Precision Teaching Series – Part 4 of 5: Exploring the Standard Celeration Chart


The Precision Teaching Series

This series of 5 blogs will introduce you to the Precision Teaching Method created by Ogden R. Lindsley for data collection, data analysis and decision making.

Recapping The Basics of the Celeration Chart

In my last blog, we learned how to read the upper half of the SCC chart. In this blog, after a brief review of terms and concepts, we will learn about the bottom half of the SCC chart, the portion below the 1 line.


  • Anything that happens more frequently than 1 time per minute is charted above the 1 line
  • Anything that happens less frequently than 1 time per minute is charted below the 1 line
  • Anything that happens 1 time per minute is charted on the 1 line
  • Dots indicate the number of correct responses.
  • X’s indicate the number of errors.
  • You always need to chart both error and correct scores to make a decision.
  • A ? mark indicates a score of zero; either zero errors or zero corrects.
  • The record floor is a horizontal line that tells how long the measurement lasted. A one minute time is a short horizontal line drawn on the 1 line; a 30 second timing is on the 2 line (2X30 seconds= 1 minute).
  • All scores are reported as count per 1 minute; correct and error scores from a 30 second timing are doubled.
  • A question mark always goes under the record floor.
  • Lines that go up and down are day lines (all 140 of them)
  • Fat lines that go up and down are Sunday lines (all 20 of them)
  • Lines that go across are counting lines.
  • Big numbers in the margin that start with 1, tell you what to count by and what to count from.
  • The standard to be reached is indicated by a small black box on the left side of the first Sunday line on the chart.
  • A vertical line that crosses the 1 line is a phase change line which indicates a program change.

Charting Behaviors That Occur Fewer Than 1 Time Per Minute

Look at the right hand margin of the SCC. In the margin are written some time periods from 10” (seconds) to 1000’ (minutes). Touch the I per minute counting line. As you follow it down, you can see an indication of 1 behavior in 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes and so on down to a point of 1 behavior in 1000 minutes. In a second column, on the extreme right side of the lower half of the SCC, the chart also shows the time in hours from 1 hour to 24 hours. (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 24 hrs.)

To chart a score of a behavior that occurs less frequently than 1 time per minute, you determine the measurement period, such as a 50 minute class period, you count the behavioral frequency and then you divide the frequency by the measurement period. If you had a 50 minute reading period, you would mark the record floor with a short horizontal line at the 50 minute line. If the student disrupted the class 5 times during that 50 minute reading period, you would divide 50 by 5 and have a score of 1 time every 10 minutes. 

If you counted the frequency of disruptions by this student on consecutive days, you could see a line of x’s emerge giving you information as to whether the disruptions are increasing, decreasing or remaining stable. Such information could be used to introduce or alter a behavioral compliance intervention. Once again, you can very quickly see the behavioral pattern, share it with others, and do so without having to explain a lot about the data presentation.

The very bottom of the chart provides information as well:

  • Performer – the person producing the behavior
  • Counted – the behavior being counted
  • Charter – the person or persons recording the behavior on the SCC
  • Timer – the person or tool being used to measure the timing.
  • Room – the site where the behavior occurs
  • Division – usually refers to a grade level 
  • Organization – Usually refers to the agency to which the performer belongs.
  • Manager – the person or persons responsible for keeping the chart up to date.
  • Adviser – the mentor or supervisor of the Manager
  • Supervisor – the person ultimately responsible for the program.

What This Standard Celeration Chart Shows

This chart shows that Sally, an 8 year old Second Grade student was displaying temper tantrums in class. She was having a tantrum every 30 minutes of a 300 minute school day. The tantrums decreased to one per 40 minutes but remained static for 3 days. The team decided on a change of reinforcers. Sally’s tantrums dropped to one per 100 minutes and then decreased further. In the 3rd week, she had 2 days without tantrums and three days with one or two.

The chart is synchronized to the first Sunday of September, the week that schools often begin. The data indicates that Sally did not arrive until the beginning of the 3rd week of school.

Overall, the chart shows a rapid decrease of tantrum behavior over a 3 week period.

Where Do I Get Standard Celeration Charts?

The Standard Celeration chart can be ordered in reams of 500 from Behavior Research Co.org. or in smaller quantities from Maloney Method by e-mail or phone 1-877-368-1513.

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