Behavior Management And Elementary Students With Adhd


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Behavior Management And Elementary Students With Adhd

  1. 1. Behavior Management 1 Running head: BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT AND ELEMENTARY STUDENTS WITH ADHD Behavior Management and Elementary Students with ADHD Alice Allen, Emily Carter, Shari Hardy, Bobbi Murrell, and Amanda Pegues University of Phoenix March 21, 2009
  2. 2. Behavior Management 2 Table of Contents Abstract ........................................................................................................................................... 4 Chapter I: Introduction................................................................................................................... 5 Problem Statement ..................................................................................................................... 5 Purpose ........................................................................................................................................ 5 Description of Community .......................................................................................................... 5 Description of Work Setting ....................................................................................................... 6 Writer’s Role ............................................................................................................................... 8 Chapter II: Study of the Problem ................................................................................................. 12 Problem Description .................................................................................................................. 12 Problem Documentation ............................................................................................................ 13 Literature Review ...................................................................................................................... 15 Causative Analysis .................................................................................................................... 24 Chapter III: Outcomes and Evaluation ........................................................................................ 27 Goals and Expectations ............................................................................................................. 27 Expected Outcomes ................................................................................................................... 27 Measurement of Outcomes........................................................................................................ 28 Analysis of Results .................................................................................................................... 29 Chapter IV: Solution Strategy...................................................................................................... 31 Statement of Problem ................................................................................................................ 31
  3. 3. Behavior Management 3 Discussion ................................................................................................................................. 31 Selected Solutions/Calendar Plan.............................................................................................. 36 References ..................................................................................................................................... 45 Appendixes ................................................................................................................................... 50
  4. 4. Behavior Management 4 Abstract This action research proposal addresses a problem with behavior management of students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) at Matthews Elementary School. Two third grade classrooms have a large number of students with ADHD and the teachers do not possess the knowledge required to manage the excessive disruptions that are occurring. Examination of the setting led to the research of ADHD symptoms and treatments, the collection and analysis of data, and the development of a solution and calendar plan designed to train the teachers in effective behavior management and modification strategies for children with ADHD.
  5. 5. Behavior Management 5 Chapter I: Introduction Problem Statement The problem, as indicated in this study, is that due to the lack of time and training, elementary school teachers are not using effective behavior management strategies for children with ADHD who frequently disrupt classroom instruction. Purpose The purpose of this study is to determine if behavior management and modification strategies will result in greater learning and higher test scores for elementary students with ADHD. Since the condition is characterized by impulsiveness and an interference with concentration and attention, these students are often disruptive during class. The study will also seek to determine if consistent boundaries, a highly predictable routine and external reinforcers will reduce the amount of impulsivity and distraction in the classroom and lessen the impact of the disruptive students on the other children. While the prevailing treatment for ADHD is stimulant drug therapy, this research will explore the reinforcement of positive behavior in the classroom to determine if behavior modification is an effective treatment for ADHD. Description of Community The Potomac Public Schools district has 197 schools with approximately 169,000 students. The district employs just over 22,000 people. One hundred thirty-seven elementary schools are in the district. Because the Potomac Public Schools district is so large, the schools are administered through eight clusters. The cluster office provides leadership and supervision to the schools in the cluster and acts as a liaison to schools and communities. The mission of cluster VIII, which is the group to which Matthews Elementary School belongs, is to provide instructional and
  6. 6. Behavior Management 6 operational leadership support to schools, promoting open communication among educators, parents, support staff and school board members. The cluster office ensures educational excellence, equality and high expectations for student achievement in a safe learning environment (Potomac Public Schools, n.d.). The research project will take place in two of four third grade classrooms at Matthews Elementary School. This school is part of the Potomac Public Schools district. The population in this K-5 setting is approximately 600 students and 75 teachers. Matthews Elementary School’s mission is to provide students a strong instructional program that enables them to become independent learners and problem solvers (Potomac Public Schools, n.d.). The school is located in a country club community. The population is 15,728, of which 74.9% are white families and 14.7% are black families, both with a median annual income of $110,993 (MuniNetGuide, 2009). Three elementary schools are in this cluster. The community is family-oriented with a lake, country club, two swimming pools, numerous playgrounds, a golf course, tennis courts, and a park. Frequent social functions bring the community together. Description of Work Setting In the Potomac Public School system, Matthews Elementary School is known for its success with children with disabilities and behavior problems. The school has received the School of Excellence Award for the past seven years. The special education staff includes: one teacher for students with moderate cognitive impairment, three teachers of students with learning disabilities (working in the inclusion model), one primary and two intermediate teachers for students with autism spectrum disorder, three ESOL (English as a Second Language) teachers, and three part-time speech and language specialists. The school offers special needs classes for
