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Positive Behavior Support Plan

Name: David Reiner


Date/Course: April 15, 2015 SPED 498
I.

Student Background
Caleb is a 15-year-old tenth grader at New Town High School. The student is diagnosed

with an emotional disturbance, receives special education services, and has been placed in a
general education inclusion setting that is appropriate for his emotional and academic needs.

II.

Definition of Specific Behaviors


Observable/Measurable Target Behaviors:
Caleb frequently causes disruptions to class including swearing, calling out, and talking

back. He also often refuses to complete his assigned work.


Negative Impact for the Student:
These behaviors have a negative impact on Caleb as they cause him to lose points in class
(participation grade, motivation and appropriateness grade) and cause him to lose points on or
fail assignments. His actions have also resulted in detrimental relationships with some of his
classroom teachers.

Average Frequency, Duration, Magnitude or Latency of the Behavior:

Based on my observations and discussions with teachers, it has been determined that
these behaviors typically occur more than once per day and in multiple classrooms. Once he
begins his behaviors, they will continue and often increase in magnitude if swift action is not
taken.
Is this behavior disruptive or dangerous to the student or others? Why or why
not?
The problem behaviors often present issues for Caleb and those around him. His actions
cause breaks in the flow of instruction, disruptions to his peers that make it difficult for them to
get back on track, and a loss of points for him and others. When the teacher is forced to address
Caleb, the entire class loses valuable instruction time and also provides an opportunity for
students to lose focus.

III.

Literature Review
Source 1 Profiles of Classroom Behavior in High Schools: Associations with
Teacher Behavior Management Strategies and Classroom Composition (Cash, A.,
Bradshaw, C., Debnam, K., OBrennan, L., & Pas, E.)
This article from the Journal of School Psychology studied data from 1262
classrooms in 52 high schools in order to examine teacher classroom management
strategies and ratings of student compliance, engagement, and social disruption
(Bradshaw, Cash, Debnam, OBrennan, & Pas, 2015). The study found that classrooms
that contained students who consistently met behavioral expectations (71% of

classrooms studied) had teachers who displayed less disapproval and reactive behavioral
management whereas those that had noncompliant students (6% of classrooms
studied) had teachers who used the most disapproval and reactive behavior
management (Bradshaw, Cash, Debnam, OBrennan, & Pas, 2015). The main focus of
the article is to highlight potential links between student behaviors and teacher classroom
management.

Source 2 Use of Coaching and Behavior Support Planning for Students with Disruptive
Behavior Within a Universal Classroom Management Program (Herman, K., King, K.,
Newcomer, L., Reinke, W., Stormont, M. & Wang, Z.)
Within this article is a universal classroom management program that embeds
coaching within the model (Herman, King, Newcomer, Reinke, Stromon, & Wang,
2014). This coaching refers to the more hands-on approach that some students will
need, even with an effective whole-class classroom management method. A study
included in the article looks at the effectiveness of several universal strategies and the
types of specific coaching methods used to support these strategies. The study found that
students receiving behavioral supports demonstrated decreased rates of disruptive
behavior, increased prosocial behavior, and a trend towards improved on-task behavior
(Herman, King, Newcomer, Reinke, Stromon, & Wang, 2014).

Source 3 Managing Classrooms and Challenging Behavior: Theoretical


Considerations and Critical Issues (Brooks, D., Farmer, T., & Reinke, W.)

In the past few decades, the development of schoolwide positive behavior


intervention support (SWPBIS) programs has made a significant impact on efforts to
address problem behavior in schools, focusing on a reduction in punishments for
students via an increase in teacher efficiency to address problems in the classroom
(Brooks, Farmer, & Reinke, 2014). The article looks at ongoing research on management
of behavior, both at the whole class and individual student levels, and addresses possible
implications for the future intervention research.

Source 4 Characteristics of Students with Emotional Disturbance Manifesting


Internalizing Behaviors: A Latent Class Analysis (Gage, N.)
This article examines a study of students with emotional disturbance, specifically
to address a gap in research between students who manifest internalizing behaviors and
those who manifest externalizing behaviors. Included in the study is the prevalence of
students with ED receiving special education services, common characteristics of
students with ED, and the relationship between teachers' perceptions of behaviors of
those with ED and students' self-reports of their behaviors.

Source 5 Teacher Perceptions and Behavioral Strategies for Students with Emotional
Disturbance Across Educational Environments (Cullinan, D., Evans, C., & Weiss, S.)
A study is presented that examines problem characteristics of students with
emotional disturbance in three educational environments (Cullinan, Evans, & Weiss,

2012). In the study, researchers investigate behavior management and intervention


strategies used by teachers and the relationship between problem characteristics and
intervention strategies. Research found that teachers in the general education setting
mainly addressed academic problems, while resource/separate classroom educators
used instructional, positive, and reductive strategies and verbal reinforcement for
problem behaviors.

IV.

Data Collection
Summary of Data Submitted:
I formally observed Caleb in his English 10 class that meets for 80 minutes (1st
period; 7:50 AM 9:10 AM) every other day. In addition to my own observations, I
collaborated with other adults in the room who have informally observed Caleb over the
course of the year. The behaviors that were looked for during my observations were:
1. Disruptions to class (e.g. swearing, calling out/talking out of turn,
talking back)
2. Refusal to do work
I took note of the frequency of each specific behavior, as well as the consequence
provided by the teacher or other adult in the classroom.

Original Baseline Data Sheet

V.

Hypothesis of Functional Intention


What is the hypothesized function of the target behavior? How does the data
support this hypothesis?

The hypothesized functional intention behind Calebs targeted behaviors is a combination of


attention seeking, a need for control, and avoidance. First, Caleb often makes remarks or
comments in order to get a reaction of out someone, be it is his peers or an adult in the room.
Whether its making his classmate laugh when making comments during class or clearly
frustrating the teacher, Caleb thrives on being the focal point of those around him. He appears to
enjoy the attention that he gets when he acts out and could be a factor that contributes to his
troublesome behavior. In addition, Caleb displays a desire to have power over any and all
situations that he can. In incidents with teachers and peers alike, he always wants to have the last
word. He wants to be the one who decides when a conversation is over and be the winner of
any given interaction. Often, this comes in the form of calling out, talking back, and being
generally disrespectful. Finally, Caleb acts out, in part, because he wants to avoid work. It is
clear that he does not particularly enjoy school or schoolwork. Therefore, when he is forced to
come to school and do work, he sometimes chooses to goof off and create issues. His way of
avoiding unwanted work is to derail the class or just do his own thing, which typically comes in
the form of undesirable and possibly distracting behaviors. In summary, Calebs targeted
behaviors stem from a blend of factors including a need for attention, a desire for control, and
avoidance.

VI.

Replacement Behaviors

Caleb will stay on task during instruction, complete his work as directed, and not disrupt the
other students.
When will the replacement behaviors be taught?

The replacement behaviors will be taught at every incidence of the problem behaviors
during his English 10 class. The implemented strategies will be suggested to Calebs other
teachers and adults in his classrooms so that he experiences consistency in the consequences that
he may face throughout the day.
How will the replacement behaviors be taught?
The replacement behaviors will be taught upon occurrence of problem behaviors during his
English 10 class that meets every other day. Caleb will be told and reminded of classroom rules
and expectations when he acts out and will receive a warning. A warning allows him to correct
behavior before any possible punishment. Non-verbal cues and reminders at the occurrence of
problem behaviors are intended to correct these behaviors without embarrassing Caleb in front of
his peers. Positive reinforcement will be used to encourage the student when he corrects problem
behaviors or exhibits replacement behaviors.

VII.

Positive Behavior Supports

First, I will allow the student to receive several warnings before discipline/punishment.
Outright punishment often causes a shut down in Caleb; he feels disrespected and this causes
intensification in his problem behaviors. Warnings give the student a chance to make a choice
concerning his behavior for the rest of the class, giving him a sense of control.
Whenever possible, the student will be given non-verbal cues or reminders, such as direct eye
contact or a shaking of the head, to follow classroom rules instead of verbal commands. When
reprimanded verbally and in front of his peers, Caleb often becomes confrontational and his

problem behaviors escalate. Hopefully, non-verbal cues/reminders will keep Caleb on task and
prevent him from getting embarrassed and/or combative since he will not be getting called out in
front of the class.
Finally, teachers will use positive reinforcement when the student is successful. This can be
done by encouraging the student when he follows rules and/or exhibits the replacement
behaviors. Caleb feels like he frequently experiences negativity and disrespect in school, which
contributes to his poor behavior. This positive reinforcement will allow him to see that he can be
successful, that he controls his own success and that his teachers want him to do well.

VIII. Data Collection and Visual Representation

Original Data Collection Sheets

IX.

