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Positive Behavior Support Plan Megan McReynolds Towson University



Definition of Specific Behavior

The focus student for my Positive Behavior Support Plan is Leo (the student’s real name is to remain anonymous). He is a nine-year old student within the third grade general education classroom of Ms. Amy Levitt at Milbrook Elementary School. Leo lives at home with his father, older brother, and older sister. Milbrook Elementary School is a Title 1 school located in Pikesville, Maryland. It is considered Title 1 because there are children that receive Free and Reduced Meals (FARMS). This school contains approximately 408 students. The population contains about 59% African American students, 15% White students, and 14% Hispanic students. There is a smaller demographic of Asian and Two or More Races. The specific classroom in which I implemented the lesson is a third grade general education classroom, which is also an inclusion classroom. One student is identified as Other Health Impairment; the other has an IEP for Speech. There are a total of twenty-one students within the morning class. The third grade is departmentalized at Milbrook Elementary School. The classroom teacher, who, is also my mentor teacher, teaches both math and health. About two percent of the class speaks Spanish as another language. One student is classified as an English Language Learner. Our class population consists of African American, Hispanic, and Two or More Races. Leo demonstrates problematic behavior at school. When given a one step direction by a teacher, Leo does not follow the direction the first time it is given. This behavior occurs daily, multiple times throughout the day. When Leo is given a direction he will continue to do what he was already doing and not follow the direction. The direction often has to do with touching



others, misusing the one-to-one device, talking, or dancing. Other times he will cross his arms over his chest and not respond when you are speaking to him. He will not follow directions and

continue doing what he wants to do, going on his device, touching others, talking, dancing, etc., for times as short as five minutes to as long as a couple of hours. The behavior can be very disruptive to the class because it often involves others or behaviors that are distracting to others. If he is displaying the behavior it takes multiple times over an extended period of time to redirect his behavior and for him to follow the direction that is given. This takes away from important instructional time.

Literature Review

In completion of this positive behavior support plan, I reviewed multiple literary sources about the behavior Leo has displayed and how to address it. Since my hypothesis of Leo’s behavior is attributed to work avoidance I decided to look at literature investigating this behavior in more depth. According to a collection of three studies done by King, R. B., & McInerney, D. M. (2014), I learned more about work avoidance. The authors conducted three different studies to further understand the various goals that’s students are motivated by in completing their academic work (p. 42). Some students are driven by the sense of achievement they get from completing work (p. 43). Others are motivated by a work avoidance goal. They avoid getting work done, only do the minimum amount of work, or avoid work that is challenging and they feel unable to accomplish. The studies found that entity beliefs, peer support, and teacher supports can predict a student’s work avoidance (p. 55). They found that teacher’s could simply help these students by praising them for their effort to do the work; instead of how well they do in completing it. Cooperative learning or peer learning can be especially helpful if students



believe that their peers are not supportive. Finally, teachers can incorporate opportunities for students to demonstrate autonomy and “less psychologically controlling ones” (p. 56). Another important aspect that I wanted to understand better in my support plan is how to help Leo’s progress at home. His father has a good relationship with Mrs. Levitt and has reported how he struggles to manage his behavior in the home as well. One of the sources I found is a case study done by Chai and Lieberman-Betz (2016) about a special educator and the supports she helps implement at home with a family (p. 186). The study defines a challenging behavior as “any repeated pattern of behavior, that interferes with or is at risk of interfering with optimal learning or engagement in pro-social interactions with peers and adults”. Fortunately, involving parents in the process of implementing behavior supports have showed positive results. The study suggests making sure that the “intervention plan is a good fit for the family’s needs, values, strengths, and resources” (p. 193). One should make the strategies easy and efficient to implement, that they can consistently use within the home. It is also important as the teacher to provide parents with ongoing coaching so they can practice implementing it and give any feedback on how the support is working for them. Finally, one has to continue to monitor the child’s progress and review the data collected frequently to make any necessary adjustments. One of the supports I implemented for Leo’s positive behavior support plan is the practice of self-reflection. I wanted to understand how effective of a support this could be. The study done by Kamin involved fourth grade students (p. 1). Students were introduced to specific classroom expectations. Then students completed reflections sheets when displaying negative behavior. Kamin found during her research that precorrective statements can help students know the expectations of their behavior, praise can help motivate students to continue displaying the



