Classroom Behavior Strategies

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Also read: Universal Learning Characteristics



Classroom Behavior Strategies

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ESE601: Educating Students with Exceptionalities in the Schools

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Classroom Behavior Strategies

Managing students’ problem behaviors can be challenging for both general and special education teachers. However, it is often essential to employ evidence-based strategies when dealing with classroom behavior problems. Such approaches will enhance effective or smooth instruction process as well as boost the students’ concentration and overall performance. This research analyzes a case scenario of a student (Dave) with problem behaviors and recommends evidence-based strategies to manage them effectively.


Dave struggles with attendance and concentration, often gets out of the seat and moves around without permission, is impulsive, and becomes social at inappropriate times when in the classroom setting to gain attention, access tangible items/activities, escape/avoid tasks/activities, and avoid sensory stimulation.

Evidence-Based Behavioral Strategies

Identifying the specifics of the problem behavior and the situations that trigger and reinforce them

Research has indicated that interventions based on information/data about the behavior’s antecedents and consequences can enhance success in reducing inappropriate behaviors. According to Kern and Clemens (2007), teachers should gather information about triggers and reinforcements of the actions to tailor an intervention based on individual needs. In the scenario, Dave’s behaviors are triggered by the classroom setting. He finds it challenging to concentrate in the classroom context and avoid/escape tasks/activities because he prefers kinesthetic hands-on learning. Therefore, one of the ways the teacher can implement the above strategy includes allowing Dave to work in a designated area until the time when he would be ready to participate in the whole classroom.

Allowing Dave to work from a designated area will be effective because the student will have a chance to achieve the hand-on learning he prefers. As a result, his concentration will improve. The strategy can be used proactively by identifying the antecedents of students’ problem behaviors during the early period of the term and responding promptly.

Teaching and reinforcing new skills to increase appropriate behavior

Often, this intervention tends to focus on the functions of the problem behaviors. According to Wright and Cook (n.d), teachers must involve in teaching students with problem behaviors socially and behaviorally-appropriate skills to promote acceptable behaviors. The skills can be reinforced by creating opportunities to exhibit them. The skills might include asking for permission before answering a question and not walking around or talking with colleagues during instruction. In the case of Dave, the primary functions of his behavior include social attention, access to tangible items/activities, and avoiding sensory stimulation. Therefore, the teacher can teach Dave that it is essential to ask for permission before answering questions or getting assistance from fellow students. This will enable Dave to realize his problem behavior and work towards replacing them with the new skills (WWC, 2008). Konrad et al. (2019) stated that students with problem behaviors are likely to replace these wrong actions with the appropriate or desirable ones when they are taught or exposed to new skills.

Teaching and reinforcing new skills to promote appropriate behavior will be an effective strategy for Dave’s actions of moving around the classroom without permission, impulsiveness, becoming excessively social in inappropriate times. He will learn a skill, such as asking for permission in case of any need, therefore ensuring that he behaves appropriately during the classroom instruction. This approach can be utilized proactively by teaching and posting behavioral expectations in the classroom before the instruction starts to adequately prepare the students (Wright & Cook, n.d). When students understand the classroom’s behavioral expectations, they would likely to comply during the actual instruction.

Modifying classroom learning environment to reduce problem behavior

The approach focuses on using antecedent techniques that aim to restrict the classroom setting to prevent behavior problems and enhance student motivation (WWC, 2008). Research has shown that classroom-focused interventions can decrease the students’ problem behaviors by removing or altering the factors that trigger them. The triggers can arise from the mismatch between the student’s preferences or strengths and classroom setting. The teachers can reduce the triggers by rearranging the classroom setting, learning activities, or schedule to meet the student (WWC, 2008). In the case of Dave, there is a mismatch between the classroom context and his preferences, triggering his problematic behaviors such as getting out of the seat and moving around without permission and impulsiveness.

Sensory stimulations might cause such actions. Therefore, there is a need for the teacher to adjust the classroom learning environment to meet Dave’s needs. One way to achieve this entails rearranging the classroom seating so that students are far apart for autonomy (Konrad et al., 2019). This can prevent Dave from becoming excessively social in inappropriate times. Dave can also be provided with a special education teacher who would guide him during the instruction to encourage engagement (McLeskey et al., 2017). The strategy will be effective since it will eliminate the factors that trigger Dave’s problematic classroom actions. Typically, it will close the gap between Dave’s preferences and classroom setting. The approach can be used proactively in the future by ensuring that the classroom setting aligns with the preferences, skills, and strengths of students with problem behaviors.

Conclusion and Reflection

To sum up, the research has revealed that identifying the specifics of the problem behavior and the situations that trigger and reinforce them, teaching and enhancing new skills, and modifying classroom learning environment are strategies that can be used to deal with Dave’s issue (WWC, 2008). For instance, teaching new skills such as asking for permission before answering a question will prevent Dave’s behavior of shouting and answering questions when not asked by the teacher. The approaches were chosen because they are evidence-based and can ensure that the student’s needs are met adequately. For instance, modifying the classroom learning environment will eliminate the triggers of the problem behaviors, thus influencing Dave to exhibit the appropriate actions.


Kern, L., & Clemens, N. H. (2007). Antecedent strategies to promote appropriate classroom behavior. Psychology in the Schools44(1), 65-75.

Konrad, M., Criss, C. J., & Telesman, A. O. (2019). Fads or facts? Sifting through the evidence to find what really works. Intervention in School and Clinic54(5), 272-279.

McLeskey, J. L., Rosenberg, M. S., & Westling, D. L. (2017). Inclusion: Effective practices for all students. Pearson.

What Works Clearinghouse [WWC]. (2008). Reducing Behavior Problems in the Elementary School Classroom.

Wright, B.D., & Cook, R.C. (n.d). The 16 Proactive Classroom Management Skills to Support AcademicEngagement.

Further readings: Resource Manual for Educating Students With Exceptionalities

More to read: WEEK 4 DISCUSSION 3

Last Updated on September 1, 2020 by Essay Pro