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Behavior Plans

A behavior plan, or individual behavior plan, is a way to target and improve the behavior of an individual student. This type of behavior modification is commonly used for special education students, but can be extremely effective for any student if properly done.

The Basics of a Behavior Plan:


The behavior plan is for an individual student and targets an individual behavior. While one behavior is really best to target, it is possible to target two behaviors or more at a time, depending on the severity of the misbehavior. The milder the behavior, the more behaviors can be grouped together. Read more about setting goals for behavior plans.

Regarding the targeted behavior: this must be the behavior the teacher wishes to see. So for example, if John has trouble with being out of his seat too much, the targeted behavior should be: John will stay in his seat. If Susie has trouble raising her hand before talking, targeted behavior should be: Susie will raise her hand before speaking to the class.

The behavior plan must be rewards based, and the rewards must involve a choice. Students should have some say in the choice of rewards on the behavior plan in order to ensure that they are highly motivating.

Implementing a Behavior Plan

Writing a good behavior plan is only a small piece of the individual behavior plan puzzle. Introducing the plan and following through with the plan is a huge part of seeing success with any student. In order to get a good start with the plan, it is vital that a teacher find time to meet individually with the student in question.

Explain to the child what behavior will be worked on, and make sure that the child completely understands what behavior is expected of him or her. Explain how the teacher and child will keep track of this behavior, and emphasize the rewards when this target behavior is met.

Pump the student up, showing complete confidence in the child’s ability to meet the target behavior. Even so, expect the first few days to be a bit rough. For this reason, it is important to start with small goals and work up towards larger goals.

Next: Goal setting for Behavior Plans

Skip to: Behavior plan example one: Staying Seated in Class

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Choosing a Target Behavior

When a teacher is writing a behavior plan for a troublesome child, it can sometimes be a problem trying to choose what behavior to target on the plan. It is important to choose only one or possibly two major behaviors to focus on, this way the child will not be overwhelmed and will be able …

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Choosing Behavior Plan Rewards

When setting up a behavior plan it is vital for the child to have a say in the rewards that he receives for success. This will make the reward a motivation for changing daily behavior and will encourage him or her to get back on track after a bad day. Have a conference with the …

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Kindergarten Behavior Plan

Kindergarten Behavior Plan

Students in Kindergarten are often thrilled to be starting school and eager to obey teachers. This does not make the Kindergarten behavior plan any less important. In fact, starting at the very beginning of the school years students should be introduced to the rewards and consequences of a behavior plan. Michelle Estes, a Kindergarten teacher …

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Goal Setting for Behavior Plan

Setting Goals for Individual Behavior Plans   When working with a student on improving a targeted behavior with a behavior plan, it is important to start small and work up to the desired consistency. What this means is that if there are a total of 10 points possible for the student to earn before getting …

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Behavior Plan: Staying Seated During Class

Target Behavior: stay seated during class. John has trouble sitting in his seat during class and his targeted behavior is to stay seated. Currently, John gets up several times during each class period, causing the teacher to repeatedly remind him to get back to his seat. Ultimately the teacher wants John to stay seated at …

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Behavior Plan: Raise Hand to Speak

Target Behavior: Raising hand to speak to the class   Susie has trouble remembering to raise her hand before she speaks to the class and will frequently call out answers. The teacher has reminded Susie over and over again to raise her hand before she speaks but she never seems to remember. Susie is in …

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