The Intervention

A pre-correction is when the teacher reminds a student or a group of students about rules or expectations prior to the activity. Pre-corrections are helpful to students because they increase the predictability of the situation and provide clear guidelines for what behaviors are expected during the activity. Pre-corrections are intended to reduce the impact of student inattention, impulsivity, and oppositional behavior on performance by proactively offering cues for successful performance.

  1. Identify challenging behaviors you want to decrease, as well as the specific contexts, activities, or situations in which the challenging behaviors are most likely to occur. Consider specific times of the day, specific subject or transition periods, or when the student is with a specific peer group.
  2. Determine appropriate behaviors that should replace or prevent the challenging behavior. For example, if a student touches other students during cooperative learning tasks, the appropriate behavior or expectation would be to keep hands to yourself. When possible, align the pre-correction with existing classroom expectations.
  3. Prior to initiating the pre-correction intervention, tell the student or group of students that you are going to start reviewing the rules or expectations prior to the specified activity. During this conversation, model the appropriate behavior and give students the opportunity to practice the desired behavior. This ensures that the expectations are clear and that the student has the opportunity to build the skills to meet age-appropriate expectations.
  4. Each day, prior to the specified activity, review the rules or expectations. Example: I am about to dismiss each table to line up. Remember, when I call on your table, please stand up, push in your chair, and quietly line up at the door.
  5. Provide labeled praise for appropriate behaviors, particularly in situations that have historically been difficult.
  6. Use Beacon progress monitoring tools to evaluate the extent to which this intervention is improving the target behaviors as intended.

  • Pre-corrections are proactive reminders of the forthcoming rules. They are different than directions or commands. For example, “Please clean up” is a direction or a command that tells student what to do now. A pre-correction is telling student how to be successful in an upcoming activity. Pre-corrections are used proactively to set the student up for success.
  • Sometimes expectations can be presented visually and referred to regularly. For example, if a student is always struggling to complete their morning routine steps, a visual prompt could be placed on their desk each morning which clearly outlines (perhaps with visuals) the steps the child should take. Praise can be provided as the student uses the visual prompt to appropriately complete tasks. For general rules, some teachers may post a list of “classroom rules” where it can be seen and referenced throughout the day.
  • When providing expectations and modeling appropriate behavior, frame things in the positive. You should state what to do rather than what not to do.
  • When stating pre-corrections, be specific when explaining the expectation. Stating, “It’s important that we are on our best behavior as we walk down the hall” is not clear or specific because expectations for “best behavior” are not defined.  A more specific expectation may be, “Remember, it’s important that we are silent as we walk down the hall so that we do not disrupt other classrooms.”
  • Following rules requires behavior regulation. For some children, this is a skill that, like reading, is learned through practice, repetition, and feedback. Thus, if a student continues to struggle to follow the expectations after a pre-correction, set aside time to explicitly teach and practice the desired skill or behavior.
  • Keep it fun! Use variety in your pre-corrections. For younger students, you can create a song or gestures. For students of all ages, you can use a call and response format or select different students on different days to remind the class of expectations for the next activity.
  • See resources on the use of Praise and Corrective Feedback, as these interventions are well-paired with pre-corrections
  • If you need help implementing or evaluating this intervention, it may be helpful to seek out consultation from your school mental health professional or intervention team leader.

Pre-correction is rated as “not evaluated” as it has not been rigorously studied at the elementary or secondary level. Therefore, we cannot determine a level of effectiveness.

Elementary: Pre-correction has not been rigorously studied as a standalone intervention at the elementary level.

Secondary: Pre-correction has not been rigorously studied as a standalone intervention at the secondary level.

Recommendations: Although pre-correction has not been rigorously studied at the elementary or secondary level, we recommend it to be used for low-rates of classwork accuracy, low-rates of classwork completion, low-rates of homework accuracy, and low-rates of homework completion.

Intervention Scorecard

This intervention is recommended for the following presenting problems.

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Other suitable presenting problems