8 Examples of PBIS in Elementary School

What is PBIS and how can it be used to strengthen an elementary school’s culture?
The elementary years in a child’s life are pivotal. Not only is this when they learn to read, speak, and write, but these are the years where they develop their understanding of how to behave and socialize with other humans.
Featuring 
Katie Neumeier

Children are reflections of their environments and the people within them. Therefore, the things we say as educators and model with our actions truly make a difference. A framework many schools, especially elementary, have adopted to support all children’s development is PBIS. 

So what is PBIS and how can it be used to strengthen a school’s culture and overall standard of behavior? 

What is PBIS in schools?

PBIS stands for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. Schools use it as a proactive approach to improve behavior and support every student’s behavioral needs. 

Examples of PBIS in Schools

Within the framework, there are three tiers that include specific interventions at each level. The basic idea of PBIS is simple; Educators focus on positive behaviors and reinforce those behaviors with incentives and rewards. 

To help keep track, schools use platforms such as LiveSchool to give automatic reinforcers until enough is earned to cash in for a prize. A main focus of PBIS best practices is preventing the negative behavior from occurring instead of punishing them once they have been exhibited. 

Over time, the hope is students will need less and less incentive to do the right thing. The more we focus on the positive and teach students explicitly what good behavior looks like, the more apt students will be to behave appropriately. 

So what does this actually look like in Elementary School? Below you will find a list of examples of how PBIS tiers are implemented and used at the classroom level. Remember, the better a child’s foundation, the stronger a child will be both academically and behaviorally. 

Elementary Classroom PBIS Examples

1. Positive Narration

Positive narration is more than telling a student “good job” or congratulating them in front of others. It is about framing the specific academic behaviors or behavioral accomplishments you are observing in a way that encourages others to follow suit. 

For example, you could say “I appreciate the way most of my students are lining up quietly” instead of “nice job Taylor, Evin, and Paige, I love the way you are lining up”. By naming the observable action and the specific way students are meeting the expectation, you are reiterating positively the need for this to be done. 

More often than not, when you are framing things in a positive manner, the rest of the class will mimic the models. The best part about this example is you can use (and practice) positive narration at any moment during the school day. 

2. Providing Structure 

Children might tell you otherwise, but they crave structure and routine. They love to know what is next and how they will be able to participate in whatever the school day brings. 

Also, PBIS by nature is a very scaffolded, routine-based system so it makes sense that it would work well in a structured classroom environment. You can provide structure to your students by explicitly teaching behavioral expectations, holding students accountable, giving your students time to practice and perfect certain routines, and staying consistent in both your words and actions. 

Students lose trust in you and their own self-control when they feel that their environment is not stable. Creating that structure will support you AND your students in fulfilling the day-to-day. 

3. Using Reinforcers

As stated previously, elementary-aged children need great models of what it looks like and sounds like to behave appropriately. After they receive these models, they then need time to practice, fail, and then try again. 

This is where reinforcement lives in the PBIS reward system. Consistent reinforcement of positive behavior will eventually lead to most of the students doing the right thing. The more consistent you are with the reinforcements, the better. 

As the structure of PBIS allows, using tangible reinforcements in the form of points, rewards, and incentives will create a more immediate result. Reinforce, reinforce, and then reinforce some more. It will make a huge difference in your classroom spaces.

4. Explicit Teaching of Behaviors

You may now be wondering, what exactly am I reinforcing all day? Well, a critical part of PBIS is the explicit teaching and modeling of the behaviors you want to see. These can be established by the school normed rules or your own specific class expectations. 

At the beginning of the year and then throughout, these behaviors should be a constant in your student’s minds. For example, some schools function on the foundation of four rules. The rules beautifully cover expectations about kindness, following directions, being safe, or helping yourself and others learn. 

Teaching and reinforcing what it looks like to do these four things is a strong PBIS practice and will set your students up for success in the long run. Explicit teaching goes beyond naming what you want. It is all about how you model it and let students practice daily. 

5. Integrating Social-Emotional Learning

SEL, or social-emotional learning, has been a very hot topic within schools over the past couple of years. Curriculums have been implemented and thousands of teachers have been trained on best practices, all to go beyond the academics for our little ones. 

SEL is exactly what our elementary kids need. I am in no way discounting the importance of academics, but we should be striving to find a balance in the way we educate our kids as whole intelligent human beings. 

SEL and PBIS go hand in hand and as educators, it is our mission and delight to help our students grow in every way possible when they are within our four walls. That starts with teaching them how to be good people, inside and out! 

6. Creating an Inclusive Environment 

In order for children to learn, they first need to feel safe and included. As educators, we must create a classroom environment that not only runs smoothly but is conducive to learning and growing.

Teaching and reinforcing the rules, incorporating SEL or character lessons, and showing students how to best interact are all ways your environment can become safer and more inviting. 

The way you speak and act will also impact the overall dynamic of the room. Even when things get tough, try staying positive and encouraging. 

7. Connecting School & Home Behavior 

In many schools across the nation, teachers are noticing that there can be a distinct difference between a child’s school and home behavior. This is simply because the environment and the people within it influence the behavior. 

Within PBIS, children are taught explicitly how to behave positively and are then rewarded for doing the right thing. If you are able to educate parents on how PBIS works and some interventions within that they can also use at home, the system will work even better. These conversations can occur during open houses, informational sessions, conferences, over the phone, etc.

