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Using Behavior Point Sheets to Motivate Behavior Change

We know that implementing effective behavioral strategies is key to fostering positive outcomes for students with behavior challenges. However, if you are looking for an alternative to traditional behavior charts or sticker systems, consider using a behavior point sheet. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to set up a convenient and individualized behavior point sheet system that can motivate your learner to achieve their behavioral goals!

Defining Clear Behavior Goals & Outcomes

The foundation of a successful behavior point sheet lies in the clarity of behavioral goals. When working with your individual learner, it’s crucial to define these goals in concrete and measurable terms. Instead of vague objectives, such as “improve behavior,” opt for specific behaviors like “raising hand before speaking” or “completing required assignments.”

Depending on the learner’s age and classroom setting, I often break their behavior point sheet down by class period to make their goals even more achievable. The scoring system must also be clear to both you and your learner- here is an example of a simple chart I use often when scoring behaviors:

Equally important is establishing an individualized system of rewards and consequences. It is vital to tailor rewards to each student’s preferences. Likewise, consequences should be fair and proportional, fostering a sense of accountability without undue negativity. Examples of rewards I have utilized are: visiting a preferred staff member in the building, coloring time, and helping with jobs around the school. An example goal using the key above, for a student with 6 daily class periods, might read, “Student needs 15 points to earn their daily reward.”

Starting Small

Introducing a behavior point sheet can be overwhelming if too many goals are addressed simultaneously. Begin with a focused approach by selecting 1-2 key behaviors that align with both the student’s individual needs and the classroom environment. Starting small allows for targeted interventions and a higher likelihood of success, creating a positive foundation for future growth.

Prioritize any goals that are impeding safety or learning environments. For example, if a learner is leaving the classroom without permission, using disrespectful language toward others, and not turning in assignments on time, I would target the first two goals (remaining in class and using respectful language) for a period of time before adding in the additional goal of completing classwork. The idea is to build momentum when they start to achieve success with their initial goals, and then increase expectations only once they feel that confidence.

The Option to Self-Monitor with a Behavior Point Sheet

If your learner possess the cognitive capacity to self-monitor their behaviors, offering them this option can be empowering. This not only cultivates a sense of responsibility but also provides them an opportunity for self-reflection. Collaborate with your student to set up a simple self-monitoring system.

For example, the student scores their class period with a number score, and you do the same and then compare the two scores. If the scores are consistent across several days or weeks, you can then consider only add your teacher score on one random day per week. This way you are giving the student the autonomy of charting their behaviors independently, while also letting them know that they will still be spot checked for accuracy.

The Power of a Visual

Finally, consider adding a digital graph that visually represents the student’s progress over time. This not only serves as a motivational tool but also enables quick and easy analysis of performance. I utilize Google Sheets™which allows for seamless data entry and graph generation. After entering the learner’s score per period, you can auto-calculate the total daily point score and graph this number for each date to visualize trends over time.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the implementation of a behavior point sheet for behavior monitoring can be an effective and efficient approach. By defining clear goals, starting small, incorporating self-monitoring when possible, and utilizing digital tools for visualization, we can create a tailored and impactful system that promotes positive behavioral outcomes for students with autism or behavioral challenges.

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