5 PBIS Interventions for Tier 1 to Use in Your District Today (2023)

Take a minute to think about what a positive school climate means to you. How do the students behave? How do adults behave? What kinds of relationships do people have? Now, what do you think it would take for your school or district to get there?

Behavior is top of mind for educators across the country, and many school districts are implementing a PBIS framework (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) to address student behavior through systemic change. According to the Center on PBIS, when the framework is implemented well, it benefits all facets of school life:

  • Students achieve improved social and academic outcomes.
  • Schools see fewer office discipline referrals and reduced use of exclusionary practices like suspensions.
  • Faculty and staff members feel more effective.

The three-tiered system starts with Tier 1 school-wide expectations and supports established for all students and educators across all settings. Tier 2 and Tier 3 provide more targeted interventions when students need additional support.

(Video) PBIS Tier 1 - Module 1 Getting Started

The PBIS interventions a school or district implements at Tier 1 set the foundation for the entire system. These interventions focus on setting clear expectations for behaviors, and implementing procedures and practices for teaching the emotional and social skills needed for positive behavior. Tier 1 practices rely on adults establishing the environment students need in order to succeed, and providing skill-building opportunities to address student misbehavior in a constructive way.

Download a Tier 1 action-planning template in this PBIS toolkit.

Here are five easy-to-implement Tier 1 PBIS intervention strategies educators can use to promote positive behavior in and out of the classroom:

  1. Behavior-Specific Praise
  2. Visual Aids
  3. Positive Home Contact
  4. Take a Break
  5. Social Contract

1. Behavior-Specific Praise

How many times a day do you find yourself saying “Great job!” to a student? Probably more than you can count. While positive praise like this is reinforcing for some students, you can make an even more powerful impact by giving behavior-specific praise.

Behavior-specific praise acknowledges desired behaviors with specific language about the observed behavior and the student(s) you are praising. Nearly 30 years of research on behavior-specific praise has shown that it can increase positive behavior in the classroom and boost academic success.Behavior-specific praise helps students learn what positive, appropriate behaviors look and feel like, reinforces classroom expectations, and increases the likelihood of students engaging in expected behaviors in the future. This research-based strategy can be especially beneficial as a classroom management tool to address challenging behavior or disruptions, as it reinforces positive behaviors and makes repetition of desired behavior more likely in the future.

(Video) What is PBIS? 5 minute description and 4 main components

Behavior-specific praise includes three key components:

  • A description of a positive social or academic behavior
  • Specific identification of the student/group engaging in the positive behavior
  • Use of an authentic, positive, and warm tone of voice

You can use this strategy with any age group of students, from elementary to high school. The following are examples of behavior-specific praise:

  • “Table 2, thank you for taking out your math books when I asked!”
  • “Janelle, thank you for keeping your hands to yourself.”
  • “Thanks for keeping your phones away during class, everyone. Today’s lesson had some really important information, and it’s great that you all paid close attention.”
  • “Ezra, great job lining up quietly!”

It’s important to note that some students are uncomfortable with being praised publicly and prefer one-on-one conversations. When giving behavior-specific praise to individual students, try to have these conversations in a more private setting.

2. Visual Aids

Visual aids serve as quick, consistent reminders for students that help them navigate life in the classroom: what supplies are needed for activities, the flow of the day, or behavior expectations. Educators can remind students to check the visual reminders, helping them develop independence instead of relying on asking teachers for information.

(Video) SERP PBIS Review: Tiers One and Two

Visual aids can include:

  • Visual Timers: Many students, especially those who are still learning to tell time, do not have a strong understanding of time management. Using visual timers can show students how much time they have left to work on something, so when you say “five more minutes,” they understand what that means! There are many options available for visual timers. You can choose to use a physical timer, or an online timer.
  • Visual Schedules: Writing the day’s (or class period’s) schedule on the board, or using accompanying pictures, can help students build independence, understand expectations, and ease anxiety for students who are unsure about what’s coming next.
  • Visual Reminders: Are there certain supplies students need to keep with them during the day, or as part of a specific lesson plan? Maybe you have a list of classroom expectations you would like students to remember. Keeping visual reminders, like a photograph of the supplies needed or a poster of the expectations, can help students remember what is expected of them and develop positive habits.

3. Positive Home Contact

5 PBIS Interventions for Tier 1 to Use in Your District Today (1)

Courtesy of GiveThx

Tell a student’s family something that you are grateful to their child for. Expressing thanks for a student's behavior to a student’s family shows that the educator values the student and behavior. This reinforces both the behavior and the relationships between educator, student, and family.

