It is important to establish expectations and guidelines for your students early on. This will help establish a clear structure in maintaining a positive classroom environment and appropriate student behavior. Work as a group with your students to ensure they have a say in the guidelines being developed. This will increase student buy-in and the sense of community. When creating these guidelines, it is important to maintain positive language demonstrating what they should be doing.


Negatively Worded Guidelines Positive Alternatives
Don’t shout out answers without being called on Raise your hand in order to answer a question
No running or yelling in the hallway between classes When changing classes, be sure to walk and use appropriate volume when talking to friends
Don’t come to class unprepared or late Be on time to class and prepared for the day
Complete all assignments to the best of your ability. Ask questions if you need support


Reinforcements and Token Economy

Before implementing a behavioral reward system, collaborate with other instructors to make sure that you are being consistent with the systems that they use with the students. In order to promote positive behaviors, reinforcement is important. One way to reinforce students is through the use of a token economy. A token economy is a method of encouraging positive behaviors by offering “tokens” to students for good behavior that they can then exchange for special rewards. Below is an example of a token economy reward system. Tokens can be anything that the student can earn. They may be points, stamps, tickets, or even a hypothetical paycheck. It is important to make the rewards personalized to each student’s specific preferences. Before implementing this with students, have them fill out a preference inventory to establish what the student would like to work towards.

Number of Tokens Needed Reward
5 Choice of Small Prize
10 5 Minute Music Break
15 Homework Pass
20  “Pre-ETS Student of the Week” Award