Positive Strategies for Students with Difficult Behaviors


Speakers: Howard P. Wills, Matt McNiff

$197.00 $97.00 + shipping and handling

SKU: 6610

Webinar Description

Snapshot: It’s easy to slip into a self-defeating spiral of frustration and negative emotions with students who have challenging behaviors. But, as we all well know from our own experiences at work and at home, positive reinforcement almost always works best to motivate a change in behavior.

For the majority of students, laying out clear rules and expectations for behavior is sufficient. For many other students, simply teaching new skills to replace unwanted behaviors, or making changes in the student’s physical environment may be enough. But what are the most effective strategies for those unresponsive students whose problem behaviors take up most of your time?

In this webinar, behavior specialists Matt McNiff and Howard Wills focus on positive strategies that have proven most effective for inducing change. These strategies can be used in any school, whether or not the school is implementing an organized program of Positive Behavior Support. Key strategies Matt and Howard will discuss include:

  • Individual behavior contracts
  • Token economies
  • Group and individual contingencies
  • Classwide reward systems
  • Self-management

Each of these strategies can be used individually or as part of a continuum of interventions. For schoolwide PBS programs, these strategies would be appropriate as Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions. These evidence-based strategies can improve not only student conduct, but academic outcomes as well.

Howard and Matt will discuss how to choose the best strategy for your class or a particular student. Learn about the practical applications of these strategies–when do they make sense and when can they backfire.  Get started using these strategies right away!

Webinar Topics:

  • Which strategies work best for elementary school students, for high school students
  • How to develop a behavior contract
  • What is a group contingency? How to set up a group contingency for a few or many students
  • How to keep up with several individualized behavior strategies
  • What to do with the student whose behaviors get the attention of his peers
  • Feedback from teachers who have used these strategies
  • Tying class or individual strategies to the school-wide behavior program
  • What can I get started on tomorrow without resources for additional training or support?
  • What can I do for the student that is behind and requires so much of my attention?
  • Tips on setting up token economies


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About the Speakers

Howard P. Wills

Howard Wills

is an associate research professor at Juniper Gardens Children’s Project, with the University of Kansas. Howard P. Wills, PhD, has taught at all levels and has been the principal of a school specializing in accelerated learning for students, including those with severe challenging behavior. His current research focuses on school-based academic and behavior interventions for students at-risk of failure due to challenging behavior. Howard has partnered with over 100 teachers to implement successful interventions and has trained on a district, state, and national level.

Matt McNiff


is a behavior consultant with the Educational Service Unit No. 5 in Beatrice, Nebraska, where he works with 9 school districts to help teachers and administrators develop ways to help students with behavior problems. He spent 9 years working as a teacher and counselor at Iowa-based Clarinda Academy working with delinquent youth from around the nation. Before that, he spent 4 years teaching behavior-disordered students at Beatrice High School. Matt has a master’s degree in special education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, specializing in behavior disorders.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a webinar work?

It’s simple. On the day of the event, you click on the link we provide. Enter your name and email address and you’re in! If your computer has good audio, the audio will be streamed to your computer along with the PowerPoint presentation. If your computer does not have audio, a phone number is provided so that you can access the audio by speaker phone.

How many can access the event per registration?

Registration is by site, not by individual, so there is no limit to the number of people who can participate at your site. We do request no more than one phone connection per site.

My school district only pays by purchase order. Do you accept POs?

Yes. You may fax the PO to 815-461-5647 or call us at 207-632-1954. Please include the full name and email address of the registrant.

What is the difference between the recording link and the CD-ROM?

Both include the synchronized audio and PowerPoint, but the link may only be accessed for 30 days. The CD-ROM provides a permanent record of the webinar.