When I have that student who will not listen, they are being disruptive to the group, not focused on the task, up walking around the room...you know the kid...the one who is waiting for you to get up out of your seat before they listen. Yep, this is my second year with that one. So, this year I am giving the students who are behaving in the group a little sercy. That's right, just a little piece of candy, goldfish crackers, a sticker or anything small that they like. But the kid who isn't listening doesn't get one quite yet. This week that kid said, "I don't like candy anyway." I smiled. I knew the game. So I told him, "Okay, well when you listen and follow directions like the others in the group, I will let you choose a sercy." Guess what the student chose after his time of following directions was over? Yep, candy. I smiled. This time because I knew that I had found a way to get that student to understand that you can be reinforced for your positive behavior. Set out a visual timer and let them see how long they need to participate or sit still or play a game, then when the time is up, positively reinforce them.
Sometimes we find ourselves with students that just need some redirection. Some need verbal cues, some need physical cues. You just have to pull out all the stops to find out what the kid really likes and then use it to your advantage! It could be something as simple as a tickle or a high five!
This also works for the new little ones that come in without any expressive language skills. I have found that they have a great deal of behaviors that need to be addressed. So you have a puzzle and you want them to place one puzzle piece into the correct place. Just ONE, right?! Well, pull out the reinforcer of their liking and say, "Do you want a (insert goodie here)?" Let them see the item and think about it. Most of the time, if the reinforcer is too yummy to pass up, they will attend to the task you asked them to preform. Stay tuned for my next blog post: The 10 item behavior kit.
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