  7. 7. Behavior Management 7 autism and moderately cognitive impaired students, a start gifted program for kindergarten through third grade students and a signet gifted program for fourth and fifth grade students. A reading recovery learning training site and a speech and language center are also available at the school. Matthews Elementary School offers a significant number of academic contests and curriculum-related activities to promote student educational growth. All students have the opportunity to participate in the Chess Club, Student Advisory Council, Quill and Scroll Club (monthly literary sharing), strings, chorus and the Math 24 Club. Students diagnosed with ADHD and autism are encouraged to participate in school activities. The in-school mail is delivered by autistic students. Student Buddies and Classroom Buddies are programs offered to students having difficulty in school with behavior or social skills. The majority of the students diagnosed with ADHD are assigned to two of the four third grade classes to ensure consistency with the educational process of these students. The two third grade classes in this study consist of the following criteria: Twenty-one students are in Classroom A, seven of which have ADHD. In Classroom B, 11 students out of 20 have ADHD. Of these 18 students who are diagnosed with ADHD, 12 are currently taking medication for the condition. Furthermore, 14 of the students diagnosed with ADHD are male and four are female. Although Classroom B has the most students with ADHD, it has the least disciplinary problems. Classrooms A and B both have mission statements posted on their walls that each student signed at the beginning of school to show his or her agreement. Classroom A used the acronym BEST for Believe in themselves and their ability to achieve; Embrace diversity and learn from it; Strive to make ourselves, our school, and our community a better place; and Treat others the way we wish to be treated for their mission statement. We will strive to do our personal best by
  8. 8. Behavior Management 8 practicing active listening, respect, caring, cooperation, effort, honesty and patience is the mission statement for Classroom B. At the present time both teachers are studying for their master’s degree in elementary education. The teacher in Classroom A has 15 years of teaching experience while the teacher in Classroom B is in her second year of teaching. In this study a total of 41 students, 18 of whom are diagnosed with ADHD, the two third grade teachers and one teacher’s aide will be observed to determine effective behavior management strategies for children with ADHD. Rudimentary behavior management techniques are presently being utilized in the two third grade classrooms in question. A time-out system and a color-coded behavior chart are being used to address inappropriate behavior. No incentives are in place to reward positive conduct. Writer’s Role The writers’ role is that of the five members of the School Improvement Team at Matthews Elementary School. Currently a fourth grade teacher at Matthews Elementary School, Dr. Amore Bambinos, is a native Italian who was educated at Princeton, Harvard, and Yale in the United States. Her bachelor’s degree in behavioral science, master’s degree in speech pathology, and doctorate in education at Harvard Graduate School of Education provide her with essential qualities needed to investigate the effects of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in students. Dr. Bambinos wrote her doctoral thesis on neuropathy and ADHD which uses brainwave patterns to reduce stress in the ADHD patient. Outside of school, Dr. Bambinos works in the Traumatic Brain Injury Unit of her local hospital assisting patients who have experienced loss of speech and memory due to brain injury. Her other hobbies include quilting, snowboarding, and rock climbing.
  9. 9. Behavior Management 9 Dr. Addison Davies, a native Texan, received her bachelor’s degree in business management, master’s degree in elementary education, and doctorate in educational psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. She worked in banking for twelve years but her love for children led her to pursue elementary education and later educational psychology. Dr. Davies’ doctoral thesis on achievement in school through effective classroom management was done in hopes of determining what drives different students to succeed in their educational journey. Dr. Davies has published numerous articles in both educational and psychology journals. She is a parent and avid philanthropist in her spare time. Dr. Anna Bassin received her bachelor’s degree in psychology, her master’s degree in developmental psychology and her doctorate in education from the University of Michigan. Her doctoral thesis was written on metamemory development in elementary school children with ADHD. She is currently employed as a fifth grade teacher at Matthews Elementary School. Dr. Bassin worked as a counselor for children for several years. When she returned to school for her doctorate, she decided to indulge her passion of teaching children and become an elementary school teacher. Dr. Basin’s work and school history make her qualified to investigate ADHD in students. Dr. Bassin is a parent and enjoys spending her summers at a cabin on the lake and her winters skiing with her family. Dr. Norgina Wright, a native Virginian, received her bachelor’s degree in secondary education and her master’s degrees in behavioral science from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. Dr. Wright received her doctorate degree in special education from John Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. Her doctorate thesis on improving the social interactions of ADHD students through behavioral modification procured her the chairperson position on the Committee for Improving Social Interactions for ADHD Students at John Hopkins. Dr. Wright is
  10. 10. Behavior Management 10 professor and director of special education programs at the University of Louisville, KY. She enjoys traveling, operas, hang gliding, swimming, and horseback riding. A doctor of pediatric and adolescent medicine, Elizabeth Cromwell received undergraduate degrees in biology and child psychology from the University of Oxford before attending the University of Virginia School of Medicine. After completing her residency, Dr. Cromwell joined the pediatric staff at Georgetown University Medical Center. She is currently involved in an extensive research study of drugs and alternative therapies for children with ADHD. Co-founder of the Friends of Barnabas, a non-profit mission organization, Dr. Cromwell travels with other doctors and nurses to Central America several times each year to provide medical care for the young residents of Honduras. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and two teenage sons. A particular area of concern to the writers of this research and the staff at Matthews Elementary School has been the increase in the number of students diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and the problems that can accompany this diagnosis. ―Students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; American Psychiatric Association, 2000) exhibit problems with impulsivity, sustained attention, and overactivity‖ (Stahr, Cushing, Lane, & Fox, 2006, p.201). Currently, 43.9% of the third grade students in the control group have been put on some type of medication or behavior modification for ADHD. Teachers confronted with this problem appear to be losing control of their classrooms and claim not to understand how to handle children with this disorder. The students afflicted with ADHD have problems with impulse control and often disrupt the classroom with behaviors which impede an effective learning process.
