Friday, January 25, 2013

Visual Prompting

Visuals are all around us.  We look at pictures on signs and don't even have to read the words.  Such as a bathroom sign or a handicap parking symbol

So why not use visuals with yours students?

I have a pulley clip that I put visual cards on and wear it all day long.  One of the paras in my classroom wears his on a lanyard.  It doesn't matter how you carry them, it is just important that you use them with many students.  Here is a picture of my pulley clip

Students hear talking all day long that sometimes all it takes is for them to look at a picture or a written word or even both for them to realize what needs to be done.  Some that I use all the time are:  Stay in your area, Sit in your chair, No hitting.

Hands in Autism has a wonderful How-To Template with Sample Pulley Cards at

What visuals would you need to use with your students?


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Run Child Run...

When I was working as an administrator at an elementary school, we had a child run out of the school building and down the road.  We were a brand new school and did not have a good crisis plan in place... but of course... we all ran after him.  So here goes all the administrative office running down the road (I was in heels, so I was useless... but I tried) and as we are running... I hear my principal (who is in front of me so I really couldn't hear him) yelling "Run, Run".  Once we caught this child, I asked him, "Why did you keep yelling "Run, Run", no wonder he didn't stop for awhile"   His response was...  "No, the child's name is Juan".   This is a perfect example of the fact that I didn't know this child and was one of the worst people to be chasing him.  He had no want to stop for me because he didn't know me!  Obviously, if I had been the only person, I would have had to chase him to be safe since he was by a road, but at this point, I didn't need to be a hero... Other people knew him better and had it under control.

 You have to build relationships with children in order to be successful in de-escalating them and even in stopping behaviors before they start!!!

Here are some ideas for when you have a runner:

1. Have a Door Plan in place - If the child runs out of a classroom, the door plan can immediately be called so teachers can step outside their classroom to watch outside doors to make sure the student does not escape the building

2. Do NOT chase inside a building - If you chase a student, they are getting the attention that they may be seeking.  You have to assess why the child is doing it and if they are a threat to themselves or others.  If you know they are wanting attention and won't run out of the building, then keep a distant and don't let them know that you are checking on them.  You can call on others to start walking the hallways for you to watch the student without that child even knowing.

3. Keep them engaged and feeling successful - Students that feel successful and are engaged in learning are less likely to run.  If you know of a student that has been a runner in the past, you can change them!  Find things that they will work for or stay engaged with.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Crisis Teams and Levels

Crisis Teams can be arranged in many different ways for your school, but I wanted to share parts of our plan so maybe it can help some of you get something similar set up in your school.

These crisis teams are for when students are in crisis.  Sometimes having a group of people show up can immediately make the child calm down, but for some students it gives them even more attention and escalates the issue, so make sure you assess the situation and know the student first.

Our crisis team is trained in Non-violent Physical Crisis Intervention.  This training has to be renewed each year and contains how to verbally de-escalate a child and also how to block physical aggression and how to do holds when absolutely necessary.

So here is how our plan is broken down:

When calling the office, give the appropriate description of the state of the child as described below.
Crisis Level #1: Teacher needs assistance as a student is non-compliant (refuses all options and redirection, is argumentative)
The special education teacher who works with that grade level will be called.

Crisis Level #2:  Teacher needs assistance as a student is non-compliant and confrontational (defiant, threatening to leave)
The administration and the special education teacher who works at that grade level will be called.

 Crisis Level #3:  Teacher needs assistance as a student is in crisis (physically aggressive, engaged in physical confrontation, or has left the area)
The Level #3 Team will be called on the intercom(“There is a Level #3  in Rm. ___”) and the Door Plan will be put into place.

Do you have anything similar in your school?  How is yours different?


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Changing Their Outlook...

"I can't read" 
"I'm stupid"  
"I can't do this"

All of these things and more were coming out of the mouths of 2 of my students before break.  They were just moved to my room for all instruction after being in the general education classroom and being very unsuccessful.  They have shown many behaviors over the past years and first semester due to their frustration (and other reasons).  I can't change everything... but I made it a goal to show them success.

How do you show your students that they are successful?

I gave them reading passages and other school work that were things that they knew how to do or read.  I taught it to them and when they "caught on quickly"their confidence grew!  I showed them TONS of positive reinforcement.

Guess what???!!

A case conference came for one of the students after having him for 3 weeks and when I asked him what his strengths are...  He told me Reading!!!!!!!!!  He is 4 grade levels behind in Reading... and yet his confidence is there now!  He feels he can do it.  Let the teaching begin!

The other student, who hadn't completed work most of last semester, completed EVERYTHING asked of him this past week! 

It wasn't an easy task... and it is not over yet... but those who take the time to change their students' outlook and build up their confidence.. will see big changes.

What do you do to build confidence in your classroom?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Twas the night before students...

Twas the night before students when all through my head...
my brain is reeling and I can't go to bed....
We had a teacher day today, but students start tomorrow.  I will be starting with 35 behavior students that I am working with in some way.  I have new students starting behavior charts and some of my students are starting new schedules.  Visual schedules are prepared, behavior plans are copied, and lesson plans are completed. 

I will be writing about crisis teams soon.  Thank you to those of you that responded to me about those. 

As a new semester begins... what behaviors are you most nervous about dealing with?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover