1. Reinforce frequently for new or challenging skills.
It is important to reinforce students frequently when learning a new behavior skill. Additionally, paying attention to behavior in a positive way helps maintain a pattern of interactions in the school setting that is more positive than negative. Generally accepted targets for positive to negative rations in schools are at least 4 positives for every 1 negative.
2. Be enthusiastic!
Delivering reinforcement in a congratulatory manner makes the positive more meaningful and therefore more effective in increasing the likelihood of future demonstrations of positive behavior by the student.
3. Look your kids in the eye when you are talking to them.
Eye contact suggests that the student is important and has the school staff member’s undivided attention. This also increases the chance that simple social cues like eye contact will be more meaningful to the student in the future.
4. Give specific praise when reinforcing positive behavior.
Teachers often assume that students know what it is they are doing right that has resulted in reinforcement. This is not always accurate. It is best practice to describe the behavior when reinforcing, this highlights the behavior the teacher wishes to acknowledge.
5. Let the anticipation grow!
Building excitement and anticipation for reinforcement can be a powerful motivator.
6. Change things up every once in a while.
Just like adults, kids can get tired of the same things. Changing up reinforcement methods can help keep things interesting and make reinforcement more effective over time.