  11. 11. Behavior Management 11 The writers will be responsible for educating and training the teachers in the school regarding effective behavior modification strategies. A controlled group of students in two third grade classrooms will be pre- and post-tested in order to determine if the behavior modification strategies have any effect on academic improvement. The writers will be discussing and working with teachers of the control group to make sure that the training of effective behavior management skills for teachers working with children with ADHD is applied and observed.
  12. 12. Behavior Management 12 Chapter Two: Study of the Problem Problem Description The problem is that due to the lack of time and training, elementary school teachers are not using effective behavior management strategies for children with ADHD who frequently disrupt classroom instruction. Consequently, third grade students at Matthews Elementary School are performing below acceptable levels in all academic areas. Students who have not been diagnosed with ADHD are performing below average because of constant classroom disruptions by students with ADHD. Students with ADHD act impulsively and have trouble concentrating, which prevents them from staying focused and attentive (Reid, Trout, & Schartz, 2005). Because of difficulties with controlling impulsivity, children are interrupting the teacher, calling out, leaving their seats, talking incessantly, playing in their desks, and disturbing other students. Staying on task is difficult for students with ADHD so class work, homework assignments, activities, and projects are often incomplete. Organization can be problematic for students who have an attention deficit, so study guides, worksheets, library books, agendas, and school supplies are regularly misplaced or unaccounted for. Test scores, assignment grades, and conduct marks have plummeted as a result of the behavior issues that are plaguing the students with ADHD. Another population being affected by the problem is the group of students in the class who do not have ADHD. These children are, in a sense, victims of their circumstances. They are members of a third grade classroom that is not running smoothly or efficiently. The disturbances that are caused by students who lack self-control and social skills are interfering with the opportunities to learn and engage in classroom discussions and activities. Some students are following the negative example being set by the students with ADHD and are acting out in ways
  13. 13. Behavior Management 13 that are inappropriate and counterproductive. Test and quiz scores have dropped among the regular student populace because the children are unfocused and missing out on important instructional details due to the negative classroom dynamics. Lastly, the constant disruptions are interfering with the teacher’s ability to teach the materials in accordance with the lesson plans. Much of the teachers’ time is spent redirecting students, reprimanding inappropriate behavior, and providing remediation. Teachers are not trained in behavior management and modification strategies; therefore, the rudimentary behavior management and modification strategies presently being used in the classrooms are ineffective. Morale and self-confidence have plunged as the teachers become increasingly discouraged by the lack of discipline and productivity in their classrooms. Problem Documentation Structured observation of the classroom environment has been used for two documentation purposes. First, the setting has been observed to assess the behavioral tendencies of the children in question. Findings have confirmed that students with ADHD are disorganized, behaving impulsively, distracting classmates, and exhibiting little self-control or academic diligence. Second, the teachers have been observed to determine their effectiveness in instructing and interacting with students who have ADHD. Repeat observations have confirmed that teachers are ineffectively using the time-out concept, which reinforces negative behavior. Students are instructed to move their name clip down a color-coded classroom behavior stick after breaking class rules or behaving inappropriately. The requests for clip moves occur inconsistently and after repeated warnings and reprimands; attached consequences for clip moves are not strictly enforced. A log is kept by the teacher to document the amount of times per day that the students with ADHD are disrupting the class and moving their clips. See Appendix A1
  14. 14. Behavior Management 14 for a graph which illustrates the number of disruptions occurring in Class A compared to the amount found on the log in the control class. Examination of the situation has also revealed that, in addition to being inconsistent with consequences for inappropriate actions, the teachers do not offer up praise or reward for students who are on task and having a good day. Angry tones of voice, unpleasant facial expressions, and aversive conditioning were observed as well. The classroom setting is cluttered and unorganized, perhaps contributing to the organizational problems that some students appear to be experiencing. Questionnaires given to the teachers to measure their understanding of behavior management strategies for children with ADHD have shown that teachers are lacking knowledge and training in this area. They recognize the impact that children with ADHD have on their classrooms but are unfamiliar with the criteria for diagnosis and the complexities that accompany the disorder. Most teachers do not understand the triggers which lead to disruptions or how to intervene in order to stop, or even avoid, the disturbances. Teachers appear to lack the classroom and anger management skills required to deal appropriately with troublesome behavior and inattentive students. A limited understanding of the importance of classroom accommodations, behavior modification, external reinforcers, and the establishment of a predictable routine appears to be a detriment, particularly among inexperienced teachers. An additional form of documentation used to measure this problem is the periodic review of the teacher’s lesson plans. State educational standards and school district pacing guides dictate the curriculum and the pace of instruction. Investigation has confirmed that the teachers have fallen behind in presenting the material that must be covered and tested during the course of the school year. The class is not able to cover material and perform tasks within an efficient time
