Encouragement Strategies to Increase Positive Student Behavior

Encouragement Strategies to Increase Positive Student Behavior

Grand Canyon University: SPD 540

Encouragement Strategies to Increase Positive Student Behavior

Teachers instruct their classroom based on goals for the entire class and on individual goals. Educators understand the individuality of each student and how important it is to create a lesson plan or strategy that will better serve them. To encourage appropriate student behavior this discussion will focus on strategies that will help each student achieve their educational goals.

When instructing a classroom, teachers want to make sure that every student displays appropriate behavior and is able to learn and allows others to learn. However, there are many times when students create distractions or do not cooperate with the teacher. Nevertheless, there are many teaching strategies teachers can incorporate in the classroom to ensure positive learning behaviors. In the first case scenario, Doug’s teacher wants Doug to work towards starting and completing assignments on time, therefore the best strategy to address this behavior is criterion-specific rewards. The use of this strategy can effectively increase desired behavior because the teacher knows Doug’s interests and hobbies. Doug has shown interest in computer and hands-on activities, as well as building Lego sets, he can earn rewards such as earning computer time or another activity of his choice whenever he completes the assigned tasks. As stated by Curran (2003), reinforcers of choice can often be more motivating than those chosen by the instructor. The use of this strategy is the most appropriate to encourage Doug to finish his assignments because the teacher can motivate Doug to work independently and complete assignments by presenting him with appealing rewards. Moreover, to ensure that the strategy is being effective, the teacher can reevaluate the desired goals for Doug and if the reward system is helping reach these goals. Although, this strategy can motivate Doug to work on assignments, the teacher must be careful and avoid presenting the reward before the desired behavior because the student can act out and discontinue working towards the anticipated goals. Furthermore, the use of this strategy is most effective when the teacher has clear goals for the student, the student has all that he needs to succeed in the class (adaptations for his learning disability),the teacher recognizes the student’s strengths and weaknesses, and can test whether these adaptations are effectively working to help the student achieve (D. Bryant, Smith & B. Bryant, 2008).

A very popular and motivating strategy to increase positive behavior is choice-making. This strategy can be used to decrease behavior problems or to increase a specific behavior. To encourage Ellie’s group and overall in-class participation, her teacher can implement a variety of appropriate choice-making options. This strategy is most effective when the teacher finds out what the student’s interests are and develops lesson plans that can accommodate to the student’s preferences. Ellie’s teacher wants to help Ellie interact effectively in upcoming group discussions and group assignments. The teacher can use this strategy by starting slowly, for example placing Ellie with one or two classmates instead of with a big group. The use of this strategy like others requires consistency, patience and variation. It is important to keep in mind that “some choice is better than no choice” (Curran, 2003), the use of choices can work towards increasing positive behavior. Correspondingly, Green, Mays and Jolivette (2011) state that “Providing children with choices not only increases their motivation and independence but also allows them to use and improve their communication and social skills”. Although, this strategy may seem relatively easy to implement because of its variety in choices, teachers must present students with choices relevant to their teaching style and classroom environment (Curran, 2003).

The implementation of a variety of strategies in the classroom is required in order to adapt to student’s needs and learning styles. Teachers must have clear goals for their students in order to help them succeed. Similarly, teachers must possess flexibility in their teaching strategies and consistency to help their students reach their goals. Overall, teachers focus on individuality and understand that there are no two students alike in their learning abilities.


Bryant, D., P., Smith, D., D. & Bryant, B., R. (2008). Promoting Positive Behavior and Facilitating Social Skills. Teaching Students with Special Needs in Inclusive Classrooms. Retrieved from http://www.ablongman.com/html/productinfo/bryant1e/contents/0205430929_ch9.pdf

Curran,C., & the IRIS Center. (2003). Encouraging Appropriate Behavior. Retrieved from http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/case_studies/ICS-005.pdf

Green, K., B., Mays, N., M. & Jolivette, M. (2011). Making Choices: A Proactive Way to Improve Behaviors for Young Children With Challenging Behaviors. Retrieved from https://gseuphsdlibrary.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/making-choices.pdf