WWC review of this study

Managing Student Behavior in an Elementary School Music Classroom: A Study of Class-Wide Function-Related Intervention Teams

Caldarella, Paul; Williams, Leslie; Jolstead, Krystine A.; Wills, Howard P. (2017). Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, v35 n3 p23-30. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1140013

  • Single Case Design
    , grade

Reviewed: March 2023

Meets WWC standards with reservations

To view more detailed information about the study findings from this review, please see Class-Wide Function-Related Intervention Teams (CW-FIT) Intervention Report (289 KB)

Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

  • Female: 50%
    Male: 50%
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  • Race
    Other or unknown
  • Ethnicity
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
  • Eligible for Free and Reduced Price Lunch
    Free or reduced price lunch (FRPL)    
    No FRPL    


The study took place in one grade 6 music classroom in a Title I elementary school in Utah.

Study sample

Participants include 22 students in one grade 6 music classroom taught by one teacher. Approximately 23% of the students were White, 5% were Asian, and 73% were identified as Hispanic or Latino. Half of the students (50%) were female. Across the entire school, 87% of students were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

Intervention Group

Class-Wide Function-Related Intervention Teams (CW-FIT) is a classroom management system designed to improve student behavior. The program includes establishing classroom rules and appropriate behaviors, playing a team-based game to reinforce appropriate behaviors, minimizing social attention to inappropriate behaviors, and providing self-management tools to individual students who need extra support. In this study, the teacher organized the music class into six teams based on seating arrangements and introduced target skills by explicitly defining the expected behaviors associated with the skills, discussing the importance of the behaviors, and role-playing the behaviors. The skills included following directions the first time, getting the teacher’s attention correctly, ignoring inappropriate behavior, and participating in class activities. During the first several sessions, the teacher introduced one social skill per class period. After the skills were introduced, the teacher briefly reviewed them with the students at the beginning of each session and displayed them on posters in the room. During normal classroom instruction, a timer beeped approximately every 3 to 5 minutes. At each beep, the teacher praised and awarded points to groups demonstrating the target skills. At the end of the class period, the teacher tallied points, and the teams that reached a predetermined goal received a group reward, such as short video clips from the internet, treats, and games. CW-FIT sessions lasted 1 hour and took place over the course of 4 months.

Comparison Group

There is no comparison group in single case designs. In the baseline and withdrawal phases of the single case design, the teacher used existing behavior management practices, such as providing praise and consequences. The teacher posted classroom rules on wall, which included following directions, raising one’s hand, being kind, and making smart choices. The teacher taught these rules and reviewed them throughout the school year.

Support for implementation

Before implementing CW-FIT, the study teacher attended a 1-hour training session conducted by researchers, which included the rationale behind CW-FIT, video clips of instructors using the intervention, and opportunities to practice. Research staff also supported the teacher as she began implementing CW-FIT in the classroom by answering her questions and offering feedback.


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