 Building relationships with the students and their families is important, but being on the same page with best practices to support each child will be the cherry on top. 

8. Initiating Restorative Conversations 

The last PBIS example I have for you is initiating and engaging in restorative conversations. Throughout the year, there will be misunderstandings, points of frustration, and lots of mistakes. 

This is to be expected, especially in elementary school. It is how these moments are handled that will set the tone and either build your relationship with kids or obliterate it. Restorative conversations are opportunities to name the mistake or undesired behavior, help figure out the root cause of it, and talk it out.

It allows for both parties to share how they feel and create a solution together for moving forward. These conversations will help you and your students bond and will support the creation of the inclusive, positive environment we are striving for. 

Bringing PBIS Into Your Classroom

When it comes to classroom management and helping our little ones develop positive behaviors early on, PBIS is definitely the way to go. As you implement some of these examples and PBIS strategies into your own classroom, I hope they bring you and your students' new opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive!

8 Examples of PBIS in Elementary School

What is PBIS and how can it be used to strengthen an elementary school’s culture?
Chapter 
 | 
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Children are reflections of their environments and the people within them. Therefore, the things we say as educators and model with our actions truly make a difference. A framework many schools, especially elementary, have adopted to support all children’s development is PBIS. 

So what is PBIS and how can it be used to strengthen a school’s culture and overall standard of behavior? 

What is PBIS in schools?

PBIS stands for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. Schools use it as a proactive approach to improve behavior and support every student’s behavioral needs. 

Examples of PBIS in Schools

Within the framework, there are three tiers that include specific interventions at each level. The basic idea of PBIS is simple; Educators focus on positive behaviors and reinforce those behaviors with incentives and rewards. 

To help keep track, schools use platforms such as LiveSchool to give automatic reinforcers until enough is earned to cash in for a prize. A main focus of PBIS best practices is preventing the negative behavior from occurring instead of punishing them once they have been exhibited. 

Over time, the hope is students will need less and less incentive to do the right thing. The more we focus on the positive and teach students explicitly what good behavior looks like, the more apt students will be to behave appropriately. 

So what does this actually look like in Elementary School? Below you will find a list of examples of how PBIS tiers are implemented and used at the classroom level. Remember, the better a child’s foundation, the stronger a child will be both academically and behaviorally. 

Elementary Classroom PBIS Examples

1. Positive Narration

Positive narration is more than telling a student “good job” or congratulating them in front of others. It is about framing the specific academic behaviors or behavioral accomplishments you are observing in a way that encourages others to follow suit. 

For example, you could say “I appreciate the way most of my students are lining up quietly” instead of “nice job Taylor, Evin, and Paige, I love the way you are lining up”. By naming the observable action and the specific way students are meeting the expectation, you are reiterating positively the need for this to be done. 

More often than not, when you are framing things in a positive manner, the rest of the class will mimic the models. The best part about this example is you can use (and practice) positive narration at any moment during the school day. 

2. Providing Structure 

Children might tell you otherwise, but they crave structure and routine. They love to know what is next and how they will be able to participate in whatever the school day brings. 

Also, PBIS by nature is a very scaffolded, routine-based system so it makes sense that it would work well in a structured classroom environment. You can provide structure to your students by explicitly teaching behavioral expectations, holding students accountable, giving your students time to practice and perfect certain routines, and staying consistent in both your words and actions. 

Students lose trust in you and their own self-control when they feel that their environment is not stable. Creating that structure will support you AND your students in fulfilling the day-to-day. 

3. Using Reinforcers

As stated previously, elementary-aged children need great models of what it looks like and sounds like to behave appropriately. After they receive these models, they then need time to practice, fail, and then try again. 

This is where reinforcement lives in the PBIS reward system. Consistent reinforcement of positive behavior will eventually lead to most of the students doing the right thing. The more consistent you are with the reinforcements, the better. 

As the structure of PBIS allows, using tangible reinforcements in the form of points, rewards, and incentives will create a more immediate result. Reinforce, reinforce, and then reinforce some more. It will make a huge difference in your classroom spaces.

4. Explicit Teaching of Behaviors

You may now be wondering, what exactly am I reinforcing all day? Well, a critical part of PBIS is the explicit teaching and modeling of the behaviors you want to see. These can be established by the school normed rules or your own specific class expectations. 

At the beginning of the year and then throughout, these behaviors should be a constant in your student’s minds. For example, some schools function on the foundation of four rules. The rules beautifully cover expectations about kindness, following directions, being safe, or helping yourself and others learn. 

Teaching and reinforcing what it looks like to do these four things is a strong PBIS practice and will set your students up for success in the long run. Explicit teaching goes beyond naming what you want. It is all about how you model it and let students practice daily. 

5. Integrating Social-Emotional Learning

SEL, or social-emotional learning, has been a very hot topic within schools over the past couple of years. Curriculums have been implemented and thousands of teachers have been trained on best practices, all to go beyond the academics for our little ones. 

SEL is exactly what our elementary kids need. I am in no way discounting the importance of academics, but we should be striving to find a balance in the way we educate our kids as whole intelligent human beings. 

SEL and PBIS go hand in hand and as educators, it is our mission and delight to help our students grow in every way possible when they are within our four walls. That starts with teaching them how to be good people, inside and out! 

6. Creating an Inclusive Environment 

In order for children to learn, they first need to feel safe and included. As educators, we must create a classroom environment that not only runs smoothly but is conducive to learning and growing.

