Friday, April 25, 2014

Love it & List it Linky!: Behavior Management

Love it & List it Linky Party time!!! This is my first time joining this Linky, which is hosted by Speech Room News. This months topic is behavior management.

I have followed Jenna Rayburn's blog, Speech Room News, for quite some time. She has fabulous ideas and creates some awesome speech and language therapy materials.  Her blog is a great read and filled with a wealth of usable information!

Managing my student's behaviors can be difficult, at times. Many of my students have different learning styles, which also plays a part in how you are going to help manage their behaviors. I have tried many different strategies, but I use the following the most and have had the most success {with my current caseload}:

Mini 5-Point Scale
My 5-point Scale on the back of my badge!  This is something I use daily.  I have created a miniature 5-point scale from The Incredible 5-Point Scale by Kari Dunn. I have printed off many copies for special education teachers, regular education teachers, specialist teachers and other staff.  It's convenient to have handy when unexpected behaviors arise in any setting. {Even at home with family members!  My husband and I use the 5-Point Scale verbiage sometimes. "Sweetie, I am #4 upset that you haven't picked up that plate!" (that has been sitting there for 5 days! ~ All in good fun, of course!)... It probably helps that he is an Emotional Behavioral Disorder (EBD) teacher and knows what I'm talking about!}

Trying to prevent behaviors is a key aspect in managing them.  Some of my students have had a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA), which has resulted in the development of a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP).  The FBA and BIPs are part of my students evaluations who demonstrate emotional/behavioral needs through the evaluation process.  {You might be wondering what is a FBA and BIP? find out, here - Click on the first Google search result-it's a PDF document.} It is important to know why the student is demonstrating the behavior, what you want to replace the behavior with and strategies to try and prevent the behaviors from occurring. 

Expected & Unexpected Behavior Cups
Another behavior management tool I use are the concepts of "expected" and "unexpected" behaviors from Michelle Garcia Winner's Social Thinking Curriculum. I have three cups; one has my picture and says, "My thoughts about you."  {I put green~expected paper strips and red~unexpected paper strips in this cup.} The second cup has "Good Thoughts" written on it and the third cup has "Weird or Uncomfortable Thoughts" written on it.  

When students and I are working together, they know if I put a red strip from my cup into the "Uncomfortable Thoughts" cup, that means they are doing something that is giving my uncomfortable thoughts.  If I take a green strip from my cup and put it in the "Good Thoughts" cup, then I am having good thoughts about them or what they are currently doing or saying.  This is a fabulous visual tool in teaching my students that everyone has thoughts about other people and it also makes these abstract concepts more concrete to help their brains process this information more clearly.  If you are interested in learning more about Social Thinking, check out Michelle Garcia Winner's website, here.