PBS -- Positive Behavior Support, Strategies to Reinforce Good Behavior

Moving the clothespin indicates a change of instructional rules. Jerry Webster


PBS stands for Positive Behavior Support, which seeks to support and reinforce appropriate behavior in school and eliminate negative, problem behaviors. Focusing on reinforcing and teaching the behaviors that lead to learning and school success, PBS has proven to be significantly better than the old methods of punish and suspend.

There are a number of successful strategies for supporting positive behavior.  Among them are color behavior charts (as in the illustration,) color wheels, token economies and other means of reinforcing behavior. Still, the other important components of a successful positive behavior plan include routines, rules and clear expectations.  Those expectations should be posted in the halls, on classroom walls and all the places students will see them. 

Positive Behavior Support can be class-wide or school-wide. Of course, teachers will write behavior plans in collaboration with behavior specialists or psychologists that will support individual students, called BIP's (Behavior Intervention Plans) but a class wide system will put everyone in the class on the same path.

Positive Behavior Support plans can be adapted to support students with disabilities.  By making modifications to the plans, and using the reinforcers designed for the whole school, or the strategy (color chart, etc.) to describe the behaviors and the consequences (i.e. Quiet hands when the clip goes to red.  No calling out when the clip goes to red, etc.) 

Many schools have school wide positive behavior support plans.  Usually the school has a single set of cues and prompts for certain behaviors, clarity about school rules and the consequences, and means to win prizes or special privileges.  Often, the behavior support plan includes ways that students can win points of "school bucks" for positive behavior which they an use toward bicycles, CD or MP3 players donated by local businesses.

Also Known As: Positive Behavior Plans

Examples: Miss Johnson started a Positive Behavior Support plan for her classroom. Students receive raffle tickets when they are "caught being good." Each Friday she pills a ticket from a box, and the student whose name is called gets to pick a prize from her treasure chest.