  • Select a student to celebrate in this way. Think of something they did or a way they behaved that contributed positively to the class.
  • Call, text, or email the student’s family. Share the student’s positive action or behavior in the form of gratitude for what it contributed to the class. This action can be especially impactful for families who may expect critical communication from the school.
  • Leaving a phone message or writing an email provides the family with something concrete they can re-share with their child and refer back to.
  • Aim to make this a daily routine by contacting one family per day.

Get more ideas for building family partnerships with the Building Family Understanding of Social-Emotional Learning toolkit.

(Video) 2019 PBIS Training (Tier 1)

4. Take a Break

Brain breaks help reset our minds and bodies when we’re feeling unfocused and allow us to get back to work. These breaks can be physical, like doing some jumping jacks or going for a quick walk, or mental, like a word puzzle or breathing exercise. Giving individuals or groups of students opportunities to take a brain break during the school day can replenish the attention, motivation, and energy levels needed to keep learning. Students also learn better when lessons are broken up into smaller segments.

The most effective brain breaks are intellectually stimulating and completely remove the student’s thinking from the previous activity. This is especially important when using a brain break as a redirection from a distressing emotional situation, as some break activities aren’t sufficient to keep a student from ruminating on the problem. In these situations, using mind puzzles like crosswords or Sudoku, or something physical such as following along with a dance video, can be helpful.

5. Social Contract

5 PBIS Interventions for Tier 1 to Use in Your District Today (2)

(Video) PBIS Teams Series: Reestablishing Your Tier 1 System

Courtesy of CharacterStrong

Establish an agreed-upon set of classroom values, expectations, and consequences that all students help create and sign. A social contract gives students a voice in creating their own class environment and deciding how their ideal class should look, sound, and feel. It also serves as a classroom management tool for addressing challenging behaviors with clear, logical consequences that the teacher and students have already agreed upon. Social contracts should be responsive to and inclusive of student needs.

  • Share Context About the Contract (5-10 minutes): Share with the class that, because you believe all people in the room should have a voice in how the class functions, you are all going to work together to create a set of classroom expectations. Explain that this will become a contract that everyone signs, and that it will be posted up as a reminder of what they created together and agreed to as norms.
  • Posing Questions for the Contract (5-10 minutes): Ask students to individually respond to the following questions. They can use both words as well as images to help paint a picture. (Remind students that they need to be realistic when responding because we really want to use their ideas.)
    • How do you want to be treated in class? What does that look/sound/feel like?
    • How do you believe I want to be treated as your teacher? What does that look/sound/feel like?
    • What does the ideal learning environment look/sound/feel like?
  • Group Work + Share Out: Have students share their ideas with each other and see if they can create a single inclusive vision for each question. Ask groups to share out as a class, asking a few students to volunteer to write the key words and phrases on the board.
  • Collaborate to Create the Contract: Work together as a class to summarize their ideas into a class contract that is posted on the wall, then have everyone in the class sign.

Want more Tier 1 strategies?Download a PBIS intervention menu template in this toolkit!


What is an example of a Tier 1 intervention? ›

It is a student-specific effort designed to foster grade-level catch-up growth. An example of a Tier 1 intervention is pre-teaching target vocabulary words to a student prior to presenting them to the whole class. The concept of growth is the key that distinguishes intervention from differentiation.

What are some examples of interventions? ›

Some examples of useful interventions include building relationships, adapting the environment, managing sensory stimulation, changing communication strategies, providing prompts and cues, using a teach, review, and reteach process, and developing social skills.

How can I improve my Tier 1 instruction? ›

One of the best things you can do to strengthen Tier 1 instruction is use the fact that some students are struggling, identify why they're struggling, and really build that into the way in which we're instructing for all students. Formative assessment practice is a huge part of improving Tier 1 instruction.

What is a Tier 1 behavior intervention? ›

Tier I positive behavior interventions

Tier I behavior supports are behavioral strategies that all students have access to. These interventions set the foundation for behavior in the classroom. Without them, teachers will not be prepared to incentivize positive behavior or respond to negative behavior.

What is an appropriate learning support for Tier 1? ›

Learning Support for Reading

Teachers can use graphic organizers at the Tier 1 level to scaffold more difficult concepts and texts to increase student comprehension. Beyond increasing reading comprehension, graphic organizers can also improve writing skills.

What are Tier 1 intervention strategies? ›

Here are five easy-to-implement Tier 1 PBIS intervention strategies educators can use to promote positive behavior in and out of the classroom:
  • Behavior-Specific Praise.
  • Visual Aids.
  • Positive Home Contact.
  • Take a Break.
  • Social Contract.