Teaching and reinforcing the rules, incorporating SEL or character lessons, and showing students how to best interact are all ways your environment can become safer and more inviting. 

The way you speak and act will also impact the overall dynamic of the room. Even when things get tough, try staying positive and encouraging. 

7. Connecting School & Home Behavior 

In many schools across the nation, teachers are noticing that there can be a distinct difference between a child’s school and home behavior. This is simply because the environment and the people within it influence the behavior. 

Within PBIS, children are taught explicitly how to behave positively and are then rewarded for doing the right thing. If you are able to educate parents on how PBIS works and some interventions within that they can also use at home, the system will work even better. These conversations can occur during open houses, informational sessions, conferences, over the phone, etc.

 Building relationships with the students and their families is important, but being on the same page with best practices to support each child will be the cherry on top. 

8. Initiating Restorative Conversations 

The last PBIS example I have for you is initiating and engaging in restorative conversations. Throughout the year, there will be misunderstandings, points of frustration, and lots of mistakes. 

This is to be expected, especially in elementary school. It is how these moments are handled that will set the tone and either build your relationship with kids or obliterate it. Restorative conversations are opportunities to name the mistake or undesired behavior, help figure out the root cause of it, and talk it out.

It allows for both parties to share how they feel and create a solution together for moving forward. These conversations will help you and your students bond and will support the creation of the inclusive, positive environment we are striving for. 

Bringing PBIS Into Your Classroom

When it comes to classroom management and helping our little ones develop positive behaviors early on, PBIS is definitely the way to go. As you implement some of these examples and PBIS strategies into your own classroom, I hope they bring you and your students' new opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive!

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8 Examples of PBIS in Elementary School

What is PBIS and how can it be used to strengthen an elementary school’s culture?
By 
Katie Neumeier
 | 
August 17, 2022
Register Now

About the Event

Children are reflections of their environments and the people within them. Therefore, the things we say as educators and model with our actions truly make a difference. A framework many schools, especially elementary, have adopted to support all children’s development is PBIS. 

So what is PBIS and how can it be used to strengthen a school’s culture and overall standard of behavior? 

What is PBIS in schools?

PBIS stands for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. Schools use it as a proactive approach to improve behavior and support every student’s behavioral needs. 

Examples of PBIS in Schools

Within the framework, there are three tiers that include specific interventions at each level. The basic idea of PBIS is simple; Educators focus on positive behaviors and reinforce those behaviors with incentives and rewards. 

To help keep track, schools use platforms such as LiveSchool to give automatic reinforcers until enough is earned to cash in for a prize. A main focus of PBIS best practices is preventing the negative behavior from occurring instead of punishing them once they have been exhibited. 

Over time, the hope is students will need less and less incentive to do the right thing. The more we focus on the positive and teach students explicitly what good behavior looks like, the more apt students will be to behave appropriately. 

So what does this actually look like in Elementary School? Below you will find a list of examples of how PBIS tiers are implemented and used at the classroom level. Remember, the better a child’s foundation, the stronger a child will be both academically and behaviorally. 

Elementary Classroom PBIS Examples

1. Positive Narration

Positive narration is more than telling a student “good job” or congratulating them in front of others. It is about framing the specific academic behaviors or behavioral accomplishments you are observing in a way that encourages others to follow suit. 

For example, you could say “I appreciate the way most of my students are lining up quietly” instead of “nice job Taylor, Evin, and Paige, I love the way you are lining up”. By naming the observable action and the specific way students are meeting the expectation, you are reiterating positively the need for this to be done. 

More often than not, when you are framing things in a positive manner, the rest of the class will mimic the models. The best part about this example is you can use (and practice) positive narration at any moment during the school day. 

2. Providing Structure 

Children might tell you otherwise, but they crave structure and routine. They love to know what is next and how they will be able to participate in whatever the school day brings. 

Also, PBIS by nature is a very scaffolded, routine-based system so it makes sense that it would work well in a structured classroom environment. You can provide structure to your students by explicitly teaching behavioral expectations, holding students accountable, giving your students time to practice and perfect certain routines, and staying consistent in both your words and actions. 

Students lose trust in you and their own self-control when they feel that their environment is not stable. Creating that structure will support you AND your students in fulfilling the day-to-day. 

3. Using Reinforcers

As stated previously, elementary-aged children need great models of what it looks like and sounds like to behave appropriately. After they receive these models, they then need time to practice, fail, and then try again. 

This is where reinforcement lives in the PBIS reward system. Consistent reinforcement of positive behavior will eventually lead to most of the students doing the right thing. The more consistent you are with the reinforcements, the better. 

As the structure of PBIS allows, using tangible reinforcements in the form of points, rewards, and incentives will create a more immediate result. Reinforce, reinforce, and then reinforce some more. It will make a huge difference in your classroom spaces.

4. Explicit Teaching of Behaviors

You may now be wondering, what exactly am I reinforcing all day? Well, a critical part of PBIS is the explicit teaching and modeling of the behaviors you want to see. These can be established by the school normed rules or your own specific class expectations. 

At the beginning of the year and then throughout, these behaviors should be a constant in your student’s minds. For example, some schools function on the foundation of four rules. The rules beautifully cover expectations about kindness, following directions, being safe, or helping yourself and others learn. 

