Monday, July 6, 2015

Wk2 summer series: Beautiful Behavior

I'm joining Delightfully Dedicated this week to share some behavior strategies I have found useful in my 1st 3 years of teaching. I will do my best to keep this post brief but I really enjoy figuring out students behaviors and shaping them appropriately, so this post may end up being a little lengthy.

 Delightfully Dedicated Summer Series Wk2
Delighfully Dedicated Summer Series Wk 2

Let's face it, teaching is a difficult job to begin with.  Now add on consistently difficult behaviors and it seems nearly impossible to complete your job on a daily basis.  Now add in students who have one or more of the following: non verbal, non ambulatory, blind, deaf, attention deficits, low cognitive abilities, sensory/tactile sensitivities, etc. and you definitely have your work cut out for you! How can you manage all of their behaviors while keeping up with the schedule and showing progress on their IEP? 

I would love to say I have the magic solution, but the truth is - you just have to try and try again. Observation, persistence, patience, collaboration and research are the best ways to keep behaviors in check. What may work for one kiddo, will more than likely not work for the next one. I will cover my 'whole class behavior system,' my 'individual strategies' and the 'transition cues' I use do decrease behaviors. 

Whole Class System

As a class, my students earn coins to purchase items from our treasure box or our coupon book.  They earn coins by: having good behavior, completing work, and participating in class. I created a participation sticker system that each student has on their desk. The students earn stickers by participating and completing work.  After 10 stickers, they earn 2 pennies to put in their coin bag.  Each day they have good behavior they can earn a nickle. This is tracked by a daily communication folder between myself and their parents. Every other week or so they cash in their coins to purchase something they want. 

Our Treasure Box!! 

Miss, Hey Miss Participation sticker system
Download my participation stickers

Miss, Hey Miss Coupon Catalog
Coupon Catalog

Individual Strategies / Transition cue

One strategy I love to use with my students on an individual basis is a Contingency Map.  I created my own set based on my students schedules, likes, dislikes and behaviors. I will tell you-they save the day!!! You can read more about them over on Chris Reeve's Blog  or on The Autism Helper's blog, Sasha also explains how the contingency map intervention works.

Another great strategy is the good ole' First-Then. I found these amazing manila folders at HEB last summer and I have fallen in LOVE! They measure 4 1/2" x 10 3/8." I laminated and created tokens and 'I'm working for images' in each one. I use them for everything! They are just as versatile as the contingency maps, but more portable (especially for field trips). They also make an easy transition cue for the student to follow their schedule to the next task.
Purchase from amazon

Miss, Hey Miss Manila Behavior Strategies
Token System & First Then using Manila Folders.

I hope these are helpful! These may not work for everyone, just remember you will have some tough days. For example, I learned the hard way to eat my breakfast before entering the classroom-otherwise it will get eaten (peel and all). Here's a little humorous drawing from one of my kids (he knew I had had a rough day, but he also had faith that I would overcome any obstacle  my kids challenged me with.)