Development of a Behavioural Matrix

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23/09/19 Childcare Reference this

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Part 1: Final Integration and Representation of the Behavioral Matrix

Grade Level: 4th Grade

Expected Classroom Behaviors Incentives, Rewards, Reinforcers, Positive Responses
Demonstrating good listening Praise or compliments
Following directions quickly and the first time Positive phone calls or notes home
Beginning work promptly Giving the student an additional responsibility or having him/her run an errand
Working quietly – completing work without disturbing others Letting the class have five minutes at the end of the class period

as free time

Focusing on and completing work in a timely way Positive notes to students, in their mailboxes, in their classroom planners
Keeping arms, feet, and body to self “Love notes” in student folders
Making requests politely or asking for help when needed Letting the student visit the principal for a special treat or reward
Waiting to be called on to speak Treasure box
Walking safely “No Homework” certificate/pass
Staying appropriately in your own space Tickets for drawings, buying rewards
Using an appropriate tone, volume, and pitch of voice Treats
Talking with others positively and supportively Fish coupons – catch ‘em being good
Apologizing appropriately Gold tickets for lottery
Treating classroom furniture, books, and other materials with respect
Treating others’ personal property with respect
Asking adults for help to solve serious problems or stay safe
Being kind to others
Cooperating with others
Sharing with others
Being aware of your own feelings and the feelings of others
Treating others with dignity and respect
Telling the truth
Being a good leader and a good follower
Responding appropriately to answering a question wrong or getting a bad grade
Intensity I (Annoying) Offenses Corrective Responses and/or Consequences
Passive off-task behavior (e.g., head on

desk, staring out the window)

Teacher visual, non-verbal, or physical prompt
Not listening/not paying attention Teacher proximity
Calling/Shouting/blurting out answers Loss of recess time to make up for lost classroom time
Teasing Teacher ends activity for the student; makes him/her watch the other students until they have completed their activity
Talking to neighbors/others without permission Teacher redirect
Talking out of turn Teacher warning
Distracting Others Student is moved to another seat in the classroom
Poor attitude/rudeness Note sent home with parent signature required
Leaving seat without permission Loss of recess time to make up for lost classroom time
Not being in a designated or specified area Teacher uses a “Stop & Think” prompt
Intensity II (Disruptive) Offenses Corrective Responses and/or Consequences
Not following directions/Passive or active Move the student to another seat in the classroom
Talking to neighbors/others without permission Loss of extra privileges
Poor attitude/rudeness Loss of free time (on a graduated scale)
Chronic socializing with peers Student needs to model the appropriate behavior
Leaving seat without permission Teacher ends activity for the student; makes him/her watch the other students until they have completed their activity
Talking out of turn Letter to parent – written by the student
Inappropriate tone or volume of voice Notes home written by the teacher
Calling/Shouting/blurting out answers Detention
Teasing Phone contact with parent
Bullying/Verbally threatening behavior Parent/teacher conference
Distracting Others Student needs to model the appropriate behavior
Lying Parent/student/teacher conference
Cheating Parent/student/teacher conference
Intensity III (Defiant) Offenses Corrective Responses and/or Consequences
Not following directions/Significant defiance Loss of recess time; Parent/student/teacher conference
Bullying/Verbally threatening behavior Student writes an action/remediation plan
Taunting Student needs to model the appropriate behavior where the infraction occurred
Physically threatening behavior Note home written by the administrator and the teacher
Physical aggression/fighting with intent to cause bodily harm After-school Detention

Parent/student/teacher conference

In-school suspension

Out-of-school suspension

Intensity IV (Severe or Dangerous) Offenses: Corrective Responses and/or Consequences
Use of Illegal Substances Out-of-school suspension (multiple days)

Mandated testing/clearance

Counseling (multiple days)

Theft In-school-suspension

Out-of-school suspension

Parent meeting

Fighting Out-of-school suspension

Counseling

Re-entry meeting

Vandalism In-school-suspension

Out-of-school suspension

Repayment for damages

Bullying/Cyber Bulling In-school-suspension

Out-of-school suspension

Parent meeting

Counseling

*Summit Public Schools; https://www.summit.k12.nj.us/schools/lcj-summit-middle-school/resources

Part 2: Summary of the Development of the Behavioral Matrix

Reaction To Behavioral Matrix

I feel that a behavioral matrix might be one of the most beneficial things a classroom teacher and school could have. One of the biggest reasons for this assertion is that a behavioral matrix is an easy way to become consistent in behavior management. It has been my experience that students and parents want to see that our responses to misbehavior are similar from student to student, regardless of any outside factors (such as race or gender), and a behavior matrix provides an easy way for teachers and/or administrators to accomplish this. “One core feature” of a behavior matrix is “the identification of social expectations and behavior indicators across all school settings” (Cheney, Lynass, Richman, Shue-Fei, 2012). Having an outlined approach to dealing with common mis-behaviors across a school setting allows for the emotion and any arguments to be taken out of the decision-making process: parents, students, and school staff alike are all aware of the expected behaviors within school, as well as the consequences that result from deviating from these expectations.