Teaching and reinforcing what it looks like to do these four things is a strong PBIS practice and will set your students up for success in the long run. Explicit teaching goes beyond naming what you want. It is all about how you model it and let students practice daily. 

5. Integrating Social-Emotional Learning

SEL, or social-emotional learning, has been a very hot topic within schools over the past couple of years. Curriculums have been implemented and thousands of teachers have been trained on best practices, all to go beyond the academics for our little ones. 

SEL is exactly what our elementary kids need. I am in no way discounting the importance of academics, but we should be striving to find a balance in the way we educate our kids as whole intelligent human beings. 

SEL and PBIS go hand in hand and as educators, it is our mission and delight to help our students grow in every way possible when they are within our four walls. That starts with teaching them how to be good people, inside and out! 

6. Creating an Inclusive Environment 

In order for children to learn, they first need to feel safe and included. As educators, we must create a classroom environment that not only runs smoothly but is conducive to learning and growing.

Teaching and reinforcing the rules, incorporating SEL or character lessons, and showing students how to best interact are all ways your environment can become safer and more inviting. 

The way you speak and act will also impact the overall dynamic of the room. Even when things get tough, try staying positive and encouraging. 

7. Connecting School & Home Behavior 

In many schools across the nation, teachers are noticing that there can be a distinct difference between a child’s school and home behavior. This is simply because the environment and the people within it influence the behavior. 

Within PBIS, children are taught explicitly how to behave positively and are then rewarded for doing the right thing. If you are able to educate parents on how PBIS works and some interventions within that they can also use at home, the system will work even better. These conversations can occur during open houses, informational sessions, conferences, over the phone, etc.

 Building relationships with the students and their families is important, but being on the same page with best practices to support each child will be the cherry on top. 

8. Initiating Restorative Conversations 

The last PBIS example I have for you is initiating and engaging in restorative conversations. Throughout the year, there will be misunderstandings, points of frustration, and lots of mistakes. 

This is to be expected, especially in elementary school. It is how these moments are handled that will set the tone and either build your relationship with kids or obliterate it. Restorative conversations are opportunities to name the mistake or undesired behavior, help figure out the root cause of it, and talk it out.

It allows for both parties to share how they feel and create a solution together for moving forward. These conversations will help you and your students bond and will support the creation of the inclusive, positive environment we are striving for. 

Bringing PBIS Into Your Classroom

When it comes to classroom management and helping our little ones develop positive behaviors early on, PBIS is definitely the way to go. As you implement some of these examples and PBIS strategies into your own classroom, I hope they bring you and your students' new opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive!

Register Now

About the Event

Children are reflections of their environments and the people within them. Therefore, the things we say as educators and model with our actions truly make a difference. A framework many schools, especially elementary, have adopted to support all children’s development is PBIS. 

So what is PBIS and how can it be used to strengthen a school’s culture and overall standard of behavior? 

What is PBIS in schools?

PBIS stands for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. Schools use it as a proactive approach to improve behavior and support every student’s behavioral needs. 

Examples of PBIS in Schools

Within the framework, there are three tiers that include specific interventions at each level. The basic idea of PBIS is simple; Educators focus on positive behaviors and reinforce those behaviors with incentives and rewards. 

To help keep track, schools use platforms such as LiveSchool to give automatic reinforcers until enough is earned to cash in for a prize. A main focus of PBIS best practices is preventing the negative behavior from occurring instead of punishing them once they have been exhibited. 

Over time, the hope is students will need less and less incentive to do the right thing. The more we focus on the positive and teach students explicitly what good behavior looks like, the more apt students will be to behave appropriately. 

So what does this actually look like in Elementary School? Below you will find a list of examples of how PBIS tiers are implemented and used at the classroom level. Remember, the better a child’s foundation, the stronger a child will be both academically and behaviorally. 

Elementary Classroom PBIS Examples

1. Positive Narration

Positive narration is more than telling a student “good job” or congratulating them in front of others. It is about framing the specific academic behaviors or behavioral accomplishments you are observing in a way that encourages others to follow suit. 

For example, you could say “I appreciate the way most of my students are lining up quietly” instead of “nice job Taylor, Evin, and Paige, I love the way you are lining up”. By naming the observable action and the specific way students are meeting the expectation, you are reiterating positively the need for this to be done. 

More often than not, when you are framing things in a positive manner, the rest of the class will mimic the models. The best part about this example is you can use (and practice) positive narration at any moment during the school day. 

2. Providing Structure 

Children might tell you otherwise, but they crave structure and routine. They love to know what is next and how they will be able to participate in whatever the school day brings. 

Also, PBIS by nature is a very scaffolded, routine-based system so it makes sense that it would work well in a structured classroom environment. You can provide structure to your students by explicitly teaching behavioral expectations, holding students accountable, giving your students time to practice and perfect certain routines, and staying consistent in both your words and actions. 

Students lose trust in you and their own self-control when they feel that their environment is not stable. Creating that structure will support you AND your students in fulfilling the day-to-day. 

3. Using Reinforcers

As stated previously, elementary-aged children need great models of what it looks like and sounds like to behave appropriately. After they receive these models, they then need time to practice, fail, and then try again. 

This is where reinforcement lives in the PBIS reward system. Consistent reinforcement of positive behavior will eventually lead to most of the students doing the right thing. The more consistent you are with the reinforcements, the better. 

As the structure of PBIS allows, using tangible reinforcements in the form of points, rewards, and incentives will create a more immediate result. Reinforce, reinforce, and then reinforce some more. It will make a huge difference in your classroom spaces.