  15. 15. Behavior Management 15 frame because the students and teacher are distracted. A large amount of time is wasted on addressing inappropriate behavior, searching for lost books and supplies, and repeating instructions. An important form of documentation used to measure this problem is the review of the students’ academic performance. Most of the third graders in the class in question, regardless of whether or not they are diagnosed with ADHD, are receiving lower grades than the students in the control class in the core academic subjects of language arts, math, science, and social studies (see Appendix A2). When comparing the students’ grades with their grades from the previous school year, a marked decrease in academic performance is evident (see Appendix A3). Literature Review Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a growing disorder which affects 3-5 percent of school-aged children presenting with symptoms such as inattention, hyperactivity, and disorganization in the classroom (Cook, 2005). Frequently, children with ADHD have accompanying disorders including learning disabilities, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and depression which may cause additional problems at school (Cook, 2005). When examining available literature about ADHD, the topic of the most effective treatment method is the focus of many published articles. Treatment methods suggested for ADHD include ―medical treatment, behavioral treatment, psychological treatment, social skill training, sensory integration treatment, and parenting training (Hong, 1998)‖ (Chang, Chang, & Shih, 2007, p. 148). Currently, literature leans to the prescribing of stimulants, behavior modification, or a combination of the two treatments as being the most effective methods of treatment (Coles, Pelham, Gnagy, Burrows- MacLean, Fabiano, Chacko, et al., 2005). According to Stahr, Cushing, Lane, and Fox (2006), ―Two common, effective intervention approaches for managing ADHD are pharmacological
  16. 16. Behavior Management 16 (e.g., stimulants) and behavioral strategies (e.g., token economies, response costs; DuPaul & Eckert, 1997; Ervin et al., 2000)‖ (p. 201). This is substantiated by other published research, ―although stimulant medication is frequently used as the sole form of treatment for children with ADHD, there are numerous advantages for administering behavior therapy (BT) and stimulant medication in combination (Pelham & Waschbusch, 1999)‖ (Waschbush, Carrey, Willoughby, King, & Andrade, 2007, p.630). Chang, Chang and Shih (2007) find that ―Medical treatment can reduce a hyperactive child’s symptoms. But cultivation of internal control and good behavior requires behavioral treatment, and, especially, a relationship between pre-behavioral stimulation and response‖ (p. 153). Given that stimulant drug therapy, behavior modification, and the combination of stimulant drug therapy and behavior modification are beneficial in counteracting the effects of the disorder, educators must scrutinize the treatment method on which they can have the biggest impact. Looking first at a teacher’s impact on stimulant drug therapy, the level of involvement that a teacher has in the decision to prescribe medication can be significant. According to Vereb and DiPerna (2004): When children exhibit behavior problems in school, teachers often are the first to recognize and recommend that they receive comprehensive assessment. Beyond this initial recommendation, teachers play a key role in classification decisions in that their observations and reports typically are used in diagnosis and treatment determination. (p. 421) While a teacher’s records and observations are an important piece of assisting the ADHD child in obtaining medication, a teacher’s role in the prescribing of medication for students with ADHD is somewhat limited to anecdotal notes about the student concerned. The question is then
  17. 17. Behavior Management 17 asked: Is this the area where a teacher will be able to have the most positive effect on students with ADHD? According to Evans, Schulz, and Sadler (2008): The most frequently used treatment for ADHD is stimulant therapy; however, this treatment does not relieve some ADHD related impairments (Hoza et al., 2005), appears ineffective in reducing behavioral symptoms in up to 30% of cases (Spencer et al., 1996), and is rejected or abandoned by a significant proportion of youth and caregivers. (p. 50) Obviously, stimulants alone do not offer a complete answer. Reid, Trout, and Schartz (2005) argue, ―although the use of medication for the treatment of symptoms for ADHD has a documented record of effectiveness (MTA Cooperative Group, 1999), it is not recommended in isolation‖ (p. 362). Kirkpatrick (2005) suggests ―Medication often can help a multimodal (combination) treatment program be more effective‖ (p. 21). As medication alone does not appear to be the solution to controlling behavior problems, educators must next examine the effects they can have on behavior modification. When isolating behavior modification as a study for treatment of ADHD, numerous behavior strategies are presented in the literature. The questions educators must ask themselves are: Which behavior modification strategy will be most beneficial for this particular student in this particular classroom? Do I have the proper training and resources to implement this strategy? Nowacek and Mamlin (2007) assert, ―Although children with ADHD experience significant academic and behavioral difficulties, research suggests that the majority of classroom teachers lack knowledge of what constitutes appropriate interventions and modifications (Parker, 1992)‖ (p. 28). Further, pediatricians describe the lack of collaboration with the educational system to be a barrier to effective management of children with ADHD (Foy & Earls, 2005). ―The process
