The Good Behavior Game

Boy raising handThe Good Behavior Game is an evidence-based behavioral classroom management strategy teachers use to help students develop skills including teamwork and self-regulation. AIR Good Behavior Game (AIR GBG) promotes youth development and shows positive long-term impacts for students. AIR GBG integrates four core elements: classroom expectations, team membership, monitoring of behavior, and positive reinforcement to individuals and the group.

Teachers use AIR GBG with their class while students are engaged in instructional tasks and during other times of the school day, such as transition times, assembly, and lunch. Students develop skills such as teamwork and self-regulation, receive positive reinforcement for promoting and following behavioral expectations, and practice monitoring and managing their own behavior and supporting the positive behavior of their peers.

AIR GBG strategies benefit both students and teachers. During AIR GBG, children work together to create a positive learning environment by monitoring their own behavior as well as that of their classmates. Teachers use AIR GBG during the school day as a learning strategy that does not compete with instructional time. In AIR GBG classrooms there are fewer off-task and disruptive behaviors and teachers have more time to devote to teaching.

AIR also works with school districts and communities on all aspects of implementation, including planning, providing training and support to teachers and local coaches, and monitoring practices over time. Our goal is to build local capacity for sustained implementation and long-term success.

AIR has partnered with and conducted AIR GBG implementation activities nationally and internationally in locales including, but not limited to Maryland; Montana; Nebraska; Texas; Utah; Brazil; France; Poland; and the United Kingdom.

Featured Research and Evidence

GBG can have a dramatic impact on short-term and long-term outcomes for students. Through repeated randomized trials throughout the United States and abroad, research shows students in classrooms where GBG is implemented show improved:

  • Self-control
  • On-task behavior
  • Focused attention
  • Positive social relationships

GBG also reduces negative behavior, particularly for boys displaying aggressive and disruptive behavior when they enter the first grade.

Medium- to longer-term effects include reductions in the rates of:

  • Use of school based mental health services
  • Alcohol, drug and tobacco use and misuse
  • Anti-social personality disorder
  • Incarceration
  • Suicidal ideation

As a result of its strong evidence base, GBG is nationally and internationally recognized and cited by multiple registries rating behavioral, mental health, and substance abuse interventions. All interventions in these registries have been assessed and rated independently for quality of research evidence and implementation materials.