Education 517 Case Study: Responding to Challenging Behavior By: Zaire Bella Hill Spring 2010
Philosophy of Classroom Management • Having clear and consistent expectations is the key to establishing a classroom environment that exhibits desirable behaviors. • The PBS (Positive Behavior Support) model which encourages positive, desirable behavior by rewarding it seems to be a behavioral management system that works for me. It uses the idea of deterring undesirable behavior by accentuating the positive by using extrinsic rewards in hopes of using those methods to encourage intrinsic motivation. The fact that the system is meant to be a proactive measure, not just an intervention, seems to make it practical. Students’ behavior is often noticed when teachers consider it unfavorable. Having this system helps students to realize that in life positive behavior is not just necessary because it is listed in the school expectations, but that it is an essential part of being a productive citizen. • Teachers must be attentive when it comes to the antecedents and precursors to challenging behaviors. There is almost always an antecedent to the exhibition of challenging behaviors. • Collaboration between administration, teachers, parents, and students is the key to enforcing any behavior management system. Administration must be supportive with teacher and parent efforts. Teachers must collaborate with one another to share strategies for helping all children. Teachers and parents must have an open line of communication because the help of parents/guardians will expedite the progress of most behavioral intervention plans. Without the family support, teachers will have to more explicitly express their expectations as school expectations. With family collaboration, students will receive more positive reinforcement of expected behavioral outcomes.
Classroom Community • Classroom community is the atmosphere and rapport created between the people who interact with one another in the space. • All persons entering the classroom should feel welcome as learners and teachers. • Students should be encouraged to collaborate with one another and to receive the guidance of the teacher. • All students should feel that their voices are honored and valued within the class, regardless of the differing viewpoints presents on any topic. • All persons should be encouraged to ask questions and praised for their contribution to classroom conversation. • They dynamic of the classroom should be that all students should show respect to one another by exhibiting the positive support of relationships. They should understand that their responsibility as part of the classroom community is to be an active participant in class happenings. • All members of the classroom community will strive to build positive relationships and value the differences amongst others. • Regardless of the classroom dynamic, all students should understand that they are all equally important to the facilitation of effective learning. A community involves the participation of all of its members. All contributors make good contributions.
Student Profile • Student Pseudonym : Stew Dent • Age: 10 • Grade: 4th • Ethnicity: Latino/Hispanic • Family Structure: Stew was adopted at age three by a same-sex couple (women) • The targeted undesirable behavior for Stew is diminishing off-task conversations during classroom instruction and transitions. Stew must also work to stay on task with class assignments.
Students Strengths and Needs • Stew has exhibited a great liking for the Arts In Action school initiative that gives the fourth grades a chance to learn a choreographed dance to display for the school body and family • Stew thoroughly enjoys the specials provided at the school. P.E. and Music are his favorite. • Stew is an avid drawer and enjoys receiving instruction from the Art teacher, the classroom assistant, and a fellow classmate. • Stew has displayed great progress in science class throughout the semester. His on task participation with classroom discussion during our science period has certainly been getting increasingly better. • Stew has expressed that his least favorite subject is writing. The majority of his off task behavior is evident during our writing sessions • Stew must consistently exhibit his knowledge of classroom expectations. Although he may be able to recite the expectations when prompted, he must learn that demonstrating his knowledge of them is the largest part of their implementation. • Stew seems to be a visual learner. He constantly looks for SmartBoard visuals for clarification of concepts.
Data Collection • Tools used to collect data: *Interest Inventory *Anecdotal notes sheets (A-B-C Analysis Behavior Analysis Sheet, *Clip Board with sticky notes *Behavior contract/student goal sheet ***The data from the analysis helped me understand the frequency of Stew’s behavioral disruptions. It was apparent the times and subjects during which his undesirable behavior was exhibited. The data helped me to better understand how to characterize the nature o f his off-task behaviors. Responding to undesirable behaviors has become easier because I now have the tools to anticipate disruptions. Having practical and feasible goal-setting interventions has caused a shift in his behavior patterns.
Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) • The plan used to discourage Stew’s undesirable behavior came in the form of a student goal sheet. Stew was informed of the behaviors that were misaligned with our class/school expectations and asked to devise a plan for banishing them. Each week he was to meet with me to talk about whether or not he had reached his specified goal. Every two weeks that goal changed and it was his responsibility to tell me how and why he thought he had or had not met the expectation. • One of Stew’s mothers is also quite involved within the classroom, administering spelling quizzes every Friday. She was also kept up-to-date with Stew’s behavioral progress through weekly progress reports that outlined not only his behavioral progress, but his progress within his subjects. • Persons responsible for implementing the behavior plan were myself and the classroom teacher. Stew’s parents were updated with his progress and encouraged to contact me with any questions they had.
Student Progress Stew has made significant progress since the implementation of the behavior plan. The intervention not only helped Stew realize his negligence in abiding by the class rules, but it also helped him set personal, attainable goals himself, helping him take responsibility for his own behavior, and, in turn, much of his own academic progress. The plan kept him more cognizant of his class disturbances, and he is much more equipped to articulate his reasoning for behaving certain ways. The line of communication between us has also been opened. He knows my expectations and also know, through my consistency, that I will hold him to a clearly stated standard. I have seen a change in Stew’s willingness to abide by the goals he set himself. He is able to articulately express his rationale for whether or not he has met a goal. Stew is also more willing to abide by the goals he set just because he seems to enjoy discussing his progress with me. It is always nice when I can give him positive feedback about his goals and concur with his rationale for why he felt he met a goal. He really seems to enjoy the goal setting. I will not pretend that Stew has absolutely no behavioral challenges anymore, but, at least we are both more aware of their occurrences and ways to deter them.
Technology • Website- http://www.teachervision.fen.com/classroom-discipline/resource/5806.html *This website is a great resource for providing a plethora links to various teacher resources such as behavior management tips and advice for parents and teachers, words and phrases to use to reinforce positive behavior, positive descriptions of classroom behaviors, guidelines for behavioral observations, various styles with handling classroom conflicts, room arrangement, and more. • Website- http://www.theteachersguide.com/ClassManagement.htm This website is a great teacher resource for identifying various stages of classroom management. It also gives a description of techniques that often backfire, something that most reflective teachers would appreciate. It also gives practical tips for teacher and remaining as stress-free as possible while doing so.
Reflection • This assignment has made me more aware of the strategies that can be implemented to encourage positive behavior in a classroom. I had already known that setting clear goals and expectations and being consistent with them was one of the most important steps in creating a classroom community where behavior challenges are minimum, but it is interesting to see those concepts in practice. I have also seen a marked difference with Stew’s appreciation for class expectations. It is excellent to see his maturity and ability to realize how important it is for the class to abide by the same rules. He finally understands that in a classroom community all students must be held accountable for their own behavior. His setting his own goals allowed him to see how he fit in the grand scheme of our class behavioral expectations. He was only focused with his contribution to making our community run more efficiently. Stew was able to see that small changes could make the difference in his being characterized as a noisy, talkative, disruptive student. He was able to take accountability for his own actions and build an intrinsic motivation for abiding by class expectations.