What I also enjoy about a behavior matrix is the idea that the entire school staff can be involved, to some degree, in developing the corrective responses and consequences (in addition to outlining the troubling behaviors that should specifically be addressed). One of the biggest complaints I have observed from teachers within my own school is the approach taken with discipline. Teachers have felt that administrators are not very forthcoming with how they deal with various situations, and have not seen a consistent approach when it comes to behavior management. Teachers want their opinions to be heard and valued, and incorporating a behavioral matrix into a school’s approach to behavior management gives a voice to school staff other than the administration.

Benefits of Behavioral Matrix

I brought up two key benefits of a behavior matrix (creating consistency in behavior management, and providing a voice to school staff when it comes to corrective responses and consequences). To further expound upon the latter of these two, Susan Sayers writes that “a quality learning environment…will occur when each person is acknowledged, included and valued” (Sayers, 1978, p.6). This concept applies directly to the behavior management aspect of a quality learning environment. There are many different opinions and approaches to dealing with behaviors that are detrimental to the learning environment. A behavioral matrix, however, allows for all of these ideas and approaches to be heard and used to form a united, school-wide approach. I think that with this, too, would come more of a willingness and desire across teachers and staff members to utilize and stick to the behavioral matrix.

Another benefit comes from the idea that a school could have multiple matrices to accommodate the different grade levels present in the building. For example, in the middle school that I teach in I could certainly see the value in having two matrices – one for the sixth-grade students and another for the seventh and eighth-grade students. In theory, these matrices would be fairly similar in structure and approach but would cover the behaviors that are more prevalent in the lower grades as opposed to the higher grades within the building. With a wider range of behaviors accounted for in multiple matrices, teachers have a better chance of being able to have a resource to appropriately and immediately address behavior problems. This is key, in my opinion; highlights this concept when she writes “Although disruptive behaviors can sometimes be prevented with proper planning, in many situations, teachers need to respond immediately to students’ behavior problems in order to maintain safety and order” (Lockard, Wei-Chen, 2007, p.21).

Behavioral Matrix: Strength and Consistency

I believe that a behavioral matrix fits right into the theory behind a PBSS. A PBSS was developed “as a proactive approach for improving the academic and behavioral outcomes for students by targeting the school’s organizational and social cultures” (Wienen, Reijnders, 2018).

The one word that comes to mind when considering a behavioral matrix is proactive; corrective responses to misbehaviors are predetermined, and being able to reference the matrix to determine the applicable consequence allows for teachers and administrators to take more time to focus on talking with the student about the misbehavior (as opposed to spending extra time trying to figure out what response to the misbehavior would fit best). The implementation of a behavior matrix across a grade level or entire school building also lends itself to the idea of consistency. When a whole school building subscribes to the same set of expected behaviors (behavioral standards applicable to all students), as well as a set of outcomes or consequences that are tied to misbehaviors, students will develop a clear understanding of how they should be conducting themselves. It further helps to eliminate any excuse from students, including one of not understanding the expectations ahead of time. Rather, the concept of a behavioral matrix furthers one of the key features of a PBSS: that everyone within the school setting knows what is considered appropriate behavior because a PBSS is grounded on the idea that students can better adhere to behavioral expectations if they know that those expectations are. “A behavior matrix is so easy to understand that it can provide even substitute “teachers and parents with a condensed and comparative look at how specific intervention types apply most effectively to specific behavior problems” (Lockard, Wei-Chen, 2007, p.23). Ultimately, the matrix directly contributes to the main goal which is to provide the best learning environment possible for students within a classroom or school building.

References

  • Lynass, L., Tsai, S., Richman, T. D., & Cheney, D. (2011). Social Expectations and Behavioral Indicators in School-Wide Positive Behavior Supports. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions,14(3), 153-161. doi:10.1177/1098300711412076
  • Sayers, S. (1978). Leadership Styles: A Behavioral Matrix(pp. 1-26, Rep.). Portland, Oregon: Northwest Regional Educational Lab. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED208593)
  • Summit Public Schools’ Student Code of Conduct. (2018/2019). Retrieved from https://www.summit.k12.nj.us/uploaded/SHS_FILES/Code_of_Conduct_18-19.pdf
  • Wei-Chen, H., & Lockard, J. (2007). Using an advance organizer guided behavior matrix to support teachers’ problem solving in classroom behavior management. Journal of Special Education Technology, 22(1), 21-36. Retrieved from https://go.openathens.net/redirector/ace.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/228444192?accountid=31683
  • Wienen, A. W., Reijnders, I., Aggelen, M. H., Bos, E. H., Batstra, L., & Jonge, P. D. (2018). The relative impact of school-wide positive behavior support on teachers’ perceptions of student behavior across schools, teachers, and students. Psychology in the Schools,56(2), 232-241. doi:10.1002/pits.22209

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