Classroom Behavior Interventions GONE WRONG!
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Classroom Behavior Interventions GONE WRONG!

quick disclaimer this is not a
functional behavior assessment it’s just a commentary
therefore the suggestion should be interpreted with caution in this clip
you can see how one of the children goes to the back of the room oh yeah quietly
to calm down using a ball in the morning in this clip
we’ll see how brad handles and outburst by one of the children notice that the
child immediately goes over the column area and Brad takes the time to talk to
one of the other boys who was involved in the conflict in the back of the room calm down area
they have a compound kit with a variety of details one of which is this small
stuffed animal but this child is using it to calm down notice how Brad talks to the children
privately and in a positive way he praises this child for making a good
choice to come back to the compound corner and calm himself down he gives
his positive touch a positive voice and he knows it’s not worth talking to him
until he has calmed down lecturing for yelling at the child who only in sight
the behavior make it worse so as you can see Brad uses specific strategies such
as staying calm himself and teaching the children’s social skills problem-solving
conflict resolution skills so that they can begin to solve these problems on
their own alright so notice here that Brad is handling an outburst where the
antecedent to the outburst is most likely the fact that he was given some
sort of direction or demand because you can see Brad close to him talking to him
right before he had the verbal outburst notice that the student now escapes the
direction or demand placed on him by Brad the teacher and now he’s sitting in
the cooldown area with a toy so tell me what’s wrong with that picture and Brad wraps up his intervention by I
don’t know what he’s doing he’s like having the kid on his head in on his arm
some kind of tactile and vocal attention so as you can see Brad uses specific
strategies such as staying calm himself and teaching the children’s social
skills problem-solving conflict resolution skills so that they can begin
to solve these problems on their own ok so now the narrator claims that Brad
taught them conflict resolution being calm but it’s most likely that he
created a behavior problem reinforced it and now it’s gonna get worse the next
time so let’s recap I was talking to him talking to the student giving him some
sort of direction he has a verbal outburst which is the behavior the
consequence looks like there’s a dual function possibly so he goes over to the
cool-down area which is really escaping the presence of the teacher and then he
gets access to a toy which is access to tangible so we may have a dual function
here which is escape and tangible access so the best function based intervention
for this is probably to teach the student a functional equivalent so
instead of having the verbal outburst he would simply be taught to ask for a
break that way he can on his own accord go over to the alleged calm area and
access the toy so what I would suggest though the best intervention would be
for him to be able to ask for breaks instead of the outburst to go over there
not access the toy until he’s actually completed the task that he was asked or
that he was issued by Brad so in summary the best behavior
intervention hack is for Brad to not allow him to have an outburst before the
outburst he’s prompted to ask if he needs a break
and then he goes over to quote out an area then he comes back and then he
works or follows the direction and then earns access to the break and the
stuffed animal ladies and gentlemen thanks again behavior scientists and
keep moving the science forward

About James Carlton

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32 thoughts on “Classroom Behavior Interventions GONE WRONG!

  1. Great video! What I see must often is first, there are reactions to the behaviors without acknowledging the Antecedent of the behaviors which of course would determine the best interventions. Teaching replacement behavior is so important. I think proactive strategies is more effective long term then reactive strategies.

  2. I liked how Brett pointed out that the student was actually being reinforced. From the naked eye someone without any any background or knowledge of ABA probably would think that Brad handled the situation properly. That is a great video for anyone who works in a school as a teacher’s aid or 1:1 staff to show how we deal with situations like the one in the video. Brett mentioned a key point that the behavior will probably be worse the next time since it was reinforced with escape of task and a toy. The student now knows that in order to gain access to a toy or escape the task or teacher all he has to do is yell or act out in class.

  3. Also implementing an alternative behavior of asking for a break instead of yelling in class is a great idea as well.

  4. This is a great PSA. It is fascinating to me how often a “break” intervention is implemented in this way rather than teaching it to the child functionally and appropriately. This student is only learning that all he has to do is yell to get out of work, something that happens far too often in classrooms. I agree with Brett’s statement that the break request needs to be taught but also that the student should be required to complete the task first so he is not permitted to escape.

  5. A quick display of how WHEN you use the strategy (proactive or reactive), it will significantly alter the change in behavior.

  6. The biggest issue I have is the assumption that a calm down corner is some how a cookie-cutter resolution for all individuals. Like all interventions, they should be individualized and be specifically implemented through training. I have seen a few of these areas created in classrooms and could very well be effective, however, the students never receive training on when and how to use the calm down area. It's not enough to just have a designated area in a room.

  7. In the school case that I have now we have to deal with altercations like this everyday, the best way to deal with this kind of behavior is to remove the child from the environment and and have them calm down by taking them on a short walk while someone else talks to the other kid involved in the altercation.

  8. What about the kid that the teacher addressed first? It sounded like the video said the conflict was between the two students. If the situation was: student A has teacher's attention- but is annoying student B. Student B makes a provocative comment to student A. Student A is then promptly removed.

    What's the best way to go about teaching replacement behaviors for both students in one incident like this?

  9. This seems to be a bad setup to settle classroom conflict. I agree this is allowing the. hold to escape the situation and go to a desirable area with toys. It is, most definitely, a reward for negative behavior. The child seemingly gets out of any consequences and is allowed to entertain himself free of classroom activities. The conflict is not really dealt with at all. In fact, he's physically stroked and rewarded for an inappropriate outburst.

