About R/G Choices
Teacher Talk: I Use R/G
Daily Sheets Home
Small Group Samples
R/G IEP Goals
To The Bus!
The Fire "Yell"
High School Materials
in the School Hallway
or Other Specific Environments
Printable Charts/Lists at the Bottom of the Page
Green (2003) © "Red and Green
During the SLP presentation at NOSERRC on April 13, 2005 a question was
asked about providing an intervention strategy
for a 12 year old student displaying severe verbal and physical
outbursts in the school hallways at high frequency and duration rates.
► Excerpts from; "Red and Green
Choices, A Positive Behavioral Development Strategy..."
Review Red and
Green Choices Strategies Before Implementing Techniques or a
Behavior Change Process
|Refer to the "Behavioral Stand; A 10 Part Plan to Developing a
Specific Individual Approach" (pg. 37)|
|Refer to the 12 Additional R/G
Choices Key Elements, Strategies & Components|
(current in-service participants have this information in handouts)
|Other on-line writings as
references: "To the Bus!" and
"The Fire Yell"|
|Before beginning Red and Green
Choices behavioral development processes, please be sure to
acknowledge these two theories with the child receiving its
intervention techniques; developing a "behavioral
trust" (a R/G Choices principle) relationship through the
selected "designated adult" (a R/G Choices principle).|
|The "behavioral trust" theory includes...
"when the adult always remains calm, consistent and firm
(without negatively overreacting) throughout the entire
behavior change process..."
"..support their feelings, remain in charge of safe
"...remain truthful to them.."
"...while meeting the calming, desired earned choice
activities or green consequences of the student..."
|The "designated adult"
theory includes... (Step 3 of the 10 Part Plan)|
"This adult should be available to provide Red and Green
Choices strategies at any time, for extended amounts of time.
Choose an adult that is able to fulfill this responsibility
within all school environments." (pg. 39)
"...The student will need and want that one adult for
behavioral guidance, assistance, respect and understanding.
The student will rely on everything that adult has developed
with them thus far. Meaning, the student has become familiar
with the red and green strategies, expressions, tones, and so
on, of that one adult. That adult becomes a static and
concrete tool for that child to depend upon." (pg. 40)
"Other people involved with the behavioral process may need to
be aware of, or acknowledge these principles. This will assist
other adults' understanding of the behavioral development
process because the student will most likely ignore a 'new'
adult and their directions or interventions. They would need
to go through the entire behavioral development strategies to
gain the same type of behavioral trust and respect." (pg. 40)
|"Behavioral Rules of
Engagement": (pg. 48) (another R/G Choices principle)|
"Setting your own (adult) behavioral expectations for both
calm and disruptive times, will prove significant in
establishing a behavioral trust relationship."
"Children with behavioral concerns, especially those with
autism or Oppositional Defiant Disorder need the adult
implementing behavioral change strategies to provide
understanding, calmness and assertiveness."
"Reacting differently during noncompliant situations usually
"Reacting the same way every time causes less confusion and
overload during what children perceive as chaotic or already
"Students rely on adult reaction to learn or develop new
behaviors." (pages 48-49)
Down this Complex Behavioral Expectation Into Smaller Sequential
(R/G Component 13)|
As in the "To the Bus!"
example, about a younger student continually flopping on the
way to the bus.
|Apply the Shaping
Using successive approximations or small individual 'green'
steps, beginning with one 'green' behavior, to teach new,
multi-step behaviors, or responses by adding more 'green'
steps once the initial training and response is demonstrated
with 'green' success (pg. 15)
|"Another example is a
student walking down a hallway at school. Use small individual
steps to teach the multi-step behavior by adding more green
responses. A student must first learn how to stay in a line
without straying, then learn how to stop when the line stops.
Additional green steps would be keeping lips still while
walking. A child may need one-on-one attention to take five
steps with the behavior that will be addressed first. Then ten
steps, twenty steps and so on." (pg. 16)|
|Once the behavior is broken down in to the
simplest step, then expect this one 'green' step. Maybe it
could be taking 5 steps in the hallway. Reinforce this
accomplishment, and begin student understanding of green
choices, by conditioning green.|
|Begin applying the Pairing Principle:
Concurrent presentation of a primary stimulus (adult reaction,
voice, tone, expressions) and a secondary stimulus (green) to
promote or condition the secondary stimulus (green) (pg.17)
|"Pairing of any reaction, chart marking
and activities with red and green is at first necessary to
encourage understanding of Red and Green Choices, and adult
expectations." (pg. 17)|
Introduce a Green Consequence to Green Choice Behaviors
the student to feel proud, happy and responsible for making her
own behavioral choice. Provide a mobile list or chart to
reinforce Red and Green Choices meaning. |
|Green Consequence: |
Any (red and green) stimulus presented dependent upon a
particular response (red and green behaviors) (pg. 24)
|Part 2 of "A Red and Green
Choices Behavioral Stand; A 10 Part Plan to Developing a
Specific Individual Approach":|
"High Response Student Activity or Product: Find a high
student response activity or product. What does the student
like, go to first, or do for an extended period of time?...
The high response activity or product must be continually
monitored for effectiveness. Students may lose interest in a
particular item, or they may find a new item or choice." (pg.
Motivation; Do the Consequences Meet the Needs of the Student?|
The student, having made an undesired red choice, is
required to engage in exaggerated practice of the appropriate
green behavior (pg. 26)
(a R/G Choices principle)|
"Students with intensive behavioral concerns will need to
learn new behaviors in a specific environment..."
