Instructional Practice

Effective Practices


I-7, I-8, I-9, I-10



When using verbal praise, be sincere; students value authenticity.

Quick Tips

Be consistent and clear with expectations; mean what you say, and say what you mean.

The high-quality verbal praise examples below are positive, personal to the student, and clearly state the behavior that pleased the teacher.

“You really studied for your math test and your improvement really shows. Great!”

“I like the way you worked with your partner to try and come up with different solutions to the problem. That’s awesome!” 


Sample Reinforcers

The Perils and Promises of Praise



Other Strategies

Class Contract

Teacher and students enter into a binding agreement about a whole-class behavior. Should all students in the class meet the behavior expectations outlined in the contract, the class is rewarded as a whole.


Students earn “currency” (tokens, fake money, or tickets) for meeting an expected behavior/outcome. The ”currency” can later be exchanged for a specific reinforcer (tangible or intangible).