Behavior at School

Help with Listen Feature Help with Listen Feature
Picture of a student facing the wall.

There are better strategies than this for managing problem behaviors at school.

November 2009
Links updated, May 2013

Behavior at school. What a gigantic topic, for families and schools alike. NICHCY is pleased to connect you with resources for helping children with disabilities with respect to behavior at school.

School presents a unique challenge for children with behavior issues. Teachers need tools to use to help provide support and guidance.  Administrators need methods for creating a positive learning atmosphere within the entire school. Parents need information on how to work with school staff to address their child’s behavior challenges in the school setting. We’ve included resources below that, hopefully, will give teachers, schools, and families the tools they need to create safe and positive learning environments for all children, while providing the informed and positive behavior support that many students need to flourish.

_____________________________
 

Using Positive Methods for Change

Don’t miss this quick training on behavior problems in school.
You’ll love the brief overviews on topics such as, “Behavior Problems. What’s a School to do?” Check out the fact sheets on behaviors like Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD), and Conduct Disorder. You’ll also find tools and handouts, model programs, and additional resources.
http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/qf/behaviorprob_qt

Arm yourself with this knowledge and stop problem behaviors before they start.
This 65-page guide helps teachers anticipate common problems throughout the year and plan prevention and early intervention to minimize them. Suggestions provided on a monthly basis.
http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/rhythms.pdf

Play at being good: The good behavior game.
This is one fun way to involve the whole class in supporting positive behavior. Especially good for elementary students demonstrating early high-risk behavior.
http://www.colorado.edu/cspv/blueprints/promisingprograms/BPP06.html

Discipline: What works, what doesn’t.
This guide discusses the failure of punitive disciplinary practices and promotes supportive discipline strategies. It provides great tips on research-based approaches to positive behavior change.
http://www.nasponline.org/communications/spawareness/effdiscipfs.pdf

Dodging the power-struggle trap: Ideas for teachers.
A conflict requires two people. If a teacher remains cool and calm, a conflict can often be avoided. This guide offers practical advice for disengaging, interrupting, and deescalating problem behavior, and gives specific examples of how to react in different scenarios.
http://www.interventioncentral.org/behavioral-interventions/challenging-students/dodging-power-struggle-trap-ideas-teachers

From the experts on positive behavior supports in schools.
From the PBIS center, this document includes (1) Top 17 Classroom Management Strategies that should be emphasized in every classroom, (2) Effective Teaching Strategies, (3) Promoting Positive & Effective Learning Environments Classroom Checklist, (4) Effective Classroom Plan, and (5) an environmental inventory checklist.
http://www.pbis.org/common/pbisresources/tools/Lewis_additional_classroom_resources.doc

Check out Intervention Central.
The link below will take you to the Intervention Central’s Behavioral Resource page, where you’ll find a rich hub into topics such as classroom management, bully prevention, rewards and motivation, special needs, and challenging students.
http://www.interventioncentral.org/behavioral-intervention-modification

Teaching children to manage their own behavior.
What Works briefs from the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) summarize effective practices for supporting children’s social-emotional development and preventing challenging behaviors. This 4-pager describes practical strategies for helping children learn to manage their own behavior and provides references to more information.
http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu/resources/wwb/wwb7.html

More of What Works.
There are plenty of other What Works briefs at CSEFEL to help teachers deal with behavior problems in the classroom. See if the long list of possibilities holds info relevant to your classroom concerns. Three example titles are: What are Children Trying to Tell Us? Assessing the Function of Their Behavior (Brief 9), Positive Behavior Support: An Individualized Approach for Addressing Challenging Behavior  (Brief 10), and Using Choice and Preference to Promote Improved Behavior (Brief 15). And they’re available in Spanish, too, on the same page!
http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu/resources/what_works.html

Just for teachers.
The link below will take you to a wealth of resources, tips, tricks, and classroom tried and true strategies to help identify and curb inappropriate behaviors.
http://specialed.about.com/od/teacherstrategies/u/forteachers.htm#s2

Download the Classroom Behavior Report Card Resource Book.
This resource book contains pre-formatted teacher and student behavior report cards, along with customized graphs, for common types of behavioral concerns in the classroom. It was designed to give teachers and other school professionals a convenient collection of forms for rating the behaviors of students in such areas of concern as physical aggression, inattention/hyperactivity, and verbal behaviors.
http://www.jimwrightonline.com/pdfdocs/tbrc/tbrcmanual.pdf

Create daily and weekly behavior report cards online.
http://www.interventioncentral.org/tools/behavior-report-card-generator

Back to top
 

Functional Behavior Assessment and Behavior Intervention Plans

FBA and BIP, for short. When students with disabilities exhibit challenging or disruptive behavior, it may be time to conduct a functional behavior analysis to find out what may be triggering the behavior, when, and why. Using information from the FBA, the student’s IEP team can develop a behavior intervention plan to support the student in school and, hopefully, keep the behavior from recurring. Learn more about FBAs and BIPs via the resources below.

