Topic Progress:

Tangible Reinforcers

Tangibles serve as a visual reminder for staff to watch for desired behaviors and then deliver specific positive feedback. Looking at the student and saying, “You followed directions. That helped you complete your assignment quickly and accurately. Because you followed directions you have earned a Tiger Ticket,” can enhance the relationship between the student and teacher.  You can provide positive specific feedback to the student without a tangible (ticket, token, etc.), but you must always accompany a tangible with positive specific feedback.

Tangible Reinforcers Example

High School Example, Transition back from lunch

Your: Preparation, Responsibility, Integrity, Discipline, Effort--is showing! Student name (blank) Grade (blank) Teacher (blank)

Teacher delivery of tangibles creates a ready signal to all students, both to the ones who earn them as well as others nearby who witness it. When the tangible item is used to count toward a classroom, grade level or schoolwide goal, they work doubly to provide the immediate reinforcement as the student earns the ticket, and then again as the ticket goes into the class bucket toward the class goal. When all students contribute to a class, grade or schoolwide goal, it builds a sense of community. Once the goal is achieved everyone celebrates together.

Rather than developing a whole new system of recognition for the classroom, consider how you can connect the schoolwide system so students have clear and consistent ways to be recognized for following expectations.  When the staff demonstrate the tangibles are valuable and can be earned in all settings, and the system includes a menu of options the students want, the system is more robust and effective.

The key with all recognition systems is to maintain them consistently throughout the year.  The SW-PBS leadership team and each classroom teacher may spice it up occasionally by making a particular expectation worth double tickets, or adding items to the menu of options, or even designating a “secret mission” of the week that all staff will be looking for (like being safe by walking in the classroom and in the hallways).

***It is critical to note, once a ticket or other tangible recognition has been earned, it should not be taken away. Rather, another one should not be awarded until the student next earns it.

Here are links to videos for more information and interviews with MO teachers about Encouraging Expected Behavior:

Content Acquisition Podcast:

Teacher Examples and Interviews: