How do I do it:

  • Praise, according to research, should be given in a ratio ofat least4 praises to 1 criticism
  • When students display positive or productive behaviors, actions, skills, characteristics, etc, or appear to need some encouragement, etc, verbally praise the student and/or give them a high-five, pat on the back, clap, exclamation, cheer, hop, etc
  • Praise can be done either quietly or if the student is motivated by peer approval, can be done in front of the class
  • Praise can be verbal or physical (like pat on the back, fist pump, head nod, hop, jump, etc)
  • When delivering praise, use direct eye contact, positive demeanor, open body position, and get to the level of the student if possible
  • Make praises specific, personalized, and individualized
  • Repeat praises if the student seems unconvinced at the first stating of the praise
  • Restate praises in different ways to get the point across

Resources & Support for technique: