Case Study: Responding to Challenging Behavior (PowerPoint)

April 25, 2010

Education 517 Case Study

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What I Would Do…

April 22, 2010

I have not done the best job of keeping up with this blog throughout the past semester.  I have let many personal issues and work that I felt took precedence over this blog come first.  I know that no amount of excuses could make up for the fact that I have not fulfilled my obligation to this course in which I am enrolled.  My classmates’ dependency on me to fulfill my obligation makes the situation worse and for that I apologize.  I have honestly had a lot of personal issues surface this semester.  I certainly regret that I did not communicate my frustrations and concerns this semester.  I let things get to me, and, in turn, my work suffered.  I have been overwhelmed with the shear responsibility of family and educational obligations.  I have certainly learned that I need to get better at prioritizing and taking seriously more things that matter.

The purpose of this post is to describe what I would do if I had students in my class who were not completing assignments.  This situation is actually a recurring on in my placement with one of my students.  She lost her mother at the end of last summer, and her motivation to complete assignments is lacking.  One of the things I have attempted to do is to create a good rapport with her by taking the time to learn more of her interests tailor to them.  For example, I know that she enjoys math and she enjoys participating during class discussion.  I make it a point to give her a chance to share her math knowledge by calling on her when I know she may have the answer to a problem. The relationship is key when it comes to understanding student motivation, or lack thereof.

With the case of reluctant students who defy any teacher attempts to complete assignments the first resource I would seek would be that of other teachers who have had the student before, if possible.  Collaboration can be crucial when deciding strategies and the next steps for dealing with student behaviors.  Seeking the help of other teachers and learning their strategies could really help build of repertoire of effective strategies for reaching a plethora of students.

Setting clear expectations is a key component in ensuring that students complete assignments.  In my case with the blog, I cannot say that the expectations weren’t clear, my motivation just wasn’t there.  With students that are neglecting to complete assignments I can see how the implementation of student-set goals could be useful.  This would give students an opportunity to take accountability for their own learning.  Creating a behavior plan that sets up some type of reward system could also be effective.  With intrinsic motivation being the total goal, implementing strategies such as those used with Positive Behavior Supports could make the difference in helping to motivate students.  Also, the acknowledgement of student achievement could also help them take the time to hone in on their own abilities.

Creating well-planned and engaging lessons will hopefully help give students the motivation to complete assignments, but, if reluctance still lingers, having a heart-to heart, allowing students to pursue interests in school work, eliciting the collaboration of faculty/staff/administration and parents, and setting clear and consistent expectations will hopefully give students the push they need to attempt to complete assignments.  Explaining to students the importance of their learning and practicing the material will also help them to make real-life connections with the curriculum and the assignments that accompany it.  Students should understand that punishment (that fits the crime) will be implemented appropriately if necessary.  Setting clear boundaries and expectations is one way to ensure that students are reaching their full potential and completing assigned tasks.

Case Study Update

April 22, 2010

Completing this case study project has certainly made me more aware of the individual needs of the student I chose.  I have taken so much time analyzing and evaluating his behavior that I feel I can almost sense when undesirable behavioral sitautions may present themselves.  While I have devoted the study to one particular student, I have realized just how attentive I have become in observing all student behaviors.  I have had to learn to balance dividing my attention 22 ways in the class, and it is amazing how teachers are able to complete this task.

Creating the interventions for deterring undesirable behaviors has been rather easy.  With the Positive Behavior Support system of rewarding positive behavior to negate the negative,  I have been able to utilize small interventions.  Having my student set his own behavior goals and devise his own plan for managing his behavior has certainly been great for holding him to the accountability standard.  He truly understands the ramifications of his actions, and he knows the expected consequences if he  strays from his goals.

Devising the other componenets of the case study have been rather helpful in allowing me to better articulate my behavioral philosophy.  It is easy to state strategies that one would use when dealing with challenging behavior, but it is another thing to have an all-encompassing statement that can be applied to any behavior on the spectrum.  Realizing that the classroom community is an essential component of deterring undesirable behaviors is a extremely important.  Being a teacher in a classroom where every student can recite the behavioral expectations as if they had been chiseled into their brains (well, they probably have been) is a good feeling.  When other students in the class feel comfortable enough to correct their classmates’ behaviors in a respectful manner speaks volumes to the effort that has been taken to ensure all students are given the opportunity to learn peacefully.

This study has been beneficial in that it has given me the opportunity to be cognizant of my observation of my students.  Because reflection is one of the keys to effective teaching, this study has been great with helping me to “think about my thinking while I’m thinking” to come up with more strategies for teaching my students.

Positive Behavior Support (Lock 2007) April Post

April 21, 2010

This article certainly intrigued me because my placement utilizes the Positive Behavior Support (PBS) model which emphasizes students’ positives behaviors in hopes to deter unfavorable ones.  The article states that “PBS involves the assessment and reengineering of environments so people with problem behaviors experience a reduction of problem behaviors and increase social, personal, and professional quality in their lives”.  That statement is a fantastic summation of the importance of considering the utilization of the PBS model.  Focusing on the prevention of challenging behaviors could make a world of difference when creating inclusive classroom environments.

The span of usage for PBS models is one of the things that I think make it so useful in most cases.  The fact that it can be individualized or applied to an entire school system speaks volumes to the impact that its components can have on behavior management.  Being proactive in preventing challenging behaviors is a way to intervene before behaviors are seemingly out of control.  The article emphasizes the importance of collaboration to develop effective strategies for reaching students.

Creating a comfortable environment in which students are encouraged to be active, participatory learners helps facilitate personal responsibility and gives students an opportunity to take their learning seriously.  PBS, as utilized inmy placement has been a great implementation.  Students seem to respond favorably to the system and they understand that the expectations and the rewards are clearly outlined and consistent.  I have seen little flaw with the system (I’m still giving it time, though).  I can certainly see myself implementing many of the PBS strategies into my classroom as they seem to just be overall great teaching strategies.

Another Reflection on Case Study This Far

April 21, 2010

A little of the frustration I have had with this assignment at the beginning has subsided.  While my classroom lack significant behavioral issues, there are still behaviors in my class that warrant addressing.  The type of disruptive behavior most frequently exhibited in my placement is when my case study student talks out of turn (during transitions, during instruction).  While the class would still be considered one with little behavioral issues, constantly addressing particular classroom interruptions are the things that can take away valuable instructional time.

The student I chose for the study isn’t necessarily a difficult student, but he could use a little more help trying to meet our classroom expectations.  Stew Dent (pseudonym) can oftentimes be easily off task, especially when he thinks no adult is watching him.  I have noticed that during transitions and independent reading time (times when students are almost forced to remain silent) he is the most disruptive.  Making small changes such as allowing him to change his seating position or allowing him to move across the room to a more individualized setting oftentimes offsets these behaviors.  In line, I make sure to state the expectations and students are responsible for separating themselves from situations in which they will be distractions to others.

Giving students the ability to maintain some type of accountability for their actions is the key to ensuring that the expectations of the classroom are met.

Completing this project has really forced me to outline my philosophy of classroom management, and I’ve become more articulate expressing my views on the topic.  There are so many components that go into creating an environment that exhibits desirable behavior, and this study has made me more attentive and responsive to my students’ behaviors and needs.

Response to Specific Behavior Challenges article (March reading)

April 21, 2010

I love the idea that the text mentions ways that students can manage their own behaviors using specific interventions.  It is so important that students take accountability for their learning outcomes.  Teaching students self-discipline is one of the greatest gifts we can bestow upon them.  It was also great that the text mentioned the gamut of possibilities for a combination of behavioral challenges.  Too often, teachers are faced with a combination of behavioral issues with which we are unequipped to deal.  Luckily, I have not had this experience in my student teaching, but, I can say that I have seen students within the school that appear to exhibit a variety of challenging behaviors, and we, as educators, are responsible for evaluating and find the interrelatedness of these behaviors.  Equipping teachers with the strategies for responding to, or even preventing these behaviors could make all the difference.

Being descriptive of instances when the student exhibits undesirable, challenging behavior is also key in responding effectively.  Having the ability to describe the characteristics of the student’s behavior without an umbrella label if far more useful than stating that the student is “bad” or “always off task”.  Observing certain situations and instances when the student is more likely to be off task is far more beneficial in helping curb the behavior and implement interventions at appropriate times.

Setting clear expectations and being consistent with them has negated what I feel could have been significant behavioral challenges in my placement.  From the first day of school students have been constantly made aware of the expectations and rules for being a member of our school community.  Reinforcing positive behavior goes a long way when it comes to changing challenging behaviors.  As stated before, I have not had much of an encounter with significant behavioral issues, but, I believe that when students can take accountability for their own learning, their behavior oftentimes follows.

Educ 517: Reflection on Case Study Thus Far

February 23, 2010

So far, the case study for the course is a little daunting.  I have a particularly good class this year, and behavioral issues are not part of our problems.  The most challenging behavior I witness in our class on a daily basis is students being too talkative during class or transitions.  Though there is a student with a mental disability in our class, his behavior is not an area of contention.  I still have yet to identify the student for which I will target this study.  It is difficult to develop a plan for a student who acts as any other typical fourth grader would be expected to act in school.

One of the sections of the project call for us to identify what “classroom community” means to us.  My placement is a great model for fostering classroom community.  I can attribute a lot of this to possibly being the reason that we do not have more behavioral issues.  All of the students have such a high level of respect and appreciation for one another.  The classroom expectations are clearly outlined, and students often help remind their classmates of the rules to keep them from getting in trouble.  Having 21 other critical eyes watching you in a classroom can help deter a lot of behavioral issues.