  10. The peers around them reinforce their behavior by egging on the fight which is why it’s best to be removed.

  11. Love this video and how it shows that the right idea, when used at the wrong time, can have disastrous effects. One of the learners in our classroom had a "break room", but it was only accessible through request for a break, or by earning tokens to cash in for the break time. Since the tokens were harder to obtain than simply requesting a break, we increased the magnitude of the reinforcer by giving a longer break (5min) for turning in tokens and a shorter break (2mins) for requested breaks.

  12. I do agree with you in regards to seemingly rewarding the bad behavior. However, I would also state followup would be key. For example, in my classroom, we have a student with extreme behaviors. In the beginning of the year, like this boy, she would go to the cooldown center and calm herself down. However, once the behavior was calm, I would go back with her to set up the situation and talk her through proper behaviors. In the beginning of the year, this would take between half a day to a full day to help her. Toward the end of the year, she was able to take teacher feedback.

    However, I would also like to note, we never complimented her for going to the calm down corner. From my perspective, she needed to do this because no one ever taught her certain life skills. We let her come to us when she was ready. By doing this, she started to ask us for skills. She then felt empowered and used her skills because it was on her own terms.

  13. I do love Brad's calmness but he may need to catch a couple trainings on how to better handle the situation. My place of employment this past year really got into the calming area. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Danielle Mercado and I experience situations similar to this with our learners regularly. Our learners will try to obtain desired items before the task at hand is fully completed or in the midst of problem behaviors. Danielle is always a step ahead of these things and handles each situation the correct and most appropriate way, never delaying. I can always look to her when I’m doubt.

  15. I found this video to be very insightful on different behavior interventions that should be avoided in the classroom setting. As a speech-language pathologist, I work with the school-aged population and often notice situations such as these. It was nice to examine the behaviors from this perspective, so I can see what went wrong and what to do differently when in a similar situation. *Carmen Bartolone

  16. This is one of my favorite videos on this YouTube page. To the untrained eye, this video would appear to give good advice on how to handle behaviors in the classroom. After working in ABA for a couple years it’s easy to spot what interventions won’t work. This video was helpful for me when I was getting started working as an RBT in public schools. Working in Pre-K, cool down areas ( or as we call it in my class room, the book hang out ) is very much a necessity to keep the child having behaviors safe and to keep the other students safe. It is also important to avoid stigmatizing the child having behaviors. This video helps show you how NOT to go about “cool down areas”. The cool down area should definitely never be positively reinforced. The child having a tough time shouldn’t want to have more tough times to re-enter this area but the cool down area shouldn’t be harmful either. I use them in school when my student engages in tantrums that become disruptive to that class, destruction to class or aggression. I provide little to no attention to the student while in the area and once calm tell them “good job getting calm” and set a timer for a 1-2 min before they can rejoin group. Once out of the “book hang out” I give positive reinforcement as quickly and as much as possible once my student is able to engage in wanted behaviors. I have found this tool to be very effective when done right. Brett is right when he says the behaviors would have gotten worse for this student in the video because the “cool down area” was wayyyy too comfortable! This video should definitely be used for new staff being trained before entering schools!

  17. Just stumbled onto this video so I`m not sure if this is a class of problem children or just a regular class with a few children with issues. That said, this just took a kid trying to affirm & defend himself and told him he was wrong to do so (or at least in that way). Also, why should he have had to REMOVE himself to calm down? Unless the kid has a history of always reacting flamboyantly or loudly, I`m thinking the kid just got discouraged from matching reaction to action. There is no other info on what the first kid said or did to provoke that type of intense reaction. Was he continually getting under the kid's skin and the kid had shown restraint until it got too much ? If so, he was letting the other know that he had reached his boiling point. Besides the loudness of it, I don`t see the problem unless responding loudly is considered a problem. Dogs bark to warn (before) they bite. When the dog stops barking, that`s when you should be very careful.

  18. I have high schoolers. The other day, a nice young man was on the verge of a meltdown. I took him to the hallway to talk privately. He said something to the effect of "why is everyone so mean to me?" This kid was being teased for being a fan of the New Orleans Saints, a team very important to him. I said "What's wrong with the Saints? They went to the Super Bowl several times." He calmed down a bit, because I let him know that his feelings and interests were just as valid as everyone else's. He was eventually escorted to the office (not to be disciplined). Now, suddenly he is doing assignments. And seems to be more motivated to learn. I'm not a big believer in that coddling, soft touch, etc, While it is usually meant well, that kind of talk will make them angrier I believe, since you're talking to them like they're stupid ("Oh, well, Travis, I'm sure Mrs. Scott will be understanding. Yes, it was her favorite vase that got thrown on the floor). I'm sleepy I'll finish this post later.

  19. What I see here is that Brad treats his students as humans. This boy was clearly dysregulated, and needed to calm down–which he did when he was giving his calming toy and a quieter place to sit. Then, the teacher comes back when the boy is calm, and acknowledges that he calmed down well. Why should we punish students for skills they do not have yet, or emotions that are not yet under their control? The boy has feelings that needed to be addressed. His behavior was his reaction to the situation (that we do not know). Also, we cannot know this student's inner state. Is he too hot, hungry, tired, sick, is it too loud in the room.? Perhaps another student said something unkind….If indeed he is trying to escape, perhaps it is actually the best plan of action for him. Perhaps this student knows what he needs in order to cope with the environment. He is, after all, a human being.

  20. Escapes and gets to play with a toy? He's sitting on the floor crying in front of all his friends given a stuffed animal like a baby. That's traumatizing. Fuck ABA.

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