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Positive Behavior Support Plan

Student (Intern) Name: Judd Bleser


Student (Intern) Email: jblese1@students.towson.edu
Date/Course: April 15th, 2015 Full-Time Student Teaching
Tim is a ninth grade student at Dundalk High School and Sollers Point Technical High
School. He is diagnosed with ADHD and receives special education services in inclusion
settings. According to Tims IEP, the areas that are affected by his disability are mathematics,
reading, and behavior. His instructional grade-level performance for both mathematics and
reading is 5th grade. A functional behavior assessment and behavior intervention plan were in
order for Tim because he is a capable young man but is being held back by his own behaviors.
I.

Definition of Specific Behaviors

Observable/Measurable Target Behaviors: The two behaviors are that Tim puts his head down
and/or stares into space during instruction and that Tim talks with classmates and/or shouts out
without raising his hand while peers or teachers are speaking.
Negative Impact for the Student: These behaviors inhibit Tim from obtaining meaningful
information from the teacher and developing positive relationships with his peers. His
inappropriate language and inability to sustain attention during instruction have caused Tim to be
seen as a class clown.
Average Frequency, Duration, Magnitude, or Latency of the Behavior: According to
informal observations and discussions with Tims teachers, it is evident that the extent of his

behaviors varies from subject to subject. In some classes, his behaviors are reduced, but in other
classes, his behaviors are present at least once a day.
Are these behaviors disruptive or dangerous to the student or others? Why or why not?
When Tim puts his head down and/or stares into space, the only student that is being disrupted is
himself. However, when Tim shouts out and/or talks with his classmates during instruction, it is
disruptive to the entire class. While Tims behaviors have not escalated into physical
altercations, he has had verbal confrontations with classmates and teachers. Since Tim is in
inclusion classes, many of his classmates recognize his behaviors and sometimes encourage him
to keep going.
II.

Literature Review

Source 1 Social Interaction Rules in Cooperative Learning Groups for Students at Risk for
ADHD (D. Kuester, S. Zentall)
This study assessed whether or not activity rules, such as taking turns, not interrupting
others, and giving and justifying responses, could reduce negative verbal and off-task behaviors
among students at risk for ADHD. The study found that such rules do indeed reduce verbal
outbursts and off-task behaviors. Interestingly enough, collaborative groups with students
identified as at risk for ADHD were actually more successful in completing group activities than
groups without such students (Kuester & Zentall, 2012). Additionally, this study concluded that
students with or at risk for ADHD can contribute to problem solving when their tasks are
interesting and performance does not tap into learning difficulties (Kuester & Zentall, 2012).
This data shows that keeping students with ADHD interested in a lesson will help reduce their
problem behaviors.
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Source 2 A Cognitive Strategy Instruction to Improve Math Calculation for Children with
ADHD and LD: A Randomized Controlled Study (J. Iseman, J. Naglieri)
This study examined the effectiveness of PASS (Planning, Attention, Simultaneous,
Successive) based instruction to students with ADHD. This instructional practice emphasizes
planning, which is something that students with ADHD often struggle with. The study found
that, when utilizing strategies that emphasize planning and organization, students with ADHD
exhibit improved academic performance (Iseman & Naglieri, 2011).
Source 3 A Review of Non-Medication Interventions to Improve the Academic Performance of
Children and Youth with ADHD (M. Epstein, T. Ortiz Lienemann, R. Reid, A. Trout)
This article examines various non-medication interventions and whether or not such
interventions can be effective for the academic performance of students with ADHD. All of the
examined interventions were classified into one of six categories: antecedent-based,
consequence-based, peer-mediated, adult-mediated, self-regulation, and combined (Epstein,
Ortiz Lienemann, Reid & Trout, 2007). The study concluded that, the lack of programmatic
research makes it difficult to form clear recommendations for effective academic intervention
methods for children with ADHD (Epstein, Ortiz Lienemann, Reid & Trout, 2007). In other
words, the study uncovers a serious lack of effective interventions for students with ADHD.
Source 4 The impact of instructional context on classroom on-task behavior: A matched
comparison of children with ADHD and non-ADHD classmates (I. Antrop et al)
This study looked at the levels of on-task behavior in students with ADHD during various
instructional tasks throughout lessons. The results indicated that students with ADHD displayed
lower levels of on-task behavior in settings that place high self-regulatory, information
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processing, and motivational demands on them (I. Antrop et al, 2013). Additionally, students
with ADHD struggled mightily with transitions within a lesson. However, the results also
showed that students with ADHD performed well during small-group activities and in music and
the arts.
Source 5 The School to Prison Pipeline: Time to Shut it Down (M. Flannery)
This article discusses the school-to-prison pipeline, which is the sentiment that schools
are often pushing kids out of school via suspension and into the juvenile and criminal justice
systems. The article argues that schools are too quick to suspend and expel kids back into the
streets, as opposed to providing them with the help that that need in their lives. Social and
cultural factors are also presented, as 70% of police referrals are given to Black and Latino
students (Flannery, 2014) and students with disabilities are twice as likely to be suspended as
their peers. To conclude, the article reiterates that schools need to focus more on providing
students with positive examples and giving the help that they need, rather than suspending or
expelling them.
III.

