Monday, December 23, 2013

2014 Resolutions Link-up!

2013 was a great year! Lots of fun things happened in 2013. I began my fourth year teaching, found out I'm expecting my first niece or nephew, got engaged, finished grad school, and started my blog and TpT. I'm hoping that 2014 has even more fun things in store. I know part of that is up to me!

How do you plan to ring in the New Year? We're hosting a New Year's Resolution blog link-up.

Here are some things I'm going to try to do to improve my 2014.

Okay, now it's your turn!
1. Add your resolutions to the image below.
2. Upload it to your blog. Please include a link back to here.
3. Add a link to your blog post to the linky at the bottom of this page.

Okay, now let's link up!

Thanks so much to Graphics from the Pond for the ADORABLE graphics and fonts used to make the background! Also, thank you to my very awesome TpT Fun Friends for the "fine tuning"-- Danielle at Crayonbox Learning, Susan and Kathy at The Fun Factory, Richi at Ribbons, Recipes, and Rhymes, Viki at Special Teacher for Special Kids, Mel at From the Pond, and Cassie at Create-abilities!

Can't wait to hear about your resolutions!

A Peach for the Teach

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A holiday gift for you-- New Year's Resolution Writing FREEBIE

As a thank you for reading my blog, please accept this New Year's Resolution Writing freebie as a small holiday gift.

Start back to school after the New Year on the right foot. Set a whole class New Year's Resolution, and have students write their own individual New Year's Resolutions. Use this freebie as a behavior management tool, bulletin board, writing center, etc.!

Get it here:

What do you do to start the New Year on the right foot? What big plans do you have for 2014? Please share in the comments below!

A Peach for the Teach

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Eight Human Needs - How to Motivate Students

If you've ever read my blog before, you know that I really love educational speaker Rick Lavoie. In most teacher preparation programs we've been taught that students' basic physiological needs must be met before they can truly learn. This is an example of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs at work.

Once these basic needs are met, we can begin to explore what Lavoie calls, "Secondary Needs." These are eight things that are highly motivating for humans. Learn more about these in this short clip (starting at 3:23), or continue reading below.

Part A:

Part B: 


Part C:

According to Lavoie, these are the eight secondary needs:

"We try to motivate the kids by using what motivates us." - Rick Lavoie

I watched this video and had an a-ha moment. That's why Johnny crawled under his desk every time I tried to congratulate him for awesome work. I had always loved recognition and am highly motivated by it, but Johnny wasn't.

Now that I'm keeping these motivators in mind and developing interventions for homeroom teachers to use that support our behavior challenges, I'm finding that the thing that scares teachers most is students motivated by power. Lavoie hit the nail on the head with that one. Isn't it funny how the students who need power the most are the ones who get it the least? Why not give the students a little power? Let them be involved in developing rules. Let them check classmates' work. Let them point to answers on the board as you teach. Let them choose which assignment to complete from a list. Give him or her two choices for a lesson plan for tomorrow, and teach the lesson chosen. Give them power in positive ways so they don't need to seek it in negative ways.

Apply it to the classroom

Think of your most challenging student. Think of someone you consider your polar opposite. What motivates you, as opposed to what motivates that person? Use this information when developing interventions.

FREEBIE! I came up with a list of some ideas that teachers can use to motivate students. These are all based on Lavoie's ideas above. Get it here:

Do you find that one motivator does not motivate all your students? Do you use varied forms of motivation in your classroom? What are your thoughts on motivation? Share in the comments below!

A Peach for the Teach

Monday, December 9, 2013

Learning Vs. Regurgitation & Emotion-Evoking Questioning

In behavior support classrooms, teachers must work to provide a prime environment for learning. In multi-age classrooms, teachers have to address a wide array of learning needs-- not to mention juggling multiple curricula. This makes it all the more challenging to ensure that students are actually learning. So how do we meet the needs of our learners while setting up situations that elicit deep learning? First, we need to understand the difference between learning and regurgitation.

In college, my favorite professor announced that we would be having a pop quiz. She handed out a quiz on drills and saws. Now, we were education majors. Not many of us had the background knowledge to pass a quiz like that. "You might not know a lot about the topic," she told us, "but you do know how to take a test. Off you go!" To our surprise, we all got a 100% on the quiz. I still can't remember what it was about, and I didn't understand any of it-- but I passed it with flying colors. Our teacher congratulated all of us for demonstrating that we learned a lot about drills and saws, and when we all looked at her with puzzled expressions, she let us know that we had simply "regurgitated" information but hadn't learned it.

