Jan 20

Teachers face a tremendous task of catering to students’ needs, both as individuals and as an entire classroom. Often times, classrooms are comprised of students with ranging abilities, strengths, and areas of need. While many of our articles have focused on offering tips for the individual, this month we will provide Tips for Teachers: how to easily infuse ABA strategies into your classroom to effectively reach more students’ needs, while also creating a more structured classroom environment. For expat teachers in particular, building an organized classroom with clear expectations will help not only with students with varying abilities, but also with students from various backgrounds. Try integrating our top 5 tips into your classroom and let us know which work best for you!

1. Develop clear classroom rules and expectations. The best foundation for successful classroom management is clearly defined system and to make sure the system is understood by all students. A visual representation of the overall rules and the expectations for each work period is a great tool for many students to use throughout the day.

2. Additional visual supports. Many students learn best through visuals, so utilization of visual schedules, visual labels for organization, visual directions for an assignment, and other supports are a helpful tool for many students. A visual reminder, like a 5-minute timer in the front of the classroom, is a helpful tool used to indicate a transition is coming up.

3. Incorporate reinforcement into classroom management. Focus on giving attention to behaviors you wish to strengthen: sitting quietly, working independently, raising hand for help, waiting appropriately. Ignore, redirect, or provide a consequence for behaviors you wish to reduce: noncompliance, talking with peers during a work period, throwing away work, yelling outbursts. In some cases, the undesired behavior may be an attempt for teacher attention (even in the form of a reprimand), in which case, teacher ignoring the behavior is the best choice of consequence.

4. Model behaviors and skills. Some students learn best by example, so whether you model how to do a math problem on the board, show students how to push in a chair, or demonstrate how to line up single-file, the additional step of modeling can help make expectations more clear.

5. Use “First…, Then…” language. By clearly and directly stating what behavior needs to be done to earn what specific reward, the student will have a clear expectation and you will strengthen your ability to follow through. Instead of saying “you can’t leave the table until you finish the math worksheet,” try saying “first, finish the math worksheet, then, you can have a break on the computer.” This change in wording allows for a precise understanding of expectations by both the student and teacher.

first then


Interested in receiving workshops, or professional, customized ABA services for your family in the home, after-school program or at the (International) school in Europe? Our BCBA and staff will help with behavior challenges, developmental delays, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Disorders, ADHD or related disorders. Contact Aspire- ABA Center Europe (ACE) at info@abacenter.nl

  • In Uncategorized