Early-Stage Interventions

Early-Stage Interventions: Behavior Strategies for Every Teacher offers a set of simple, teacher-friendly interventions to use as a starting place in addressing an individual student’s chronic misbehavior— disrespect, noncompliance, lack of motivation, bullying, aggression, and more. Though every teacher will encounter students who display challenging behavior, many feel unprepared to effectively deal with such behavior in the classroom.


2020 / 272 pp., plus downloadable, fillable reproducible forms
For Grades:
  • Randy Sprick
  • Jessica Sprick
  • Marilyn Sprick
  • Cristy Coughlin
Area of Focus:


The first section of Early-Stage Interventions: Behavior Strategies for Every Teacher focuses on general classroom management and academic support. Academic difficulties and classroom climate may contribute to behavior problems and should be investigated before any further interventions take place.

The second section presents a continuum of early-stage interventions that are easy for a classroom teacher to plan and implement. The teacher starts with the simplest one first, and continues on only when the student’s behavior doesn’t improve. Step-by-step directions guide teacher through each of these interventions:

  • Planned Discussion
  • Correction Planning
  • Increasing Positive Interactions
  • Data Collection and Debriefing
  • Goal Setting
  • Building a Supportive Relationship
  • Function-Based Intervention

When teachers address misbehavior in the classroom in its early stages, a school’s more intensive Tier 2 and 3 resources can be focused on intervening with more intractable behavior problems (discussed in detail in Interventions [3rd ed.]).


  • Randy Sprick

    Randy Sprick has worked as a paraprofessional, teacher, and teacher trainer at the elementary and secondary levels. Author of a number of widely read books on behavior and classroom management, Randy is former director of Safe & Civil Schools, a consulting company that provides inservice programs throughout the country. Although Randy is largely retired, his Safe & Civil Schools colleagues continue the work of helping large and small school districts improve student behavior and motivation. Efficacy of that work is documented in peer-reviewed research, and Safe & Civil Schools materials are listed on the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP). Randy was the recipient of the 2007 Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Wallin Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the Direct Instruction Hall of Fame, along with numerous other awards and honors.

  • Jessica Sprick

    Jessica Sprick is a consultant and presenter for Safe & Civil Schools and a writer for Ancora Publishing. Ms. Sprick has been a special education teacher for students with behavioral needs and Dean of Students at the middle school level. Her practical experience working with special and general education students and staff, along with strong training in positive behavior support techniques, drives her passion to help school personnel develop and implement effective classroom management plans.

  • Marilyn Sprick

    Marilyn Sprick has been a general education teacher, special education teacher, and Title I learning specialist. As an educational consultant, Marilyn has provided training in literacy, curriculum adaptation, and collaborative instruction for thousands of teachers throughout the United States and Canada. Marilyn’s focus is on scaffolding and differentiating curriculum, explicit instruction, motivating students, and diagnostic prescriptive teaching. She is well respected for her ability to inspire teachers and translate research into classroom practice. As a literacy expert, Marilyn is the lead author of Read Well K-2 (a scientifically based early reading program) and The Third Quest—a reading intervention for adolescent struggling readers. Marilyn is also author of “Preintervention 2: Assessing and Adjusting Academic Support” in Early-Stage Interventions and a coauthor of Meaningful Work; The Tough Kid On-Task in a Box, part of the Tough Kid series; SMART Kids, a social skills curriculum for grades K-1; and First Step NEXT, a Tier 2 behavioral intervention for young children. Sign up here to subscribe to Marilyn Sprick's Newsletter for Literacy Nerds.

  • Cristy Coughlin

    Cristy Coughlin holds a Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of Oregon and an undergraduate degree in psychology from Western Michigan University. She has worked as a First Step coach, school-based behavioral consultant, and program evaluator for educational projects based in the United States, Australia, and Africa. Her areas of expertise are oriented around educational assessment, applied behavior analysis, and translating educational research to practice.