In last week’s post, Talking-Out, I mentioned how Henry had made a goal last year to get a high enough grade point average this year to apply for Student Council next year. GREAT NEWS: he received his letter last Friday and he was accepted as one of 20 students to be a part of that program. I don’t know who was happier: me or him. Not only has he accomplished that goal, but by doing so, he has accomplished his other goal of getting out of my program for one more class. It brings tears to my eyes to think of where Henry was 18 months ago and to think of where he is now.
Every student in my class requires a Behavior Plan (BIP) in order to be successful, many other students who receive special education services need one as well. One of the reasons for Henry’s success, was because his BIP addressed his specific inappropriate behaviors and then included a very detailed plan which was implemented to re-teach and replace those behaviors with appropriate and positive behaviors (see my post, Perceptions). Many teachers are not sure how to write a BIP; therefore, they often end up leaving out important information. I can relate to this, and until I understood how to write a one, I found myself just sort of throwing something together to fulfill the requirements, without really paying attention to the true purpose of a BIP. It is embarrassing to admit that, but the truth is the truth. Most school districts offer Professional Development classes to teach the ins and outs of writing a BIP, but after that, each teacher needs to look at what is best for the student and how s/he, the teacher, can best implement the plan and at the same time, meets the other factors connected to the BIP. It’s a big job.
All BIP’s should be based on data gathered for at least three weeks (some districts require more) on one to three target behaviors. In the case of Henry, I took data at various times every day for at least thirty minutes at a time, and then analyzed what the data said. When I sat down to write the BIP, I was able to write a very clear description of what his target behaviors looked like before implementation of the plan. The description should be so clear that there is no question as to who it is describing (not a copy/paste job that sounds like every Tom, Dick or Harry).
Here is an example of what the first part of a BIP might look like in my classroom:
Step 1: Description of Targeted Behavioral Concerns: Henry often refuses to follow adult directives without creating an argument. If he doesn’t like what is said, he will become angry and refuse to do what he is supposed to do. Henry can be verbally aggressive toward peers and adults. He often tells a person what they are doing is wrong (this can happen up to 11 times a day). He interrupts the teachers (up to 37 times in a 30-minute period); this may include correcting other students, and telling them when they are wrong. He gets in other students’ business up to 12 times per period. This makes the other students angry with him, and he then becomes a target for their abuse. He will also use intimidation and threats toward others. This has been exhibited throughout the school campus. He has become physically aggressive toward teachers by kicking or pushing them. He will appear to be having a great day when out-of-the-blue he will suddenly “go off” coming up with an excuse(s) why he needs to leave the area and/or can’t work. When he is asked what is wrong he will often smirk and appear to be thinking up an answer. His father says the same thing happens at home. Henry doesn’t appear to understand how these behaviors are annoying to others and are not friendship-making skills. He will get angry at others for getting angry at him. At times, Henry will engage in victimization behaviors. This is usually when he is trying to manipulate the situation to meet his desires.
As you can see, I have included very specific data, gave examples, and mentioned how these behaviors impact Henry and the rest of the class.
Next week, I’ll be discussing in further detail the rest of Henry’s BIP, and how I connect the BIP to the No Bull 5-Tiered Level System© used in my classroom. I’m looking forward to seeing you next week.
Be kinder than necessary, be grateful and have a peace-filled week,
P.S. I will not be posting to my blog as much over the summer. There are several subscribers who use their school email to receive this and will be on break. I will post on the first Wednesday of each month: June 5, July 3, and August 7. I’ll be back in September for the new school year. In the meantime, I’ll be writing my No Bull 5-Tiered Level System© into a workbook format which will be available, once it is published, through the website store, along with the shirts, hats, etc.
You can follow me on Facebook, where I post something three times per week all year.