4. Explicit Teaching of Behaviors

You may now be wondering, what exactly am I reinforcing all day? Well, a critical part of PBIS is the explicit teaching and modeling of the behaviors you want to see. These can be established by the school normed rules or your own specific class expectations. 

At the beginning of the year and then throughout, these behaviors should be a constant in your student’s minds. For example, some schools function on the foundation of four rules. The rules beautifully cover expectations about kindness, following directions, being safe, or helping yourself and others learn. 

Teaching and reinforcing what it looks like to do these four things is a strong PBIS practice and will set your students up for success in the long run. Explicit teaching goes beyond naming what you want. It is all about how you model it and let students practice daily. 

5. Integrating Social-Emotional Learning

SEL, or social-emotional learning, has been a very hot topic within schools over the past couple of years. Curriculums have been implemented and thousands of teachers have been trained on best practices, all to go beyond the academics for our little ones. 

SEL is exactly what our elementary kids need. I am in no way discounting the importance of academics, but we should be striving to find a balance in the way we educate our kids as whole intelligent human beings. 

SEL and PBIS go hand in hand and as educators, it is our mission and delight to help our students grow in every way possible when they are within our four walls. That starts with teaching them how to be good people, inside and out! 

6. Creating an Inclusive Environment 

In order for children to learn, they first need to feel safe and included. As educators, we must create a classroom environment that not only runs smoothly but is conducive to learning and growing.

Teaching and reinforcing the rules, incorporating SEL or character lessons, and showing students how to best interact are all ways your environment can become safer and more inviting. 

The way you speak and act will also impact the overall dynamic of the room. Even when things get tough, try staying positive and encouraging. 

7. Connecting School & Home Behavior 

In many schools across the nation, teachers are noticing that there can be a distinct difference between a child’s school and home behavior. This is simply because the environment and the people within it influence the behavior. 

Within PBIS, children are taught explicitly how to behave positively and are then rewarded for doing the right thing. If you are able to educate parents on how PBIS works and some interventions within that they can also use at home, the system will work even better. These conversations can occur during open houses, informational sessions, conferences, over the phone, etc.

 Building relationships with the students and their families is important, but being on the same page with best practices to support each child will be the cherry on top. 

8. Initiating Restorative Conversations 

The last PBIS example I have for you is initiating and engaging in restorative conversations. Throughout the year, there will be misunderstandings, points of frustration, and lots of mistakes. 

This is to be expected, especially in elementary school. It is how these moments are handled that will set the tone and either build your relationship with kids or obliterate it. Restorative conversations are opportunities to name the mistake or undesired behavior, help figure out the root cause of it, and talk it out.

It allows for both parties to share how they feel and create a solution together for moving forward. These conversations will help you and your students bond and will support the creation of the inclusive, positive environment we are striving for. 

Bringing PBIS Into Your Classroom

When it comes to classroom management and helping our little ones develop positive behaviors early on, PBIS is definitely the way to go. As you implement some of these examples and PBIS strategies into your own classroom, I hope they bring you and your students' new opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive!

About the Presenter

Katherine Neumeier has spent the last 8 years in education working with Title I schools to build strong classroom practices and close academic gaps with English Language Learners and Special Populations. She has taught across multiple grade levels as well as coached educators, served as a reading specialist, and built an intervention program from the ground up. Integrating EdTech platforms as well as utilizing behavior management tools such as Liveschool have transformed and supported her role as an educator. She earned a bachelor's degree from St. Mary's University and a M.Ed from The University of St. Thomas.

8 Examples of PBIS in Elementary School

What is PBIS and how can it be used to strengthen an elementary school’s culture?
By 
Katie Neumeier
 | 
August 17, 2022

The elementary years in a child’s life are pivotal. Not only is this when they learn to read, speak, and write, but these are the years where they develop their understanding of how to behave and socialize with other humans.

Children are reflections of their environments and the people within them. Therefore, the things we say as educators and model with our actions truly make a difference. A framework many schools, especially elementary, have adopted to support all children’s development is PBIS. 

So what is PBIS and how can it be used to strengthen a school’s culture and overall standard of behavior? 

What is PBIS in schools?

PBIS stands for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. Schools use it as a proactive approach to improve behavior and support every student’s behavioral needs. 

Examples of PBIS in Schools

Within the framework, there are three tiers that include specific interventions at each level. The basic idea of PBIS is simple; Educators focus on positive behaviors and reinforce those behaviors with incentives and rewards. 

To help keep track, schools use platforms such as LiveSchool to give automatic reinforcers until enough is earned to cash in for a prize. A main focus of PBIS best practices is preventing the negative behavior from occurring instead of punishing them once they have been exhibited. 

Over time, the hope is students will need less and less incentive to do the right thing. The more we focus on the positive and teach students explicitly what good behavior looks like, the more apt students will be to behave appropriately. 

So what does this actually look like in Elementary School? Below you will find a list of examples of how PBIS tiers are implemented and used at the classroom level. Remember, the better a child’s foundation, the stronger a child will be both academically and behaviorally. 

Elementary Classroom PBIS Examples

1. Positive Narration

Positive narration is more than telling a student “good job” or congratulating them in front of others. It is about framing the specific academic behaviors or behavioral accomplishments you are observing in a way that encourages others to follow suit. 