"The area must provide high adult attention and extended
amounts of time to address concerns using various red and
green intervention strategies...
"A specific environment will assist with explaining red and
green school choices and adult expectations to a student
without disrupting an entire large group classroom.
"This also allow time to create positive-practice
overcorrection situations within a controlled and calm
Adults could provide many 1:1 opportunities for a student to
produce and receive positive reinforcements to green school
"Providing 'self-prompting' (a R/G Choices principle) visual red and green aids will
assist students with remembering what to do in another
|Establish a designated area to
begin the behavior change process. Then practice taking a few
step from this area, into the hallway. Always near the
designated area, in the case of 'quick returns' to review Red
and Green Choices within the area.|
|I often practice taking new
young (K, 1st grade) students on walks with me throughout the
school building with one-on-one assistance to develop this
behavior. We take a few steps, stop and practice the student
staying right next to me instead of straying or becoming
distracted by such a stimulating 'new' environment with many
different activities and people moving around.|
Then, when I eventually take the student outside, they've
learned my exact techniques with red and green to stay with
One time, I did this almost daily with a student, throughout
the school building, then mom came to pick him up early from
school and we met her outside. As we spoke, I attentively
monitored his behavior and straying, and reminded him "red or
green". His mother stated "Wow!"; that this was the first time
he stayed very near and didn't just go without her. She said
that usually he wanders off, and that "that red and green is
working". She then began it at home when riding bikes.
Sensory Items or
|Consult with your Occupational
Therapist (OT) for strategies and techniques.|
|Does the student need help
calming due to overloading circumstances when in the hallway?|
|Refer to "To
the Bus!" and "The Fire Yell"
for calming approaches.|
Introduce the Undesired Behavioral Response in Red
with the green choice behavior, walking in the hall, provide the
undesired red behavioral response. |
|This is the exact red behavior
displayed. Is the student sitting, lying down, curling up in a
|Draw or write it out with red.|
(a R/G Choices principle)|
"Always provide two clear and precise red and green choices
with positive opposites when initiating the red and green
process. Using incompatible behaviors promotes exact
understanding of adult expectations." (pg. 41)
Examples: up/down go/stay run/walk
go/stop pencil up/pencil down
eyes up/eyes down
|Then when, yes 'when' the red
behavior is displayed, show the chart, and maybe mark out the
high response student item or activity. It is an intensive
process, to change a long-standing behavioral pattern as this
new replacement or alternative behavior (walking in the hall)
needs to be developed or shaped.|
Green Step / Expectation
|Begin expecting a little more, once 'green'
success occurs. (as in shaping)|
|Either increase the time/duration or
frequency of the green choices.|
|Begin providing lists, charts,
drawings or writings with exact expectations and exact
|"Remember, it should always
be the student's choice. Ask the student: red or green?" (pg.
|The adult implementing
behavior change strategies may need to provide calming
approaches when adapting to this new environment or behavioral
expectation may at times, become too much to handle. |
"When positively adapting to the school environment may be
too much to handle at that particular time, it becomes the
adult’s responsibility for calmness to remain." (pg. )|
|Definition: "to provide
calmness in an already overloaded situation or reaction state,
the trusted adult providing red and green behavioral theories,
holds out their hand, holds up the #1 index finger while
saying the student's red choice behavior (red stomp and
scream), then holds up their #2 finger and states the
student's green calming choice behavior (green go swing),
while using a serious static facial expression and a deep
voice tone, while eye to eye with the child" (pg. 21) |
|"...should be applied when
student's are well aware of behavioral choices.... It can also
be used to provide a student prompting, so they remember their
sensory items or calming approaches... Green calm should
already be established... It could mean to go swing, lie on
the bean bag, or jump on the trampoline... When overloaded,
holding a conversation may not help the situation. Calming the
student should become the priority." (pg. 22)|
|Red and Green Choices, and the
color green should be developing into a conditioned
|Conditioned reinforcers: A
stimulus (green) that has acquired or obtained a reinforcing
(green) function through pairing (as previously described)
with an unconditioned or natural reinforcer or desired green,
high response student directed activity or product" (pg. 23)|
|One Target Behavior:|
"...after red and green's initial implementation to develop
behavior, more than one behavior can be chosen at a time."
...Once red and green is successful, it will overlap to create
positive results for other behaviors."
..."Students will gain
respect for the behavioral process and realize that developing
positive behaviors increases their adaptation skills. In other
words, it makes their environment more predictable and easier
for them to handle." (pg. 38)
Charts / Lists:
Use these pictures and add consequences to
behavioral choices. What will choosing green mean to the
student? Is it worth it to choose green? Do the
consequences meet their needs?
Write your own words or pictures to promote
Does the student need
words, pictures or both?
Is the student ready for a list with several choices?
What will the exact
Provide "self-prompting" lists around the school,
or use this list as a hall pass once R/G Choices are
established and no consequence - besides seeing red and
green - is necessary. Is the student ready for this step?
(This is an exact replica of a chart I used for a
This may be helpful returning to the
classroom, after successfully traveling to another place.
Does the student need to develop
understanding of R/G Choices through "pairing" with your
reaction, voice, expressions and voice tones? Has the
student realized there is an exact relationship between
his actions and your reactions?
Involve sensory or calming approaches as
needed. Assist the student in making green choices.
Consult with your OT or another teacher experienced with
sensory needs. What calms the student at home? Parents can
provide input, too.
|Green (2003) © "Red and Green