Project So Far April 14, 2010
So far in my case study I have had a BIP for a couple of weeks now. Unfortunately, we haven’t made a lot of progress. My case study student is a very smart student and it is difficult because his behavior is disruptive to everyone, but him.
Due to my busy schedule I am writing this post from the classroom while my students are in P.E. Interestingly, today my student had a lot of difficulty being respectful and cooperative in specials and he is filling out the “written up” form for us. The form asks you to note the behavior that you did to get you written up and then to come up with better ideas of what you could have done differently. Then you se a small goal for yourself and come up with a consequence when you don;t meet that goal. Unfortunately I can’t get him to note anything besides “not paying attention to the teacher”.
The last couple of weeks have allowed me to learn more and mroe about behavior each day. I think some students know exactly what is expected and they know how to not break rules. I think my case study student has not mastered the self-awareness skills that you need in order to control your own behavior. He has also been sick since he came to the United States and my CT and I sometimes wonder if lack of sleep and cold medicine could be a huge factor in self control.
The end of my post from last week really sums up the feelings I’m having about my case study student. He is brilliant academincally, but lacks the self-control skills to be successful daily. Howwever, the more we target the behavior, the higher the chance of success. I’m feeling hopeful.
April Article(s) April 4, 2010
I really liked this week how we got to choose an article to read from the article bank. As I think about my case study more and more I’m feeling that it will be a constant struggle throughout the rest of the year. It is likely that my student will leave our school after fourth grade (right now he is finishing third), but I worry and wonder about what will happen next year. I think about what kind of successes and failures will occur in a different setting with different teachers. As these thoughts come to mind I also think: If I were to start again from the very beginning of the year, what would I do differently? Although this seems like a hopeless thing to think, my case study student’s behavior does not impact his academics too much. He is doing well in the third grade and does excellent in all tests and practice EOGs. Our problem is the day to day activities and behavior in the classroom that luckily does not impact his ability to succeed academically. Right now I am focusing on helping him in other areas and what I can do so that our behavior management doesn’t impact him socially, emotionally, or in any other non-positive ways.
The first article I chose to read was “Praise, ignoring, reprimands” because I liked the title. I thought maybe it would be a more specific way to deal with individuals in the classroom and thus would support my needs for this case study. After I read the article I realized it was more of a general way to use praise, ignoring and reprimands in the classroom. I really liked this article. There were some really great points about the right and wrong way to use these teacher techniques. I really like the table of effective v. not effective praises to give students. This is something I have talked about with my CT because at first I was “good job”ing everyone! It is really important that we be specific and direct with our student praise. This again got me thinking about what I would have done differently with my case study student. My case study student is new to this country and receives ELL services at the school. He will take the EOG this year, but we are not worried because he is very smart and successful in academics. I wonder if maybe we had collaborated with the ESL teacher and thought about ways to explain the specific behaviors that were not okay and then implemented a behavior contract at the beginning of the year if it may have gotten a lot better earlier. I think at this point he has developed so much frustration that our BIP is less effective than maybe it would have been at the beginning of the year.
I was curious about other articles so I also skimmed the article “teaching students with diverse needs”. As I mentioned earlier my case study student is excellent in academic areas so I was more geared to the general and behavioral suggestions. I like the ideas: Relate class to personal real life skills and experiences; Limit expectations to two or three concepts per unit; Concentrate on student strengths and bring those strengths into the lesson; Use concise written and oral directions (spoken, written, and oral); Model assignment expectations, show an example of the product; use self-monitoring strategies; provide a structure for organization; help the student set and monitor personal goals; provide alternative work area; use private signal to cue appropriate behavior for more difficult times; teach skills of independence, i.e., paying attention; provide definite purpose and expectations especially during unstructured activities; prepare the learner for changes in routine. This is a FANTASTIC article for ideas. All of these specifics I listed are things that we should have done or done more of and I think it would have helped a lot. Of course I was only here once a week in the fall so I only got a small view into what took place before January. If you are reading this post I would recommend reading this article. It is great for teachers and definitely has boosted my attitude heading into my last month of student teaching. J
Project Thus Far March 20, 2010
So far I have implemented a behavior intervention plan with my case study student. The BIP we have been using is based on a conversation my Ct and I had with our resource specialist. My case study student needs constant everything (reminders, redirection, prompting, etc.) He also tends to not respond to oral directions or reprimands. We decided to create strips of smilie faces. Each strip has 32 smilies and he gets one strip per hour. We staple all 7 strips together and write the times and subjects on each strip. Then for every redirection, prompt, take away, etc. that we have to do we use a hole punch to get rid of one smilie face. Somethings such as reading during the pledge of allegiance or fighting on the playground get more smilies punched or taken away. Our resource specialist told me that it is good that he sees the happy faces disappear, but there are some left as positive reinforcement.
It is definitely hard to explain when you can’t see how we do it. When we decided to implement this plan we had a conversation with the student about what would be a motivator. We wanted something keyed towards his interests like extra drawing time, extra reading time, lego play, but instead he chose the money we use in our classroom behavior system. He gets a penny for each smilie left. The total amount possible is $3.08. Usually he gets around 2.00.