  18. 18. Behavior Management 18 depends, at its core, on the mutual interest of school personnel and community health care providers in improving the care of children with ADHD‖ (Foy & Earls, 2005, p. 98). ―Self-regulation describes a number of methods used by students to manage, monitor, record, and/or assess their behavior or academic achievement‖ (Reid, Trout, & Schartz, 2005, p. 362). Self-monitoring, or Cognitive-behavior management, is a behavioral modification strategy which gives children with ADHD the tools they need to monitor their own behavior, relieving teachers of some of the responsibility of constant monitoring of the ADHD child. Self- monitoring is a skill that is lacking in ADHD children. Reid, Trout, and Schartz (2005) state: Recently, Strayhorn (2002) argued that there is a need to develop systematic programs to enable self-regulated behavior among children with ADHD. This is consistent with recent theoretical work in ADHD that has begun to conceptualize ADHD as a deficit in self- regulated behavior (Barkley, 1997). (p.362) As children need to be conscious of their own poor choices in order to increase instances of appropriate behavior, the teacher can serve as an important tool in providing the ADHD child with strategies for self-management. Keeping a log and having the child record the number of times spent off-task can help a child realize how often he is veering from established instruction (Crum, 2004). Recently, KidTools, a software system, was designed and developed with assistance from the U.S. Department of Education to provide another strategy for meeting the needs of children with behavior problems (Miller, Fitzgerald, Koury, Mitchem, & Hollingsead, 2007). KidsTools provides behavioral, academic, and social benefits for the students who work with it. According to Miller et al. (2007), ―through the research-based intervention strategies and corresponding templates, children were empowered to gain control over problem behaviors‖ (p. 18). Teaching the ADHD child to recognize his own poor behavior and take control of managing
  19. 19. Behavior Management 19 it will equip him with a valuable life skill. ―Cognitive behavior management provides students with strategies to manage their own behavior, thereby giving them more independence‖ (Crum, 2004, p. 308). ―Results of studies have indicated that positive reinforcement is an effective behavioral intervention (DuPaul & Eckert, 1998; Fiore, Becker, & Nero, 1993; Fabiano & Pelham, 2003)‖ (Nowacek & Mamlin, 2007. P. 29). Students who consistently have behavior problems are often experiencing feelings of negativity and negative reinforcement from their teachers. While this may be a natural reaction from teachers to ADHD students and their frequent bouts of inattention and impulsivity, these students respond more effectively to teachers who use positive reinforcement and kindness, letting the students know that they are important people in their classroom. According to Farmer, Goforth, Hives, Aaron, Jackson, and Sgammato (2006): This does not mean that teachers should ignore the challenging behavior of their students. On the contrary, teachers should provide appropriate, consistent, and meaningful consequences in a positive manner that say ―adults aren’t going to let you engage in this behavior because we care and because you are worth the time that it takes to teach you how to do it right.‖ Teachers should be sure to communicate clearly and respectfully to all students in her classroom, providing positive guidance and support. This is especially important for the ADHD child, as ―students with challenging behavior tend to view behavior intervention in a negative manner‖ (Farmer et al., 2006, p. 42). Using positive reinforcement and praising the behaviors that are being done well can go a long way in building the self-esteem of students with ADHD and all students.
  20. 20. Behavior Management 20 Behavioral contracts are another behavior modification method that has had some success with ADHD students. These contracts can list desired behaviors that the student is expected to have in the classroom. Examples to list on the behavior contract may include such things as finishing schoolwork on time, asking permission to get out of the seat, not calling out during class, working without disturbing others, and bringing homework in as scheduled. According to Cook (2005): Behavioral contracts are extremely helpful in disrupting a vicious cycle of negative behavior that begets negative attention that begets negative behavior. The idea is to create a way to turn the situation around and make it more positive, build up the self-esteem of an acting-out child, and teach that child how to get positive attention. (p. 6) Not only can behavior contracts work at school and be reinforced by teachers, the contracts are also a tool which can be used at home to assist the parents with behavior modification. Time-outs can be an effective behavior modification strategy when the teacher understands the behavioral principles behind the concept of time-out (Ryan, Sanders, Katsiyannis, & Yell, 2007). Many teachers do not understand how to use time-outs effectively and end up making a bad situation worse. Time-outs can be abused and over-used by teachers when attempting to rectify classroom behavior. Time-out (TO) is a behavior management technique used by over 70% of teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disorders (Zabel, 1986). Costenbader and Reading-Brown (1995) reported that students with emotional/behavioral disorders in a separate special education facility spent, on average, 23 hours in exclusionary TO (i.e., isolation room) over a single school year. (Grskovic, Hall, Montgomery, Vargas, Zentall, & Belfiore, 2004, p. 25)
  21. 21. Behavior Management 21 Many types of time-outs can be used by teachers in classroom management. These include in-seat time-out, or planned ignoring, withdrawal of materials that are causing distraction in a child, moving a child to another location in the classroom away from other children, and removing the child from the classroom (Ryan et al., 2007). For time-out to work, instruction must be interesting enough to hold the attention of the ADHD child, so that time-out is less appealing than classroom lessons. According to Ryan et al., ―Typical pitfalls include classroom environments that are insufficiently reinforcing to the students and time-out procedures that lose their punishing qualities and take on reinforcing qualities for both the student and teacher‖ (p. 62). Structure is suggested as a beneficial form of behavior modification for the child with ADHD. Establishing routines and set places for the child to lay his backpack and supplies can be crucial to the stability of the child. ―These children, in particular, need a stable, daily routine and clear organization in the home as well as at school‖ (Kirkpatrick, 2005, p.23). Cook (2005) states, ―the ADHD or disruptive child responds best to a very structured classroom setting in which rules and expectations are clear, predictable, and known in advance‖ (p. 5). Additional suggestions for helping the ADHD child to succeed in the classroom are seating him or her close to the teacher, providing one-on-one instruction, and giving short directions for assignments that the child is required to repeat. The classroom environment has also been noted to have an effect on the behavior of students with ADHD. Killu, Weber, Derby, and Barretto, (2006) declare, ―Along similar lines, the literature has shown that the identification of environmental correlates of problem behavior leads to the development of more successful behavioral interventions (e.g., Dunlap et al., 1993)‖ (p. 199). The importance of an organized classroom environment cannot be underestimated. ―By
