Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tier Two Supports: Interventions for At-Risk Students

Emaley McCulloch from Autism Training Solutions will be giving a free webinar on February 29 as part of the monthly free PD theme here at School Improvement Network. Emaley is writing a few blog posts to help you understand her webinar topic, Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports. 

And here's a hint for ya--it's not just for children with autism, and it's essential for classroom management. Enjoy!

image courtesy of fabianramirez.com
Do you usually have students in your class that need that extra nudge, reminder or encouragement? You know, those students that you usually put right in from of your desk so you can keep a good eye on them? These students often fall into the category of tier two on the Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) continuum.

As you may recall, the continuum of positive behavior supports has three tiers. PBIS expects 90% of students to respond effectively to tier-three interventions but about 10-15% of students will fall into an at-risk category that may need additional support and intervention. So if you have a class of 20 students, two or three of your students may need tier-two interventions. These interventions are often delivered in small groups (e.g. group speech sessions, small group reading instruction, ESL groups, social skills groups etc.).  The purpose of tier- two interventions is to be proactive and to prevent the student from falling further behind his peers academically, behaviorally and socially. 
Here are some evidenced-based tier-two interventions.

Cuing and Group Social Skills Instruction

Students who have difficulty learning in a group setting (e.g. students who talk out of turn, don’t pay attention, disrupt others) can work on appropriate classroom behaviors in a small group. The small group sessions focus on enhancing listening skills and impulse control. The student’s goals are clearly given and stated in positive terms (e.g. raise your hand to talk). The teacher uses a cueing procedure that requires the group to self evaluate their progress on reaching the goals. Students receive positive reinforcement for performing identified behavior.

Behavior Education Program

The Behavior Education Program (BEP) is a behavioral intervention for at risk students that requires that they monitor their behaviors by doing a daily check-in, checkout systems. Students attend daily meetings with an adult before and after school to review goals and monitor their progress. Students are also required to check-in with teachers immediately after class to receive immediate feedback and a daily performance report from the teacher. The report is sent home for the parent to sign and the student receives positive reinforcement for appropriate social skills.

BEP Overview:

BEP Forms:

Practical Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA)

The primary goal of an FBA is to guide the development of effective positive interventions based on the functions of behavior (e.g. escape, attention, access to items, access to self stimulation) (Horner, 1994) Interventions based on the FBA result in significant change in student behavior (Carr et al.., 1999; Ingram, Lewis-Palmer, & Sugai, 2005) Practical FBAs involve simple and realistic team-driven assessment and intervention strategies. Trained school-based personnel can do it.
The steps of a Practical FBA are:
  • Identify that an FBA needs to be done
  • Make an observable and measurable definition of the problem behavior
  • Gather information on the behavior
  • Prioritize what behavior needs attention first
  • Collect data on the antecedents and consequences of the problem behavior in several environments
  • Make a functional hypothesis of what the function(s) is/are, the triggers and what is supporting the behavior.
  • Last BUT NOT LEAST, create a plan that utilizes proactive procedures, teaches replacement behavior and outlines how everyone will respond to the behavior.
Here is a video about an FBA and what steps it takes to do one.


Here is an FBA Toolkit

Learn more about positive behavior intervention and supports (PBIS) at Emaley's free webinar on February 29!

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