WWC review of this study

Improving Student Behavior in Middle School Art Classrooms: Initial Investigation of CW-FIT Tier 1

Monson, Kimberly D.; Caldarella, Paul; Anderson, Darlene H.; Wills, Howard P. (2020). Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, v22 n1 p38-50 Jan 2020. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1235752

  • Single Case Design
    , grade

Reviewed: March 2023

Meets WWC standards without 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: 52%
    Male: 48%
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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 two grade 7 art classrooms in one Title 1 middle school located in a western mountain state in the United States.

Study sample

Participants include 56 students in two grade 7 art classes taught by two teachers. The study also provided separate findings for two focal students. Most of the students in the two classes were White (63%) and the rest were described as Hispanic or Latino (38%). More than half of the students were female (52%). Across the entire school, 51% of the student population received 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 teachers split their classroom into six teams of three to six students each, organized by seating arrangement. During the first two sessions, the teachers described expectations for student on-task behavior, using a script that required student participation and asked them to focus on listening, showing respect, and staying on task. Teachers then asked the students to discuss which skills would be necessary to meet each expectation and why those behaviors are important. Posters of each expectation were created and displayed in a prominent place in the classroom, easily visible to all students. During each session, teachers observed and scored each group in 5-minute intervals. If all students were on task, the group received a point. Teachers could also award bonus points to groups or individuals who were meeting expectations between intervals to help those who were behind catch up. Teachers provided behavior-specific praise to individuals and recorded points on a chart that students could see. Teachers set a point goal at the beginning of each class, and teams reaching the goal received a reward at the end of each session, which included lip balm, pencils, flashlights, and permission to leave class 2 to 3 minutes early. Sessions took place during 35- to 45-minute art classes.

Comparison Group

There is no comparison group in single case designs. In the baseline and withdrawal phases of the single case designs, the teachers conducted art classes as they normally would. No changes were made to the routines, instruction, or classroom management style of either teacher. Students were expected to use materials properly, be respectful of others, use their time wisely, and produce quality work. When students were disruptive, teachers provided feedback, sent them to the office, or contacted their parents.

Support for implementation

Researchers trained the teachers on CW-FIT procedures during a 45-minute training session. All the components of CW-FIT were reviewed, including: teacher classroom expectations, providing behavior-specific praise, awarding points to teams in response to the timer, providing group rewards, and understanding the rationale behind each aspect. Teachers were able to practice the procedures and ask questions. After the first training session, teachers were given 2 days to become familiar with CW-FIT, and researchers provided feedback and remained available for consultation.

In the case of multiple manuscripts that report on one study, the WWC selects one manuscript as the primary citation and lists other manuscripts that describe the study as additional sources.

  • Monson, K.D. (2019). The effects of Class-Wide Function-Related Intervention Teams in two middle school art classrooms. [Postgraduate thesis, Brigham Young University]. BYU ScholarsArchive. https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/etd/8561.


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