Data Summary and Interpretation

The data that was collected formally seems to suggest that the positive behavior supports
were only somewhat effective. By analyzing the data collected during class sessions, we can see
that Calebs problem behaviors were not completely eliminated, nor is there a clear trend of all
behaviors occurring less frequently over time. Nonetheless, I believe that data does shows] a
decrease in the frequency of multiple targeted behaviors in the same class period. During my
baseline data collection, Caleb would often exhibit all or a majority of targeted behaviors.
Furthermore, he would often display these behaviors at a high frequency. However, during the
collection of data during the implementation of the supports, this changed. In the ten days that
Caleb was observed, he only exhibited more than two targeted behaviors twice. This means that
for 80% of the days that he was observed, Caleb limited himself to two or fewer of the behaviors.
While the goal was to eliminate the behaviors, it is still noteworthy that he became betterbehaved. Nearly immediately after implementing supports, the scope of Calebs problem
behaviors narrowed. While I would not say that my interventions were a complete success, I do
believe that data shows that they did cause changes to the behavior of the student.
Through my informal observations of Caleb however, for which there is no quantifiable data,
it appeared that he responded positively to the behavior supports. It was clear that Caleb was
appreciative and in favor of the both the warning system and the non-verbal cues and reminders.
He felt less attacked, less powerless, and didnt feel like a victim in the classroom; I believe that
these feelings were a cause of fewer disruptions from the student. The positive reinforcement
was also beneficial for Caleb. Typically speaking, Caleb is used to receiving negative attention
from his teachers and feels like theyre working against him. The use of reinforcement showed
him that there are people on his side and who have his best interests at heart. During the
implementation of the positive supports, there was a change in Caleb from a student who was

constantly combative and looking for trouble to one who simply needed occasional redirecting,
prompting, and guidance. Though not seen in the form of numbers, charts, and graphs, the
behavior supports did have a positive impact on Caleb.

X.

Reflection
How did you grow in your knowledge and skills in classroom management?
I think that this assignment was an excellent opportunity for me to develop my

knowledge and skills in classroom management. This was the first time that Ive gotten the
chance to experience a truly disruptive student in the general education setting. It allowed me to
see how these behaviors can impact both the rest of the class and the teacher. This is a
perspective that I am glad that I have gained. Honestly, this experience allowed me to find what
students can do to fluster me and take me out of my comfort zone; I can use this knowledge to
try and prevent a situation from escalating to that level in the future.
I feel fortunate that I got to see the effect of positive supports on an unruly student. While
it would not be accurate to say that Calebs behavior has drastically changed, I certainly saw the
positive impact that the supports had on him. I could tell that just giving him the benefit of a
warning before punishment or giving him praise when he did well was giving Caleb a feeling
that I was giving him respect. In turn, Caleb seemed to become more open and receptive to my
directions and requests. This is not to say that he stopped acting out because that is not the case.
However, I was able to see that even with the most difficult students, there is a way to reach
them and make progress towards a goal. I can absolutely see myself using these same techniques
in my future classroom.

What are two things you might do differently if you were to repeat this project?
One thing that I would change would be to start collecting data earlier in the internship. I
started in just my third full week at NTHS, and that isnt a bad thing, but starting even just one
week earlier could have benefitted this project. I could have collected more data, and this extra
data would have proven useful because of the days that were missed due to snow/inclement
weather and other unforeseen circumstances (absences, student leaving class, etc.) My project
would have been strengthened by an increase in data collected.
Secondly, if I did this project again under the same circumstances, I would likely not
choose a tenth-grader for this project. The rationale behind my desire to choose a student in
another grade is based entirely around standardized testing. In Baltimore County, all tenth
graders are required to take the PARCC test during the month of March. This proved to be an
issue for my data collection. For two full periods (3/9 and 3/11), the student was part of a group
not testing and were instead participating in an alternative assignment in the school library.
During these periods, the student was not in the typical classroom environment and did not have
the classroom teacher in his presence. For these reasons, I felt like the data was a bit unusual
because the student was acting extraordinarily out of line, likely because of the unorthodox
circumstances of these class periods. In addition, for the next two class periods (3/13 and 3/17),
the student was taking the PARCC test and therefore data could not be collected. I think that if I
had to do this again, I would aim to observe a student who was not in the midst of standardized
testing.
Works Cited

Brooks, D., Farmer, T., & Reinke, W. (2014). Managing classrooms and challenging
behavior: theoretical considerations and critical issues. Journal of Emotional &
Behavioral Disorders, 22(2), 67-73.
Cash, A., Bradshaw, C., Debnam, K., OBrennan, L., & Pas, E. (2015). Profiles of
classroom behavior in high schools: associations with teacher behavior management
strategies and classroom composition. Journal of School Psychology, 53(2), 137-148.
Cullinan, D., Evans, C., & Weiss, S. (2012). Teacher perceptions and behavioral strategies
for students with emotional disturbance across educational environments. Preventing
School Failure, 56(2), 82-90.
Gage, N. (2013). Characteristics of students with emotional disturbance manifesting
internalizing behaviors: a latent class analysis. Education & Treatment of Children,
36(4), 127-145.
Herman, K., King, K., Newcomer, L., Reinke, W., Stormont, M. & Wang, Z. (2014). Use of
coaching and behavior support planning for students with disruptive behavior within a
universal classroom management program. Journal of Emotional & Behavioral
Disorders, 22(2), 74-82.