Data Collection

Summary of Data Submitted:


For my baseline data, I observed Tim in two different classes, Instructional Technology
and English, on two consecutive days. The data collection sheet that I used is one that my
mentor teacher introduced and recommended to me. Tims behaviors were tracked in 15-second
intervals for a time span of 15 minutes. The number of times that each behavior was exhibited
during each 15-second interval was calculated into a percentage of the total 15 minute period.

Additionally, I recorded any general notes at the end of each observation. While I took note of
all noticed behaviors, I specifically kept an eye out for the following two behaviors:
1. Head down/staring into space
2. Verbal outbursts toward teacher/peers
Along with the original data collection sheets, an anecdotal breakdown of the information is
presented below:
Observation #1:
Date: 2/24
Class: IETC Period 2
Teacher: Mr. Zurkowski

Occurance of Behaviors (Percentage of 15 minutes):


Disruptive/Engaging others: 3 times (5%)
Out of Seat: 4 times (6%)
Talking: 4 times (6%)
Making a Disturbing Noise: 1 time - Used foul language under his breath (2%)
Staring into Space: 5 times (8%)

General Notes: Tim started the 15 minutes off strong. He was engaged and following tasks.
However, something seemed to shift about half-way through, as he began to lose focus and be a
little disruptive.

Observation #2:
Date: 2/25
Class: English Period 2
Teacher: Ms. Riggs

Occurance of Behaviors (Percentage of 15 minutes):


Head Down: 1 time (2%)
General Notes: Tim had a very strong display during this observation. The task was for the kids
to follow along and answer questions as the teacher read out loud, and Tim did a fantastic job.
Only for a very brief moment did he lose focus, but he was able to snap right back into the task
at hand. I really liked what I saw from Tim!

Summary of Records Review:


Upon reviewing questionnaires that were sent to Tims teachers, it appears that Tims
behaviors are greatly varied depending on the teacher. Some of his teachers see Tim as an
exemplary student and classroom leader, while others cant stop him from being disruptive and
completing his work. Regardless, all of Tims teachers consider him to have a big personality
and see some sort of potential in him.
By reading over Tims cumulative file, I noticed that he underwent several psychological
assessments as a child. Throughout these assessments, it was found that Tim had a strong
defiance toward male authority figures and was considered to be at risk for psychopathy. I also
learned that Tim went through several traumatic experiences as a child, including unexpectedly
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losing his grandmother, whom he was close with, as well as having his house robbed at gun point
while he and his mother were forced to hide into a closet. Additionally, I learned that Tim had
been suspended several times as an elementary school student, although he did not have any
suspensions in middle school and has not had any thus far in his high school career.

Analysis of all Data Collected:


Based on all of the information that I have collected, its clear that Tim has a lot of energy
and personality to bring to the table. Unfortunately, in most of his classes, this energy is
manifested into behaviors that are a problem to himself and/or his classmates. Considering the
frequency and intensity of these behaviorssuch as shouting out inappropriate language and
insulting the teacher and/or his classmatesit is clear to me that some sort of support is needed.
If Tim can find a way to channel is energy into a more positive light, he could become a
classroom leader and really take off. However, since previous interventions have not worked,
Tim needs to be provided alternative supports.
IV.

Hypothesis of Functional Intention

What is the hypothesized function of the target behavior? How does the data support this
hypothesis?
For the first identified behavior in which Tim puts his head down and/or stares into space,
the functional intention is task avoidance. Through my own observations as well as discussions
with teachers, it is evident that Tim puts his head down during particularly rigorous tasks and
most individual work. I also think that part of this behavior may be attributed to the fact that Tim

has ADHD and may have trouble focusing on certain tasks, especially ones that he sees as either
unimportant or too difficult. While this problem behavior doesnt have a negative impact on the
classmates around him, it is still concerning because he is missing important instructional time.
For Tims second identified behavior in which he has verbal outbursts toward the teacher
and/or his peers, the functional intention is to seek attention. As previously noted, Tim has a lot
of energy and unfortunately manifests it in a negative way at times. By seeking the approval of
his classmates with inappropriate language and generally attempting to be a class clown, it is
clear that Tim craves attention when he exhibits this behavior. Between the positive attention
from his close friends and negative attention from the teacher and other classmates, Tim gets the
attention that he is looking for.
V.

