Critical Reflection

RA TRANSITIO AMIY

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Underlying reasons for behavior

IMPORTANT Before we discuss working with students who have POINTS behavior problems, it is important to consider why

Students with disabilities these problems may exist

Classroom Management can be disciplined for Behavior a8 communication. It may seem on violating the schoot

some days that students are intentionally trying to code just like typically

and Student Behavior developing students cause problems. They may indeed be using behav-

however, different

ior as communication- -attempting to tell you that rules apply relating

an assigned task is difficult, that they do not under- to the suspension and

expulsion of students with

stand, that they are bored, that they feel uncom- disabilities

fortable, and so on. Before you take other steps When addressing student

Student behavior can be challenging and can require alot of a teacherstime consider whether you might need to revise your behavior, the district

and attention. All students, whether they have disabilities or are typically instruction, making changes in how you present must ensure students

developing, are to be held accountable to the same school code. However, are continuing to receive materials, how you articulate expectations, and how

services to allow them to for your students with disabilities, you will need to follow different rules you reinforce behaviors make progress toward the regarding suspension and be mindful of behavioral plans, functional behav- goals and objectives in Environmental factors. The environment may ioral assessments, and behavior rating scales. In this chapter we highlight their IEPs.

have a lot to do with what students are doing and

these components and discuss what you need to know about working with All acts of bullying must be how they are performing. You need to consider taken seriously, students with disabilities when it comes to classroom management and

the classroom’s lighting, the amount of visual and student behavior Recording the number of

auditory distraction students are exposed to, how times a student engages in

seating arrangement might factor in, and whether negative acts is an integral Teaching Students Desired Behaviors

the classroom’s materials and furniture are meeting part of the process for

determining the level of the students’ needs As a classroom teacher, you likely will be able to teach a student vowel

support required by

sounds, math facts, or how to diagram a sentence. These academic tasks are Learned response. Have students learned they a student.

critical to a student’s success, and versions of these skills are included in can cause problems or make noises and not be

the summative grades included on report cards. Seldom specified in what held accountable for class work? Have their past

teachers are required to teach are the behaviors necessary for classroom teachers permitted them to opt out of classwork as

success, including following directions, knowing when to ask for help, know- long as they sit quietly in the back of the classroom

ing where to go for help, and getting along with others. To effectively partici- Getting answers to questions like these can guide

pate in your class, students-whether they have a disability or not-need to you toward a better course of action

be directly taught the behaviors you expect to see. If you want students to

turn in their papers in one location. teach them to do so. If you want them to Changing behavior

use only one side of the paper, teach this, along with all the other classroom We guarantee that you will have some students

behaviors you expect. whose behavior you will want to change, but chang-

ing a student’s behavior is easier said than done.

110 111

Classroom Management and Student Behavior / 113 112 / A Teacher’s Guide to Special Education

There will always be some factors outside your control. Focus instead on Defining the behavior

the ones you can control-the ones that address Defining the problematic behavior is a crucial step. The definition should be

specific enough so that anyone else observing the student can clearly see How you manage the classroom

whether or not the behavior is occurring. The following is alist of terms that The classroom schedule

are often used to describe students with behavior problems

How much work you assign Weird

The type of work you assign Lazy

Deadlines for completion of work Bad attitude

The rules you set eMean

How you enforce rules Disrespectful What students are expected to do during downtime

Causes problems

Seems off Another factor that you can control-and change-is the manner in

which you set up the classroom, which can dramatically alter the students Your first thought might be that these terms are inappropriate because

3

experience. The following are important questions all teachers should ask they are judgmental, and although this is true, the greater concern is that

themselves as a part of classroom setup the terms are imprecise and do not help others understand the specifics of >

the student’s problem. Contrast the above with the following list of terms Is my classroom well organized?

which provides more accurate–and more helpfuI-descriptors Can staff and students easily locate materials?

Does the classroom setup facilitate smooth transitions? Talks about subjects that are off topic

Can I reduce auditory and visual stimuli? Does not complete class assignments

Are boundaries clearly established for behaviors? Lays head down on desk

Argues when given a direction Do students know where to go for certain activities or tasks?