Learning Vs. Regurgitation

I created a similar quiz, using all nonsense words. Try it out for yourself.

Sure, you were able to comprehend the text at a surface level and spit back answers. You probably gathered that a schmigglefiggin is some type of creature in the dopplehopper category. They live in the rainforest and have poisonous bites. There are four types of schmigglefiggins. Blah blah blah.

But could you make a presentation about schmigglefiggins without just retelling the passage? Could you apply the information learned to a new situation? Do you think you would be able to teach someone else about schmigglefiggins? How are schmigglefiggins, or at least learning about schmigglefiggins, important to your life? Will you ever use this information? Why is it worth learning? How will it serve you? Do you have any emotional connection to it? Nope!

Our students with behavioral needs don't always feel successful in school. We focus so much on getting them to complete tasks that our focus shifts from learning to reinforcing task completion. I could complete tasks all day long, but how does that serve me? What is it teaching me for my life?

It's so important to start small, with task completion goals, for our students with severe behaviors. It's even more important, though, to make it worth their while. My professor explained to us that the best form of classroom management is an engaging lesson.

But realistically, in a multi-age classroom, it's very time-consuming to create elaborately exciting lessons for everything. In a behavior support classroom, sometimes more elaborate lessons can be overstimulating. How do we win?

Emotion-Evoking Questioning

Emotions play a great role in learning. Think about the feeling of guilt. It's such a strong, awful feeling that keeps us from repeating behaviors. Strong, negative feelings can stick with us for a while. That's why we can remember sad childhood incidents like they happened yesterday. Same thing goes for our happiest memories. Ask me what I had for breakfast last Tuesday, though, and I might have to stop and think. The human brain is programmed to hold onto things that are relevant to us. Such things are usually tied to strong feelings of emotion.

That's why it's so important for teachers to work to evoke emotion in the classroom. Emotions leave a much stronger impression than facts for regurgitation. I studied World War II by reading a factual textbook. It was this-side versus that-side, and they were fighting over this and that, and it happened from this year to this year, and there were however-many casualties. Then, I was asked to interview a man who served in the war. My great-grandfather told me stories with emotion, and they stuck with me forever. I had a teacher who told us how history wasn't just something we learned about in social studies; it was real life for real people who had families, fears, desires, and everything just like us. Imagine how they must have felt.

As the teacher taught about September 11, 2001, the student yawned and said, "I'm bored. How much longer til recess?"

When I was a student observer, I watched a student say this to his teacher. I was completely and utterly shocked, but then I remembered... this is ancient history to these kids. I currently teach in an elementary school, and a colleague mentioned to me that not a single student in our K-5 school was alive when 9/11 happened.

I was, though. I was actually in history class. My teacher, who was the one who taught with such emotion, turned to us as we watched the news and said, "You are living history right now. This will be in a social studies book one day that eighth graders like you will read." That stuck with me forever. That's how I teach now.

Teach with emotion-- happy, sad, scared, excited, amused, laughing hysterically, the list is endless. Take students into events, and have them explore. Challenge their thinking, and have them challenge the author and even events in history. You can bring alive a boring text by connecting it to the student and letting them see how it serves them. Use Bloom's Taxonomy verbs to help.

Students won't regurgitate facts on a test when they learn this way. Their answers will contain evidence of higher-order thinking.

I made a list of emotion-evoking questions that can be used with just about any reading. You can grab that freebie here!

Do you use emotion in your teaching? What kinds of results do you find with this technique? How do you feel about learning and regurgitation? Please share in the comments below!

A Peach for the Teach

Monday, December 2, 2013

Currently... and a big sale!

Farley over at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade... has a super fun linky going on for December called "Currently..." Check out her blog to see all the fun things fellow teachers are currently doing!

Here's what I'm currently up to!

Listening: I'm mentally listening to "Celebration" by Cool & the Gang, because I passed my PRAXIS and am OFFICIALLY certified to be a Reading Specialist! Now I'm certified for Special Ed N-12, Elem Ed K-6, and Reading Ed K-12. Woo hoo!

Loving: My brother and sister-in-law are expecting their first baby in April! I'll be a first-time aunt. I'm so excited! I bought some pretty cool accessories to annoy my brother, hehehe...

Thinking: I'm so excited to buy a bunch of great products during today's TpT Cyber Monday Sale! Time to tackle my wish list!

Wanting: I made really tasty homemade Chipwich sandwiches.