Replacement Behavior

Replacement Behaviors (which addresses above mentioned functions):


1. Tim will keep his head up and focused in the appropriate location during instruction.
2. Tim will use his energy to meaningfully participate in classroom activities.
When will the replacement behaviors be taught?
The first replacement behavior will be taught throughout each lesson as it occurs. The
second replacement behavior will be taught at various times during instructional tasks in which
the teacher needs participants and leaders. This will help Tim exert his energy in a more positive
way and will also satiate his desire for attention.
How will the replacement behaviors be taught?

The first replacement behavior will be taught by using both verbal and non-verbal cues.
By giving Tim a tap on the shoulder or establishing eye contact and gesturing, Tim will know to
keep his head up and focused in the right direction. Additionally, positive reinforcement and
praise will encourage Tim to exhibit the replacement behavior. The second replacement behavior
will be taught by calling on Tim when the teacher thinks he knows the right answer or has
valuable insight to add to the class. It will also be taught by encouraging Tim to take leadership
roles during group activities. Positive reinforcement and praise will also be effective for this
replacement behavior.
VI.

Positive Behavior Supports

The three positive behavior supports that I plan to use to ensure that Tim will exhibit the
replacement behaviors are positive reinforcement/praise, obtaining a prize (piece of candy) for
good behavior in my class, and providing Tim with opportunities to participate and/or take a
leadership role in class.
Positive reinforcement and praise will be provided to Tim when he keeps his head up and
focused during class as well as when he meaningfully participates and adds to classroom
instruction. This will be done immediately after the replacement behavior occurs through the use
of verbal and non-verbal gestures. By praising and positively reinforcing Tim after he exhibits
the replacement behavior, he will gain positive attention and hopefully experience a boost in selfesteem.
The second support, offering candy at the end of class if he exhibits both replacement
behaviors, is much like a token economy. Much like other students, Tim loves candy, so this is a
strong reinforcement technique that will encourage Tim to keep his head up and focused and
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meaningfully participate in class. If Tim does not exhibit both replacement behaviors in class, he
will not get a piece of candy and thus will understand that he needs to be on his best behavior to
be rewarded.
The third support, providing Tim with participation and leadership tasks in class, will satiate
some of his energy and need for attention. By asking Tim to do something like read the objective
or take leadership during small group activities, Tim will get positive attention from the teacher
and his peers. This will also keep his mind focused on the task at hand and will help increase his
achievement in class.
VII.
Day

Data Collection and Visual Representation


# of Times Positive
Reinforcement/Praise was
Used
2head up, working silently

1
3/2/15
2
0
3/3/15
3
1head up
3/4/15
4
1answered question
3/5/15
5
1head up
3/6/15
6
0
3/9/15
7
1quiet during individual work
3/10/1
5
8
2head up, worked well with
3/11/15
group
9
1head up
3/12/1
5
10
1head up

Leadership/Participation Tasks (Y/N


and What)

Candy? (Y/N)

Yread objective

Ypresented group information

Yread objective

Yactive participant in group work

N
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3/13/1
5
11
3/16/1
5
12
3/17/1
5
13
3/18/1
5
14
3/19/1
5
15
3/20/1
5

1raised hand

Yread objective

2raised hand, head up

Yvolunteered to answer a question

2head up, participated in


group activity

Yread objective

1presented group information

Yanswered drill

Amount of Positive Reinforcement/Praise per Day


2.5
2
Amount of Positive
Reinforcement/Praise per
Day

1.5
1
0.5
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

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Number of Days with Leadership/Participation Role

Yes (8 Days)
No (7 Days)

