Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 357–365 | Cite as

Managing Student Behavior with Class-Wide Function-Related Intervention Teams: An Observational Study in Early Elementary Classrooms

  • Paul Caldarella
  • Leslie Williams
  • Blake D. Hansen
  • Howard Wills


Comprehensive evidence-based interventions are needed to help early childhood educators manage challenging student behaviors. One such intervention, class-wide function-related intervention teams (CW-FIT), is a multi-tiered behavioral intervention program based on positive behavior support principles, including four main elements: (a) teaching socially appropriate communication skills, (b) using differential reinforcement with an interdependent group contingency, (c) extinguishing or eliminating potential reinforcement for problem behavior, and (d) implementing individual interventions using self-management, help cards, and/or functional assessment. This study implemented CW-FIT with five kindergarten through second grade teachers. Results demonstrated efficacy of the program as early childhood teachers increased their praise rates and decreased their reprimand rates, and students responded with increased on-task behavior and fewer classroom disruptions. Study implications and limitations are addressed.


Classroom management Positive behavior support Early childhood 



The research reported in this article was supported by a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences and the U.S. Department of Education (R324A120344), awarded to the University of Kansas. The opinions presented in this article are those of the authors, and no endorsement by the agency is intended or implied.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Caldarella
    • 3
  • Leslie Williams
    • 1
  • Blake D. Hansen
    • 4
  • Howard Wills
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education and SchoolingBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA
  2. 2.Juniper Gardens Children’s ProjectUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA
  3. 3.Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education and Schooling, Department of Counseling Psychology and Special EducationBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA
  4. 4.Department of Counseling Psychology and Special EducationBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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