4 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
2 small (3.4 oz) packages of vanilla instant pudding mix
2 tsp. baking soda
2 c. softened butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs
4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

You'll also need 1 bag of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips for the finishing touch!

Roll into balls and flatten, because these cookies don't spread out much in the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool completely (at least an hour). I usually stick them in the fridge so they're more solid.

Scoop small ice cream balls into the center (melon ballers work well for this), and press two cookies together. Roll the cookies in the mini chocolate chips, so they coat the ice cream.

As you finish each sandwich, immediately wrap it in plastic wrap, and stick it in the freezer. They melt quickly!

Enjoy! I got this cookie recipe from All Recipes. Regular chocolate chip cookies don't really work well, because when they freeze, they get hard and almost glass-like. This recipe is perfect, because the cookies are chewy and cakey-- so when the freeze, they taste just like a Chipwich.

Needing: To go to the gym, since I ate a few too many Chipwiches last night and had one for breakfast. Breakfast of champions! lol. I think I'll go to yoga later. That really keeps me centered, which is so helpful in a behavior support classroom!

Favorite Tradition: This year we are going to start the Elf on the Shelf. I wish they had those when I was little! Our former go-to tradition was a wrapping paper tube war with my brother. Imagine American Gladiators with wrapping paper tubes. Oh, the joys of being a little sister. We did have some fun holiday traditions that were a little more... peaceful! We'll keep those.

Haha, oh man... Gotta love the 90s.

Be sure to check out my sale over at TpT today! All my items are 20% off, and if you use the promo code CYBER, you'll get an additional 8% off! While you're there, grab some of my freebies.

Here are some of my best sellers and new products, if you're interested. It's always fun to go back from break with a new bag of behavior tricks-- and for 28% off, why not?!

Classroom Routines & Procedures: 
 Antecedent-Behavior-Consequence (ABC) Chart with Intensity and Duration Data Tracker
Behavior Data Tracking Excel Spreadsheet that automatically calculates biweekly frequency and averages
Picture Schedule Bundle (Illustrated, Digital, and Analog Clock Options)

 Common Core Badges for K-3 ELA and Math. Here's one example:

 Math Fishing Bundle: 

Printable Score Board Flip Chart -- a fun way to keep score in classroom games 

How to Help Your Child Become a Better Reader and Writer Parent Packet

So that's what I'm up to! What are you doing today? What do you think about my "Currently...?" Please share in the comments below!

A Peach for the Teach

Saturday, November 30, 2013

How to Enhance Students' Confidence-- authentically

How can somebody overdo confidence boosts? Often, students with behavior needs display low self-esteem and confidence. As I mentioned in last week's post, "How to Help Calling Out and 'Class Clown' Behavior," educational speaker Rick Lavoie said, "When you put a kid in the position of choosing between looking bad and looking dumb, he will choose to look bad." Some students with learning needs or behavior needs become overwhelmed and throw in the towel. This, many times, brings about feelings of inadequacy and learned helplessness. We begin to see acting out, shutting down, or withdrawing. This typically becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. However the behavior appears, confidence is usually at the root.

So how do we intervene? How do we help students who have low self-esteem, or who may be at risk for losing confidence? Do we praise them for everything they do? Will they see right through this? Let's explore the cautions of excessive praise, as well as the concerns for insufficient praise-- so we can find the happy medium.

What happens when an adult excessively praises? 
Do students feel motivation to surpass expectations?
Do they grow up expecting that they won't always receive praise?
Do they feel that the praise is sincere?
Probably not. When learners feel their work is perfect, they will be less likely to take risks.

What happens when an adult never praises? 
Do students feel good enough?
Do they feel like they'll ever meet their teacher's expectations?
Do they have a desire to put forth their best effort?
Probably not. When learners feel that a goal is unattainable, they will be less likely to take risks.

So where is the happy medium? Praise a little, but not too much? If it were that simple, every child would have high self esteem. Praise is a tricky thing that can be so powerful when used effectively. Eric Jensen listed the following awesome tips for giving the right kind of praise:

  • Praise should be contingent with performance.
  • Encourage students to give their best effort.
  • Provide specific, positive praise.
  • Provide gentle, honest feedback
  • Celebrate students' personal victories 
  • Use words that encourage continued growth, such as, "Keep it up,” “You're on the right track," “You're off to a great start!” etc. 

