HIGHLIGHT: SHERIDAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SAN FRANCISCO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT The Good Behavior Game First invented by a fourth grade teacher in 1967, the Good Behavior Game is an approach to the management of classrooms behaviors that rewards children for displaying appropriate on-task behaviors. The Game can be used in one classroom or throughout a school. Within a classroom, students are divided into rotating teams, balanced with regard to boys and girls, shy children, and students who are disruptive or act out. Consistent with SWPBIS, basic classroom rules and expectations are clear, posted and reviewed with students. The Game is played during instruction and transitions for a set time, and increases in length and frequency as children become more successful. While the Game is played, a team is given a point if any of its members display inappropriate behavior. Each team that keeps its total number of points below a set threshold by the end of the session wins a group reward.54 What are the features of a successful Good Behavior Game? Through the Game, children work together to create a positive learning environment by self-monitoring their own behavior as well as that of their classmates. Teachers use the Game during lessons and transitions in the regular school day, and it does not compete with instructional time. The Game is built around four core elements integrating 1) classroom rules, 2) team membership, 3) behavior monitoring, and 4) positive reinforcement to individuals and the group. 54 See, e.g., Kellam, S. G., Mackenzie, A. C. L., Brown, C. H., Poduska, J. M., Wang, W., Petras, H., & Wilcox, H. C. (2011). The Good Behavior Game and the Future of Prevention and Treatment. Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, 6(1), 73–84; Tingstrom, D. H., Sterling-Turner, H. E., & Wilczynski, S. M. (2006). The Good Behavior Game: 1969-2002. Behavior Modification, 30(2), 225-53. 54 How we can fix school discipline What does the Good Behavior Game look like in a classroom? The PAX Good Behavior Game55 is a specific implementation of the Game that encourages students to create PAX, “Peace, Productivity, Health, and Happiness.” It aims to decrease unwanted behaviors called “Spleems.” With the teacher, students co-create lists of what they want to see, hear, do and feel more in their classroom – the PAX – and what they want less of – the Spleem. In this implementation, the Game is played several times a day, and combined with a number of evidencebased social-emotional learning strategies integrated throughout the classroom setting, called “kernels,” including: written notes, or “Tootles,” that are used to praise positive behavior, given by both peers and adults; use of a timer to decrease the time needed for tasks or transitions; transition cues, in which a teacher blows on a harmonica and holds up two fingers to get the students’ attention; and rewards in the form of “Granny’s Wacky Prizes,” fun behaviors that students are usually prohibited from doing in the classroom. When did SFUSD begin to implement the Game? Tracy Nick, Good Behavior Game Coach: The school district received a five year grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to bring the PAX Good Behavior Game to the district in 2010. The grant provided $100,000 per year for five years. The district 55 Developed by Dr. Dennis Embry and the PAXIS Institute, http://paxis. org/products/view/pax-good-behavior-game.