The Good Behavior Game

Do you want to play a game? I am talking about the Good Behavior Game.  It can also known as the Caught Being Good Game.  This game is a ABA strategy that can be used for classroom wide behavior management.

Wouldn’t it be great if we, as special ed teachers, were able to have behaviors minimized simply by the class wide behavior management plan?  The good behavior game is a research driven approach that helps minimize disruptive behaviors for an entire group.

How to set it up?

Step One: Create Teams

Break students into two teams.  These teams can be based on simply where they are in the room.  However, it is important to balance the the teams with students who regularly demonstrate appropriate behavior and students who struggle more.   This allows for both teams to win the game and come into contact with the reinforcement needed to ultimately change the behavior.

Step Two: Define the rules and set the criterion

This is an interesting piece to the Good Behavior Game. When defining the rules there are two choices.

  • Give points for disruptive behavior
  • Give points for on-task behavior

When points are given for on-task behavior, it is called the Caught Being Good game. Either way is effective in changing behavior in the classroom.

Then, set the criterion.  How many points does a team need to earn the prize? Five tally marks, ten? This is dependent on the age of the students and how long the game will go on for. Criterion needs to be in place before the start of the game.

The criterion could also simply be the team with more (or less points) win.  Determining the way in which teams will earn the reinforcer is important prior to the start of the game.

Step Three: Determine the prize

The prize to be won can be determined by the teacher or students. Another option it that the prize can be a mystery.  Keep in mind, if the prize is a mystery, some students who win may not be reinforced by that prize.  One solution to this is to provide prize options.  This allows students to pick a prize from a predetermined list.

Step Four: Set the Scoreboard

Setting up the scoreboard can be a visual or oral thing.  It is not necessary to pair the visual, especially if it is intrusive to your instruction.  If using a visual, simply writing tally marks on a whiteboard is one way to keep track of the points.  It is essential that when a team earns a point, they are vocally alerted to this and defined as a team not as individuals.  This may sound like “team B has earned a point for lining up quietly,” or “team A has earned a point for being off task and talking with their peers.” This is one of the key components of the good behavior game and is necessary to be a success.

Step Five: Deliver the Reinforcer

Another unique component to the Good Behavior Game is the fact that both teams can earn the reinforcer!  This can happen when a specific criterion for the number of points needed is set (remember this was determined at the start of the game).  Be sure to give the reinforcer so students identify their behavior with earning it.

The Good Behavior Game is a fun way to engage all students in a classroom.  Classrooms in preschool up through college have used this strategy.  This is perfect for use in an integrated setting as well as a general education setting.  

Good luck!

Similar Posts