The ABCs of behavior analysis.
One of the components of a functional behavior analysis (FBA) or any systematic study of behavior is to note what happened prior to the event, what the behavior looked liked, and what happened after the behavior. The acronym “ABC” in this case stands for “Antecedent, Behavior, Consequences.”
http://www.specialconnections.ku.edu/~kucrl/cgi-bin/drupal/?q=behavior_plans/functional_behavior_assessment

Practical strategies for teachers: Tools for developing behavior support plans.
http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu/resources/strategies.html#toolsplans

More on FBAs.
Visit another page in NICHCY’s Behavior Suite, and you’ll find lots of links to info on FBAs–how and when to conduct them, how to interpret them, what major benefits they can bring.
http://nichcy.org/schoolage/behavior/behavassess#assess

More on BIPs.
Again, we recommend visiting another page in the Behavior Suite. Again, you’ll find lots of links, this time to info about BIPs.
http://nichcy.org/schoolage/behavior/behavassess#plans

Back to top
 

Behavior and Specific Disabilities

Watch out for these behavior plan pitfalls!
This 3-page guide gives descriptions of 12 common mistakes in implementing behavior plans, then offers solutions.
www.schoolbehavior.com/Files/pitfalls.PDF

AD/HD and behavior.
If you have a student with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), you’ll find a lot of useful info at the National Resource Center on AD/HD.
http://www.help4adhd.org/en/treatment/behavioral

AD/HD, impulsivity, and behavior.
The title of this article is How to Help and Support Impulsive Students.
http://specialed.about.com/od/behavioremotiona1/p/impulsive.htm

Asperger syndrome and behavior.
How to support appropriate behaviors in a student with Asperger syndrome.
http://www.behavioradvisor.com/AspergersSyndrome.html

Autism, schoolwide discipline, and individual supports for behavior.
From the Autism Society of America.
http://support.autism-society.org/site/DocServer/Looking_Beyond_Behavior.pdf?docID=13921

Autism and positive behavior supports.
http://support.autism-society.org/site/DocServer/Carr_Pratt_article.pdf?docID=7681

Behavioral disorders and behavior plans.
Public school administrators and special educators are required to assess and evaluate the need for behavior intervention or modification plans for students with disabilities whose behavior impedes their learning or the learning of classmates. The link above will take you to an introduction to assessing negative behavior and creating interventions to correct negative behavior in the classroom.
http://www.ehow.com/how_13758_create-behavior-modification.html

Bipolar disorder/depression and behavior.
Read about accommodations for medication side-effects, sleep disturbances, impaired concentration, focus, and memory, testing, homework and more.
www.schoolbehavior.com/Files/tips_mood.pdf

Down syndrome and behavior.
This “Position Statement On the Management Of Challenging Behaviors” from the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) identifies key features consistent with quality programs for the individuals with Down syndrome.
http://ndsccenter.org/about-ndsc/position-statements/

More on Down syndrome and behavior.
This description of behavioral challenges in people with Down syndrome comes from the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS).
http://www.ndss.org/Resources/Managing-Behavior/

Learning disabilities and behavior.
This article, available at LDOnline, comes from the book published by Paul H. Brookes entitled Learning Disabilities and Challenging Behaviors: A Guide to Intervention and Classroom Management.
www.ldonline.org/article/6030

Back to top
 

What’s the Law Require of Schools?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has well-specified requirements of how schools must address behavior issues with respect to students with disabilities. Find out more about those requirements via the resources we’ve listed below.

Start at NICHCY: How school discipline can affect a student’s placement.
All about student placement and how the discipline of students with disabilities can affect that placement.
http://nichcy.org/schoolage/placement/disciplineplacements/

What IDEA 2004 requires.
What authority do school personnel have to take disciplinary action when a student with a disability violates a code of student conduct? What obligations does the school have, especially with respect to providing services and addressing the student’s behavioral issues? All the details! From NICHCY’s training module on Key Issues in Discipline.
http://nichcy.org/schoolage/placement/disc-details/

Kids with behavior problems: What are schools required to do?
Wrightslaw answers questions from school personnel about obligations to “students who may be dangerous to us.”
www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/ltrs/behavior_obligate.htm

More on behavior problems and school discipline.
From this central topic page at Wrightslaw you have access to a multitude of useful information. Pick your pleasure!
http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/discipl.index.htm

IDEA 2004 close up: Disciplining students with disabilities.
http://www.greatschools.org/LD/school-learning/idea-2004-close-up-disciplining-students-with-disabilities.gs?content=996

The use of seclusion and restraint in public schools:  What are the legal issues?
A tidy and authoritative summary, from the Congressional Research Service.
http://www.spannj.org/information/CRS_Report_on_Legal_Issues_in_Seclusion_&_Restraints.pdf

What are states’ policies regarding seclusion and restraint?
Visit the U.S. Department of Education’s States and Territories Summary page.
http://www2.ed.gov/policy/seclusion/seclusion-state-summary.html

Back to top

Would you like to visit another page in the Behavior Suite?

If so, may these quick-jump links swiftly take you there!

NOTICE: The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) is no longer in operation. Our funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) ended on September 30, 2013. Our website and all its free resources will remain available until September 30, 2014.