Touches other students Do students know what to do when they finish an assignment?

1s late for school four out of every five days

Taking the time to consider how you can improve your classroom setup Talks with only two other students in the class

and clarify expected procedures can lead to better experiences for students * Needs redirection from the teacher once every 20 minutes

-and for you

As noted, it is important to clearly identify the specifics of the behavior

Yes, a student may be disrespectful, but what does that really mean? Does Observing and Recording Behavior that mean the student does not make eye contact when walking down the

Part of your work as a teacher is to identify the specific behaviors that are hall? Does it mean the student does not say excuse me when bumping 64

causing problems for the student and the class, and to what extent those into another student? Does it mean the student takes items from other stu-

behaviors are problematic. In addition, you need to determine the function, dents without asking? Clarity is important to the initial part of this process

or payoff, of the behaviors, recognizing that students often engage in certain

behaviors because they get something out it. To do all these things, you Recording behaviors

need to gather data, which Is ypically done by observing the behaviors and Once you have defined a specific problematic behavior, you need to deter- recording what you see.

mine how you will record this behavior. Recording behaviors in a large class

Classroom Management and Student Behavior / 115

114 / A Teachers Guide to Special Education

all your other responsibilities, but it is an important As a general education classroom teacher, you will probably be asked

part of determining the level, amount, or frequency of the behavior

to administer a scale related to ADHD more than any other type. The can be difcult. given

but the goal is always to request may come because a student is suspected of having ADHD, has

Behaviors can be recorded in various ways

present the data in a consumable form, such as a graph. Here we describe

been recently diagnosed with ADHD or has been prescribed medication Determining which one to use

and the student’s physician needs more information about progress different methods of recording behaviors

depends on the specifics of the behavior and the needs of the student The following are four of the most commonly administered rating

This method involves counting the scales, each of which comes with directions and suggestions for use

Rate and frequency recording

number of times a behavior occurs in a specific period. This method is Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA)

appropriate if the behavior can be easily counted and has a clear beginnin Includes forms for parent, teacher, and student

and end; it is inappropriate for a behavior that is continual or extremely Includes direct observation form and interview form

frequent, such as leg shaking or pencil tapping. Rate data should be used Rates student on positive behaviors and behavioral syndromes

if the length of observation time varies from day to day-for example, if

you record during differing time periods on Monday and Tuesday. Use Behavior Assessment System for Children, 2nd edition (BASC-2)

frequency measures over a consistent length of time (20 minutes or a class Includes rating scales for parent and teacher to complete

period, for example) for comparisons over multiple days Includes a developmental history form and a self-report form for )

Duration recording. This approach documents how long a behavior students ages 8-25 C>

persists by recording the time the behavior begins and the time that it Distinguishes between ADD, depression, other behavioral con-

ends. Use this method if you are concerned about how long the student’s cerns, and social maladjustments

behavior is persisting or if the length of time of a specific behavior affects Behavior Rating Profile, 2nd edition (BRP-2)

its severity. For example, you may want to know how long a student is in a

Includes forms for parent, teacher, and student tantrum, is crying, or is in the bathroom

Allows for comparison among student, teacher, and parent percep- Interval recording. This method involves dividing your observation

tions of the student period into a number of smaller time periods, observing the student

Categorizes student’s perceptions of school, home, and peer during the specific time period, and then recording whether the behavior

relationships occurred or not. Interval recording often takes less time and effort, espe-

Evaluates student’s feelings about school and relationships with cially if the behavior occurs at a high frequency, because the observer

records the behavior only once during the time period. Interval recording peers and parents

only provides a rough estimate of the total number of times a behavior Conners Comprehensive Behavior Rating Scales (CBRS)-Revised

occurs. Do not make the intervals too long. The shorter the interval, the Multidimensional scales assess ADHD and other disorders that more accurate you will be.

may coexist with attention disorders

Latency recording. This method is concerned with measuring the time Ties with DSM-IV diagnoses

that it takes for students to respond to something you ask them to do. For Assesses various behavioral dimensions: oppositional, cogni-

example, you might record how long it takes the student to comply with tive problems/inattention, hyperactivity, anxious-shy, perfectionism a request, put away materials