positive behavior, and self-reflection can help them “understand their own behaviors” (p. 18). Overall, she found that self-reflection was a positive influence within the classroom. Unlu et al. (2014) looked at a sample of third grade students and implemented a positive behavior support plan in their classroom (p. 607). The study looked at two specific students and both of their behaviors improved, according to the teacher and family (p. 617). The study found that in order for the positive behavior supports of classroom rules, routines, reinforcement, and prevention strategies to be effective the teacher played a significant role. In this study they also found that the PBS could be implemented with various participants such as the teacher psychologist, special educator, etc. They found that it was a big time commitment for the teacher, but overall the effect of implementation was positive. The final literary source that I used was a study done by Vo, Sutherland, and Conroy (2012) who looked at BEST in CLASS which stands for Behavioral, Emotional, and Social

Training: Competent Learners Achieving School Success (402). This intervention is classroom- based and helps prevent and get rid of problem behaviors for students that are at risk of developing an emotional or behavioral disorder. The BEST in CLASS model focuses on equipping teachers with effective instructional practices, as well as positive student-teacher relationships and improved self-efficacy (405). The study found a significant decrease in problem behaviors as well as a significant increase in social skills. It also found that teachers need ongoing coaching to implement these practices, but the study proved teachers can implement it with high levels of integrity (411).

Baseline Data Collection

On March 1 st through March 3 rd I observed Leo from 9:00-9:45 AM for forty-five minutes observation periods. Each day this observation period consisted of Leo starting the day by eating



breakfast at his desk, then moving to the community circle. While in the community circle students are expected to sit quietly and listen to peers, as well as participate in discussion as the student personally desires to. I chose to collect data by using a data collection table. This system seemed to be most effective for ease and access, since I was responsible for maintaining behavior and facilitate the community circle time. It was also an easy way to quickly tally down the amount of times Leo was displaying a specific behavior. In summary, my data revealed that Leo was having difficulty following directions. If his behavior was off-task and he was redirected, he would have great difficulty coming back to the required task. Often he was touching others, drawing, not using his device correctly, out of his seat, etc. I chose to focus on his inability to follow one-step directions for my positive behavior support intervention. While talking to other teachers about Leo’s behavior they had quite a bit of insight. Mrs. Levitt, Leo’s homeroom teacher reported that his behavior is quite disruptive and has become so excessive at times that his father has to be called in the middle of the day or the behavior interventionist has to be called. Mrs. Levitt also reflected that she is concerned for him because he is “on the fence”. He can be a smart, hard-working student at times, while other times he displays behavior that does not listen to authority and is distracting to others. She also commented that his father has mentioned that this also occurs at home and he displays multiple personalities throughout the day. Mrs. George his reading and social studies teacher also reported on his behavior in the afternoon when he switches to her class. She told me he often has a very difficult time in reading listening to directions and completing the task he is given. Other days he is hard working and



demonstrates great ideas. She commented that it can be hard to know which behavior he will display day to day.

Then, I spoke with Mrs. Jasper the art teacher. Leo often spends time drawing beautiful artwork while eating breakfast, and other times while he is supposed to be completing another task. I was curious what kind of behavior he displayed in this special area. Like I thought, Mrs. Jasper reported that he is usually a great student in art and very motivated to complete different assignments and projects. She also reflected that she knows how his behavior can be negative in other classes, so she tries to give him opportunities in art to display positive behavior and give him special opportunities to boost his confidence. She hopes this might motivate him to make better decisions in the other areas of his academics.

