Tag Archive for 'discipline'

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.
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Homegrown PBIS videos

My colleague Michael Kennedy promotes the creation of what he calls “homegrown videos” for helping explain appropriate behavior to students. They’re a fun way to get across the concepts associated with positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS). As Professor Kennedy explains in the caption, this is one of a series; they all use the PBIS language and concepts, but have student-view humor.

Bus Expectations: John Glenn HS from Michael Kennedy on Vimeo.

This video on appropriate behavior on the bus is one video in a series by Jacob Toarmina and his classmates from John Glenn High School in Michigan. This video was submitted by Deanna Strong, also from JGHS.

The others in this series are about classroom expectations, arrival and departure, cafeteria expectations, and hallway expectations. There are series of videos from other schools, as well. As one might suspect, they focus on the usual issues in schools (see situations just listed) and they have the usual themes for PBIS (e.g., respect, responsibility…).

There is even an Annual PBIS Film Festival at the national PBIS convention; schools submit videos they’ve created and people vote on which ones are the best examples in various categories (e.g., funniest, best music, best teaching of expectations, and so forth).

If you want to learn more, visit Professor Kennedy’s PBIS videos site, his Vimeo site where I snagged the movie here, or the section of Vimeo that is dedicated to PBIS videos. Of course, one can jump to the PBIS.org site (it’s over there is the sidebar, available any time).

Not my GBG

Over on eHow, contributor Greg Stone noted that B. F. Skinner’s studies in the 1950s helped educators develop ways to use positive reinforcement in classrooms. Apart from the mysterious date reference, so far, so good. Mr. Stone continued, “Positive reinforcement helps reinforce and shape behavior in the classroom. Games teach children proper behavior in a fun and memorable way.”

Mr. Stone’s first example is “The Good Behavior Game.” Yea! But, that’s where it goes a bit awry.

This game can be played both in the classroom and at home. For school, make a chart with all the behaviors you expect from your students. The list can include working quietly, helping other students and finishing homework. Each day, let the students put stickers on the chart for activities they’ve completed. Set up a reward plan based on the number of stickers received for each week.

Now, mayhaps this really would be an effective game. Maybe it would promote appropriate behavior. I’ve not seen studies of the procedure he described. If any readers have, please drop the references in the comments. If not, perhaps some enterprising teacher could run a quick AB comparison or a couple of grad students could collaborate with some teachers and run a tidy multiple baseline test. Y’all could get the ball rolling….

But what Mr. Stone describes surely isn’t the Good Behavior Game that many of us know and admire. I wonder whether he has read about it. I shall write to him and ask. It’s obvious he’s talking about something different than the Good Behavior Game developed by Barrish, Saunders, and Wolf (1969) and then tested by many others.

Here’s the link for Mr. Stone’s “Behavior Modification Games.”
Given my string of recent posts about mistaken uses of behavioral terminology, one might just as well sign my posts with “Grumpy.”

Mayhaps I shouldn’t reward it with a reference? As folks alert to the trends in the techie world know, eHow is among the Internet resources that is dogged by accusations of generating headlines and creating content to suit visitors and boost positions in search rankings (see Claire Miller’s report, “Seeking to Weed Out Drivel, Google Adjusts Search Engine,” in the NY Times).

Barrish, H. H., Saunders, M., & Wolf, M. M. (1969). Good behavior game: Effects of individual contingencies for group consequences on disruptive behavior in a classroom. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 2, 119-124. doi: 10.1901/jaba.1969.2-119

GBG in HS

When repeatedly confronted with evidence about their effectiveness, some who drag their feet about using behaviorally based methods might reluctantly concede that such procdures would be effective in certain circumstances. For example, someone might agree that there is an abundance of evidence that the Good Behavior Game can be used effectively and even concede that employing it with young children has long-term benefits, as evidenced by the strong reviews of an intervention that includes the GBG by the Top Tier Evidence folks. “But,” one might imagine them saying, “That technique would never work with older students. It’s just too childish. Adolescents would see right through it. They’d just laugh at you.”

Baloney!
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Arts and b mod actually can mix

Perhaps it’s just my perception, but I think a lot of people see the arts and behavioral principles as antithetical. That is, one who embraces the arts holds philosophical views that are incompatible with behaviorism. Of course, this is not true, from my point of view, but I’ve suspected that others considered it true.

Even if it is true on average, I came upon another exception to the rule. Over on Diversified ART , Anita Dallar presented a set of recommendations for teachers that incorporates important elements of basic behavior modification principles. Ms. Dallar, who apparently both makes art and teaches art making, posted the article under the title, “Applying Positive Behavior Modification – A Quick Reference for Teachers.” Give it a read!

GBG implementation grant

Here’s a winning story from a little while back. Under the headline “FdL School District receives $500,000 grant,” the Oskkosh (WI, US) Northwestern reported that a local education agency will be using grant funds to implement the venerable Good Behavior Game (GBG) in its classrooms. The leadership of Fond du Lac School District has already adopted a positive behavior support system, and the GBG will fit right into it well. Notably, the Fond du Lac schools folks adopted the GBG before it recently received renewed recognition from the US Top Tier Evidence organization.

The Fond du Lac School District recently was awarded the Prevention Practices in Schools Grant.

The award is for $100,000 a year for five years.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, awarded the grant to allow the district to implement evidence-based prevention practices in schools, according to a school district press release.

The purpose of the program is to prevent aggressive and disruptive behavior among young children in the short term, and prevent antisocial behavior and the use of illicit drugs in the longer term.

The district will be implementing a program called the Good Behavior Game, which is a behavioral classroom management strategy that involves helping children learn how to work together.

Read the full article, “FdL School District receives $500,000 grant.” Learn more about Fond du Lac School District. Check out coverage on Teach Effectively about Top Tier Evidence recognition of the GBG.




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