Thursday, April 21, 2016

Reinforcing the Difficult Child When Token Boards Don't Work!

I use token boards in my classroom every. single. day! They are very effective for most all of my students, but there are some students that they just don't work for! Maybe the student needs a more age-appropriate reinforcer system, or throws a fit when they don't earn a token, or always rips their token board up. OR, maybe the student cannot return back to unpreferred activities after their reinforcement time is up! This was my student! 

My student always wanted to earn tokens and work for iPad, computer, or coloring, but once their time was up, they refused to come back to work. Even though a minute or two warning was given to prepare the student, getting them back was frequently a nightmare! So I had to come up with a solution where I could still reinforce the student as frequently as needed, but avoid the nightmare of the reinforcement ending.  

I knew that this student was very materialistic. They loved money and more than anything wanted to choose something from the Treasure Tree every day, but seldom earned this reward! So if you're saying, "Oh, this is so my student," then check out the system that is working for this student in my classroom! This system works especially well with ED (emotionally disturbed) or EBD (emotional behavioral disorder) students that have a hard time dealing with negative consequences. 

I took away the token board and began rewarding with play dollar bills instead.
 Students can store them in their own personal box in their desk, which makes them feel special!
 For this student, I bought them a cute, designer lock box with their own key to make it an even more powerful reinforcer for this  I knew how much they loved things like this!
 They were instantly motivated to earn dollars to put in their special lock box and to unlock it with their own key! Much more motivated than they were with the tokens!

I began monitoring and having this child self-assess their behaviors at the end of each hour, much like I was already doing using my "Cool Points Charts." Only now, rather than my student earning their iPad, computer or coloring at the end of each hour this student earns a dollar bill each hour to put in their special, private lock box, and can cash them in at the end of each day for things they want. If they didn't display physical aggression during that hour, they earn a dollar bill. If they did, they do not earn their dollar. For students that cannot refrain from aggression when they do not receive their dollar bill, you may have to set up a system to where they will earn 50 cents if they refrained some of the time, and maybe a dime or a penny if they didn't refrain during the hour. This is sometimes necessary for ED or EBD students that cannot handle the negative consequence. 

They are still receiving positive reinforcement as before by receiving their dollar bill, and get to cash them in at the end of each day for things they weren't able to earn on the Treasure Tree before, but now there are no more struggles with ending hands-on reinforcers throughout the day. All students are of course going to be different, so you should adjust times, frequency, and reinforcers as needed to meet the individual needs of your student(s).  

The reinforcers they can buy at the end of the day are leveled by price. My student can earn up to $6 a day since there are six hours in our school day, so that gives them the opportunity to earn their largest reinforcer every day! I have 3 drawers where they can cash in each day; a $1 drawer (mediocre, not the coolest), a $3 drawer (cool stuff), and a $6 drawer (very cool stuff). This allows these difficult students to still feel some level of success even when they haven't had the greatest day! They are so accustomed to living in a punitive world, always being scolded for their behaviors and for not listening, so this system allows them to still feel some success; motivating them to achieve more. It is so important that these children still get to feel some level of success in their lives!!

My student expressed an interest in wanting to check items out to take home and snacks, so I also have sheet on the side that lists prices for checking out an item to take home and prices for a snack. Occasionally, I even purchase a larger, more spectacular item that costs more to them than their $6 level to motivate them even more to work extra hard and save their money over a few days to buy! 

Time is easy to manage. I use this timed timer and every hour it goes off and is turned off, it is immediately reset again. Easy!

  I like the timed timer too because it allows your challenging student to manage how much time they have left and to push themselves to achieve their goal. 

Again, each child and behavior is going to be different. There is definitely no one size fits all when it comes to behavioral programs. You will need to do some critical thinking and find the most effective method for your student(s). But if you have a challenging student that token boards are just not working for, critique my system to meet the needs of your student and give it a try!

If you need some help or suggestions, leave me a comment below and I'll do my best to offer you suggestions! Also, check out my "Cool Points" Charts, which may be another alternative to reinforce your challenging students that token boards just don't work for!! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Get Free Stuff for your Classroom!!

That's right!! All of this was absolutely FREE! Even shipping is FREE! All you pay is handling fees, which literally amounts to hardly nothing! 

