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16 Positive Behavior Intervention Support Skills



Getting the Teacher’s Attention

  1. Look at the teacher                                                         
  1. Raise your hand and stay calm                                    
  2. Wait until the teacher says your name
  3. Ask your question


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Accepting Criticism/Consequence

  1. Look at the person
  2. Say “okay”
  3. Stay calm


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Accepting “No” for an answer

  1. Look at the person
  2. Say “Okay”
  3. Stay calm
  4. If you disagree, ask later

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Working with Others (group work)

  1. Identify the task to each person
  2. Assign tasks to each person
  3. Discuss ideas in a calm, quiet voice

and let everyone share their ideas

  1. Work on tasks until completed


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Disagreeing Appropriately

  1. Look at the person
  2. Use a calm and pleasant voice
  3. Say “I understand how you feel”
  4. Tell why you feel differently
  5. Give a reason
  6. Listen to the other person


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Following Instructions

  1. Look at the person                                                                                                          
  2. Say “Okay”
  3. Do what you have been asked right away
  4. Check Back                                                                                                      


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  1. Look at the person who is talking
  2. Wait until the other person is done before speaking
  3. Show you have heard the other person by nodding your head, or saying “OK,” “That’s interesting,” etc.


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Using appropriate Voice Tone

  1. Identify the appropriate voice tone for the situation
  2. Change your voice to match the situation
  3. Watch/Listen for visual/verbal cues and adjust your voice


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Asking for Help

  1. Look at the person
  2. Ask the person if they have time to help you
  3. Clearly explain the kind of help you need
  4. Thank the person for helping you


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Making an Apology

  1. Look at the person
  2. Use a serious, sincere voice
  3. Say “I’m sorry for..” or “I want to apologize for…”
  4. Explain how you plan on doing better in the future
  5. Say, “Thanks for listening”


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MYOB-Mind Your Own Business

  1. Focus on your assignment, task or activity
  2. Ignore all conversations, gestures and distractions that are someone else’s business
  3. Keep working or stay on your task until you receive further instructions or the time is up


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Resisting Peer Pressure

  1. Look at the person
  2. Use a calm voice
  3. Say clearly you do not want to participate
  4. Suggest something else to do
  5. If necessary, continue to say “No”
  6. Leave the situation


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Staying on Task

  1. Look at your task or assignment
  2. Think about the steps needed to complete the task
  3. Focus all of your attention on the task
  4. Stop working only when instructed
  5. Ignore distractions and interruptions


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Waiting your Turn

  1. Sit or stand quietly
  2. Keep your arms and legs still
  3. Avoid begging, whining or teeth sucking
  4. Engage in the activity when directed by an adult or until it is your turn
  5. Thank the person who gives you a turn


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Asking Permission

  1. Look at the person
  2. Use a calm and pleasant voice
  3. Say “May I…”
  4. Accept the answer calmly

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Giving Criticism

  1. Look at the person
  2. Stay calm and use a pleasant voice
  3. Say something positive or “I understand”
  4. Describe exactly what you are criticizing
  5. Tell why this is a problem
  6. Listen to the person/be polite


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Adapted from: Teaching Social Skills to Youth: Boys Town Press