This behavior plan has been in place for about 2 weeks. So far his most successful day earned him 2.50. Although it seems like a lot of work it really isn’t. It has helped us to determine better areas of the day and worse areas. He loves reading so usually the reading hour is good with the exception of guided reading. However, I can’t say that the behavior is improving overall. I do think that it has helped him to view me as a teacher also and not just my CT. I’ve seen glimmers of hope, but I think the issues are bigger than a behavior plan can handle. We send home the smilie strips home so that his parents can see and we try to make notes why we took the smilies.
We decided on Friday to introduce a halved system – since he no longer needs 32, but should try 16 smilies per hour. Therefore, he can still earn money just needs to behave better. Thus improving behavior. However, Friday him and another student kicked each other on the playground and spend the second part of the day in the assistant principal’s office. We explained that fighting on the playground made the payoff zero for the entire day.
Obviously, because of what happened Friday I am writing this from a slightly unsuccessful perspective. If I’d written this before I think I would have focused more on the slight improvements.
We’ll see what happens next week!
Specific Behavior Challenges by Kristine Melloy March 7, 2010
I really liked the article that we are reading for this month. Throughout my practicum I am constantly dealing with behavior whether it be reinforcing, stopping, encouraging, distinguishing, etc. I think it always helps to think about each student as an individual and consider their background, performance levels, individual traits, observable behavior, and positive moments. I like the common language that this article provides when finding observable behavior. As I mentioned in an earlier post, my conversation with a resource specialist at my school as well as PLC experiences have helped me to learn how to pin-point behavior and to be specific. I also think it’s important to consider the context of every observed behavior such as reading, writing, new skill introduced, hard task, etc.
I especially gravitated toward the acceptable replacement behavior section at the beginning. We do this a lot in PLC meetings where we look at disruptive behavior and think of other ways to supplement the student’s need. For example, with one student who can’t keep his hands still we thought about a stress ball. I really like this part:
“Students learn that engaging in prosocial behavior can achieve the same outcome or function as disruptive behavior, and that they are considered more favorably by their peers and teachers when they engage in prosocial behavior. Assisting students in acquiring and demonstrating prosocial behavior results in more appropriate behavior and less disruptive behavior”
I’m hoping to help some of my students understand this concept, because I do not ever want an out of control behavior viewed by the teacher to translate into unfavorable opinions from peers (which I have seen happen).
I also really liked how the sections were broken down into sub-categories of difficult behavior. I find my biggest difficulty comes when the behavior is a combination of all. Furthermore when the student may be ELL and has trouble understanding and the background is unknown it can be extremely difficult.
Overall, I really like this article and I think I will definitely refer back to it once I am a first-year teacher. Although I really don’t have that challenging of a class behaviorally, it still feels like it! I’m learning little ways to improve every day. I think this year will teach me tons of valuable knowledge about behavior.
Project Thus Far February 20, 2010
At this point in the project, I have identified the student I would like to study and have begun data collection. One thing I’ve noticed that can be difficult is when a behavior problem turns into needing a 504, IEP, etc. Once the problem gets that far, different teams and specialists at my school take over and I no longer have access to the confidential information (rightfully so! I’m not complaining).
Therefore, much of my behavior data collection is from observations and occurrences that happen in the classroom. I have also heard what past teachers have said about the student’s behavior issues.
Despite my student’s behavior issues I will always advocate for him. As I am learning more and more I am discovering issues outside of school as well as academic struggles. My most insightful experience so far has been when my CT, TA, and I all got together and had a discussion. When we began to get stuck we called in one of the resource specialists who gave some wonderful insights into how to stop problematic behavior. I told her I will be calling her all the time my first year of teaching. I will continue to observe and data collect.
I liked reading the chapter this week on creating a positive school and classroom environment. Although I definitely agree with the idea that behavior management should be positive and should set good examples, I’m not sure how I feel about the PBS system we have heard a lot about. Occasionally creating a school wide behavior system, as the article talked about, can be difficult because it can be inconsistent and difficult to reward properly (as I’ve heard from other schools). However, nonetheless I want to keep an open mind and fully embrace any behavior system that I am expected to uphold in the future years.
A lot of what I read in the chapter reminded me in what I have seen take place so far in my placement. We have had a couple disruptive behavior issues in my classroom. In some cases we ended up seeking the counselor for her input and assistance (which is always very good). Similarly, we defined the behavior, observed and recorded the behavior, had the child self-assess their own behavior, thought about relative socio-cultural factors, and perform behavior consequences/rewards. I also see this behavior sequence in my classroom all the time, where we target the behavior and discuss with students.
This chapter also reminded me so much of education412 and the book we read over the summer. I have occasionally expressed to Rhonda my behavior management issues and questions and she always tells us that you have to get the routines and procedures the first week. I really liked reading this chapter because sometimes I get so focused on my students and classroom that I need a reminder of all the important factors into managing behavior that we’ve learned over the years. Good stuff!