WWC review of this study

Managing Student Behavior in a Middle School Special Education Classroom Using CW-FIT Tier 1

Orr, Robyn K.; Caldarella, Paul; Hansen, Blake D.; Wills, Howard P. (2020). Journal of Behavioral Education, v29 n1 p168-187. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1243841

  • Single Case Design
    , grades

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: 57%
    Male: 43%

  • Suburban
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

  • Race
    Other or unknown
    Pacific Islander
  • Ethnicity
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
  • Eligible for Free and Reduced Price Lunch
    Free or reduced price lunch (FRPL)    
    No FRPL    


This study took place in one self-contained special education classroom at a suburban Title I middle school in Utah.

Study sample

Participants included 12 students with disabilities in one self-contained classroom and 11 typically developing peer tutors who worked with the students. The students were in grades 7 through 9. The class was taught by one special education teacher and three aides. Approximately 57% of the 23 students were female. Sixty-five percent were White, 4% were Native American, and the rest did not report race. Thirty percent were Hispanic or Latino. Across the entire school, 56% of students qualified 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 students into five teams and asked the peer tutors to help students with disabilities on their team complete tasks. During three initial sessions, each lasting 10 to 15 minutes, the teacher taught three target skills: following directions the first time, correctly getting the teacher’s attention, and ignoring peers’ inappropriate behavior. The lessons included explanations and role-playing of each skill. The teacher also displayed the skills on posters in the classroom. During the remaining sessions, the teacher provided behavior-specific praise and points to teams during 3- to 5-minute intervals if students displayed the target skills. The peer tutors were included in point decisions during later sessions of CW-FIT. The teacher tracked points on a poster that students could see, and at the end of each session, the teacher gave a reward, such as playing a game or watching video clips, to teams that met the goal for that session. Sessions took place during a 75-minute period focused on functional independent life skills, such as using money.

Comparison Group

There is no comparison group in single case designs. In the baseline and withdrawal phases of the single case designs, the teacher posted classroom rules on the wall, and students with disabilities worked with peer tutors to track their own behavior, such as following directions, keeping their hands to themselves, using kind words, and working on assignments. At the end of each session, the teacher or peer tutor placed a sticker on each student’s tracking sheet if they followed the rules. Students who earned enough stickers could earn 5 minutes of free time at the end of the period.

Support for implementation

The researchers described the CW-FIT strategies and rationale during one 2-hour training that included videos of teachers modeling CW-FIT. The researchers also provided scripted lessons, posters, timers, and point charts, and provided feedback following role-playing sessions and the first CW-FIT session of the study.

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.

  • Wright, R. K. (2017). The effects of Class-Wide Function-Related Intervention Team (CW-FIT) tier 1 in a middle school special education classroom. [Postgraduate thesis, Brigham Young University]. BYU ScholarsArchive. https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/etd/7299.


Your export should download shortly as a zip archive.

This download will include data files for study and findings review data and a data dictionary.

Connect With the WWC

back to top