  22. 22. Behavior Management 22 analyzing the classroom, teachers can make themselves more organized and more responsible so that they can encounter fewer disappointments (Heward & Wood, 2003)‖ (Bloh & Axelrod, 2008, p. 52). Teachers employing effective classroom management strategies and creating a stimulating learning environment assist in the behavior management process of the child with ADHD. Cook (2005) proposes that teachers become familiar with the triggers that lead to disruptions and anger in the child with ADHD. ―Problem behaviors are likely to increase when educators lack training in effective strategies and technology used to deal with problem behavior‖ (Killu, Weber, Derby, Barretto, 2006, p. 200). ―Kids who are at risk for having problems with inappropriate and explosive expression of anger include those with ADHD because they are impulsive and often don't think before they react‖ (Cook, 2005, p.3). Anger management training and how children can recognize their symptoms of anger is suggested as an effective behavior modification approach. The impulsiveness of ADHD children can lead to outbursts of anger. Training from the teacher and other school staff on how to control their anger will be helpful to the students. Encouraging a child to use his or her words instead of lashing out in anger is a way that teachers can assist the ADHD child. Another way is to have anger management classes held during the time of a preferable activity forcing the angry child to miss out on something he enjoys (Farmer et al., 2006). During the anger management classes, the children will practice how to behave and how to control their anger. ―The application of consequences for problem behavior should be viewed as an opportunity to teach and reinforce new competencies‖ (Farmer et al., 2006, p. 43). Kirkpatrick (2005) suggests that the best behavior modification strategies are the ones that work through a group of people and draw the parents in as part of the team. ―Generally, best
  23. 23. Behavior Management 23 results occur when a team approach is used with parents/family, school personnel and therapists or physicians working together‖ (Kirkpatrick, 2005, p.23). Making parents active participants in the classroom success of their child will help to ensure that everyone involved with the ADHD child is on the same page and willing to work together to do what’s best for the child. The concept of parent involvement is reinforced by Chang, Chang, and Shih (2007) who state, ―During the therapeutic process, the degree of cooperation between teachers and parents determines the degree of improvement to the children’s problematic behaviors (Connor, 2002)‖ (p. 148). Evans et al. (2008) advocate parent training to improve behaviors occurring at home. Regular parent attendance for the training sessions is vital. ―Attendance and engagement are critical variables in the success of parent training, as studies have shown that the degree with which parents implement the procedures as instructed affects the benefits to the child (Hinshaw et al., 2000)‖ (Evans et al., 2008, p. 52). Finally, literature suggests that a teacher’s willingness to implement behavior strategies is what will make the strategies effective. ―Effectively teaching students with ADHD often requires the use of a variety of interventions in the classroom. Researchers (e.g., Eckert & Hintze, 2000) have suggested that teachers' acceptability of various treatments may influence their willingness to utilize them‖ (Vereb & DiPerna, 2004, p. 427). If the teacher is opposed to a certain strategy, she will be resistant to its introduction in her classroom. Allowing the ADHD child special privileges when he behaves appropriately may be something a teacher is opposed to based on the fact that the other children in her classroom behave appropriately most of the time and do not receive rewards for their behavior. If a reward system is suggested by other school personnel, the teacher may not be willing to provide the rewards the system requires, and the ADHD child will have nonexistent means of regulating his behavior. The teacher is the expert when it comes to
  24. 24. Behavior Management 24 knowing what is best for her classroom and a variety of behavioral interventions should be presented to her in order for her to choose the most effective strategy. Causative Analysis A number of factors contribute to the teachers’ inability to effectively implement behavior management strategies for children with ADHD who are disrupting classroom instruction at Matthews Elementary School. First, many teachers lack a basic understanding of ADHD and what the disorder entails. Experienced educators, by virtue of necessity, must learn to successfully accommodate students with ADHD. Accommodating, and even appreciating, the ADHD learner requires knowledge of the symptoms, tendencies, likely causes, potential pitfalls, and recommended methods of working with the diagnosed students. With increased knowledge comes understanding, respect, patience, compassion, and higher levels of success in the classroom. Second, students may be treated with stimulants for their ADHD, yet they are not self- monitoring or practicing cognitive behavior management skills that would enable them to succeed in class. Students can be more successful in school if they understand what appropriate behaviors are. Teachers can help contribute to the student’s self-regulation by requiring the student to keep a behavior log. This encourages the promotion of positive behavior and the recognition and management of negative behavior. The student can learn to determine what causes him to lose control, giving him the confidence and tools to practice self-regulation and seek help where necessary. Third, teachers may lack the knowledge of appropriate interventions and modifications for children suffering with ADHD. More effectual classroom management strategies will enable teachers to create an environment that is more conducive to learning and student enrichment.
