Overall Message: In order to effectively change a behavior, one must understand the factors which underlie the behavior.
Note: There are five activities within this module. Each activity is tied to a main point of behavior management. Each trainee is asked to complete the sequence of activities based upon observations of one specific child and one specific behavior which the teacher will be asked to identify. Trainers will assist in the identification and definition of target behaviors. It will be most helpful if the target behavior occurs at a relatively high frequency. Examples of target behaviors include: yells, tantrums, throws, eats inedibles, runs away, aggresses, etc.
1. Behavior is influenced by the interaction of the characteristics of the child, the physical environment, and the social context.
ACTIVITY #1: Observe the child for at least 10 minutes across two situations: structured (e.g., teaching activity) and unstructured (e.g., free play). Complete the Influences on Behavior Worksheet which asks you to identify how the behavior appears to be influenced by the characteristics of the child, the physical environment, and the social context. Of these influences, determine which influences are most amenable to change.
2. Behavior is related to events which happened just before the behavior (antecedents) and events that occur just after the behavior (consequences).
ACTIVITY #2: Observe the child for 15 minutes and complete the ABC Worksheet, recording the antecedents that precede the behavior and the consequences that follow the behavior. Identify at least two conditions that tend to occur prior to the behavior and two events that tend to happen after the behavior.
3. All behaviors are functional (i.e., they serve a purpose for the behaver).
ACTIVITY #3: Complete a Motivational Assessment Sheet for the behavior you have been observing and score it. Given this document and your observations via the ABC exercise, what do you think the primary and secondary functions of the behavior are?
4. The most effective behavior management strategies involve a combination of prevention and intervention approaches which address the factors underlying the behavior.
ACTIVITY #4: Given the information you’ve obtained in the previous activities, complete the Prevention/Intervention Worksheet and identify the strategies which you feel would be most beneficial in changing the target behavior. Prepare the materials you need so that you can work with the teacher to implement the plan.
5. In order to implement a behavior change plan, it is important to provide a thorough overview of: (a) the rationale for your approach, (b) a step-by-step description of how to implement the plan, and (c) a procedure for recording data.
ACTIVITY #5: Meet with the teacher and describe your prevention/intervention plan. Show her how best to implement it in a step-by-step fashion and show her how to document progress. You may use any or all of the resources available to you in your Behavior Management Tools section of the manual. One of the trainers will observe and provide you with feedback at the conclusion of the session.