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Behavior-Specific Praise Statements

Implementing BSP in the

1. Identify behaviors you want to see
increase or decrease.
2. Make sure to line the praise statement to
the behavior you want to see increase.

What is Behavior-Specific
A teaching strategy in which a teacher will
provide students with verbal praise statements
that specifically address the behavior being
Teacher should strive for a ratio of five BSP
statements for every one negative interaction. 5:1

Improves teacher-student relationships.
Increases on-task behavior and decreases
negative behaviors.
Helps prevent further deterioration of
students that display inappropriate
Increase self-regulated learning.
Increases student participation.

Why does it work?

Provides the student with clear

information about the appropriate
behavior they demonstrated and received
praise for.
Increases the likelihood of the behavior
being repeated in the future.

3. The praise statement should include

some feedback about the effectiveness of
the behavior.
4. Decide whether the praise statement
will help provide a genuine, positive, and
meaningful interaction between the
teacher and the student.
5. The praise statement should reflect the
students skill level.
6. Make sure the praise to reprimand ratio
is 5:1.
Documentation can be used to monitor
student progress and evaluate the
effectiveness of BSP.
Each student should have a data sheet with
a list of problem behaviors.
Teacher should document when they give
a BSP statement.
Teacher should go over the data sheet
regularly to determine if problem
behaviors are increasing or decreasing.

Who does it work best for?

Emotional and Behavioral Disorder
Why does it work?
Decreases off-task, aggressive, and
disruptive behaviors.
Learning Disabilities
Why does it work?
Increases academic accuracy and
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Why does it work?
Improves verbal communication.
Note: BSP statements work for all

Tips for implementing BSP in

the classroom
1. Praise should immediately
follow the behavior.
2. Identify whether the student
would benefit from public
praise or private recognition.
3. Praise should follow the ifthen rule.
4. Use the students name in the
praise statement.
5. Dont give too much praise or
always praise the same
6. Stand close to the student when
delivering a BSP statement.
7. Pair a token/reward with a BSP

Chalk, K., & Bizo, L. A. (2004). Specific praise improves
on-task behaviour and numeracy enjoyment: a study of
year four pupils engaged in the numeracy hour.
Educational Psychology In Practice, 20(4), 335-351.
Dufrene, B., Lestremau, L., & Zoder-Martell, K. (2014).
Direct behavioral consultation: effects on teachers'
praise and student disruptive behavior. Psychology In
The Schools,51(6), 567-580. doi:10.1002/pits.21768
Haydon, T., & Musti-Rao, S. (2011). Effective use of
behavior-specific praise: a middle school case study.
Beyond Behavior, 20(2), 31-39.
Lampi, A. R., Fenty, N. S., & Beaunae, C. (2005). Making
the three ps easier: praise, proximity, and precorrection.
Beyond Behavior, 15(1), 8-12.
Musti-Rao, Shobana; Haydon, Todd (2011). Strategies to
increase behavior-specific teacher praise in an inclusive
environment. Intervention in School & Clinic. 47 (2),
91-97. doi: 10.1177/1053451211414187
Stevens, C., Sidener, T. M., Reeve, S. A., & Sidener, D. W.
(2011). Effects of behavior-specific and general praise,
on acquisition of tacts in children with pervasive
developmental disorders. Research In Autism Spectrum
Disorders, 5(1), 666-669.
Sutherland, K. S., Wehby, J. H., & Copeland, S. R. (2000).
Effect of varying rates of behavior-specific praise on the
on-task behavior of students with EBD. Journal Of
Emotional & Behavioral Disorders, 8(1), 2.