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Old 07-23-2011, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,822 posts, read 39,431,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhpartridge View Post
In our school, that would mean that for each student, eight teachers must determine what that student's individualized reinforcer would be effective. Now, each teacher has between 100 and 150 students. It sounds essential for a one-on-one or small group situation, such you have. But I'm skeptical as to how effectively it will be implemented by the district hierarchy and the personnel whom they have in place to execute the plan. In particular, I wonder how nimbly our cadre of assistant principals, many of whom are still addressed as "Coach", will be able to make the about-face the new mandate will require.
Definitely. The reason that my school is predominantly one-to-one instruction, and moves up to small group instruction as students prepare for a less restrictive environment in preparation to transitioning back to their public schools, etc., is because modifying behavior via ABA principles HAS to be done in an individualized manner. It's also why ABA is very expensive, and why it's typically only used for cases of very severe behavioral issues where other behavioral modification has not been successful.

But while it's not realistic to use straight-up ABA principles in large groups, the principle of positive reinforcement in general being more effective at changing behavior than punishment does hold true. You just can't incorporate it the same way. In large class settings, the main reason that extinction (psych terminology for totally ignoring unwanted behavior) isn't generally effective is because it's not typically possible. If you have a kid jacking around, you can ignore the behavior all you want, but if even ONE other kid in the class attends to it, smirks, snickers, throws an eyeball the kid's way, it's been paid off. You can't control the reinforcement like you can in a much more controlled setting. But, generally, TRULY ignoring a given behavior will, eventually, eradicate it (if the function of the behavior is attention-seeking, at least). Kids only do what pays off. Like everyone.

The environment's not controlled enough to effectively use ABA. But, obviously, neither is the world at large. Which is why the end goal of this intensive of behavioral intervention is to use it only in the beginning, for extreme behavior, to modify the unwanted behavior and teach the appropriate behavior. It's not intended to be a lifelong thing, it's just a tool to work the kinks out. In the case of our kids, we're doing this to get them to the point where they can be independently successful and transition back to a less restrictive school environment. 1:1 and even small groups is pretty restrictive, and it's intended to only be temporary.

It's why you see the most effective positive reinforcement systems going on in special ed classrooms, which are more structured for it, with more support (it's hard to do ABA without support). But, in theory, the principles do work for everybody, if the setting allows for them to be applied. Trust me, I "ABA" my boyfriend every day. He loves it.
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Old 07-23-2011, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 69,949,006 times
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Or it can get out of hand with the rewards..just a few links. There are many schools doing this now.

Student wins new car for perfect attendance | News | Plant City News
new car for good attendance | new, school, nederland - Nederland high school - KFDM-TV Channel Six
Senior wins new car for keeping up grades, attendance - Thursday, June 9, 2011 | 8:41 p.m. - Las Vegas Sun
Alta Loma High freshman wins new car for perfect attendance - Education Now (http://www.insidesocal.com/educationnow/2011/05/alta-loma-high-freshman-wins-n.html - broken link)
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Old 07-23-2011, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,822 posts, read 39,431,510 times
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MANY schools? Really? I'm skeptical.

My high school reinforced perfect attendance in a unique way. From my sophomore to senior years, perfect attendance in a given semester earned you the right to opt out of taking your semester exams. You could opt to still take it, if you were between two grades, say, and wanted to improve your grade.

Consequently, I wasn't required to take semester exams for three years (occasionally, I took one here and there if I felt I needed to, or if it was fun, like in theatre classes, where the exams were soliloquies). The practice was decried by parents, who felt that a. kids were going to school sick to get out of tests, and b. that kids would go to college and be unprepared to take cumulative exams, not having had the opportunity to practice related study skills. So the policy was abolished after those three years of controversy.

Personally, I did fine with college exams. I also had exemplary attendance in my college classes, because I learned that being there and absorbing the material meant that you really learned it, and being tested on it was pretty much a cakewalk. I also was an English major, and had very few cumulative exams. Most of my finals were in term paper format.
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,736,370 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
MANY schools? Really? I'm skeptical.

My high school reinforced perfect attendance in a unique way. From my sophomore to senior years, perfect attendance in a given semester earned you the right to opt out of taking your semester exams. You could opt to still take it, if you were between two grades, say, and wanted to improve your grade.

Consequently, I wasn't required to take semester exams for three years (occasionally, I took one here and there if I felt I needed to, or if it was fun, like in theatre classes, where the exams were soliloquies). The practice was decried by parents, who felt that a. kids were going to school sick to get out of tests, and b. that kids would go to college and be unprepared to take cumulative exams, not having had the opportunity to practice related study skills. So the policy was abolished after those three years of controversy.

Personally, I did fine with college exams. I also had exemplary attendance in my college classes, because I learned that being there and absorbing the material meant that you really learned it, and being tested on it was pretty much a cakewalk. I also was an English major, and had very few cumulative exams. Most of my finals were in term paper format.
I like that. Many students are afraid of finals. Not having to take them would be a big incentive.
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 69,949,006 times
Reputation: 27520
Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
MANY schools? Really? I'm skeptical.

