Tag Archives: support

Data-driven solution to change student behavior

As a School Psychologist and Special Education coordinator, I participated in hundreds of meetings and noticed a common problem when it came to making and charting behavior plans.  The general education teacher was often times left to create a behavior chart and bring data back to the next meeting regarding the progress of the behavior plan.  For even an experienced teacher, this task is an extra responsibility on top of dozens of other requirements and paperwork that must be completed.  A novice teacher may leave this meeting lost, confused and overwhelmed altogether.  So, why not have a complete charting system ready to give to a teacher at the SPED meeting and RTI meeting that can be customized for each child’s individual need?  This way the team can truly make a comprehensive behavior plan that will benefit the student, support the teacher, and be ready to be implemented immediately.

Over the past few months I have worked with the company Yoyoboko to create a Reward/Behavior Chart that is easy for a teacher to implement, rewards the student for meeting goals, and creates data that is easily charted and shared at follow up meetings.  A win-win-win for all those involved!

There are three main components to the chart—

1.The behavior chart where you can divide the day into different segments and add up to four target behaviors. Sixteen premade magnetic tiles with behaviors and pictures are also included, but you can also customize your own. Magnetic stars are added when the child meets the target behavior. A behavior goal (number of stars the child needs to earn) is clear to the student and stated on the chart.  This goal can change depending on the student’s progress.

2. A reward menu where the child can choose from one of four potential incentives if they have met their target goal. Eleven premade magnetic tiles with different rewards and pictures are also included.  Usually, this is the essential part of a behavior plan that is unfortunately overlooked, but provides a simple incentive for the child to meet the goals.  Blank tiles are also included so the reward can be customized to each child’s unique interests.


3. And finally, weekly tracking sheets where the actual data can be quickly and easily stored by the teacher, shared with parents, and then reviewed by the team to determine if the intervention has been successful or needs to be adjusted.  This is one of the most important parts of the entire plan, since, if it is not working, the team will need to make adjustments.  The only way to make this determination is with data to support the change or continuation of the current plan.  Also appearing on this sheet is a place for additional comments and for the parent’s signature. 

I envision a truly proactive school having enough charts stocked and ready to be provided at all meetings when it is determined a behavior plan is needed.  How nice would it be as a general education teacher to be given this guide and instructions?  Of course, teachers may also want to purchase the chart, so you are prepared for whatever type of student walks into your classroom and you have tools ready to use to help them.

You can order charts for your school, program, department, or classroom with the link below.  I would love to hear feedback once you use it with your school’s teams and students.

http://www.yoyoboko.com/product/yoyoboko-reward-chart-for-students/?wpam_id=2

 

Increasing Parent Engagement in School: Part 2

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The first step to increase parent engagement is create a program to get parents into the school. Part two of this series will focus on ways to get parents to come to your parenting program by creating a common theme/motto, reaching out to companies for donations that will be used as giveaways, and picking a curriculum to guide your program.

To create an actual program that carries a common theme or name is important since this will be the guiding force throughout the year.  The name for the program I will be implementing is Parent University.   This signifies a program that is ongoing and professional in nature.  The motto for the program is Learn, Grow, and Support.

After the name and motto were determined reaching out to businesses for donations is necessary (especially when you do not have much money).  These donations are used for giveaways throughout each session.  I was overwhelmed with the support received.  I asked for products that fit in for each of the session topics.  In addition to receiving items for giveaways, advertising is an important first step.  We began advertising the program early and then sent home registration flyers to every student. Reminder phone calls and letters were also sent home to make sure parents would attend.

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Prizes, giveaways, and food are the motivators that were used to begin this program and get parents in the door.  After the parents signed up for the program and attended the first session, engagement became my focus.  I did not want to stand in front of parents and lecture…..no one would learn from this and a network of support would not be developed.  Instead I wanted parents to talk and share, so they could see that other parents have the same struggles that they do at home.  In order to achieve this goal, I used a couple decks of playing cards.  Every time a parent spoke and participated, they would receive a playing card.  At the end of the session, I drew from a fresh deck of cards and if someone had the cards that I drew they would win one of the giveaways.  This was the ticket to having some lively and proactive discussions.  Parents felt at ease and comfortable to share their experiences.

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Finally, having a base curriculum to use helps guide the discussions and learning topics.  I used Parents on Board Series  by by Michael H. Popkin, Ph.D.; Bettie B. Youngs, Ph.D.; and Jane M. Healy, Ph.D.  Classes are divided into three topics: Preparing your Child to Succeed, Encouraging Positive Behavior, and Reinforcing Your Child’s Academic Skills.  This curriculum hits on the major topics that I wanted to focus on, and at times, I will add in more information based on parent interest.  For example, parents may be more interested in homework policies and the importance of homework, so this could be discussed more by adding up to date research.  Additionally parents were given all materials needed to learn. Thanks to Bloom Planners, each parent was given a daily planner.  Notebooks, pens, highlighters, and sticky notes were also provided.  As well, as the parent book that goes along with the Parents on Board curriculum.  For an extra added touch, each parent was also given an apple to remind them they are also teachers.

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So in review, the first steps to creating a successful parenting program are:

  1. Get parents in the door by offering food, prizes, and giveaways
  2. Create a supportive and engaging atmosphere
  3. Keep things professional with a curriculum

In our first session, we had some wonderful donations from Blue Sky Planners, Blooms Planners, and Chart and Soul.  Since the topics revolved around organization and routine, all these products are perfect to help parents stay organized and create a routine that works for their family.  A big thank you goes out to these companies!

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