MANAGING BEHAVIOR IN THE CLASSROOM

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1 MANAGING BEHAVIOR IN THE CLASSROOM Sonja Samek, Ed.S, BCBA District Behavior Analyst Collier County Public Schools

2 OUR ROLE I have come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I posses a tremendous power to make a child s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crises will be escalated or de-escalated and a child will be humanized or dehumanized. - HAIN GINOTT

3 THE BEST WAY TO HELP BEHAVIOR IS TO HELP CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT THAT IS FREE OF PROBLEM BEHAVIORS. We all know what makes each of our kids tick, we know what we could do to set off each child Therefore, ask yourself, What kind of environment can I create to help this child feel confident, successful, and get his/her needs met

4 UNDERSTANDING BEHAVIOR & INTERACTION Positive/Proactive -See inappropriate behavior as a need to teach appropriate behavior. Establish yourself as a safe person to be around. Have a plan. Negative/Reactive - See inappropriate behavior as a need to teach a lesson. Establish yourself as a unsafe person to be around. Let your work be controlled by your mood/having no plan.

5 LIMIT SETTING Avoid Power Struggles (arguing) Don t Personalize Behavior (biases) Remember Your Role (supporter) Remain Neutral (us versus them) Remove Others (audience) Offer Choices (benefit/risk)

6 VOICE TONES Role Model Expectations Remain Professional Avoid Raising Voice Know your limits- Ask questions and get support when needed

7 ANTECEDENT CONTROL Antecedents are events, people or things that immediately precede problem behavior. Once the antecedents that trigger problem behavior are identified, several types of interventions can be used. These strategies involve reducing the future occurrence of problem behavior by eliminating the antecedent event, modifying the content or by changing how the content is presented.

8 PREVENTIVE ENVIRONMENT Environmental Stressors: Staff Attitude (professionalism) Confinement Student Arrangement and seating Pair yourself with reinforcement Focus on the positive (this is how kids learn behavior) Differentiating so all kids have opportunity to be engaged in learning. Prepare for a variety of learning styles A variety of learning settings (whole group, small groups, individual, 1:1, etc) HAVE A SCHEDULE APPROPRIATE FOR KIDS LEVEL OF FUNCTIONING (Pictures)

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11 ANTECEDENT STRATEGIES Have a reliable and predictable schedule Schedule breaks Include student interests Change task difficulty/length Give choices when appropriate Make tasks more meaningful Use classroom management Control your body language and tone/ volume of voice Avoid power struggles and debates

12 FOR ABA TO WORK, YOU NEED.. Reinforcers Reinforcers Reinforcers Reinforcers Etc. Without reinforcers, you may as well not waste your time.

13 REINFORCEMENT VS. PUNISHMENT It is all about how the child responds to the stimulus! Reinforcement increases behavior! Punishment reduces behavior!

14 SATIATION VS. DEPRIVATION Make sure your reinforcers are reinforcing at that particular time. Use small amounts to avoid satiation. Create deprivation to increase value of reinforcers.

15 ELIMINATING AND DECREASING PROBLEM BEHAVIOR PREVENTION HAVE A PLAN/STRATEGY IN PLACE KEEP STUDENTS ENGAGED IN LEARNING MAKE LEARNING RELEVANT MAKE LEARNING ENJOYABLE THROUGH REINFORCEMENT AND/OR ANTECEDENT STRATEGIES!

16 REINFORCEMENT SYSTEMS Contingency/ Behavioral Contracts: A contingency contract is a document that specifies a relationship between the completion of a behavior and a specific reward. It mostly consists of if/then statements, and can be used in various environments (classrooms, homes, school, etc). A behavioral contract is a written document that needs to include a clear description what the behavioral expectation is for the student as well as detailed information regarding the reward. The tasks description should include who, what, when, where, and how well. Reward description should include who, what, when, and how much.

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20 REINFORCEMENT SYSTEMS Token Economy: A medium of exchange (tokens, chips, classroom dollars, tickets, etc) is selected and used to help shape up behavior. A token economy must include specific criteria for earning tokens. To be most effective, tokens should be delivered immediately after the behavior that is being shaped up and should be paired with specific descriptive praise. A token economy should include an exchange system by which tokens are exchanged for tangibles (toys, food, etc), activities, and privileges.