For example, you could say “I appreciate the way most of my students are lining up quietly” instead of “nice job Taylor, Evin, and Paige, I love the way you are lining up”. By naming the observable action and the specific way students are meeting the expectation, you are reiterating positively the need for this to be done. 

More often than not, when you are framing things in a positive manner, the rest of the class will mimic the models. The best part about this example is you can use (and practice) positive narration at any moment during the school day. 

2. Providing Structure 

Children might tell you otherwise, but they crave structure and routine. They love to know what is next and how they will be able to participate in whatever the school day brings. 

Also, PBIS by nature is a very scaffolded, routine-based system so it makes sense that it would work well in a structured classroom environment. You can provide structure to your students by explicitly teaching behavioral expectations, holding students accountable, giving your students time to practice and perfect certain routines, and staying consistent in both your words and actions. 

Students lose trust in you and their own self-control when they feel that their environment is not stable. Creating that structure will support you AND your students in fulfilling the day-to-day. 

3. Using Reinforcers

As stated previously, elementary-aged children need great models of what it looks like and sounds like to behave appropriately. After they receive these models, they then need time to practice, fail, and then try again. 

This is where reinforcement lives in the PBIS reward system. Consistent reinforcement of positive behavior will eventually lead to most of the students doing the right thing. The more consistent you are with the reinforcements, the better. 

As the structure of PBIS allows, using tangible reinforcements in the form of points, rewards, and incentives will create a more immediate result. Reinforce, reinforce, and then reinforce some more. It will make a huge difference in your classroom spaces.

4. Explicit Teaching of Behaviors

You may now be wondering, what exactly am I reinforcing all day? Well, a critical part of PBIS is the explicit teaching and modeling of the behaviors you want to see. These can be established by the school normed rules or your own specific class expectations. 

At the beginning of the year and then throughout, these behaviors should be a constant in your student’s minds. For example, some schools function on the foundation of four rules. The rules beautifully cover expectations about kindness, following directions, being safe, or helping yourself and others learn. 

Teaching and reinforcing what it looks like to do these four things is a strong PBIS practice and will set your students up for success in the long run. Explicit teaching goes beyond naming what you want. It is all about how you model it and let students practice daily. 

5. Integrating Social-Emotional Learning

SEL, or social-emotional learning, has been a very hot topic within schools over the past couple of years. Curriculums have been implemented and thousands of teachers have been trained on best practices, all to go beyond the academics for our little ones. 

SEL is exactly what our elementary kids need. I am in no way discounting the importance of academics, but we should be striving to find a balance in the way we educate our kids as whole intelligent human beings. 

SEL and PBIS go hand in hand and as educators, it is our mission and delight to help our students grow in every way possible when they are within our four walls. That starts with teaching them how to be good people, inside and out! 

6. Creating an Inclusive Environment 

In order for children to learn, they first need to feel safe and included. As educators, we must create a classroom environment that not only runs smoothly but is conducive to learning and growing.

Teaching and reinforcing the rules, incorporating SEL or character lessons, and showing students how to best interact are all ways your environment can become safer and more inviting. 

The way you speak and act will also impact the overall dynamic of the room. Even when things get tough, try staying positive and encouraging. 

7. Connecting School & Home Behavior 

In many schools across the nation, teachers are noticing that there can be a distinct difference between a child’s school and home behavior. This is simply because the environment and the people within it influence the behavior. 

Within PBIS, children are taught explicitly how to behave positively and are then rewarded for doing the right thing. If you are able to educate parents on how PBIS works and some interventions within that they can also use at home, the system will work even better. These conversations can occur during open houses, informational sessions, conferences, over the phone, etc.

 Building relationships with the students and their families is important, but being on the same page with best practices to support each child will be the cherry on top. 

8. Initiating Restorative Conversations 

The last PBIS example I have for you is initiating and engaging in restorative conversations. Throughout the year, there will be misunderstandings, points of frustration, and lots of mistakes. 

This is to be expected, especially in elementary school. It is how these moments are handled that will set the tone and either build your relationship with kids or obliterate it. Restorative conversations are opportunities to name the mistake or undesired behavior, help figure out the root cause of it, and talk it out.

It allows for both parties to share how they feel and create a solution together for moving forward. These conversations will help you and your students bond and will support the creation of the inclusive, positive environment we are striving for. 

Bringing PBIS Into Your Classroom

When it comes to classroom management and helping our little ones develop positive behaviors early on, PBIS is definitely the way to go. As you implement some of these examples and PBIS strategies into your own classroom, I hope they bring you and your students' new opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive!

All Reward Ideas for Students

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All Reward Ideas for Elementary School Students

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Grades K-12
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Virtual Talent Show. 🎤
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Grades K-12
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See all Rewards

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Learn more about the author, 
Katie Neumeier
 

8 Examples of PBIS in Elementary School

What is PBIS and how can it be used to strengthen an elementary school’s culture?
By 
Katie Neumeier
 | 
August 17, 2022

The elementary years in a child’s life are pivotal. Not only is this when they learn to read, speak, and write, but these are the years where they develop their understanding of how to behave and socialize with other humans.

Children are reflections of their environments and the people within them. Therefore, the things we say as educators and model with our actions truly make a difference. A framework many schools, especially elementary, have adopted to support all children’s development is PBIS. 

So what is PBIS and how can it be used to strengthen a school’s culture and overall standard of behavior? 

What is PBIS in schools?

