by Megan Albers and Liddy Mahacek
Posted on March 14th, 2019
The mission of the Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders is to foster leadership to improve educational programs and outcomes for students with behavioral needs, and to support the professionals and families with whom they are connected. In February, we were granted the opportunity to attend the MSLBD conference in Kansas City. The conference consisted of pre-symposium workshops on the first day, followed by keynote speakers and breakout sessions on day two.
One of the break out sessions we attended was Using Antecedent Strategies to Support Student Behavior in the Classroom. Timothy J. Landrum of the University of Louisville and Robin Parks Ennis of the University of Alabama at Birmingham presented four strategies to implement when working with students with behaviors: pre-correction, behavior momentum, opportunities to respond (OTRs), and precision requests.
Of the strategies presented, we found the idea of behavior momentum to be most thought-provoking. This strategy centers around the idea of using a high probability (high-p) request sequence. High-p request sequence is a low-intensity strategy to increase student compliance by creating behavioral momentum (Lane, Menzies, Ennis, & Oakes, 2015). The idea is for the teacher to identify an activity the student historically has shown a low probability of completing due to noncompliant behavior. The teacher begins to give requests of things the student is likely to or able to complete first, then delivers the low probability task soon after. High-p tasks should be simple and brief. The student will build behavioral momentum with every high-p task that is completed which increases the likelihood that they will demonstrate full effort when presented with the more challenging, low probability activity. This strategy helps to motivate sometimes noncompliant students while maintaining high academic expectations.
Another of the break-out sessions attended was Whose Future is it Anyway? Considering the Student-Directed IEP Process by Carrie Fairbairn, MEd, Sallye Vanderplas-Lee, BA, and Westside’s very own Jodie Tagel, MEd.
This session enforced the idea that it is extremely important to involve the student in their own Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The presenters did an outstanding job of breaking down the entire process and providing all the necessary resources to start implementing the process immediately. Students not only create a presentation to share at their meeting, they also are given the opportunity to make personal invitations to invite anyone they wish to their meeting and assist in developing the goals for their IEP. Along with the IEP process, the presenters provided a way to explain what it means to be on an IEP in “kid-friendly” language as well as reinforcing the skill of self-determination with all of our students. This is a process that we are excited to begin using throughout the remainder of this year and in the future to encourage student ownership in their academic careers.