We also need to implement some things that will help students to gain self-esteem without our praise. When we teach students to write, we tell them, "Show. Don't tell." We want them to paint a picture of rich detail for the reader, which will lead the reader to visualize and draw conclusions based upon the rich writing. Confidence building is a lot like that. Show the students that they are capable. Don't just tell them. Let them happen upon this realization themselves. It's so much more powerful that way.

Here are some ideas that can help show the students that they have worth

  • Thank them for their help, and teach pride. "Johnny, you saved me so much time when you sharpened my pencils. Thank you so much!" "Jenny, you sat quietly and did your work, even when things got a little noisy in here. That really makes my job so much easier. Thank you." It's so much more personal than "Good job!" Pride is another great way to make students feel worthy, successful, and even-- cheesy as it sounds-- special. "I'm proud of you," or, "You should be proud of yourself!" are such powerful phrases. I have a Proud Wall in my classroom, where students and adults can take a slip of paper and write, "I'm proud of [name], because..." and hang it on the wall. Most of the time, it's much more powerful coming from a student than from me.
  • Let students evaluate themselves. After a student accomplishes something great, try, "Wow! How do you feel right now?"
  • Enlist the help of classmates. Seat the student next to someone encouraging. Establish a new procedure that when students reach the top of your behavior chart, for example, that the whole class will cheer. Tell a student about something great someone else did. Provide positive reinforcement for encouraging behaviors. When you notice a student complimenting someone, positively reinforce it. Complimenting others typically makes both parties involved feel great.
  • Provide opportunities for the student to carry out responsibilities that are easy to accomplish. This will help him gain a realistic view of strengths and weaknesses. Explicitly teach that everybody has weaknesses, and teach how to accept and work around them. This will also help to find the student's talents.
  • Show the student that you care. Look up from your work when he enters the room. Make time for him when he approaches your desk, even if you're busy. Ask him about something he told you yesterday. Notice the cool shirt he's wearing.
  • Display student accomplishments. Ask the child if you could use his work item as an example for next year's class. Let students hang their work. 
  • Volunteer. Get students involved in activities that help others. It's an excellent confidence booster and can also serve as an eye opener for students who could benefit from learning to be grateful for what they have.
  • Be a positive role model. Don't put yourself down. Laugh off your mistakes. Accept your weaknesses and describe how you'll work through them. Don't allow students to put themselves down. Instead, teach them to express their strengths and plan how they will realistically work around their needs. Don't allow anyone to set limits on themselves or others.
  • Let them know they won't always win. They won't always be the best. We live in a culture where everyone wins, gets a trophy, etc. Is this preparing our youth for the realities of life? Set up situations where they won't win, but teach that this is natural, normal, and okay. Explicitly teach how to deal with these feelings-- and that with exposure, the students will gain the strength to accept this. Meanwhile, find some specific strengths and talents, and teach students to work hard to strive to be the best they can be.
  • Step back, and let the student solve his own problem. Tell him, "This is a problem that can be fixed. I know you can fix it," or ask, "How do you think you could solve this problem?" Stand back, and let him try. Chances are, he'll get it. I recently read an awesome article on standing back and letting the child try things alone. Check it out here: "Please don't help my kids" by Kate Bassford

What are some ideas you have about building student confidence? What are your thoughts on praise? Please share in the comments below!

A Peach for the Teach


Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Satiation Principle -- It feels a little backwards, but it works

I love movie theater popcorn, but halfway through my large tub I get tired of it and don't want to eat it anymore. This is an example of satiation, having one's fill of something preferred. Satiation is an important term in behavior modification that is sometimes overlooked.

When a child satiates on a reinforcer

You came up with the be-all-end-all of sticker charts. You learned that Johnny loves a certain TV show, and you developed a behavior chart that includes all his favorite characters. He had the best week ever. It's like he's a brand-new kid! All his teachers have come to you and noted leaps and bounds of a difference in his behavior. You come in the next week, and you excitedly hand Johnny the sticker chart. His morning is okay, and in the afternoon he truly couldn't care less about the sticker chart. What happened? Johnny experienced satiation.

This happens to humans all the time. Think about New Year's Resolutions. We are so excited to get back to the gym and start our new diets, but after a while we grow tired of some health foods and our workouts. That's why it's important to change it up and add some variety if we're going to stick with it. Imagine how boring even your favorite dinner would be if you had to eat it every night for the rest of the year. This is what we do to our students when we try to use the same behavior management system after they've experienced satiation.