PBIS stands for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. Schools use it as a proactive approach to improve behavior and support every student’s behavioral needs. 

Examples of PBIS in Schools

Within the framework, there are three tiers that include specific interventions at each level. The basic idea of PBIS is simple; Educators focus on positive behaviors and reinforce those behaviors with incentives and rewards. 

To help keep track, schools use platforms such as LiveSchool to give automatic reinforcers until enough is earned to cash in for a prize. A main focus of PBIS best practices is preventing the negative behavior from occurring instead of punishing them once they have been exhibited. 

Over time, the hope is students will need less and less incentive to do the right thing. The more we focus on the positive and teach students explicitly what good behavior looks like, the more apt students will be to behave appropriately. 

So what does this actually look like in Elementary School? Below you will find a list of examples of how PBIS tiers are implemented and used at the classroom level. Remember, the better a child’s foundation, the stronger a child will be both academically and behaviorally. 

Elementary Classroom PBIS Examples

1. Positive Narration

Positive narration is more than telling a student “good job” or congratulating them in front of others. It is about framing the specific academic behaviors or behavioral accomplishments you are observing in a way that encourages others to follow suit. 

For example, you could say “I appreciate the way most of my students are lining up quietly” instead of “nice job Taylor, Evin, and Paige, I love the way you are lining up”. By naming the observable action and the specific way students are meeting the expectation, you are reiterating positively the need for this to be done. 

More often than not, when you are framing things in a positive manner, the rest of the class will mimic the models. The best part about this example is you can use (and practice) positive narration at any moment during the school day. 

2. Providing Structure 

Children might tell you otherwise, but they crave structure and routine. They love to know what is next and how they will be able to participate in whatever the school day brings. 

Also, PBIS by nature is a very scaffolded, routine-based system so it makes sense that it would work well in a structured classroom environment. You can provide structure to your students by explicitly teaching behavioral expectations, holding students accountable, giving your students time to practice and perfect certain routines, and staying consistent in both your words and actions. 

Students lose trust in you and their own self-control when they feel that their environment is not stable. Creating that structure will support you AND your students in fulfilling the day-to-day. 

3. Using Reinforcers

As stated previously, elementary-aged children need great models of what it looks like and sounds like to behave appropriately. After they receive these models, they then need time to practice, fail, and then try again. 

This is where reinforcement lives in the PBIS reward system. Consistent reinforcement of positive behavior will eventually lead to most of the students doing the right thing. The more consistent you are with the reinforcements, the better. 

As the structure of PBIS allows, using tangible reinforcements in the form of points, rewards, and incentives will create a more immediate result. Reinforce, reinforce, and then reinforce some more. It will make a huge difference in your classroom spaces.

4. Explicit Teaching of Behaviors

You may now be wondering, what exactly am I reinforcing all day? Well, a critical part of PBIS is the explicit teaching and modeling of the behaviors you want to see. These can be established by the school normed rules or your own specific class expectations. 

At the beginning of the year and then throughout, these behaviors should be a constant in your student’s minds. For example, some schools function on the foundation of four rules. The rules beautifully cover expectations about kindness, following directions, being safe, or helping yourself and others learn. 

Teaching and reinforcing what it looks like to do these four things is a strong PBIS practice and will set your students up for success in the long run. Explicit teaching goes beyond naming what you want. It is all about how you model it and let students practice daily. 

5. Integrating Social-Emotional Learning

SEL, or social-emotional learning, has been a very hot topic within schools over the past couple of years. Curriculums have been implemented and thousands of teachers have been trained on best practices, all to go beyond the academics for our little ones. 

SEL is exactly what our elementary kids need. I am in no way discounting the importance of academics, but we should be striving to find a balance in the way we educate our kids as whole intelligent human beings. 

SEL and PBIS go hand in hand and as educators, it is our mission and delight to help our students grow in every way possible when they are within our four walls. That starts with teaching them how to be good people, inside and out! 

6. Creating an Inclusive Environment 

In order for children to learn, they first need to feel safe and included. As educators, we must create a classroom environment that not only runs smoothly but is conducive to learning and growing.

Teaching and reinforcing the rules, incorporating SEL or character lessons, and showing students how to best interact are all ways your environment can become safer and more inviting. 

The way you speak and act will also impact the overall dynamic of the room. Even when things get tough, try staying positive and encouraging. 

7. Connecting School & Home Behavior 

In many schools across the nation, teachers are noticing that there can be a distinct difference between a child’s school and home behavior. This is simply because the environment and the people within it influence the behavior. 

Within PBIS, children are taught explicitly how to behave positively and are then rewarded for doing the right thing. If you are able to educate parents on how PBIS works and some interventions within that they can also use at home, the system will work even better. These conversations can occur during open houses, informational sessions, conferences, over the phone, etc.

 Building relationships with the students and their families is important, but being on the same page with best practices to support each child will be the cherry on top. 

8. Initiating Restorative Conversations 

The last PBIS example I have for you is initiating and engaging in restorative conversations. Throughout the year, there will be misunderstandings, points of frustration, and lots of mistakes. 

This is to be expected, especially in elementary school. It is how these moments are handled that will set the tone and either build your relationship with kids or obliterate it. Restorative conversations are opportunities to name the mistake or undesired behavior, help figure out the root cause of it, and talk it out.

It allows for both parties to share how they feel and create a solution together for moving forward. These conversations will help you and your students bond and will support the creation of the inclusive, positive environment we are striving for. 

