11 Chapters
Medium 9781934009000

Part III: Going Further

Ambrose Panico Solution Tree Press ePub

Provide a vehicle for honest, open communication to occur, and it will—the vehicle is the classroom community meeting.

—Ambrose Panico


Chapter 11

Putting It All Together: Community Meetings and Activities That Make Them Productive

The classroom community meeting is, at its core, an opportunity for teacher and students to sit down and talk about what is important to them. One week it may be important to discuss how individuals and the community can prepare for upcoming achievement tests. The next week’s agenda might include planning for a holiday celebration or a big field trip. It might also include developing a plan to avoid problems that have been occurring during physical education. Another week, a scheduled planning item might be postponed to allow time for the community to help two students address an ongoing conflict.

The classroom community meeting provides students with a wonderful opportunity to apply the skills and processes they have learned to real-life situations. If you have taken the time to teach them how to be active listeners, they should be able to hear each other. If they have practiced taking turns in conversation, they will probably allow a speaker to finish his or her thought before offering theirs. If they are in the habit of making constructive “I” messages, honest communication should be possible. The best part of having taught these skills is that if communication does break down, you have something to fall back on, to remind students of, and, if necessary, to re-teach.

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Chapter 3: Core Beliefs to Guide Implementation

Ambrose Panico Solution Tree Press ePub

Chapter 3

Core Beliefs to Guide Implementation

The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes.

Marcel Proust

This chapter presents 10 beliefs or assumptions that are important to anyone engaged in helping a student change his or her behavior. Individuals and teams involved in the process of developing behavior change plans are encouraged to review these beliefs periodically. Doing so will help ensure the quality of the plans and the student’s potential for success.

Belief One: Human Behavior Is Complex

Human behavior is a complex phenomenon that cannot be adequately explained by behaviorist theory, as we have seen in chapter 2. Instead, human behavior is best explained by constructs of social cognitive theory that describe a reciprocal relationship between environmental variables, personal variables, and the behavior itself. Human beings are both participants and observers to their own behavior. As such, perceived feedback is an important variable to consider when attempting to understand the function of a behavior, and ultimately when helping an individual change his or her behavior. For example, a student struggling to learn to control his anger may perceive himself and his plan as a failure because he has not been successful 100% of the time. The team points out to the student that he has been able to control his anger 100% of the time in three of five specific settings. After praising the student’s effort, the team engages the student in designing plan adjustments for the remaining problem settings.

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Chapter 6: Forms for Gathering Information

Ambrose Panico Solution Tree Press ePub

Chapter 6

Forms for Gathering Information

Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Stephen Covey

Visit go.solution-tree.com/behavior to download all of these reproducibles.

All the interview, survey, questionnaire, inventory, and profile forms are intended to assist the behavior intervention team in the development of the behavior intervention plan.

This chapter contains the following forms to aid the team in its quest for relevant information:

 Plan to Do Better—This form is used to develop a record of the actual behavior intervention plan and to record the student’s progress.

 Standard Interview Form—This is used to secure information from the behavior intervention team members or any individual the team believes has information relevant to the behavior and that may help answer essential questions.

 Student Interview Form—This form is used to secure information from the student; it may be completed by the student or by a team member who uses the form to record the student’s responses.

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Chapter 2: A Practitioner’s Guide to Understanding Human Behavior

Ambrose Panico Solution Tree Press ePub

Chapter 2

A Practitioner’s Guide to Understanding Human Behavior

The heart has its reasons which reason knows not of.

Blaise Pascal

Some theorists, such as B. F. Skinner, John B. Watson, and Edward Thorndike, maintain that all behavior is a function of the interaction between the behavior and the environment. These theorists reject the notion that behavior is influenced and possibly controlled by theoretical constructs (such as the mind, the self, and the individual will). This definition of behavior (put forward primarily by behaviorists) is extremely limiting to teachers, school psychologists, school social workers, speech pathologists, and building principals who are working with students capable of communicating through speech.

The practitioner is much better informed by the definition of behavior offered by social cognitive theorists such as Albert Bandura. His theory of reciprocal determinism is extremely informative to a practitioner interested in a better understanding of how their students’ behavior is formed and maintained (Bandura, 1974, 1977). In Bandura’s understanding, human behavior is “the result of reciprocal influences between the personal variables (internal) of the individual, the environment (external) in which the behavior occurs, and the behavior itself” (Kaplan, 2000, p. 3). These internal, personal variables include:

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Part II: Activities

Ambrose Panico Solution Tree Press ePub

The most important observation you can make is when you become a glimmer in the child’s eyes and he becomes a glimmer in yours.

—Albert E. Trieschman, American educator, psychologist, and writer


Chapter 5

Getting Acquainted

The challenges and activities in this chapter are designed to help you get to know your students and to help your students get to know each other. Most teachers understand the importance of getting to know their students and make a conscious effort to do so. Some plan specific activities and set aside designated times to make sure this happens. Others do it a little less formally, but they do it all the same.

Far fewer teachers understand the tremendous importance of helping their students get to know each other. Fewer still actually schedule activities and set aside time to encourage students to build relationships with each other.

While it is entirely possible to teach a class of students who do not know each other, it can be much more effective and much more enjoyable to teach a class of students who have built relationships with each other. Whether they know it or not, most teachers (ourselves included) have suffered the following effects of teaching in a classroom where the students are unfamiliar with each other:

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