The Good Game: Behavior Management

Positive Reinforcement To Deal With Challenging Behavior

Everyone has had a student that struggles with behavior and all the first/ then and visual schedules in the world just don’t seem to work for them. It can be so frustrating because you just don’t know how to help them. This behavior plan was born out of that type of situation and relies on the oldest teaching trick in the book- Make It A Game! This Good Game Behavior Management plan will help you use positive reinforcement to deal with even the most challenging classroom behavior.

Rules of the Good Game

The game itself it’s pretty self explanatory. Each day the child starts with a blank board and for each “good choice” they make, they get color in a heart. I use a bingo dipper and let the student don in the heart. Different activities could be worth more than 1 heart, especially if it’s something they struggle with. For instance, you get 2 hearts for completing a transition without yelling. The stars along the path are predetermined mini rewards, think edibles or preferred activities. Another important component is that they can only earn hearts, they can’t be taken away. Trying to remove something they have already got is like setting off a bomb. If they mess up, then they just don’t earn hearts for that task and they get to try again.


The big key to the good game is the ending treasure. This is the end of the day draw that keeps the kid playing. I worked with the parents on this one and a few options we developed were the ability to be a car rider, a can of favorite soda, sensory room for an extended period, an ice cream cone, iPad free time, etc. It needs to be something the kid REALLY wants and looks forward to. It’s also important to change the treasure out routinely, otherwise they might get too use to the reward and it will lose it appeal.

I keep the days game on a clipboard that travels with the student so they are able to earn hearts in other rooms as well. Be warned that sometimes they don’t earn the big reward and it makes for a sad last period but I remind them that they can try again tomorrow and do my best to distract. Don’t allow them the reward though unless it’s been earned because then it loses the value. If you click the picture below, it will allow you to make a copy for yourself. You can then use whatever PECS would work best for your student. I hope this management plan helps out your classroom as much as it did mine.

Author of CaffeinePrayers

Welcome to Caffeine Prayers

Hi Ya’ll! My name is Chelsea. I like to write about my adventures in parenthood and marriage, trying to manage a home, attempting to take care of myself, and sprinkle in some teaching and counseling. There is so much here that hopefully you find something that interest you. Please subscribe to keep up with all my creative chaos and stay entertained. Thanks for stopping by!

Published by caffeineprayers

If I listed all the things I do and am that would take a lot of space up, so lets suffice it to say that I'm expert in nothing but I do know somethings about teaching and counseling, I'm really trying to be a good Christian, and I think my kid is pretty cool.

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