Saturday, March 27, 2010

An example of operational definition and some lessons to support student

When student is given directions or non preferred activity to complete student will show inappropriate behaviors.  Student will yell, throw paper, throw pencil, throw self, or reach out to squeeze persons hand or arm who has given instruction  or given the student direct instruction to complete a task

Examples of this behavior:  Student directed to complete math page, yells out NO to teacher, teacher goes over to student and tells student "You do or I 'll do for you"  student continues to refuse work instructions, teacher then does one part of problem for student.  Student then throws paper on floor and pushes chair back from table and seems to 'throw' self back in chair then slides down to floor. 

Non example of behavior:  Student directed to complete math page, yells out 'NO' the teacher redirects and states,"You do or I'll do for you" student then complies and follow directions and completes the page.

Lessons to teach student appropriate response to instructions:

Lesson 1 - Instruct all who work with student the correct procedure for dealing with inappropriate responses from student.

Lesson 2 - Prepare student for math completion by interacting prior to instructions that he needs to finish work first.  Introduce a 'pass' to student that states 'I need a break"  which he may use one time during one instructional time the first day.  The student should be given the break as soon as he states or hands the 'pass' to adult.  His break should only last 5 minutes then he must complete task without anymore breaks.

Lesson 3 - Student should be using the 'I need a break" pass during time SLC teacher is in the room only at this time.  When student has shown understanding and generalization with use of pass the student should then be told and instructed that the pass can be used three times during the day only.  He is to hand or state what he needs before break is given.  A timer should be used to allow student a visual of time allowed.  When the break pass has been generalized throughout the day with use from all adults he interacts with daily then a new pass should be introduced in the next lesson.

Lesson 4 - Student will be given sentence  pass folder - in the folder will be a variety of feelings (angry, frustrated, tired, hungry, hurt, sick, etc) For student to use within his sentence prompt I feel______I need a break.  This prompt should be given only three times per day and should replace the prior prompt ( I need a break)  Student should be encouraged to verbalize the sentence but only allowed to use three times per day.  If student verbalizes statements the response should be , "I'm sorry, but you need to finish your work".  All adults involved with student should be non-emotional and  use smaller sentences with direct and frank instructions.  He should not be given extra attention during 'fits' but given 5-10 minutes of time to calm down and then given redirection before adult in charge begins hand over hand instruction to have student complete task.  Each time a step is completed thank the student and then direct to next task, 'you do'  and continue until 50% of work is completed then give stu dent break to go to bathroom and get drink.
Basically, if the student has no passes left and 'tantrums' through a lesson IF he completes the task he will get another break. 

This should continue until student follows instructions with the use of verbal prompts only.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Resources that remain helpful through Kansas Department of Education Website

After reviewing the Kansas Department of Education's Website I found the following links would be helpful to my practice as well as to Parents understanding of what to expect through the IEP and special education process.  Enjoy browsing at your leisure:)

Resources for Identification of a child who qualifies for Special Education services

Laws and Regulations in the state of Kansas

Parents guide to special education

Parent resources

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

TOPIC 10: Function based Interventions for students

Function Based Interventions for Students
-First we need to understand what is meant by Function Based Interventions.  Let us begin by looking at each word and how it is viewed in relation to behavior.
Function - this word is used to tell WHY a behavior is occuring - what is the student gaining from this behavior?  To find out the team (parents, teachers, special educators, administration team) must sit down together and answer some important questions.
  • What is happening right before the behavior?
  • What the behavior really looks like
  • What happens directly after the behavior?
Based - this means that the team found what the function is and now they must find the perfect fit of a replacement behavior.  This simply means find another activity that the student can do in the place of the undesirable activity.

Intervention - intervention means to intervene, come before in my mind.  This means the team makes a plan that will fit this kid - not all kids - just this one.  The team puts into place what will replace the negative behavior and they plan for teaching it to the student and then how will all people involved react when the problem behavior occurs after student is taught the 'replacement behavior'.

When a behavior occurs which is not manageable by common practices within the classroom a teacher will call for help from others involved with the student.  This calling together is generally within the school setting in which a variety of teachers come together and offer up suggestions.  The school in which I work calls this the SIT Team - Student Improvement Team.  If this still is not beneficial then the special educators begin filling out what is called a Functional Behavior Assessment.

Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA)- is a process of gathering Baseline DATA/Information to determine WHY a behavior is occurring and WHY the behavior does not change after using typical interventions.
When do we use a Functional Behavioral Assessment?  Good professional practice dictate a problem solving approach to managing problem behaviors in the school (Crone, Deanne A., and Horner, Robert H., 2003).
What type of situation would warrant this?
  • behavior is severe and/or complex (danger to self and/or others)
  • IEP team determines the behavior as a High level of concern
  • Schools are required to conduct an FBA for any student with a disability who is at risk for expulsion, alternative school placement, or more than 10 days of suspension.
  • more information is needed to determine effective and appropriate interventions
  • Relevant antecedents, consequences and functions have not been identified through other avenues
  • Behaviors and problems that connot be defined
How can a FBA be conducted?:
  • Informal observations
  • Formal observations
  • Interviews
  • Checklist
  • Data Sheets
  • Baseline Data
  • Scatter Plots
  • ABC Chart
What is the process of making a FBA for a student?
ERASE is one quick question format for teachers on the run
E - Explain - What is the problem?
R - Reason - What do you think the student is getting or avoiding ?
A - Appropriate Behavior - What do you want the student to do instead?
S - Support - How can you help this happen more often?
E - Evaluate - How will we measure success?

1.  Identify measurement system
  • observations
  • problematic behaviors
  • Interviews
  • Identify routines, settings and people associated with behavior
  • Define behaivor - stay away from using labels (ADHD, Austistic)
  • Avoid vague descriptors - be very clear and concise and give a clear beginning and end to the behavior
2.  Look for escalating chain of problem behaviors
  • Restless movement
  • taps or engages in repeated movements
  • objects verbally
  • turns over desk, throws books and pencils across room
3.Look for same 'Response Class" - a group of behaviors that may occur for the same function
4.  Use Direct observation strategies
  • permeanent product
  • event recording
  • Interval recording
  • latency recording
  • duration recording
5.  Inter Rater Agreement- include many individuals taking data at a variety of times through the day
  • helps to confirm that the operational definition is objective
  • Creates consistent approach to measuring behaivor
  • Increases confidence that you are measuring what you said you were going to measure
6.  Pull the team together and get some baseline information about the Function of the Behavior - is it
  1. Escape mechanism
  2. Control issues
  3. Attention seeking
  4. Tangible - need
While the team is together brainstorm the parts of the hypothesis
  1. Setting events - what is happening in students life?
  2. Antecedent - What is happening right before behavior?
  3. Behavior - what is the behavior?  Use clear language that could explain to person who has not met the child
  4. Consequence - what happens just after the behavior or as a result of the behavior?  What has the student gained?
The team then should create a three part intervention plan.  In this plan there should be :
  1. Preventing section - How will you change the situation that seems to be associated with the behavior problem?
  2. Teaching section - What other behavior or skill will you teach the child that will help the child get their needs met in an acceptable manner
  3. Reacting and Crisis Management section - How will you react when the problem behavior occurs in a way that does not 'feed into' the students inapporpreate responses and/or cause greater stress in the classroom?
What are some interventions that work?  For each student it is something different, with each plan there is a different focus.  There are some techniques, if you will that work but the only way to find the right fit is to practice and look for the best fit for your student.
Ideas for good interventions?
  • Planned ignoring
  • signal interference
  • proximity control
  • involvement in interest/relationships
  • activity interruption
  • regrouping
  • restructuring
  • humor
  • refuse to participate
  • removal from the group
  • seek assistance
FBA Cookbook compiled by Kathy Growney, Kristi Schang, Melanie French, Sue Werner
Notes from R. Freemans SPED Class843 2/17/10

Thursday, March 4, 2010

TOPIC 9: Parent Involvement

Parent Involvement

As Educators we know the most important link to success in any plan prepared for one of our students is the connection and support of the parents.  We also know that at times, it is hard to include parents in the planning process as well as designate roles and responsibilities to this all important team member.
The keys to involving parents is to open a line of communication without the negative connections.
Some ideas to open a positive line of communication are:
  •  Establish a positive line of communication early in the year
  •  Send home classroom calendars
  •  Send home Newsletters
  •  Send home Good news notes
  •  Call home with Good News
This will help alleviate any negative concepts if problems do occur later in the year.

When negative behavior does occur use the same format and plan as for the Functional Behavior Assessment.