Hypothesis of Functional Intention

Based on the data I have collected, I have determined the function of behavior for Leo is both

attention and work avoidance. Leo seems motivated by the positive attention he receives from peers when he does not follow directions and touches them or dances around the classroom. Other times he is not interested or motivated to complete the work he is given, therefore demonstrating avoidance of the tasks he is given. I know the function of behavior could not be sensory because he is not over-stimulated by anything, if anything he creates more commotion

with his behavior. It is also not access to tangibles because his behavior is not driven by getting something, it usually involves other people or academic work.

Replacement Behavior

The desired replacement behavior Leo should demonstrate is: Leo will follow one-step directions the first time they are given. When given a direction Leo should be quick to follow it, without extra prompts.



I taught the behavior by explicitly telling him the one-step direction. Instead of just giving the direction to the whole class, I also gave it individually to Leo, to ensure his obedience to the task. This also minimized any other distractions that might make him miss the direction given. I taught the replacement behavior during transitions from different tasks, or while completing a specific task. I would tell Leo my expectations for his behavior at that time so he knew exactly what it would look like to follow the one-step direction the first time it was given.

Positive Behavior Supports

The first positive support that I put in place to ensure that the student would choose to display the appropriate behavior was to give him positive reinforcement. When I saw Leo following directions the first time they were given I would follow his behavior up by responding with positive feedback such as, “Leo you are doing a great job!” or giving him a high-five, etc. Another positive behavior support that I put into place was self-reflection. After each subject area, in which Leo was responsible for getting his positive behavior chart initialed, we would reflect on his behavior over that period of time. First, I would ask him about how he thought he had done during that period of time of following one-step directions the first time they were given. This was a great opportunity for Leo to take responsibility for his own actions and reflect on how it would effect the rest of his day and his end of the day incentive. The final positive support I put in place was for Leo to earn basketball at dismissal if he earned the designated number of initials for that day. The guidance counselor at Milbrook Elementary School started an incentive program at dismissal for students with positive behavior charts. If they displayed the positive behavior needed for the day and reached their individual goal, they would earn basketball at dismissal. Students get to go to the gym and play basketball



until their bus or mode of transportation home is called. This was the reward that Leo chose that he would like to work toward for each day.

Data Collection and Visual Representation I implemented my positive behavior support plan starting on April 4 th . The first week of implementation consisted of April 4 th through April 7 th . Then students were out of school for six days on Spring Break. When Leo returned to school, it continued to be implemented from April

  • 18 th to 19th. He was out absent for two days on April 20 th and 21 st . Then, the plan was

implemented from April 24 th through 28 th . Finally, the last days of the plan were May 1 st through

3 rd . The support plan was implemented for a total of fourteen days. 7-Apr 6-Apr
rd . The support plan was implemented for a total of fourteen days.
*April 7 th - Leo refused to get positive behavior chart signed for Reading 1, Special, Reading



POSITIVE BEHAVIOR SUPPORT PLAN 10 19-Apr 18-Apr 28-Apr 27-Apr 26-Apr 25-Apr 24-Apr *April 24 -Leo refused



POSITIVE BEHAVIOR SUPPORT PLAN 10 19-Apr 18-Apr 28-Apr 27-Apr 26-Apr 25-Apr 24-Apr *April 24 -Leo refused






*April 24 th -Leo refused to get positive behavior chart signed for Reading 1, Special, Reading 2 *April 25 th -Leo refused to get positive behavior chart signed for Reading 1, Special, Reading 2