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22 REINFORCEMENT SYSTEMS Level (stage or molar) system: A level system is a behavior program that targets multiple behaviors for a group of similar individuals that occupy the same classroom or group. It is a good system to utilize when multiple behavior changes targets are desired. Level systems involve delayed reinforcement in which students slowly earn rewards privileges for continued positive behavior. Level systems can help a program or classroom by keeping all staff responses to behavior and to students systematic, consistent, and fair.

23 REINFORCEMENT SYSTEMS Group-Oriented Contingency: A group-oriented contingency involves a common consequence or reward that is delivered based on the behavior of one individual, the behavior of part of the group, or the behavior of the entire group.

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25 REINFORCEMENT SYSTEMS Independent group contingency: An independent group contingency is when the same contingency is in effect for every member of the group on an individual basis. Each member that meets the criterion earns personal reward; similarly those who do not meet criterion do not earn a reward. For example, teacher makes a system where any student that gets 100% of homework complete gets fun Friday activity for 30 minutes. Any student under 100% does not earn fun Friday activity.

26 SOME NEW PROGRAMS

27 REINFORCEMENT SYSTEMS Dependent group contingency: A dependent group contingency is when an individual member of the group meets the target behavior criterion then reward is provided to everyone in the whole group. For example, teacher sets up a program for Dan a struggling student where he earns a pizza party for the entire class if he completes 100% of homework in a given week.

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29 REINFORCEMENT SYSTEMS Interdependent group contingency: An interdependent group contingency is when all members of the group must meet the performance criteria before any member of the group earns reward. For example, teacher sets up a program where if all students complete 100% of homework then the class will watch a movie and have popcorn. If any one student fails to complete 100% of the homework, the entire class does not earn the reward.

30 DEALING WITH A MORE DIFFICULT STUDENT

31 FUNCTIONS OF BEHAVIOR Attention Access Escape Sensory/Pain

32 FUNCTION OF BEHAVIOR: ATTENTION Student s problem behavior is an attempt to get a reaction from another person (social approval/disapproval, conversation, laughter, other interaction). Examples: Talking during instruction Making noises Calling out Acting defiantly Using profanity or making inappropriate comments Dropping books on the floor, throwing items, passing notes

33 POSITIVE BEHAVIOR INTERVENTION PLAN STRATEGIES FOR ATTENTION-BASED BEHAVIORS Provide more frequent attention Momentary removal Ignore the problem behavior (extinction) Teach an alternate way to get attention Avoid reprimanding Give attention to a Student being good

34 FUNCTION OF BEHAVIOR: ESCAPE Two Forms: 1. Task avoidance occurs when a student engages in a problem behavior to remove demands, requests or other aversive situations or activities. 2. Social avoidance occurs when a student engages in a problem behavior in order to get a person to leave them alone or avoid social interaction.

35 POSITIVE BEHAVIOR INTERVENTION PLAN STRATEGIES FOR ESCAPE-BASED BEHAVIORS (TASK AVOIDANCE) Increase reinforcement for compliance or task completion Reinforce smaller steps to compliance or task completion Reduce demands and then gradually increase Teach students to ask for help Provide reinforcement when the student does not engage in the problem behavior Teach another behavior

36 POSITIVE BEHAVIOR INTERVENTION PLAN STRATEGIES FOR ESCAPE-BASED BEHAVIORS (SOCIAL AVOIDANCE) Recondition Attention Pair attention with other powerful reinforcers (food, reinforcing activities) Increase reinforcement for compliance or absence of problem behavior Avoid use of extinction or time away for Task or Social Avoidance.

37 ACCESS TO PREFERRED ACTIVITY/ITEM IN THE CLASSROOM Escape from a task or access to something in the room Activities and Items in the primary grades: computers, hand-held video games, trading cards, children s books, magazines, toys and figurines, food, activities and equipment at recess or physical education Activities and Items in the secondary grades: books, magazines, note writing, cell phones/texting, Facebook, food, internet sites

38 POSITIVE BEHAVIOR INTERVENTION PLAN STRATEGIES FOR: ACCESS RELATED BEHAVIORS More straightforward than for other functions Use item or activity that the student wants to reinforce an appropriate behavior (e.g. task completion) Antecedent interventions: make tasks more enjoyable, frequent breaks, increasing access to identified reinforcers

39 FUNCTION OF BEHAVIOR: SENSORY STIMULATION The central question: Will the behavior occur without outside reinforcement the alone condition Positive Behavior Interventions: Enrich the environment and provide access to stimulating activities Reinforce replacement behaviors

40 REPLACEMENT BEHAVIORS Decreasing the behavior should NOT be foremost on our minds as parents and professionals. Rather, what behavior can be increased, that will make the interfering behavior irrelevant (doesn't work, has no purpose), inefficient (doesn't work as well as a more appropriate behavior), and ineffective. To do this, a replacement behavior must be identified. If replacement behaviors are not taught, problem behaviors may get worse.

