Tag Archive for 'schools'

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 peersā€™ 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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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).

Kudos for Artie Tyler

Artie Tyler drives a bus in the Frederick (MD, US) area, just a bit northwest of Washington, DC. According to a feature story by Marge Neal of the Frederick News-Post, Mr. Tyler made a difference in the behavior of the students on his buses, taking over challenging routes and turning them into successful rides for the students.

Eight minutes isn’t a lot of time.

But in eight-minute blocks of time, school bus driver Artie Tyler completes his rounds for more than 50 Monocacy Elementary School students each morning and afternoon. He does more than drive ā€” he goes the distance.

“Artie is part of our staff here at Monocacy,” said school Principal Jason Anderson. “He’s concerned not only about their safety to and from school but their academic well-being as well.”

When he took over the routes, he reported that there were fights and other problems. To solve them, it seems that Mr. Tyler hit upon one of the basic tenets of behavior management. He started catching the kids being good. In Ms. Neal’s report Mr. Tyler said, “I worked closely with the school—these people are awesome. We came up with an incentive program that seems to be working.” He provided rewards and gradually stretched the required time for earning them.

Here’s a “Way to go!” Mr. Tyler and the local schools there approached this matter the right way. I am so glad they didn’t adopt the more common approach of passing out office discipline referrals for misbehavior on the bus. Stamp this one with a great big “W” for “winner!”

Read Ms. Neal’s story, “Monocacy school bus driver turns students’ behavior around” from 11 March 2011.

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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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.

Mandeville High teaches good behavior

According to Kenneth Mathews of nola.com, Mandeville High School and other schools in the St. Tammany Parish local education agency in Louisiana (US) are using positive behavior intervention and support (PBIS) procedures to teach students appropriate school behaviors. In an article under the headline “Positive Behavior takes hold at Mandeville, other schools,” that appeard 19 November 2010, Mr. Mathews described multiple situations that might seem out of the ordinary but that were actually examples of students benefitting from their own successes as a part of the PBIS programs employed in their schools.

On any given day at Mandeville High School, a ninth-grader might be seen walking confidently to the front of the senior lunch line, cutting in front of the upperclassmen and receiving his lunch first without the slightest complaint from the seniors. The next day, that same ninth-grader might be given a free lunch and the grace to make up a missed homework assignment.

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