What are 4 types of intervention options? ›

To ensure your intervention has the potential to be successful, it's important to work with a professional interventionist.
4 Common Types of Intervention Techniques
  • Simple Intervention. ...
  • Classic Intervention. ...
  • Family System Intervention. ...
  • Crisis Intervention.
26 May 2021

What are the 4 methods of intervention? ›

Different Types of Interventions
  • Knowing the different types of interventions is important in treating substance use disorders and mental illness. ...
  • #1: Simple Intervention. ...
  • #2: Classic Intervention. ...
  • #3: Family System Intervention. ...
  • #4: Crisis Intervention.

What are the 6 major intervention strategies? ›

Intervention Strategies and Techniques
  • Give plenty of feedback. ...
  • Continually monitor progress. ...
  • Clarify your objectives. ...
  • Direct instruction. ...
  • Have students rephrase your lesson. ...
  • Make sure those kids reflect.

What are some interventions for struggling students? ›

Five principles for supporting struggling learners
  • Know individual students. Effective teachers know their students. ...
  • Plan according to the developmental levels of students. ...
  • Model instruction and follow up with students. ...
  • Assess students throughout the lesson. ...
  • Provide consistent one-on-one or small group interventions.
8 Jan 2020

What does Tier 1 look like in the classroom? ›

Tier 1 consists of universal instruction for all students, which should be research based. Typically, 80% or more of students should be able to make steady and consistent academic growth with whole group instruction and support from their classroom teacher.

What is a Tier 1 intervention teacher? ›

Tier 1: The whole class

Teachers use methods like phonics that are proven to work. With RTI, there must be research backing up the teaching method. Students in this tier may work in small groups. Teachers do their best to give the kids teaching that fits their skill levels and how they learn best.

What does Tier 1 support mean? ›

What is Tier 1 tech support? Tier 1 tech support is the first line of technical support team responsible for basic customer issues. It is synonymous with first-line support or level 1 support resolving basic technical or semi-technical issues.

What are three important tasks for a school wide PBIS Tier 1 team? ›

Tier 1 PBIS
  • Effectively teach appropriate behavior to all children.
  • Intervene early before unwanted behaviors escalate.
  • Use research-based, scientifically validated interventions whenever possible.
  • Monitor student progress.
  • Use data to make decisions.

What is a Tier 1 system? ›

A Tier 1 network is an Internet Protocol (IP) network that can reach every other network on the Internet solely via settlement-free interconnection (also known as settlement-free peering).

What are the key elements of Tier 1? ›

Tier 1 emphasizes modeling, teaching, and acknowledging positive social, emotional, and behavioral (SEB) skills. Teams, data, consistent policies, professional development, and evaluation are essential components for these practices to work effectively.

Which products can be advised on at the Tier 1 level? ›

Tier 1 compliance is compulsory for those giving detailed advice in insurance broking, life insurance, superannuation, financial planning, managed investments, derivatives, securities and general insurance, including personal accident and sickness products.

What is the most common form of intervention? ›

The Johnson Model is the most common intervention strategy - and the one you're probably most familiar with. It's a classic model where close friends and family surprise their loved one with a meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to help the individual see the extent of their problem and accept help.

What are interventions activities? ›

In the classroom, interventions are activities that you would use to help students become successful in their classwork or decrease negative behavior towards others. They should be a team decision, based on students' needs and available resources. Plans may target academic or behavior challenges.

What are effective interventions? ›

Implementing Effective Interventions is a process of assuring that key aspects of promising approaches are put into practice as intended and to meet local needs.

What are the most successful methods for intervention? ›

To help run a successful intervention:
  • Don't hold an intervention on the spur of the moment. ...
  • Plan the time of the intervention. ...
  • Do your homework. ...
  • Appoint a single person to act as a liaison. ...
  • Share information. ...
  • Stage a rehearsal intervention. ...
  • Anticipate your loved one's objections. ...
  • Avoid confrontation.

What are the three methods of intervention? ›

They are:
  • Intervention team: A group of people from a person's social and family network are gathered together to form the intervention team. ...
  • Planning: An intervention requires careful planning and organization for the best results. ...
  • Care-focused: Families and loved ones should be assertive without being hurtful.

What are some examples of Tier 3 interventions? ›

Examples of Tier 3 interventions might include: individual counseling, family counseling; or administration of a Functional Behavioral Assessment to provide concrete data to create an individual Behavior Support Plan.

What are interventions for students? ›

What is instructional intervention?
  • Instructional interventions help struggling students and measure their progress.
  • Interventions use a specific program or set of steps to target an academic need.
  • They're often used to help kids who have trouble with reading or math.