As stated before, the most difficult part of this assignment is deciding for which student an outline should be developed.  There are many effective strategies already in place in the classroom.  One idea that I could possibly implement, though, is the usage of behavioral contracts.  Those may be effective in our classroom to help students keep track of their behavioral responsibilities.

Educ 517: Ch. 7 Salend Text

February 15, 2010

I completely agree with the opening statement of the text that “for students to be successful in inclusive settiings, their classroom behavior must be consistent with teachers’ demands and academic expectations and must promote their learning and socialization with peers.”  That statement could not be truer as it pertains to my placement.  Setting clear expectations has made all the difference.  Students are easily put on task and they know exactly what they should be doing at all times.  Using the SmartBoard as a way to write expectations for transitions and lessons gives students a great visual reminder and also helps to ensure that they take responsibility for their actions because as long as it is written on the board, there is no excuse for not knowing what being on task looks like.

Any good classroom management system sets into place a close bond between the expectation of positive behavior and the facilitation of effective teaching.  Best practices are called such for a reason.  Teachers should use colloboration inside and outside of the classroom to foster positive school environments and make sure that all parties within the school are in tune with student needs.

In my placement, it seems that at least all of the fourth grade teachers know the names each other’s students, which seems so small but makes a huge difference when it comes to collaboration and keeping consistent the expectations for students.  I have absolutely no problem tell students from another class to slow down in the hall or to stop talking, not only because I feel it is the right thing to do, but also because I feel that their teachers would do the same for the students in my classroom.

Defining the behavior is also a huge point that the text makes.  It is so easy to stamp students with vague labels.  Clearly defining the behavior and assessing it is critical for facilitating the type of teaching that will create desired behavioral outcomes.

CT’s Classroom Management

February 3, 2010

My CT has awesome classroom management!  She has told me that this year’s class is a “particularly good one”, but that does not diminish her ability to create an environment in which behavioral issues are not problems.

The first day of school, students were placed on the carpet and asked to list behaviors that they know fits with the school’s montra of “showing respect, responsibility, and relationships”.  This activity allowed students to create their own rules, giving them ownership of their behaviors.  My CT did not have to take the time to lecture the class and give orders for what she expected of them.  By the end of the activity, students had clear expectations that they created, making it rather difficult for them to dodge responsibility for their actions.

One of the things that my CT implemented that truly makes life in the classroom a lot easier is having job assignments for the students.  These jobs include line leaders, lunch-count takers, substitutes (take over the job of an absent student), star counter, etc.  These jobs certainly lessen the chances of student behaviors being an issue because of the lack of student responsibility expectations.  This is such a GREAT way to ensure that students have clear ideas of how the classroom is managed.

My CT is very explicit with her expectations for the students.  Every student is encouraged to take personal responsibility for any of their actions, and they are recognized for doing so.  My placement implements the PBS model, and it maintains that students are acknowledged more for desired behaviors, curbing the frequent occurrences of undesirable ones.

There are no students with challenging behaviors in my placement.  With that said, my CT is superb at being proactive to prevent incidents.  She responds very quickly to possibly undesirable behaviors.  Taking the time to “nip them in the bud” truly speaks volumes to her attentiveness to the students.

Staple rules for the class include students not talking in line and walking with their hands by their sides, using the 4-point voice level scale for various activities, responding to the teacher as she blows in the microphone to get their attention (this works VERY well), and showing respect when others are talking.

There are plenty of expectations for the class that would be time-consuming to list as rules, but the point is that students have rather broad expectations of showing “respect, responsibility, and relationships”, and they are able to easily recognize when they are not doing so.

Educ 517: Classroom Management in Inclusive Settings

January 24, 2010

The article gives great advice, noting practical strategies for the implementation of behavioral techniques in inclusive classrooms.  Including ideas for creating a sense of community, forming a safe and responsive learning environment using knowledge from traditional and special education settings, and deciding what considerations and accommodations need to be made to create fair expectations for all students in the class all help to promote a student’s membership in the classroom.  Having students form friendships through community-building and helps everyone steer from viewing students with disabilities in the classroom as the “others”.  Friendships are fostered with community-building environments, and all students can benefit from the contributions of one another.

The article also outlines the importance of collaboration between teachers and parents to ensure that all students are having their needs met.  Collaboration within and outside of the classroom is paramount in making sure that all expectations are met and that students have consistency.  The positive behavior support model is a great way to outline expectations for all students, rewarding them for their positive behavior, as long as the interventions are consistent and meaningful for students.

My fourth grade placement utilizes the PBS model, and it works like a charm.  My CT has very clear expectations and the student with autism has no problem learning and following the classroom expectations.  Having clear and consistent goals and expectations for students is half of the battle when attempting to implement any behavioral suppor program.  The student with autism is held to the same standards as all of the other students because the expectations have been clearly outlined for him.  There truly are very few behavioral issues in the class, and the consistency of the expectations and actions taken when students exhibit undesired behavior are the reasons for that.