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Tier 2 Classroom Management for Special Education Teachers

During our initial post we discussed the need for special education teachers to plan for classroom management throughout the tiers and during our previous post we discussed planning around Tier 1.  Now we are going to take a closer look at Tier 2 – Initial Intervention.

Provide Support For Challenging Behaviors

 When challenging behaviors first being to appear, special education teachers should be prepared to provide additional support and remediation in the same way that they would provide additional support for a student that is struggling academically.  Positive reinforcement, token economies, and checklists with expectations are all examples of Tier 2 strategies that we can utilize to address behaviors.

Tier 2 Behavioral Intervention Strategies can be broken down into to two categories

  • Surface Management Techniques

  • Reinforcement Systems

Surface Management Techniques are most effective for addressing minor infractions that arise from day-to-day classroom activities.  These techniques are relatively common, but should still be planned for by the teacher. Examples include planned ignoring, proximity control, and regrouping of students.  

Reinforcement Systems are a bit more direct and should be used to address behaviors that occur occasionally.  They involve the direct instruction and reinforcement of the desired behaviors. Examples of these would token economies, behavior contracts, and group contingencies.

Give Opportunity To Advance

I have personally have had great experience with the use of class-wide behavior charts and group contingencies.  I love using behavior charts with clothespin clips such as this one as it provides a visual for students of how they are doing.  

If students find themselves moving down the chart, I always allow them the opportunity to earn their way back to the top. I find that this works better for many students because it takes the finality out of other methods for recording negative behaviors.

With group contingencies, I have been successful with setting a goal of earning a reward for the whole class such as a pizza party, no uniform day, or extra recess time.  I keep track of the class’s progress towards meeting their goal by using a simple plastic jar and craft poms.

When the class is successful as an entire unit, I add to the jar until it is full and they have earned their activity.  This is great because you find the students start to hold each other accountable for exhibiting positive behaviors.

In Summary

It is important that special education teachers give just as much attention to planning around Tier 2 behavior intervention strategies as to Tier 1 strategies.  As much as we would hope that all of our students will respond to Tier 1 strategies, many of our students need the extra layer of support that is provided at Tier 2.

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