What Are Some Examples of Positive Behavior Supports in the Classroom?

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A teacher uses positive behavior support in the classroom.

Effective education comes not only from the subjects students learn but also from their learning environment. Enhancing the educational environment for students, teachers and administrators can work alongside applied behavior analysts to implement positive behavior supports in the classroom. While teachers manage behavior in the classroom, applied behavior analysts work with educators to build observation-based support strategies designed to promote positive behaviors and minimize negative behaviors. Programs such as an online Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis can help students pursuing applied behavior analysis (ABA) careers develop the fundamental knowledge and skills required to effectively build positive behavior supports in the classroom.

What Are Positive Behavior Supports?

ABA provides a lens through which analysts can understand human behavior. Applied behavior analysts assess individuals and collect data to determine what behavioral support students need. Applied behavior analysts can collect data through indirect assessments, direct assessments, and functional analysis to create positive behavior supports. These research-based positive behavior supports provide a caring approach to behavior therapy and strive to improve an individual’s behavior. Applied behavior analysts can lay the foundation for effective positive behavior support strategies by using an approach to pinpointing behavioral causes, leading to positive behavior support.

Examples of Positive Behavior Supports in the Classroom

Applied behavior analysts use research-based strategies to create positive behavior supports that can improve environments affected by negative behavior. Positive behavior supports deployed in classrooms  have become an effective means of improving educational settings. Applied behavior analysts play an important role in developing strategies that yield positive results in the classroom. Examples of positive behavior supports in the classroom include routines, proximity, task assessment, and positive phrasing.


A teacher can promote positive behavior in the classroom by using the ABA technique of establishing routines. By following certain patterns in lessons and activities, teachers can establish consistency for their students. Teachers can incorporate standards for what students should do at arrival and dismissal, as well as at breaks and lunch. Another routine may consist of how teachers handle transitions between activities. Teachers can provide a standard for how and when students can ask a question, sharpen a pencil, or use the restroom. These routines encourage students to adopt positive behavior patterns.


Teachers can use the ABA technique of proximity as another example of positive behavior support in the classroom. They can move around the classroom to help when students raise their hands to ask for assistance. By getting closer to their students, teachers can interact with them one-on-one. They can use proximity to both visually and verbally engage with their students and support positive behavior.

Task Assessment

A multifaceted example of positive behavior support in the classroom is task assessment. Teachers can implement this ABA technique before and after students work on a task. As they assign a task, teachers can provide guidelines of what behaviors are expected. For instance, teachers can tell their students to stay quiet while they complete a timed test and remind them to raise their hands if they have questions during the test. Teachers should make sure students fully understand the prompt as the task is assigned. After the students complete the task, the teacher can assess if students completed it with the correct behavior. Teachers can use their assessment to determine if they need to change their strategy of how they assign specific tasks in the future.

Positive Phrasing

Teachers are behavior role models for their students and should model the positive behavior they wish to see in their classrooms. By communicating through positive phrasing, teachers can establish a standard students can use when speaking to one another and their teachers. When teachers need to correct an error, they can do so concisely and respectfully to cultivate safe, positive classroom environments. Teachers can also habitually praise good behavior to promote how students should act in the classroom.

Gaining the Knowledge Needed to Build Positive Behavior Supports

Applied behavior analysts play a necessary role in education, providing teachers with examples of positive behavior supports they can implement in their classrooms. Applied behavior analysts collect data to establish research-based strategies for positive behavior supports. A student considering a career as an applied behavior analyst can look into Regis College’s online Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis program. The curriculum is specifically designed to help students to acquire the insightneeded to develop effective observation-driven positive behavior support strategies. The courses teach students to take an individual’s unique behavioral tendencies into account when creating ABA techniques. The program also provides hands-on experience for students to better prepare them for ABA careers.

Pursue a Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis

A student considering a career as an applied behavior analyst can pursue advanced education and learn how to develop examples of positive behavior supports in the classroom. Discover how Regis College’s online Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis program can help students cultivate the knowledge and skills they’ll need to pursue a satisfying career as an applied behavior analyst.

Recommended Readings

Defining Verbal Behavior: A Key Concept in Applied Behavior Analysis 

Exploring ABA Techniques and Their Role in Treatment 

What Is the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)? A Look at a Key ABA Technique 


County Health Rankings, School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (Tier 1) 

Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports, PBIS in the Classroom

Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports, Supporting and Responding to Behavior

Positive Supports Minnesota, The Relationship Between ABA and Positive Behavior Support

Regis College, Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis

Understood, PBIS: What You Need to Know