  25. 25. Behavior Management 25 Students with ADHD can act out in frustration or anger. As a result the teacher may experience increased stress, irritation, and discouragement which affect her ability to properly manage the classroom. While experiencing high levels of frustration, the teacher may miss out on opportunities to use positive reinforcement, possibly contributing to the escalation of the students’ poor behavior. Organization, well-established routines, and consistency in the classroom can help to soothe the children with ADHD, which will contribute to an overall positive environment for all students. Teachers may incorrectly utilize time-outs, thus making them ineffective or counter-productive. An investment of time and resources would better serve the teacher working with children with ADHD, as there may be a number of behavioral and environmental modifications that would better serve the integrated classroom and produce more effective results. Next, the amount of teaching experience that a teacher possesses may be a determining factor in how successfully she balances the management of student behavior with instruction. A new teacher who is inexperienced with general classroom management may feel overwhelmed by the presence of ADHD learners. Typical strategies for maintaining order and encouraging hard work and cooperation may not work with students who have ADHD, leaving the teacher with feelings of frustration and failure. A lack of special education courses and training may hinder the progress that a teacher can make while interacting with and accommodating ADHD learners. Support from the school’s special education team may be required for the teacher to develop successful behavior management and modification strategies for her classroom. The teacher’s relationship with the special education staff may present problems as well if power struggles or conflicting opinions on best practices exist.
  26. 26. Behavior Management 26 Because ADHD frequently coexists with other problems such as learning disabilities, Oppositional Disorder, and depression, teachers should be familiar with conditions that can impede a student’s success at school (Cook, 2005). A child’s difficulties with academic skills, anger management, social skills, and regulation of emotions will be compounded by ADHD. If a teacher is lacking basic knowledge of learning disabilities and other childhood and adolescent psychological issues, effectively managing the resulting behavior may be even more problematic. Finally, there may not be sufficient collaboration on part of the parents, family, school personnel and physicians or psychiatrists. Consistency at home and school can help to reinforce the positive behaviors of students with ADHD. If the teacher and the family can be on the same page, they can better isolate problems and work together towards creating a haven for the students with ADHD. Having a child or student with this disorder can clearly be a frustrating and trying experience for parents and teachers. Communication on the part of doctors, caregivers and teachers will better serve all parties involved and will lessen the stress that a student with ADHD experiences. This in turn will correlate positively with a decreased amount of tension and suffering for all the classroom participants.
  27. 27. Behavior Management 27 Chapter Three: Outcomes and Evaluation Goals and Expectations The goal of this study is that teachers will receive training on staff development days and in their classrooms that will allow them to implement effective behavior management strategies with their students. A teacher who is well-informed about ADHD and the challenges present with children diagnosed with ADHD will be more successful at executing systems designed to create a calm and productive learning environment. ADHD learners will flourish under the guidance and instruction of a teacher who has learned to accommodate their needs as well as those of the other students. Expected Outcomes The importance of the teacher cannot be underestimated in the life of the ADHD child. According to Corkum, McKinnon, and Mullane (2005): While parents are the primary managers of their children’s environments and behavior, teachers also play a very significant role in the lives of school-aged children. The quality of a teacher- student relationship can have far-reaching consequences for a child with ADHD, either positively or negatively (Barkley, 1998; Pffifner & Barkley, 1998; Power, Hess, & Bennett, 1995). (p.33) As the teacher attends classes and participates in training exercises she will become familiar with new classroom management strategies. Her level of confidence will increase as ADHD learners respond to the behavior modification techniques that are implemented and conditions begin to improve. The classroom will become a calm and productive work environment as students grow accustomed to the new routine and expectations. Teachers will be trained to work collaboratively with the parents of the ADHD child. In a study done by Corkum, McKinnon and Mullane (2005), the results ―provide compelling preliminary evidence that involving the classroom teachers of children whose parents participate in an ADHD parent training group provides additional benefits to these children in terms of a greater reduction in ADHD behaviors across settings‖ (p.45).