What makes a good intervention in school? ›

An effective intervention curriculum identifies students' needs and the standards to master, and then provides instruction based on those findings. This process can be done in three easy steps: diagnose, decide, and deliver.

What are simple interventions? ›

Simple intervention occurs when one individual, most often a friend or family member, confronts the person with the substance use disorder in some kind of neutral environment. The person performing the intervention will have better success if prior to actually doing the intervention, a professional is consulted.

What are 5 techniques teachers can use to help students cope with problems and challenges? ›

Here are five common teaching methods.
  • Differentiated instruction. With this approach, teachers change and switch around what students need to learn, how they'll learn it, and how to get the material across to them. ...
  • Scaffolding. ...
  • Graphic organization. ...
  • Mnemonics. ...
  • Multisensory instruction.

What are some positive interventions and/or supports you can use with students? ›

Here are nine specific examples of PBIS interventions that you can use in your classroom to reinforce positive student behavior and expectations.
  • Routines. ...
  • Breaks. ...
  • Silent Signals. ...
  • Proximity. ...
  • Quiet Corrections. ...
  • Special Tasks. ...
  • Positive Phrasing. ...
  • Behavior Statements.
26 May 2022

What are the 11 strategies to handle weak learners? ›

What you can do to help your child
  • Provide a quiet work/study area. ...
  • Keep assignments and homework sessions short. ...
  • Be accessible. ...
  • Ask questions such as 'what does that word mean? ...
  • Read to your child.
  • Be patient and consistent.
  • Do not allow them to give up on their work or themselves. ...
  • Don't be overprotective.
27 Oct 2017

What does tier one mean for a school? ›

Tier 1. These are schools with admissions rates below 10%. This means that of every 100 people who apply, fewer than 10 will be accepted. These schools want academic excellence and stellar extracurriculars, but those are only enough to get you into contention.

What is the benefit of Tier 1? ›

All NPS Tier 1 subscribers can claim tax deductions of up to ₹1.5 lakhs under Section 80CCE. Tier 1 investors are also eligible for an additional deduction of up to ₹50000 under Section 80CCD (1B). Keep in mind that this rebate is over and above the ₹1.5 lakh deduction under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

What is a Tier 1 problem? ›

The first level of intervention, called primary or universal prevention, is often called Tier 1 intervention in schools. Primary level interventions are delivered to all students, and attempt to undertake modifications in the environment or system which prevent behavior or mental health problems from developing.

What is Tier 1 Tier 2 and Tier 3 Education examples? ›

Tier 1 = Universal or core instruction. Tier 2 = Targeted or strategic instruction/intervention. Tier 3 = Intensive instruction/intervention.

What are some Tier 1 interventions for reading? ›

Tier 1 Strategies
  • Teacher Modeling. Teacher modeling involves the teacher reading text to students in an expressive manner. ...
  • Echo Reading. Echo reading is an intervention that is easy to implement. ...
  • Choral Reading. ...
  • Partner Reading. ...
  • Whisper Reading. ...
  • Repeated Reading. ...
  • Wide Reading Fluency.

What does Tier 1 include? ›

Tier 1 capital is the primary funding source of the bank. Tier 1 capital consists of shareholders' equity and retained earnings. Tier 2 capital includes revaluation reserves, hybrid capital instruments and subordinated term debt, general loan-loss reserves, and undisclosed reserves.

What is a Tier 1 school mean? ›

Tier 1. These are schools with admissions rates below 10%. This means that of every 100 people who apply, fewer than 10 will be accepted. These schools want academic excellence and stellar extracurriculars, but those are only enough to get you into contention.

What are tier 2 interventions examples? ›

Examples of Tier 2 Practices
  • Academic Interventions. Interventions in which students are provided instruction on missing academic skills. ...
  • Check-In/Check-Out. ...
  • Check and Connect. ...
  • Check, Connect, and Expect. ...
  • Classwide Interventions. ...
  • Mentoring. ...
  • Service Learning Programs. ...
  • Setting-based Interventions.

What are 5 effective strategies for active readers? ›

Whether your students are seven or seventeen years old, here are a handful of really great strategies to build those active reading skills:
  • Previewing Text and Vocabulary. Before reading, look at any titles, subheadings, charts, graphs, and captions. ...
  • Reading with a Purpose. ...
  • Marking Text. ...
  • Making Connections. ...
  • Summarizing.
13 May 2013


1. PBIS: The Basics
(Thehub Curriculum)
2. RTI Tier 1 Overview
3. PBIS Overview
4. How to Plan TIER II Small Group Instruction
(The Simple Teachers)
5. Do You Have a Powerhouse Tier 1?
(Polly Bath)
6. Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) Webinar
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