Updated: Jun 28
The end of the school year can be challenging for educators at every level, especially in the area of behavioral management. The end of the year is quickly approaching. It is standardized testing season and everyone is reaching their threshold for tolerance of one another.
It is during these times it is important to not abandon your classroom management structures and to remind your students, and yourself, of the behavioral expectations. In order to help with that, reinforcing the behavior that you want to see more of is the best, and fastest, way to change behavior and to sustain it (Scott, Jain, & Cognburn, 2021). It helps even more when the reinforcer meets the needs of the child (i.e. a social child can choose a reinforcer that involves friends).
Sometimes, it is hard to identify free reinforcements and who they are appropriate for. It has been my experience that having examples to look at helps to stimulate creating one’s own ideas for reinforcement. To help out, I have included two documents here, one for elementary and one for secondary. These can be referenced by any educator (teachers, administrators, and counselors) as options for free reinforcers that could be provided in classrooms, individually, or within the school. Reinforcements are broken up based on some of the student needs (i.e. attention, tangible, social, leader, etc.).
You may be surprised, how effective reinforcing a behavior that you want to see more can be. I hope that this list helps you as it did for me when I was in the classroom.
Scott HK, Jain A, Cogburn M. Behavior Modification. 2021 Nov 21. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan–. PMID: 29083709.