Percentage of Points Earned



Data Summary and Interpretation Overall, there was a lot of insight gained after collecting data on Leo’s behavior for fourteen days. In the first four days of implementation from April 4 th through 7 th , Leo did not earn points in circle, reading 1, special, and reading 2. On April 4 th he did not get a point in special. The following day on April 5 th he did not get a point in circle. Then, on April 6 th he did not get a point in reading 2. Finally on April 7 th , he did not earn points in reading 1, special, or reading 2. He refused to get the chart signed for those three subjects. In order to earn basketball for this collection period of four days he had to earn six points throughout the day. He earned basketball three out of four of those days. He did not earn it on April 7 th . Then, in the second week of implementation on April 18 th and 19 th he did not earn points in circle or reading 1. April 18 th was also the only day in the entire data collection period in which he received points in every subject that day. On April 19 th , he did not receive a point in circle or reading 1. In order to earn basketball on these days he had to get points in seven out of eight subjects. He earned basketball both of those days. Next during implementation from April 24 th to 28 th , Leo did not earn points every day in every period beside breakfast and recess. On April 24 th Leo did not earn points in reading 1, special, and reading 2. When he returned to my room for dismissal I asked him if he had gotten his chart signed, and he refused to go get it signed by Mrs. George and the special area teacher. Then on April 25 th he did not receive points in reading 1, special, and reading 2. He refused to get his chart signed by Mrs. George and the special area teacher. He reported that he tried to get Mrs. George to sign it but she did not hear his request. On April 26 th he did not earn points in circle, math, reading 1, special, and reading 2. Next on April 27 th , he did not earn points in circle or



math. Finally on April 28 th , he did not earn points in math, lunch, reading 1, or reading 2. Starting this week Leo had to earn seven points to be able to participate in basketball at dismissal. Thus he did not earn basketball any of these days. If the criteria had only been six points he would still have only earned it once in the four days. In the final week of implementation from May 1 st through 3 rd , Leo did not earn points in circle, math, reading 1, special, and reading 2. On May 1 st he did not earn points in circle, math, reading 1, special, and reading 2. Then, May 2 nd he did not earn points in reading 1, special, and reading 2. Finally, on May 3 rd he did not earn points in reading 1, special, or reading 2. He did not earn basketball any of those three days. Overall, it did not appear that the positive behavior supports improved Leo’s behavior. However, it seemed to determine which subjects areas his behavior needs the most support in. The pie chart above shows the percentage that Leo earned points in the designated subject area. Within breakfast Leo earned his point fourteen out of fourteen of the days. In circle, he earned points nine out of the fourteen days or sixty-four percent of the time. During math Leo earned points ten out of fourteen of the days or seventy-one percent of the time. In lunch he earned points thirteen out of the fourteen days, which is ninety three percent. He earned fourteen out of fourteen of the points in lunch. Next, in reading 1 he earned five out of the fourteen days or thirty six percent of the time. In special he earned five out of the fourteen days resulting in only thirty six percent of the time. Finally, in reading 2 he earned five out of the fourteen points resulting in thirty six percent of the time. There also seems to be a correlation between not earning points in the afternoon classes of reading 1, special, and reading 2. In eleven out of the fourteen days, Leo missed at least one point in one of the afternoon classes. Out of those eleven days, in eight of them Leo missed



points in all three subject areas. This means fifty-seven percent of the time Leo missed points in all three of the afternoon classes. More than half of the time Leo is not having a successful time behaviorally with following directions the first time they are given. This has to be having a negative effect on his performance academically within these classes.

  • I believe part of the correlation with the afternoon classes has to do with the

departmentalized switch he undergoes. After recess each day, his class switches to Mrs. George’s classroom for reading and special. He has to remember to bring his chart to the special area class to get it signed, as well as ask Mrs. George to sign the chart. There could be apprehension in getting it sign, or asking her about it if he has had a difficult afternoon and he knows she will not sign it. This might be why at times he would come back to the classroom and refuse to get it signed.

  • I also observed a trend pertaining to behavior within academic versus non-academic

classes. Leo earned points the greatest amount of times during non-academic subjects. He earned points in breakfast and recess one hundred percent of the time on all fourteen days. He earned points during lunch thirteen out of fourteen days or ninety three percent of the time. Circle is not exactly an academic subject area, but it requires Leo to sit and follow directions, while listening to others and the teacher during instruction. He earned points in this area sixty four percent of the time, or nine out of fourteen days. However, in certain academic content areas he showed a significant difference in the points earned. In math he demonstrated positive behavior by earning points ten out of fourteen days, or seventy-one percent of the time. But in reading 1 and reading 2 he earned points five days out of fourteen days, making it only thirty-six percent of the time, which is a significant amount of time he is not displaying positive behavior. This could also be attributed to work



avoidance because reading might be the weaker subject that he enjoys less, or related to his relationship with the teacher. There are always going to be some functions to behavior we might

not be able to determine. We can conclude that significant support needs to be placed in the afternoon subjects because of the data collected just from this short time period.


Overall, this project has helped me grow in my knowledge and skills to effectively implement classroom management. I learned the importance and difficulty of collecting accurate data in order to change a student’s behavior. Although my supports did not seem to be successful, it gave me insight on the difficulty of changing a student’s behavior and how long it might take to actually make significant changes. It also made me consider how diligent you have to be in implementing the supports in order to get consistent data. Data has to be accurate, and done in a timely manner to remain useful in order to draw conclusions from it. Because of this project I also grew in my dispositions of classroom management. There were many instances that Leo did not follow directions the first time they were given, but I wanted to give him a point for that specific subject just because I wanted him to earn the reward at the end of the day. However, I knew I had to be consistent in my expectations for his behavior, and not reward him for his negative behavior. I think this demonstrates growth in my classroom management and making sure that expectations are clear, established, and consistent. I also think I learned the importance of self-reflection. This was already established as one of my three supports for his positive behavior plan. Implementing this as a support helped established rapport with Leo. Instead of coming across as an authoritative teacher, talking down to him because of his negative behavior, we got to have a conversation about his behavior. He had the chance to



identify why he did not receive a point for that subject, and talk about what he could do to improve it. This support helped establish more of a relationship with him as a student. I do not think these supports were effective for Leo because of a few reasons. One of the most significant reasons is because I am not with him for the entire day. Because Milbrook Elementary School’s third grade is departmentalized I had to send his positive behavior chart with him to his afternoon classes of reading 1, special, and reading 2. I could not oversee the support of positive reinforcement when he was following directions during the afternoon subjects. I also think it was more responsibility than he could manage. He had to keep track of his chart and having teachers sign the chart in order to earn his reward of basketball at dismissal. I also know that some days he waited until the very end to get it signed because he forgot to get it signed, as reported by Mrs. George. If I were to do this project again, I would use a different incentive to give more immediate reward and not have Leo wait until the end of the day to earn it. I think this made the basketball reward seem too far out of reach because he had to wait the entire day to earn it. I also would try to implement it without such a huge break in the middle of implementation. Because spring break caused a huge gap in the time the supports were implemented, it probably caused time that Leo had to readjust to being back at school and managing his behavior. Overall, I learned a lot from this project and I am glad I learned how to implement a positive behavior support plan.



References Chai, Z., & Lieberman-Betz, R. (2016). Strategies for Helping Parents of Young Children Address Challenging Behaviors in the Home. Teaching Exceptional Children, 48(4), 186-


Kamin, K. (n.d.). Holding a Mirror to Behavior: The Power of Reflecting on Positive and

Negative Behaviors. Rising Tide, 8. King, R. B., & McInerney, D. M. (2014). The work avoidance goal construct: Examining its structure, antecedents, and consequences. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 3942- 58. doi:10.1016/j.cedpsych.2013.12.002



Ünlü, E., Vuran, S., Erten Akdoğan, F., Güven, D., Yönter, S., & Çelik, S. (2014). Class-wide Positive Behavior Support Plan on Adhering of the Classroom Rules. Ilkogretim Online, 13(2), 607-621. Vo, A., Sutherland, K. S., & Conroy, M. A. (2012). BEST in CLASS: A Classroom-Based Model for Ameliorating Problem Behavior in Early Childhood Settings. Grantee Submission,