The positive idea that can be taken away from this experience is that Johnny does work well for reinforcement. Try making a collection of charts and providing a selection of reinforcers. Have  Johnny choose which chart and which reinforcer each morning. Try letting Johnny design his own behavior charts, or seek his input/feedback. Ongoing assessment of preferred reinforcers is key.

Using satiation to our advantage

The awesome thing about satiation is that it can be used as a behavior modification technique. Huh?? Didn't we just discuss how it can get in the way of reinforcement? How can we possibly use it to our advantage?

Let's say we have a student who climbs excessively. Day after day, she climbs on top of a table. You've tried every possible technique you could imagine, but still, she climbs.

Try using satiation to your advantage. Tell her, "It's time to climb," and make her climb on the table, over and over and over again. Eventually, she will get tired of climbing. It may take a while, but she will experience satiation, and she won't want to climb anymore.

I do this with classroom routines and procedures, too. I teach them at the start of the year, and we practice them until students don't need to practice them anymore. Mid-year, when I find students are getting a little lax with routines, we practice them again. This is usually the only time we need to do this, as they satiate on practicing and are again ready to follow procedures alone.

It seems a little bit backwards, doesn't it-- make a student do something undesired to stop them from doing it? But it works. When using the satiation principle as a behavior modification technique, we can stop a behavior by insisting that a child continues performing the act until she grows tired of it.

Pretty cool, right?

What have been your experiences with satiation? What do you think about it? Please share in the comments below!

Happy satiating,

A Peach for the Teach

Sunday, November 17, 2013

How to Help Calling Out and "Class Clown" Behavior

On A Peach for the Teach on Facebook, I invited people to ask their most challenging behavior questions. We got some great questions, each of which really tied together. 

Dona asked, I have a student that comes to me from second grade (I teach 1st) for my entire reading block, who likes to shout out talk back and just shuts down when you ask him to do something. He then treats his 2nd teacher with severe disrespect when he goes back to class.

Rebecca asked, I have a class of 25 this year. 1 student is below K level (I teach 1st grade), 2 are identified as ADHD, we are working towards another student getting identified as ADHD, and I have 2 students who have really disrespectful attitudes. I have tried talking with parents, I have changed their seating, I have tried encouraging them and pointing out the positive......nothing seems to be working. Ideas? 

Lindsay asked, I need motivation tips for kids who can do the work but basically refuse to... 

These are such common issues that teachers face daily. I think they all tie together and have similar interventions, which led me to write this blog post-- How to Help Calling Out and "Class Clown" Behavior.

"If you put a kid in the position of choosing between looking bad or looking dumb, he will choose to look bad." - Rick Lavoie, Motivation Breakthrough

When a student is performing at a level lower than his peers, he is often aware of that. That could be part of the reason for the acting out. Maybe the child is embarrassed and would rather be seen as a class clown than struggling. It allows the child a sense of control over a situation where he would otherwise feel out of control. Try giving him some control in a positive way.
To intervene, start with an informal play meeting. Meet with the student individually when he is calm, to play a preferred, non-academic game at the beginning or end of the day. He may be more likely to open up honestly in that type of setting through informal conversations (e.g., favorite TV shows, games, etc.). Casually ask what he likes and doesn't like about school, and "admit" to him that you always had a hard time with [insert his least preferred subject]. Try not to make it obvious that this is the whole point of your conversation. He might give you some insight into what's causing this. It's also great for establishing rapport, which will help you to get the student on your side.

Give him some sort of task with which he can be successful, and give him positive attention for completing it. Avoid patronizing him or making it obviously at a level lower than the other students. Instead, try non-academic leadership positions, like a class helper, teacher's assistant, etc. Maybe give him the opportunity to call on students with questions.

"Class, today we are going to try something new."

Next, set limits. Start by telling the whole class that today we are going to try something new. Starting today, the teacher will no longer answer any calling out. Explain that we need to practice raising our hands and not calling out. Demonstrate, practice, and ask for volunteers to show you what hand raising looks like. Establish a non-verbal cue (e.g., a cue card with an image of a hand, or simply hold up your hand), and completely ignore calling out. Instruct the class to also ignore calling out. Have students practice calling out while you ignore it. Explain why you're doing this, so the student knows it's not just him being ignored. Ignore the behavior, not the child. You might want to give one verbal cue, such as, "I'd be happy to answer you when you raise your hand." This is your new procedure that will happen every single time a student calls out. You could still say it in a positive tone of voice, but it's all you will say.

