• Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports

    Jennifer Mitchell,  General Education Behavior Specialist



  • The purpose of PBIS is to create school environments that focus on preventing and reducing problem behavior while promoting and supporting academic achievement and prosocial development for all students (Turnbull et al., 2002).  It is not a specific curriculum, but instead is a framework that integrates evidence-based practices and systems to create a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) for behavior.   Data is then used as a key component to determine the effectiveness of practices.  When implemented with fidelity, PBIS results in the development of positive school cultures and increased safety for everyone. (Florida PBS)

  • Teacher Tool Box

    Behavioral Momentum 

    Behavioral momentum is often used in classrooms or vocational settings to improve task-completion and increase compliance, thus creating opportunities for success. It involves making a series of easy, or “high-probability,” requests followed by a difficult or “low-probability” request. The goal of behavioral momentum is to get the individual accustomed to responding to easy requests, thereby increasing the likelihood that he or she will comply with the more difficult ones.  

    Designing a program using behavioral momentum is simple. It is also easy to implement, and can be used to motivate individuals of all ages. First, analysts, teachers, or parents identify easy and difficult tasks. Then they decide in what order they will present these tasks. The number of easy tasks they will present depends on the amount of momentum needed to motivate the individual to complete the difficult task. Making two or three easy task requests before the difficult task request is typically a good way to start. Easy task requests should be simple and brief. They should also be familiar requests that have been successfully completed in the past.

    It is important to reward the successful completion of each easy task immediately. Once enough momentum has been created, the difficult task should be presented and rewarded in the same manner. After the individual gets used to being rewarded for completing easy tasks, the number of difficult tasks completed should begin to increase. Before long, the difficult tasks will become easy, and newer tasks can be added to the program.

    Motivation and compliance are crucial components of skill-building; when they are lacking, learning may be impeded. Using behavioral momentum not only boosts motivation and compliance, but also gives the learner the confidence he or she needs to complete tasks, and shapes his or her overall success. 



    • If a student has a history of being resistant to certain requests, the teacher should select a series of behaviors that a student already likes to do
    • Ask the student to do two or three things the teacher knows he/she wants to naturally do (making a high probability request)
    • Follow this positive behavior flow with the desired low probability request

    What does this look like?

    Behavioral Momentum Video