Optimizing Implementation of the Good Behavior Game in the Classroom: Recommendations and Lessons Learned

  • Catherine P. BradshawEmail author
  • Dana Marchese
  • Sandra Hardee


The Good Behavior Game is a group contingency classroom behavior management and instructional support approach that rewards positive group, as opposed to individual, behavior. The Game is a commonly used practice that enables teachers to utilize social learning principles within a team-based, game-like context to reduce aggressive/disruptive and off-task behavior and, consequently, increase instructional time. The team-based nature of the Game allows teachers to leverage positive peer pressure in managing student behavior and increasing student participation and engagement in classroom instruction. The Good Behavior Game was originally developed for use in the classroom setting with elementary school-aged students, grades K to 5, but can also be adapted for use in nonclassroom settings (e.g., playground, after-school programs), as well as for middle schoolers. The Game has been the focus of numerous studies with substantial evidence of positive effects on disruptive behavior and academic performance. The purpose of the current chapter is to provide an overview of the implementation of the Game and highlight some factors to consider to optimize its use in elementary school classrooms; however, it is certainly possible to adapt these procedures for use in middle schools and nonclassroom settings. We also briefly highlight some efforts to integrate the Game with other evidence-based programs and summarize some of the research documenting significant short- and long-term effects cross a range of academic, behavioral, and mental health outcomes. We begin by providing a step-by-step process for implementing the Game.


Tier 1 Behavior intervention Good Behavior Game GBG Behavioral engagement 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine P. Bradshaw
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dana Marchese
    • 2
  • Sandra Hardee
    • 3
  1. 1.Curry School of Education and Human DevelopmentUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Dr. Michelle Sun & Associates, Psychotherapy for Children, Adolescents, & AdultsTowsonUSA
  3. 3.Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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