Correcting Problem Behaviors

Referral System

Establishing a referral system serves to enhance clarity of the entry process, help to problem solve behavior response systems, and then to collect data that can be used to help make decisions regarding appropriate interventions. These systems ensure that there are consistent and clear procedures in place in how staff respond to problem behaviors throughout the building.

Resource Description How to Use This Resource
Office Discipline Referral Form – Compatibility Checklist (adapted from SWIS Compatibility Checklist) This checklist examines the key factors of Office Discipline Referral forms and provides space to identify a to-do list. Teams may use this checklist to  examine the forms being used in their schools to ensure that all key data pieces are being collected and that the process is streamlined.
ODR Form Examples (SWIS) This document provides sample Office Discipline Referral forms that utilize major vs. minor problem behavior language. Schools can use these examples to help create a new ODR form or modify an existing one.
Quick Slip (http://faculty.education.ufl.edu/Scott/Terrys/tscott.html) This is a form that can be used throughout the week by a staff member to track which minor problem behaviors are occurring and where they’re being observed. Teams can utilize the data from this form to understand common minor problem behaviors and areas in the school to target for interventions.
Behavior Notice (Duval Elementary) This is an example of a reporting form for both positive and negative behaviors in an elementary school, highlighting the consequence for a prior action. Schools can utilize this form to implement a positive behavior referral system or combine it with a traditional referral system that highlights improvement.


Major vs. Minor Behaviors

By establishing what classifies a major discipline incident that requires an office referral versus a minor discipline incident that should be handled in the classroom, schools can establish a consistent and procedural discipline system that can be easily and effectively monitored.

Resource Description How to Use This Resource
Defining Major vs Minor Example (Harlan Elementary) This document provides an example list of behaviors that are considered major and minor and how to proceed when a particular behavior occurs. Teams can reference this document when working to create their own list of major vs. minor behaviors (and subsequent actions) for their school.
Determining Major vs Minor Worksheet This worksheet helps teams to brainstorm behaviors and categorize them as major, minor, or up for discussion. Teams may use this form in a meeting by having all staff fill one out and comparing in order to help create a list of behaviors that will universally be considered major or minor.
Behavior Definition Activity This activity sheet walks teams through creating strong, operational definitions for minor behaviors.


Defining Problem Behaviors

Creating a clear list of operationally defined problem behaviors that is consistently used school-wide helps ensure that all teachers, staff, and administrators respond to problem behaviors in the same way. Consistent, clear, and operationally defined definitions also make data collection more accurate and reliable.

Resource Description How to Use This Resource
Referral Definitions (SWIS) This document provides an examples of operationally defined major and minor behaviors, locations, motivations, and consequences. Teams can refer to or use this example as a template to create their own operationally defined lists at their school.
Defining Problem Behaviors (Team Checklist) This checklist outlines the steps needed to create a problem behavior definition list.


Problem Behavior Procedure

Developing a procedure for correcting problem behaviors entails creating a flow chart that examines the severity of a behavior and then outlines how to appropriately respond. This builds consistency throughout the building that students can learn to expect.

Resource Description How to Use This Resource
General Procedure for Dealing with Problem Behaviors (pbis.org) This flow chart is one example of a procedure that can be set in place to outline how to respond to problem behaviors. Teams may take inspiration from the organization of information and general procedure when creating one tailored to their school.
Problem Behavior Chart – Example (adapted from pbis.org) This flow chart is another example of a process that a team can set in place for responding to major and minor problem behaviors. Teams may take inspiration from the process outlined in this flow chart when determining how to adapt a procedure for their school.
General Procedure for Dealing with Problem Behaviors – Brainstorm This blank flow chart template can be used by teams to identify actions that will be included in their procedure for responding to major and minor problem behaviors.
Observe Problem Behavior Flow Chart (adapted from pbis.org) This flow chart provides an example of a procedure for deciding which behaviors should be managed in the classroom versus the office. Teams may take inspiration from this flow chart for its more specific action steps and inclusion of classroom managed versus office managed behaviors.


Managing Behavior

When minor problem behaviors occur, it is important for teachers and staff to be well versed in how to effectively manage and respond to these behaviors in the classroom.

Resource Description How to Use This Resource
Managing and Responding to Problem Behavior (from Missouri SW-PBS) This chart outlines techniques for managing minor behaviors in the classroom and examples of each technique in action. Teachers/staff may use this chart as a reference for strategies that may be used for addressing problem behaviors in the classroom.
Responding to Minor Problem Behaviors Activity This worksheet provides a template for teams to identify common problem behaviors in the classroom and appropriate responses to each.


Disciplinary Encounters and Problem Solving

Disciplinary encounters can be viewed as an opportunity for student learning by incorporating a problem solving process into the established disciplinary procedure. The focus is on increasing appropriate behavior and decreasing the use of inappropriate disciplinary techniques.

Resources Description How to Use This Resource
Disciplinary Encounters 2-part Process This flow chart describes disciplinary encounters as a 2-part process: problem-solving with the student and implementing changes in the student’s environment to help prevent future misbehavior. Staff may use this flow chart to help integrate problem solving actions into the disciplinary process.
Think About It Form This form presents a series of problem-solving questions for a student to answer in reflecting on their behavior, the consequences, and what they will do differently next time. This activity could be used with students receiving disciplinary action for problem behaviors to introduce them to the reflective, problem-solving mindset.
Reflective Action Plan This worksheet helps students to reflect on their problem behavior, how they will work to fix the behavior, and what they will do differently next time. Staff may use this form when working with students after a disciplinary encounter. By reflecting upon the action and its consequences, the staff member and student can problem solve together for future situations.
Reflection Sheet – Preschool This behavior reflection worksheet is modified for preschoolers by using visual choices to help young students understand and reflect on their actions following a problem behavior. Staff may use this form with younger students after a problem behavior occurs to begin the reflective and problem solving process at an early age, as well as to prevent future problem behaviors.
Social Behavior Map – Expected This worksheet helps students to explore what are expected behaviors, how they make others feel, what positive outcomes they result in, and how they feel about themselves when they display expected behaviors. Visual cues are provided. This activity can be used to help students identify and understand the positive effects of prosocial, expected behaviors and how they impact both the student and those around them.
Social Behavior Map – Unexpected This worksheet focuses on outlining unexpected behaviors (problem behaviors) by looking at how they make others feel, their negative outcomes, and how they make the student feel about themselves. Visual cues are provided. Much like the previous activity, staff may use this to help students identify problem behaviors and the negative effects that they have on both the student and those around them.
Problem Solving Questions This sheet provides example questions to help facilitate the problem solving process based on the goal of the problem solving process, such as helping develop student sensitivity to social or moral problems. Staff may find these questions helpful when problem solving with a student after a problem behavior occurs and to help develop students’ social and moral problem solving abilities.
Student [SW Expectations] Reflection Sheet This activity sheet leads the student through the  problem solving process by relating problem behaviors to the school-wide expectations. This sheet may be helpful in reinforcing school-wide expectations by linking them to behaviors, and those expectations may be used to facilitate the problem solving process.