My high school reinforced perfect attendance in a unique way. From my sophomore to senior years, perfect attendance in a given semester earned you the right to opt out of taking your semester exams. You could opt to still take it, if you were between two grades, say, and wanted to improve your grade.

Consequently, I wasn't required to take semester exams for three years (occasionally, I took one here and there if I felt I needed to, or if it was fun, like in theatre classes, where the exams were soliloquies). The practice was decried by parents, who felt that a. kids were going to school sick to get out of tests, and b. that kids would go to college and be unprepared to take cumulative exams, not having had the opportunity to practice related study skills. So the policy was abolished after those three years of controversy.

Personally, I did fine with college exams. I also had exemplary attendance in my college classes, because I learned that being there and absorbing the material meant that you really learned it, and being tested on it was pretty much a cakewalk. I also was an English major, and had very few cumulative exams. Most of my finals were in term paper format.
I remember the same when I was in HS and in college. Oh to be exempt from that cumulative final..it was definitely worth working hard to maintain a high average.

And the incentive didn't cost anything or take anything away from your education. If you maintained an A/B grade all semester then you were most definitely doing the work. That is an example of a good incentive, one that is win/win for both the teacher and student.
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 69,949,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
MANY schools? Really? I'm skeptical.

It grows more each year because of NCLB. Fed dollars are tied to attendance/passing state tests so the stakes have to be pretty high especially for HS seniors who don't care about food or game consoles.
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,822 posts, read 39,431,510 times
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I'm aware of the implications of state tests, but I'm still skeptical that MANY schools are giving away cars for perfect attendance.

As far as the perfect attendance = no finals thing, parents DESPISED it, and that's why it didn't last.

I remember my own dad being pissed because I refused to do college visits my senior year if they would entail my missing school, because I wasn't about to take finals if I didn't have to. So we had to plan all my college visits, most of which were out of state, during breaks. I remember making a whirlwind Illinois-to-Minnesota trip over Columbus Day weekend, wherein I found the school I ended up choosing.
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:07 PM
 
63 posts, read 97,842 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h886 View Post
We do a combination of both. We try hard as a staff to "catch" kids doing the right thing and those kids are given rewards not only in the classroom but in school-wide mini-rewards throughout the year. Or turning in homework consistently for X number of assignments can get you excused from the following assignment, etc.

One thing you have to remember is that kids are not created equal. My brain does not necessarily tick the same way as yours. Consequences do need to be in place so that kids can make good cause/effect associations and so that the ones who don't buy into the reward system don't just go feral, but I absolutely agree that a reward system works for many kids and should be implemented whenever possible.
This is classic school demagoguery, this crap was pushed at my last school as well, hand out little "gotchas" (business card sized paper tickets) for behaving themselves, working diligently or getting a correct answer. Kids could retrieve little treats with them, like an arcade, get entered for the big drawing... (which I'm certain was rigged) since one of the asst. principals pet project won. "Oh really!!!" Of course it was also used to see which teacher was handing out the most "gotchas" and to chastise those of us who weren't really drinking our share of the kool-aid. One of the earlier responses had it absolutely correct, "We should not reward people for doing things that they are expected to do. We should also not make excuses (ie: special education labels; emotionally disturbed, learning handicapped, impulse control disability, social/ emotional,...) for poor behavior. Call it what it is and stop being so clinical and politically correct. Too much legalism and psychology have been introduced in the school system by people protecting their job (ie: school psychologists, administrators, facilitators, special education consortiums, speech and language specialists, nurses,...) and making excuses for bad and failing behavior and achievement. Some of the best teachers are those that aren't afraid to get in a kids face and say NO, YOU WILL NOT or KNOCK IT OFF. Each teacher is different as you well pointed out, yet administrators continue to try to get us all to fit into the same mold. Can we just be adults about this stuff, still have doubts about what I'm saying, try telling your spouse how to load the dishwasher tonight, see how he/she reacts.
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:27 PM
 
63 posts, read 97,842 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hey teach View Post
Thanks for all your responses. Many of your suggestions are stratagies I have been using for several years.

This year we have a new principal and this is his thing. Most of the children we teach are difficult to say the least. I am unsure how the no consequences thing is going to work. I fear the students will just see it as another way to rampantly run over everyone.
"I am unsure how the no consequences thing is going to work." As well you should! Tomorrow on your way to work, try driving with your eyes closed. I wish I could go back just 1 time to one of those staff meetings when my principal or some other administrator starting talking out their a** like that, just to stand up and say, "You're out of you F***'in mind." Good luck with your new nightmare, is it too late to transfer?
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:43 PM
 
18,856 posts, read 30,492,371 times
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I love how people who have not been in a classroom for years, come up with "great ideas"...see how that works!
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