Usually if it sounds to good to be true, it is, right?! But not with Naeir! Naeir is all about giving back to the community and empowering generosity! And they LOVE helping teachers!

Checked out my shipment that arrived today! :)

 I got $293 worth of classroom supplies for just $28 today!
 There is a minimum order of $25 and what I am about to show you costed me just that, $28.00!
 I got 10 of these little awesome squishy guys, and their eyes even pop out!!! My kiddos will go crazy over these!
 30 Memorex CDs!
 Papermate Pens galore! And FLAIR pens!
 Command hooks, and we know how pricey these can be! These come in so handy in my classroom!
 These were just too neat to resist! Write on tacks! I'm sure I'll find a use for them! And not only were they just a couple bucks for handling, you don't just get a pack, you get a whole box! That's how most of the items are sold on Naeir, in quantities!
 Days of the week page dividers! Now what teacher can't use these to get organized!!?
 Post it note highlighters! If you're a sped teacher, you know how handy these can be!!
 LABELS! I can never have too many of these! And with 840 in a pack, I'll be stocked for a while!
 And did someone say sticky note queen?? Just look at all of these sticky notes and sticky tabs!!!

Now how can you turn down a deal this good!! I mean all of this for $28 bucks! Right now they are offering free teacher memberships here. So hurry, I don't know how long this will last! They will verify that you are a licensed teacher currently in a classroom before approving your membership. Once they have verified you, you will get an email and you can begin shopping! So get started! You'd be crazy not to take advantage! Start now by browsing their educational supply catalog here to see all of the great deals you could be getting for your classroom! 

Bunches of shopping ahead,

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Improve & Track Behavior with Review 360

Are you struggling with improving and tracking behaviors in your classroom? Do you have that one difficult student that you are just at your wits end with? If so, I highly recommend you looking into Pearson's Review 360 program! Review 360 is a comprehensive web-based behavior improvement program that helps you improve and track student behaviors in your classroom and at your school. 

I began using Review 360 this school year for one of my challenging students and I just love it! It's super easy to use, calculates your percentages and incidences, rates of improvement, and graphs all of your data! You can print daily reports for parents or print and view a graph any time you need it! Review 360 also offers a wealth of free training and webinars, and helps you individualize student objectives and profiles. 

The program is built upon these 5 critical steps; track, aggregate, analyze, intervene, and communicate. 

Here is an inside look at one of my student plans. This has been individualized for a specific student, so each plan will look different. You set up each plan to meet your student(s) needs and to fit your class schedule. You also set the goal criteria.

You can customize your classroom rules, or choose to not even score this area. For this particular student, I'm not focusing on them remaining on task or following routines at this time, so I am only scoring their two objectives each day. At the bottom, you can see where I can print a blank sheet to record on, a daily report for parent, a summary report, and even add a note if I choose. At the top, I can always see a running record of how close this student is to meeting their goals, and can also choose to set up a token economy system and easily manage it in Review 360. Isn't that awesome?!

The way I have this one set up is for each hour. The 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 represent hour 1, hour 2, and so on. So at the end of hour 1, the student gets either no points or full points. They either did it or they didn't. Again, this is totally customizable. In the bottom section you see, I can actually track the number of occurrences. So if at the end of hour 1, the student hit 3 times, I would record a 3 in the number 1 box beside "physically attacks peers and adults."  

One of the best parts of Review 360 are the graphs and charts! I can pull up a graph any time I need without entering any data or spending more of my time. No more struggles and last minute graphing to get data graphed before an IEP meeting! :)

You can choose your date range, your chart type, what you want the chart to display. You can also choose to graph data by period, in my case by the hour, and choose to show trend lines. I absolutely LOVE these graphs!!! This program has truly simplified my life and assisted me with providing the most effective behavioral interventions for my students. 

You can learn more about Review 360 here on their website; and even if you do not have access to Review 360, you can still watch some of their behavioral support videos and register for their webinars! You will find some fabulous videos here for behavioral strategies to use in your classroom, and can visit their webinar page here

I hope you can get Review 360 for your classroom. If you can, I'm sure you will love it!!

I'd love to provide more behavioral support to you! If you have a challenging student you're struggling with, click on my "Behavior Buzz" button at the top of the right side bar and fill out the form. 