Bringing PBIS Into Your Classroom

When it comes to classroom management and helping our little ones develop positive behaviors early on, PBIS is definitely the way to go. As you implement some of these examples and PBIS strategies into your own classroom, I hope they bring you and your students' new opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive!

All Reward Ideas for Students

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🎁
Career Day
Grades 3-12
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
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Grades K-12
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Grades K-12
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Grades 9-12
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Grades K-5
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Grades K-12
Student
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Ice Cream Sundae Party
Grades K-12
Class/House
Event
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Donate $1
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY

All Reward Ideas for Elementary School Students

🎉
👑
🎁
Dress Up or Down Day
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Loudspeaker Shoutout
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Pie a Teacher
Grades K-12
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Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
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Family Feast
Grades K-8
Class/House
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👑
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Virtual Field Trip
Grades K-12
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👑
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Class Jobs
Grades 3-8
Student
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Grades K-12
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👑
🎁
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Grades K-8
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Event
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👑
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Grades K-8
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Event
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Grades 3-12
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🎁
Meet the Teacher
Grades K-8
School
Event
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Free Dress
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Podcast
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Student Messenger
Grades 3-8
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Class Book
Grades K-5
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Positive Note or Call Home
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free

All Event Ideas for Schools

💰
🎨
Silent Disco
💰
🎨
Karaoke Night
💰
🎨
School Dance
💰
🎨
Bonfire
💰
🎨
Game Week
💰
🎨
Theme Party
💰
🎨
Dance Party
💰
🎨
Decades Party
💰
🎨
Meme Party
💰
🎨
Kickback Vibes
💰
🎨
Final Fridays

All Free Reward Ideas for Schools

🎉
👑
🎁
Dance Party
🎉
👑
🎁
Talk Time
🎉
👑
🎁
Drop Lowest Quiz
🎉
👑
🎁
Operate Equipment.
🎉
👑
🎁
Hat Pass
🎉
👑
🎁
Virtual Field Trip
🎉
👑
🎁
School Assembly
🎉
👑
🎁
Lunch Concert

All Reward Ideas for High School Students

🎉
👑
🎁
Snack Party
Grades 3-12
Class/House
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Graduation Celebration
Grades 6-12
School
Event
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Books
Grades K-12
Student
Tangible
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Lost & Found Fashion Show
Grades 9-12
School
Event
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Be a Comedian.
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Holidays Around the World
Grades K-12
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
♟️Chess With the Principal
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Homework Pass
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Holiday Classroom Carousel
Grades 9-12
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Career Day
Grades 3-12
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Locker Choice
Grades 9-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Meme Party
Grades 6-12
School
Event
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Snacks
Grades K-12
Student
Tangible
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Glow Party
Grades 6-12
School
Event
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Virtual Field Trip
Grades K-12
Class/House
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Sports Tickets
Grades 3-12
Student
Tangible
Deluxe

All Reward Ideas for Middle School Students

🎉
👑
🎁
Digital Escape Rooms
Grades 6-12
Class/House
Privilege
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Technology
Grades 6-12
Student
Tangible
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Gift Cards
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Trunk or Treat
Grades K-8
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Social Media Reporter
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Design the Bulletin Board
Grades K-12
Class/House
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Picnic Lunch
Grades K-12
Class/House
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Ice Cream Sundae Party
Grades K-12
Class/House
Event
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Brain Break
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Create the Seating Chart
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Lunch Concert
Grades 6-8
Class/House
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Silly School Leader
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
School Spirit Day
Grades K-12
School
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
The Love Soiree
Grades 6-12
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Morning Meeting Leader
Grades 3-8
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Class Pet
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Deluxe

All Student Reward & Incentive Ideas

💰
🎨
Lunch Concert
Grades 6-8
Class/House
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Dress Up or Down Day
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Donate $1
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
💰
🎨
Extra Recess
Grades K-5
Class/House
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Certificate of Achievement
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Loudspeaker Shoutout
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Silly School Leader
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Drop Lowest Quiz
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Early Lunch Dismissal
Grades 9-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
♟️Chess With the Principal
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
💰
🎨
Line Leader
Grades K-5
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Snack Party
Grades 3-12
Class/House
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
💰
🎨
Be a Comedian.
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Free Dress
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Operate Equipment.
Grades 9-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Design the Bulletin Board
Grades K-12
Class/House
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY

All Virtual Reward Ideas for Schools

🎉
👑
🎁
Digital Escape Rooms
Grades 6-12
Class/House
Privilege
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Morning Meeting Leader
Grades 3-8
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Virtual Field Trip
Grades K-12
Class/House
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Virtual Talent Show. 🎤
Grades 3-12
Class/House
Event
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Certificate of Achievement
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Teacher Q&A
Grades K-12
Class/House
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Student Spotlight Board
Grades K-5
Student
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Classroom DJ
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Donate $1
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Social Media Reporter
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Brain Break
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Show & Tell
Grades K-8
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Host a Virtual Party. 🎶
Grades 6-12
Class/House
Event
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Extra Computer Games
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Positive Note or Call Home
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Stickers
Grades K-5
Student
Tangible
Low Cost/DIY
See all Rewards

Want more ideas?

Rewards that Rock 🎸 has 100+ rewards, incentives, and event ideas to build your school culture.
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Learn more about the author, 
Katie Neumeier
 

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