Give a Little, Get a Little


Use positive language to elicit positive language. If a student is using disrespectful language, being threatening will teach the child to talk back with threatening language. Think about your reaction when somebody confronts you with doing something wrong. You initially feel a little attacked, so you want to react. Give the student the opportunity to save face. For example, instead of, "How dare you speak to me that way?" try a, "Whoops, that sounded disrespectful. I know you could ask me using nicer words," and only respond when he uses nicer words. If he doesn't, say, "I'll be over here when you're ready to use nice words to ask me."

Dodge the Power Struggle

To nip disrespect in the bud, we need to avoid power struggles-- even when a student questions what we're doing. That's the part that really tricks even the most skilled behavior interventionists. We want students to believe in, trust, and respect us. When they question what we're doing, we want to tell them. Please don't. You don't need to justify yourself in this moment. You may be skilled with planned ignoring, but when the child asks, "Why are you ignoring me?" it's too tempting to reply with an explanation, but resist the urge. If you planned and practiced this procedure previously, the child already knows why you're ignoring him. He may try to get you to give him anything other than the ignoring. Stick to the ignoring, and he will eventually try using nice words to get you to reply.

It may also be helpful to teach a lesson on the words "disrespect" vs. "respect." Teach the meaning, and explain situations and words that are unacceptable. Teach this with empathy, and practice it. If the child uses negative language in class, prompt with a, "Please use your nice words if you need me to respond to you." Completely ignore anything else.

I know that using a firm prompt followed by planned ignoring sometimes feels like you aren't doing anything to stop the behavior, but that's the best thing about it-- doing "nothing" stops the behavior. It completely eliminates the power struggle and argument. The child will be forced to use kind words to get any type of reaction out of you and to gain access to his wants/needs. This also works with whining. I told my little ones that my ears can no longer hear whining, and they all stopped whining. Now if only I could use planned ignoring on messes to make my kitchen clean itself!

Words of Caution

Sometimes when implementing planned ignoring, the child may initially test the limits and engage in more attention-seeking behavior. This is typical and should pass when he sees that he won't get a reaction.

I got a comment on this post that really made me think and add another word of caution about this strategy-- exercise caution when using this for students with bonding and/or attachment needs. We certainly do not want to intensify feelings of abandonment, and we want to be sure that we are responding to their needs. 

It is vitally important to make sure that we are ignoring the behavior, not the child. Give the child plenty of positive attention for positive behavior. Make giving positive attention during appropriate behavior part of your behavior protocol for this child. When the negative behavior ends and the child begins acting positively, give positive attention. No need for a lecture at that moment.

After the Procedure is Learned

Once you are sure that the student understands how he will appropriately gain access to wants/needs, you can begin to address the calling out caused by impulsivity and habit. Make a T-chart, and write the positive behavior on the left and negative on the right (e.g., "Called Out" and "Raised My Hand"). Instruct the student to tally when he does each. This alone is often enough to curb the negative behavior. Other times with more severe behavior, it helps if tallies are tied  to reinforcement. For example, the student can earn [something preferred] if he has more positive than negative tallies at the end of each block. You could also set goals based on baselines. For example, if the student reduces his calling out by ___% or does not exceed
___% incidents of calling out, he can earn [something preferred]. 

Class Dojo is another fun way to track this! The teacher can track the behaviors throughout the day, or the students can self-monitor behaviors on their T-Charts and plug them into the Dojo at the end of the day. Establish a procedure that students must earn more green (i.e., "positive") than red (i.e., "needs work"), or a certain percentage of green, in order to earn a reinforcer, positive note home, etc.

Another helpful strategy is bonus free time. It's often harder for a student with ADHD and/or behavior needs to attend to instruction for a given length of time, so plan three breaks in the day. I call them "five minute free time" to play with something fun, and I end each of my subjects with it. It gives me five minutes to clean up or correct work, and it gives the students five minutes to regroup. If you're strapped for time, you could have students complete exit tickets, assessments, etc., and give the student with ADHD the special free time. It also gives him something to word toward, as he has to earn the free time. If a student engages in negative behavior or work refusal, I ask if he is earning his free time or if he is to make up his work during free time. Never underestimate the power of a question instead of a demand. A simple, "Are you earning your free time?" is often enough to set the behavior back on track.

An additional motivational tool is a task chart where students rank their tasks by preference. They  earn little reinforcement for easy/preferred tasks and high reinforcement for non-preferred tasks. You can download that chart for free here.

What are some ideas you use in your classroom to help calling out and "class clown" behavior? Do you have any questions about behavior challenges? Please share in the comments below!

A Peach for the Teach