The ABCs in behaviour management refer to the antecedent, behaviour, and consequence. A child engages in an activity that causes a behaviour to occur, resulting in a consequence. The behaviour performed could be a positive or negative reaction to the antecedent. Likewise, the consequence is a positive or negative result that directly relates to the behaviour that occurred. Ultimately, the teacher's responsibility is to compile a behaviour report that can accurately explain the ABCs in the situation.
Create a behaviour report template that addresses the ABCs of behaviours. The template should be divided into three sections, corresponding to the ABCs, and one section that allows for brief brainstorming of an alternative for the behaviour that occurred. Use a computer document writer to create the template to allow for quick editing throughout the school year if needed. The template can also be student friendly in case the teacher chooses to give the students responsibility for documenting their behaviours.
Label the first section with an appropriate title such as "Observed Behavior" or "What Happened." When an incident occurs in the classroom, the teacher or student should be able to read this label and document the incident using objective language. When a behaviour is described exactly as it occurred without adding any feelings or assumptions, the observation is valid. For instance, if a student threw a pencil across the room and hit another student in the back, the teacher only needs to write exactly what happened. There should be no added comments as to how angry the student was or how the pencil hurt the second student.
Make a checklist of the classroom and school rules and arrange them in the second section. Add a title such as "Rules Violated/Broken." The section should not explain the rules but simply state the predetermined rules that are typically taught on the first day of school. If the student is filling out his own behaviour report, the teacher should remind him of the rules and monitor his response to ensure he understands the correlation between his behaviour and the rule that was broken.
Label the third section with a title such as "Consequences." The teacher should have predetermined consequences posted in a visible place in the room. Reminding the student of the rule he has broken followed by immediate administration of the consequence is a key component in correcting an off-task behaviour.
Provide an alternative to the off-task behaviour by brainstorming with the student. Label the fourth section "Brainstorming" or "What Should I Have Done." The section should be brief and include only two to three lines in which the student can generate at least one alternative the next time she engages in the activity that led to the off-task behaviour.
Designate a space at the bottom of the behaviour report that allows the teacher and student to date and sign the behaviour report. This provides accurate documentation of the day the incident occurs and hands over ownership of his behaviour to the student.
Remember to avoid power struggles with students and reinforce good behaviours rather than negative.