Tag Archive for 'high school'

Homegrown PBIS videos

My colleague Michael Kennedy promotes the creation of what he calls “homegrown videos” for helping explain appropriate behavior to students. They’re a fun way to get across the concepts associated with positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS). As Professor Kennedy explains in the caption, this is one of a series; they all use the PBIS language and concepts, but have student-view humor.

Bus Expectations: John Glenn HS from Michael Kennedy on Vimeo.

This video on appropriate behavior on the bus is one video in a series by Jacob Toarmina and his classmates from John Glenn High School in Michigan. This video was submitted by Deanna Strong, also from JGHS.

The others in this series are about classroom expectations, arrival and departure, cafeteria expectations, and hallway expectations. There are series of videos from other schools, as well. As one might suspect, they focus on the usual issues in schools (see situations just listed) and they have the usual themes for PBIS (e.g., respect, responsibility…).

There is even an Annual PBIS Film Festival at the national PBIS convention; schools submit videos they’ve created and people vote on which ones are the best examples in various categories (e.g., funniest, best music, best teaching of expectations, and so forth).

If you want to learn more, visit Professor Kennedy’s PBIS videos site, his Vimeo site where I snagged the movie here, or the section of Vimeo that is dedicated to PBIS videos. Of course, one can jump to the PBIS.org site (it’s over there is the sidebar, available any time).


When repeatedly confronted with evidence about their effectiveness, some who drag their feet about using behaviorally based methods might reluctantly concede that such procdures would be effective in certain circumstances. For example, someone might agree that there is an abundance of evidence that the Good Behavior Game can be used effectively and even concede that employing it with young children has long-term benefits, as evidenced by the strong reviews of an intervention that includes the GBG by the Top Tier Evidence folks. “But,” one might imagine them saying, “That technique would never work with older students. It’s just too childish. Adolescents would see right through it. They’d just laugh at you.”

Continue reading ‘GBG in HS’

Progressive education and behavior modification

Over on Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL Larry Ferlazzo, a teacher of high school students who are learning English, reports that he adopted what sounds like a response-cost system for managing behavior and found it quite successful. Under the title “Have You Ever Taught A Class That Got ‘Out Of Control’?,” Mr. Ferlazzo explained that he awarded 50 points to sub-groups of students and then deducted points for misbehavior.

What’s interesting about that? Isn’t this a bit like the Good Behavior Game? Don’t lots of teachers use response-cost systems successfully? True. True.

One particularly interesting feature of the story, though, is Mr. Felazzo’s disarmingly honest assessment of his own views about employing such a system. Mr. Felazzo explains that, after several of his usual strategies proved ineffective, he found that he had to move beyond building relationships with students. That’s when he adopted the response-cost system.

Yes, I know some of you are thinking, as I initially thought, what is a progressive educator like me doing considering a classroom management system that sounds like behavior modification and operant conditioning? Why am I not continuing my focus on positive strategies to help students develop their own intrinsic motivation?

After Mr. Felazzo thinned the schedule of reinforcement (though he doesn’t report it that way), he discovered that the students were still behaving appropriately. He inferred that they developed intrinsic motivation. That’s possible. Alternatively, perhaps there is a behavioral trap operating in his situation: When they behaved appropriately, less-obvious reinforcers (e.g., success in class?) began to control the students’ behavior. For whatever reason they continued to display student-like behavior, and for that we should all be glad.

Thanks for the good example, Mr. Felazzo!

Link to Mr. Ferlazzo’s blog post.

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