Help kids learn ABA

Sarah M. Teske wrote a delightful book called “Oh No, Henry” that tells a story about how a youngster employs behavioral procedures to teach his new puppy some important life skills. I was fortunate enough to pre-order it and got to read it just a couple of days ago.

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Let’s tootle

In one of my classrooms when I was teaching in the early 1970s, I used to give my students tickets, tell them to write their names on the back of each one, and give one to a classmate when the classmate did something that made them feel good. It was a slapdash effort on my part to promote positive interactions among the students and to reverse the usual complaints about what one or another student had done (“tattling”). Christopher Skinner and his colleagues took these same ideas way many steps better. In the place of “tattles” they created “tootles” by combining “tooting” one’s horn with “tattling.”

Tootling is similar to tooting your own horn in that positive behaviors are monitored and reported. However, during tootling students report peers’ positive behaviors, not their own. Tootling is similar to tattling, only, when tootling, peers report incidental prosocial behaviors. (Skinner, Cashwell, & Skinner, 2000, p. 263),

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FA of BP for LD

Over on LD Blog I posted a note about a systematic review of the literature examining the research on function-based interventions for students with learning disabilities by McKenna, Flower, Kim, Ciullo, and Haring (2015). In addition to a light commentary, there’s an abstract and a link that should allow one to download a free copy through the remainder of the calendar year.

McKenna, J. W., Flower, A., Kim, M. K., Ciullo, S., & Haring, C. (2015). A systematic review of function-based interventions for students with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 30, 15-28. DOI:10.1111/ldrp.12049

Talking about Behavior

If you haven’t done so already, take a little time to consume some of Jim Johnston’s blog. Although it’s related to his 2013 book by the same name, the blog provides bites that casual readers will find nourishing.

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. 

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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:

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