Thanks a Bunch,

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Autism Awareness Day Blog Hop

Although the entire month of April is Autism Awareness Month, April 2nd is known as World Autism Awareness Day! So a few of my blogger pals and I decided to get together and throw a blog hop your way to celebrate Autism and increase awareness!  

I'm super excited to share some tips with you today about how I design programming for my students with Autism and my students with other Intellectual Disabilities. 

If you are not familiar with this book, it is a must have in any Autism classroom, or any other self-contained classroom for that matter! Although written for Autism, don't let that confuse you! I have found it to be very beneficial for all of my students with intellectual disabilities. It is researched-based, a systematic approach, very well-written, well thought out, detailed, and so EASY to follow and implement. It is my classroom bible! 

I'd love to show you how "A Work in Progress," can be a valuable tool in your classroom."A Work in Progress," edited by Dr. Ron Leaf and Dr. John McEachin of Autism Partnership, is a tool for teaching behavioral strategies and improving behavior of children with Autism. In addition, it provides a curriculum for programming and individualizing discrete trial teaching lessons with your students. This is extremely helpful for me as I live in a rural area and have very little local or on campus support. I do not teach an "Autism Program," but rather teach a self-contained class with a wide range of disabilities that can include students with Emotional Disturbance, health impairments, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and Autism. It varies from year to year, and this year I only have one student with Autism in my class. Let me just tell you, I have made tremendous progress with all of my students with Intellectual Disabilities using this book!

Here is a peek at the Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT) programs offered in this book.  

Currently, I am using 4 of these programs with my one student; Functions, Asking Questions, Conversation-intermediate, and Joint Attention.

Here is a look at the Joint Attention program. Each program lists the objectives, prompts, entry criteria (what they should know prior to beginning this program), mastery criteria that includes generalization, the procedure, and easy to follow phases that guide you through an explicit and systematic teaching approach. 
 My student had already mastered phase 1, so as you can see I started my student on phase 2. She is currently on phase 4 after mastering phase 2 and 3. It depends upon your student(s) as to which phase you will begin each of them on. 

Here is a look at one of the other programs my student is currently working on.

This program has 10 phases as you can see below. My student is currently on phase 3. Each phase uses a systematic approach for teaching the skill. 
Most of the time we typically know where our students are and need to be. But, if you're unsure of what phase to start your student on; maybe your student is new; there is a curriculum assessment included in the book that allows you to assess and record their skills for each phase within each program.

And planning for your assistants has never been easier with the tools provided in this book! This sheet is all I need to ensure my assistants know the programs, the expectations, and are implementing my student's programs with fidelity. This keeps us all on the same page and consistent.
Here is how I use this page and set this up for my assistants so that they can be self-directed and run all of the programs themselves.   
 I create a binder for each student I use "A Work in Progress" with. I use just a one-inch binder. There's not much to it. Each program has just two pages in the binder. Page one is the page you see above. It is the program description and details. My assistants can refer to this page and see the procedure expected for teaching the skill, what they should say and expect the student to say, prompts, and any additional comments I may want to share with them. 

The second page for each program in the binder is the data recording sheet. So my assistants can quickly and easily read the program description, procedures, Sd, and detailed information on my individualized programming; implement and record the trials on the sheet included in the binder.
 I place the program description page in a sheet protector and the DTT recording sheet behind that (not in a sheet protector). I love these color coded edge sheet protectors!! It allows you to easily divide and separate each program without the need to add colored paper dividers or label tabs. 
 You can see here my student has 4 programs going that I can easily flip through!

"A Work in Progress" is a road map that gives you the tools needed to plan an individualized program for your students with Intellectual Disabilities, as well as guides you in shaping common behaviors amongst these children. It is a research-based systematic approach that has been very effective in my classroom. It is also a great resource for parents to implement in the home. The phases and detailed program descriptions make programming, teaching, and IEP goal writing so simple and easy, you will soon be calling it your classroom bible as well!!! 

In honor of World Autism Awareness Day, I'm giving a hard copy of this book away! Enter below to win a copy! Open to U.S. residents only and will be shipped directly to the winner via Amazon! I hope this book and my tips will ease programming and DTT in your classroom and help your students with Autism be more successful! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Next up is "All Things Special Ed." Thanks for joining in on our blog hop! Keep spreading awareness of Autism and light it up blue this evening. 

Light it up Blue,