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VIII.
Data Summary and
Interpretation
According to my data, the
positive behavior supports
were somewhat effective. Tim
showed an overall
improvement in his attitude
and behavior from beginning
to end, although some days
were rocky along the way.
Considering that Tim had
more days with candy than
without, as well as more days
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with leadership/participation opportunities than without, I think my data suggests that Tim is on
his way to making some behavioral changes.
I saw a direct correlation between days that Tim was allowed leadership/participation
opportunities and days that he received candy at the end of the class. This shows that providing
Tim with such opportunities increases his self-esteem and allows him to have a productive day.
By allowing these opportunities earlier in lessons, such as asking Tim to read the objective, he
begins the class focused and usually remains focused throughout. Another trend that I noticed
from the data is that Tim finished off strong. By receiving candy at the end of class each of the
last four days of my data collection, it appears to me that the interventions were pretty effective
and that Tim began to understand what good behavior should look like and that it feels good to
be rewarded.
Overall, I felt that Tim was most receptive to the reward of getting candy, followed by the
opportunity for leadership/participation, and then receiving positive reinforcement/praise. Like
most of his ninth grade classmates, Tim enjoys candy and generally unhealthy foods, so I had a
good feeling that candy would be an effective reward for him. As for the opportunities for
leadership/participation, Tim showed that he is capable of using his energy and strong
personality in a more positive manner. I think that this has helped his self-esteem. Lastly, giving
Tim positive reinforcement and praise satiated his desire for attention and helped sharpen his
focus when he was in need of something to get him back on task.
IX.

Reflection

How did you grow in your knowledge and skills in classroom management?

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Classroom management has beenand continues to bea facet of teaching that I am


trying to focus in on and improve. Through completing this assignment, I feel that I have
been able to enhance my knowledge and skills about managing a classroom. Implementing
supports for Tim has helped me in becoming more direct with problem behaviors without
feeling like I am being the bad guy. One thing that I have struggled with throughout my
student teaching is knowing when and where to put my foot down with problem behaviors.
Fortunately, completing this assignment has forced me not only to put my foot down but to
put a positive spin on dealing with problem behaviors. Additionally, I feel that my
knowledge and skills in classroom management have grown through implementing different
behavioral supports than what I have done before. For example, providing Tim with
leadership/participation opportunities was something that I hadnt thought of before, and it
turned out to be pretty effective. Through both new supports as well as implementing
familiar supports in a new situation, I feel as though my knowledge and skills regarding
behavior management have gotten stronger.
How did you grow in your dispositions toward classroom management?
Ive always known that classroom management is importantits a concept that has been
drilled in our heads since day one. However, seeing how classroom management can really
make or break student learning has allowed me to gain a deeper appreciation for it and for
those who do it effectively. While classroom management is something that is always a work
in progress and can vary in difficulty class by class, year by year, and even day by day, I
wasnt previously aware of how much time and effort it takes to maintain a steady and
comfortable learning environment. Im not sure if I would say that my disposition on
classroom management has changed, since Ive always known it is a huge part of teaching
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and learning, but I would certainly say that my disposition on the topic has strengthened
tremendously.
What are two things you might do differently if you were to repeat the project?
If I were to repeat this project, I think I would try to implement supports in some of Tims
other classes besides the one that I teach him in. Several factors contributed to the inability
to do so, such as going between two schools and not knowing if other teachers would
correctly implement the supports, but it still would have been interesting to see if the results
would have changed at all. The data could have been more accurate if there was a
unanimous implementation among all of his teachers, but unfortunately, some of that is out of
my hands. Although I was able to get some informal information from some of Tims
teachers through a questionnaire, some hard data from those teachers would have been more
ideal.
Additionally, if I could do this project over again, I would have done a different initial
informal observation besides the one I did in Tims English class. While it was good to see
Tim in that English class because he performs well there, my project probably could have
benefitted greater from observing another class that he exhibits problem behaviors in.
However, seeing him in a situation in which he is typically successful and on task helped me
develop realistic goals and see some of the positive qualities that I know he has.

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References
Flannery, M. (2015, January 11). The school-to-prison pipeline: Time to shut it down.
Retrieved April 8, 2015, from http://educationvotes.nea.org/2015/01/11/the-school-toprison-pipeline-time-to-shut-it-down/

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Imeraj, L., Antrop, I., Sonuga-Barke, E., Deboutte, D., Deschepper, E., Bal, S., & Roeyers,
H. (2013). The impact of instructional context on classroom on-task behavior: A matched
comparison of children with ADHD and non-ADHD classmates. Journal Of School
Psychology, 51487-498.
Iseman, J., & Naglieri, J. (2011). A cognitive strategy instruction to improve math
calculation for children with ADHD and LD: A randomized controlled study. Journal Of
Learning Disabilities, 44(2), 184-195.
Kuester, D. A., & Zentall, S. S. (2012). Social Interaction Rules in Cooperative Learning
Groups for Students At Risk for ADHD. Journal Of Experimental Education, 80(1), 6995.
Trout, A. L., Ortiz Lienemann, T., Reid, R., & Epstein, M. H. (2007). A Review of NonMedication Interventions to Improve the Academic Performance of Children and Youth
With ADHD. Remedial & Special Education, 28(4), 207-226.

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