Notes on notes home

Ever wondered whether it was worthwhile to send notes home about children’s behavior? This note will not provide comprehensive coverage of home-school communication, but there has been a bit of research about using home-school notes as a means of supporting behavior management. There is a system based on "Daily Behavior Report Cards," (DBRC) which is a broad term used to refer to a cluster of similar techniques. Essentially, teachers develop a fairly simple system for describing behavior and use it to communicate with parents; parents use the data to provide previously arranged consequences at home. 

photo of BD folks 2014
M. Tankersley, T. Landrum,
K. Vannest, & S. Forness
TECBD, Tempe, AZ, 2014

Of course, you can see many of the potential issues. Yes, please sing that song about the positives. Right, you'd need to plan the system so that the student wouldn't encounter terrible sanctions for a low report. You'll think of lots of other issues. More help on that in a few secs. 

Continue reading ‘Notes on notes home’

Teaching classroom management

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a self-appointed group that generated quite a stir in 2006 with its report about reading education (“What Education Schools Aren’t Teaching About Reading–and What Elementary Teachers Aren’t Learning“), released a report about the absence of high-quality instruction in classroom management for prospective teachers in December of 2013: Training our teachers: Classroom management. Readers of Behavior Mod will likely find the report rather distressing, because it shows a glaring absence of tutelage in the use of behavioral principles in teaching.

The NCTQ identified five classroom management strategies that it considered especially valuable for students to acquire during their teacher preparation programs:

BAAM call for 2013 papers continues

The Behavior Analysis Association of Michigan (BAAM) continued its call for papers as of 19 November 2012. In an e-mail announcement, the affiliate of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) reported, “We have received a number of good proposals already, and hope to see more in the coming days. We will soon be listing accepted submissions.” The BAAM Convention will be held 21-22 February 2013 at the Student Center Building on the campus of Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti (MI, US).

The deadline for the Call for Papers for submissions for the BAAM 2013 Convention is 7 December 2012. The theme for the 2013 conference is “100 Years of Behavior Analysis,” which refers to the centenary of John B. Watson’sarticle, “Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It.” BAAM reported that it welcomes papers about historical themes, the place of behavior analysis in the 21st century, and (especially) the new Michigan Autism Insurance Law, which became effective officially on 15 October 2012.

Please follow these links for detailed instructions on how to submit proposed papers and to learn more about the BAAM conference. For more about ABAI or BAAM itself, click the appropriate link in the left rail.

Token economy resource

Vanguard, the investment company, provides a free product called “My Classroom Economy” that it touts as a way to promote financial literacy. It is something like an extended token economy. Vanguard associates My Classroom Economy with the practices of Raef Esquith, the author of popular education books such as Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire.

The directions vary in specificity. At the primary grades, students are to earn a lump sum of $2 each week, provided they did not break one or two rules (each infraction costs $1). As is obvious, the system was not created to permit particularly fine-grained reinforcement. At the middle grades, students pay “fines” but they are levied at a later time than when the misbehavior occurred, that is, the consequences are not necessarily immediate. So, following the recommendations of Mr Classroom Economy probably would not provide a sound basis for a behavior management system.
Continue reading ‘Token economy resource’

B mod on the Today Show

US television’s the Today Show carried a segment about child management featuring Alan Kazdin’s methods. The segment, called “Meltdown! How to tame your tot’s tantrum,” has two main parts. In the first, Matt Lauer describes some basic features of the parent management procedures, described in Professor Kazdin’s book, The Kazdin Method for Parenting the Defiant Child while one sees brief video clips of a child tantruming, parents interacting with the child, Professor Kazdin discussing behavior management concepts, and a therapist talking with the parents and child. In the second part, Mr. Lauer and Michelle Borba discuss the ideas parent management (getting some of it right and making a few minor misstatements).

It’s marvelous to see that research-based practices are getting mainstream attention. Thanks for people with the background of Professor Kazdin, whom one might say cut his teeth with behavior analysis, we have prominent proponents of effective methods for parents and teachers. An important task is to get those methods into practice, to get them used (with fidelity). Taking to the airwaves offers potential for doing so. Professor Kazdin’s been actively disseminating the ideas via promotion of his book, as a perusal of his Web site will reveal.

I also see this spot as a good tool for teaching about behavior management. I plan to use this snippet in my classes. Of course, not everyone shares my enthusiasm, so I’ll probably pair it with some criticisms of the content. I found one in which a blogger rejected the idea of ignoring misbehavior: “Parenting through a tantrum.”

For more, see the the Yale Parenting Center site.

Pop and violence?

Regardless of whether you call it soda, pop, or a soft drink, do you think it might cause violent behavior? In “Does Soda Cause Violence? Teens who drink soda may be more likely to get into fights and act violently,” Emily Sohn of Discovery News goes pretty far along the path to answering in the affirmative.

Teenagers who drink lots of soft drinks get into more fights and carry more weapons than their peers who drink less, found a new study.

And while the study couldn’t determine whether soft drinks actually cause violence, the findings add to a growing — yet still controversial — body of research on the effects of nutrition on behavior.
Continue reading ‘Pop and violence?’




*/goog +1 script added 20110711 */