     Walker et al. (2004) Anitsocial Behavior in School Evidenced-Based Practices., Second Edition. Chapter 9

Check out these web sites:,1607,7-140-5233-23090--,00.html

TOPIC 8: Encouraging Team Collaboration

Team Members:  Any member of the staff who works with or interacts with the student this may include:
  • Para professionals
  • Parents
  • Teachers
  • Principals
  • Special education teachers
  • Speech Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Cafeteria personnel
  • Custodians
  • Bus drivers
  • Office personnel
  • Social workers
  • Case managers
  • Physical Therapist

Some ways to encourage Team Collaboration:
  • Establish a clear vision and purpose for the meeting
  • Prepare ground rules for team behavior and interaction
  •  Define roles and responsibilitis of all members
  •  Prepare an agenda and write up meeting minutes
  • Base ALL decisions on data
  • Dialogue and Team Collaboration ( problem solve, brainstorm strategies, use reflective listening)
  • Prepare a diagram of behaviors with hypothesis to be filled in by the team on chart paper
Walker et al. (2004). Chapter 3
R. Freeman SPED 843 classroom notes ( January 2010 - March 2010)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


• Kim wants a home.

• She wants to have a large house with a yard.

• She wants to have a guest room

• She wants to have a room for just ‘her stuff’

• She would also like to be finished with school work


The people in my family People in my community People as friends

John                                    Pastor                      Ann
JT & Jackie                           School buddies           Pat
Jennifer                                College buddies         Jennifer
Jessica & Steven                                                   Cindy
In - laws
Mom & Dad


• With school and work there is not much time for the things I used to do in the community such as sing in the choir, go swimming, PTA when my children were younger

• Without the time, I really don’t do as much as I should

School Home community

IEP planning Cleaning Church

Team building Relaxing



Eat veggies every day

Use the stairs daily

Daily interactions that are


Visit doctor yearly

Eat three meals a day?

Eat too many sweets
don't have a regular exercise routine
Don't say NO


1. Born 1965

2. Moved to Missouri in 1968

3. Moved to Lawson Mo. 1973

4. Grandma dies in 1978

5. Grandpa dies Christmas 1982

6. Graduate from high school 1983

7. Meet my husband 1984

8. Marry my husband 1985

9. Have my son 1985

10. Have my twin daughters 1987

11. Go back to college 1992
12. Get my Recreation therapy associates 1995

13. Worked three years as activity director

14. Went back to school 1999 began working as a Para educator

15. Graduated with a BS in education 2003

16. Worked as a Kindergarten teacher 2003 – 2008

17. Began poise program 2008

18. Today


Academic & Work

When and how to complete assignments

What classes to take

If I want to come to class

How I get to class
What to wear

How to arrange the house
When to clean & how
Where do I put my things?
What to wear
How to arrange my closet


• Respect is what you give

• You must give respect to earn respect.

• I feel that today – too many people do not understand the way they talk to people is a form of respect.

• We have gotten away from giving respect due to age

Gains Respect

• Do what I say I will

• Give respect

• Allow room for differences

Looses Respect
* Tell others I don't have the answer
* What I wear
*  Weight

Talk it out
Discuss the concerns and brainstorm

Tell me when I make hurtful or

Unfeeling comments

Writing a note


Talking behind the back

False praise

Facial judgment

Ignoring the problem

Keeping it all inside


• I will do well in the two classes I am enrolled in this semester

• I will pass the capstone

• I will live to see my grandchildren

• I will one day own a home


• That people do not respect me

• That I don’t have a true understanding of Christ

• Failure

• Losing my parents

• Losing my job

• Not being what God has intended


• Low self esteem

• Defeat us attitude

• Do not always see the positives in self

• Rely on gut feelings rather than logical answers


• A lot of people who believe in me

• KCK backing me in many decisions

• Family supports

• A God who understands

• Strong support by in-laws


The Theme realized is one

Of strong family supports

Strong desire to own a home

Strong belief in God


• Continue to work on academics and continue to improve best practices

• Work on treating self to exercise and work out – get that heart beating!
• Learn as much as possible
• Believe in self


Continue to work diligently on course work

Work extra hard on doing work the RIGHT WAY

Learn as much as possible through interacting with as many people

As possible

My to Do List

What                                               Who                    When

Continue studying                      Me                      NOW

Get finances in order                  Me & husband       5 years