Behavior Intervention Plan for
Elementary Students

› Behavior Intervention

Searching for an easy behavior intervention plan for your classroom? These interventions are real, they work and help you keep your sanity!

Any teacher who is dealing with behavior problems in the classroom knows that these students need creative, engaging yet structured activities to allow them to showcase their strengths and manage their behaviors.

While there is a still a push towards being good citizens in the classroom, it is certainly a different world than the one that our grandparents grew up in.  I often wish that it really was this easy.





So what do we do about working with our students who display less than stellar behavior?

General rules of thumb for teaching students with behavior disorders and other needs include:

  • proximity control
  • practicing rules and procedures
  • being generous with positive reinforcement


As well, an ADHD behavior chart that monitors and reinforces short intervals of good behavior and choices is important.


Define Intervention

The word "intervene" comes from the Latin word intervener, which literally means "to come between." We have to attempt to move the child from undesirable behaviors towards socially acceptable actions.

Keep in mind that an intervention does not always mean a "punishment." Behavior interventions must have a positive aspect built into them.

Even in the most structured classrooms there are times when ADHD interventions and a behavior intervention plan is necessary.

Remember that solving classroom discipline problems is different than a behavior intervention plan.

An intervention is an outside process that has the effect of modifying an individual's behavior, cognition, or emotional state. When educators provide a behavior intervention plan, it is really a contract between the student and the teacher that will "come between" the negative behaviors and lead towards the desired outcome.

Behavior interventions and ADHD interventions are necessary as we know that these students are at risk for dropping out if we do not help them.

It is also a good idea to include classroom awards to positively motivate all students to do well.


Interventions for Classroom Management

These are modifications and interventions that can be made within the classroom and could make a significant difference for many students, especially those with ADHD. Since many children with autism also have AD/HD, it makes sense to use them for students who have a Pervasive Development Disorder.

A true behavior intervention plan will focus on one or two specific behaviors at a time. This makes reaching the goal easier for both the teacher and the child, along with helping with tracking and management issues.

These are easy to implement, focused, and can be tracked for a behavioral RTI intervention to chart progress.

1. Token Reinforcement
Token reinforcements are powerful ADHD interventions that is a behavior reduction strategy. A token is given when a child completes the desired task (I use poker chips). Tokens are exchanged for a tangible reinforcer. Start with 5, then "up the ante" as behaviors start to change.
  • At the beginning, reward the student with praise and a token ever time the desired behavior is displayed.
  • Intermittent schedules can be used later as the desired behavior increases.
  • Plans that require ADD interventions do not generalize in one location, so the behavior intervention plan needs to carry across settings and situations.

2. Redirection
Use short, specific phrases that indicate what you want the student to do. "Get back to work" is not specific. "Complete the next five math problems in three minutes" is specific.
  • Redirect immediately after undesirable behavior occurs. If you delay redirection, then the behavior intervention plan is going to be much less effective.
  • Avoid counterproductive redirection. This is when repeated reprimands or threats are used. This type of negative attention will reinforce undesired behaviors.

3. Response Cost
Response cost is effective for managing ADHD in the classroom when positive reinforcements are not working. It involves removing tokens every time the student engages in undesirable behavior as targeted by the behavior interventions.
When the desired behavior is shown, the student then receives a token, as in Token Reinforcement.
  • Tape an index card to the student's desk to keep track of points earned, if not using tokens.
  • Hand out a number of chips at the beginning of the day and take back a chip for the undesired behavior.

4. Ignoring
Effective ignoring requires complete withdrawal of attention. Ignoring works for children who seek attention. Ignoring behaviors will most likely not work for managing ADHD in children as often they are not acting out to get attention from other children.
  • Using praise for desired behaviors and ignoring undesired behaviors together is very powerful for many students. Reward what you want with positive attention - completely ignore what you don't want (within reason).

5. Time Out
Having a time out is an excellent part of a behavior intervention plan for ADHD in the classroom. It is the removal of something of value to the student.
Time Out is for a short period of time (2-10 minutes), and the student must fulfill a specific criteria to be done with Time Out. This is a good intervention for students who have aggressive and/or severely disruptive behaviors.


6. Self-Control Training as a Behavior Intervention Plan
These techniques do not have as much research behind them regarding their effectiveness as interventions for ADHD and ADD, but they are good for many children who need to learn to engage in positive self-talk.
  • Rate the child's behavior during a specified time, and have the student rate his or her own behavior on a scale of 1 to 5 (1=poor, 5=great). If the child's rating matches your rating, reward him or her.
  • Make a promise or "pinky-swear" with the student that he or she will do something (be quiet for the next 15 minutes). Reward the student if he or she keeps the promise.
  • Ask the child if he or she did something when you observe it happening. If the student admits to it without lies or arguing, reward the student for telling the truth immediately.

Behavior plans for children must be supported by all staff and the parents to be truly effective.

To change how a student behaves and reacts requires a team effort, so be sure everyone is on board. It only takes one person to derail everyone's efforts, including the child's.


Do your students misbehave during reading time? Do they lack motivation?


Reading Karate is so successful at getting kids to read, you have to see it to believe it. They love earning their belts and their parents will be thrilled at how excited their kids become about reading books!




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