41 OTHER HELPFUL HINTS Positive comments should outnumber negative comments 5:1 State expectations positively. Tell them what you want them to do as opposed to what not to do. The difference between a reinforcer and a bribe is a reinforcer is offered before a demand is given, a bribe is offered after problem behavior ocurrs.

42 BEST PRACTICE SOME THOUGHTS ON GIVING DIRECTIONS 1. Get the child s attention Before giving a direction to your child, make sure he/she is looking at you. Calling his name, touching him lightly on the shoulder, or going to the child are some ways to do this. If your child is busy doing something and you want to give a direction, make sure he /she pauses and looks at you before giving the direction (turn the television off, pause the movie or tape, etc.)..

43 BEST PRACTICE SOME THOUGHTS ON GIVING DIRECTIONS 2. Give clear, positive directions with high expectations Giving clear, specific directions are important and will help assure the child will follow them. Do not tell them what not to do, but rather what to do. Tell them what you want in clear terms. For example, do not say Stop running., but rather Please walk. Do not be vague, but rather be specific. Do not say be careful, but rather Please climb down from the ladder. Do not say Behave., but rather, I need you to sit quietly until I finish talking with Aunt Betty. Focus on the positive. Let them know you have high expectations for them and give them sincere praise when they respond. When they follow your directions, acknowledge their successes.

44 BEST PRACTICE SOME THOUGHTS ON GIVING DIRECTIONS 3. Give simple directions, and a few at a time Start with simple one or two-part directions ( Please pick up the doll and put her in the crib. ). Break multi-step directions into smaller steps. Guide the child step-by-step if necessary. Give the child time to complete the first step before moving on to another, give the second step, and repeat until the feat is accomplished. For instance: Please go get your shoes. Sit on the stool. Put your shoes on. Go find your bear and we ll be ready to go to the library.

45 BEST PRACTICE SOME THOUGHTS ON GIVING DIRECTIONS 4. Vary the way directions are given Most of the time talking to your child is the best way to give directions. Sometimes children follow directions better if they are given in a picture format. Use whatever method works best for you and your child. Games, songs and music can also help children learn to follow directions (Simon Says, Head, Shoulder, Knees, and Toes).

46 BEST PRACTICE SOME THOUGHTS ON GIVING DIRECTIONS 5. Be Consistent and follow through Your child will learn quickly that he/she does not have to follow the rules you set if you do not follow through with appropriate consequences when the rules are not followed. Being fair but firm gives the children predictability and structure. If you are not consistent, the child may get the message that you do not always mean what you say. This results in the child not always listening to you and not following directions. It can cause unhappiness and disruption at home, and can be a stumbling block to success in school.

47 BEST PRACTICE SOME THOUGHTS ON GIVING DIRECTIONS 6. Offer choices It is good to offer choices, if possible. Saying, Do you want to give me the toy, or do you want to put it on the table? rather than, Put the toy down. will more likely result in the child relinquishing the toy. Young children are more apt to follow directions and will feel more responsible for actions and decisions if they have made a choice. Some examples include: Do you want to carrots or pickles? Do you want to hop or walk to the door? Do you want to me to hold your hand or walk by yourself?

48 BEST PRACTICE SOME THOUGHTS ON GIVING DIRECTIONS 7. When directions are not followed If a child does not follow your direction right away, repeat the direction again. Enforce what you say by following up with physical prompting. Decide before hand what the consequences will be if directions are not followed and make sure the child knows what these are. Be consistent and loving, but firm. Do not give a warning, but apply the consequences if the direction is not followed the second time. After the consequence, repeat the direction calmly. Give the child a time limit to respond to your direction ( you have one minute to get dressed) I when you are dressed you may have your breakfast, doll, toy whatever

49 CONTACT INFORMATION Feel free to contact with questions! Sonja Samek, Ed.S, BCBA

50 THOUGHTS TO REMEMBER

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