  28. 28. Behavior Management 28 After the new systems for managing the behavior of the students with ADHD and working collaboratively with the parents have been put into action, the areas of improvement will be considered. The teacher will achieve four specific outcomes by becoming a more effective classroom manager: (1) Disruptions to classroom instruction will decrease by 75%. Students with ADHD will better manage impulsivity, work without disturbing classmates, and improve methods of organization and time management. (2) Seventy-one percent, or five out of seven students with ADHD will receive passing grades on daily quizzes, worksheets, homework, and tests. The students with ADHD will become more productive by working with increased accuracy and completing assignments on time. (3) Benchmark test scores for all students will increase in Class A and become more in line with the control group. The scores will have improved for the ADHD learners as well as the other students in the class due to the alteration of the classroom environment and policies. (4) Seventy-one percent, or five out of seven students with ADHD will receive passing grades in the subjects of language arts, social studies, math, and science. Overall, ADHD student grades will improve as a result of better classroom management and behavior modification systems. Measurement of Outcomes Each predicted outcome of the action research study is observable and measurable. As ADHD students learn to better manage impulsivity and distractions in the classroom decrease, several methods of measurement will be utilized to evaluate the results. First, by keeping a detailed daily log of behavior clip moves, the teacher will be able to track the number of disruptions in the classroom (see Appendix B). Dedication to this process will yield an accurate measurement of how many times instruction is interrupted each day by students with ADHD who are impulsive and off-task. Color-coding the log will give additional
  29. 29. Behavior Management 29 insight into what types of disruption interfered with the learning process. The teacher will be able to use this information to improve behavior modification strategies. For example, if a student routinely calls out or interrupts the teacher, then that behavior will warrant further regulation. By comparing this daily log with records kept previously, the researcher will be able measure the difference in the number of daily interruptions due to behavior. Second, teachers will keep track of individual grades in a grade book and will compare homework, class work, and test and quiz averages with like grades from the previous marking period. By comparing apples to apples, the teacher will be able to determine whether or not the improvement in conduct and work habits had a positive effect on completion of work and scores. A spreadsheet that displays the ADHD students’ scores will provide a simple, easy to read format for the comparison (see Appendix C). Next, student performances on benchmark tests that are given at the end of each nine weeks marking period will be compared to check for improvement among children with and without ADHD. For instance, students will be given a school system issued math benchmark test that covers the material taught in class during the first nine weeks of school. After a new behavior management system has been implemented in the classroom, the students will take the math benchmark test for the second nine weeks. The spreadsheet shown in Appendix C can be used to compare the scores. Lastly, report card grades in language arts, math, science, and social studies will be compared. ADHD students’ grades from the first nine weeks will be put side by side with grades from the second nine weeks in order to determine if an improvement has been made as a result of the implementation of new behavior management and modification techniques. Again, the spreadsheet in Appendix C will be helpful with making grade comparisons.
  30. 30. Behavior Management 30 Analysis of Results The results of this study will be evaluated using quantitative methods. In order to gain comparative data, the projected outcomes from Class A will be measured against the control group by comparing grades on assignments, homework, tests and quizzes, benchmark tests, and report cards. By doing this, the researcher will determine whether or not Class A, whose teacher received additional training in classroom management and behavior modification strategies, will outperform the control class. Additionally, Z-scores will be calculated in order to analyze the results of the benchmark tests for Class A and the control group. Further comparisons of the two groups will be made through the use of these scores. A correlation coefficient will be calculated to determine whether or not the teacher’s training is having an impact on the behavior of the students. The behavior logs in Class A and in the control class will be consulted to find out the number of disruptions that occur during instruction each day. Comparisons will be made in order to determine if Class A is experiencing less frequent student outbursts as a result of the teacher’s training classes and determination to establish order and create a productive learning environment.
  31. 31. Behavior Management 31 Chapter Four: Solution Strategy Statement of Problem The problem, as indicated in this study, is that due to the lack of time and training, elementary school teachers are not using effective behavior management strategies for children with ADHD who frequently disrupt classroom instruction. Discussion ―Although children with ADHD experience significant academic and behavioral difficulties, research suggests that the majority of classroom teachers lack knowledge of what constitutes appropriate interventions and modifications (Parker, 1992)‖ (Nowacek & Mamlin, 2007, p. 28). The aims of this study were to uncover any correlation between teacher training of behavior modification methods and improved classroom management, and to assess which behavior modification methods provided successful means of reducing problem behavior in the classroom. Research has shown that teachers who have had past experience teaching children with ADHD are more likely to be knowledgeable in regard to this condition. Kos, Richdale, and Jackson (2004) state ―exposure to children with ADHD in the classroom is an important factor in teachers’ knowledge about ADHD, but that general teaching experience alone does not aid in increasing teachers’ actual knowledge of the disorder‖(p. 524). Further, training for teachers regarding ADHD is most beneficial when teachers get experience working with an ADHD student. Kos et al. (2004) agree that ―additional training (e.g., workshops or seminars) specifically aimed at increasing the ADHD knowledge of primary-school teachers is useful, but also should include exposure to students with ADHD‖ (p. 525). Administration should be aware
  32. 32. Behavior Management 32 that teachers who have successfully worked with ADHD students may have the experience necessary to handle the ADHD student in future classrooms. Kos, Richdale, and Hay (2006) state ―professional development of teachers is fundamental to increasing knowledge‖ (p. 152). Exposing inexperienced teachers to children with ADHD should only be attempted after training, preparations, and observations of classrooms with solid behavior modifications in place have occurred. Not only do teachers need to be trained in the symptoms and handling of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder, but training also needs to be directed towards the fact that ADHD may very well be accompanied by other disorders. Increasing teachers’ insights into the current debates over best practice in the management of ADHD includes developing their awareness of the pervasiveness of comorbid conditions. They certainly will be aware of the reading problems common in young people with ADHD, but may be less aware of the high rate of anxiety disorders among these children (Kos, Richdale & Hay, 2006, p. 157). Providing training on staff development days or even in the classroom will help teachers take control of their classrooms and get a better handle on disruptive behavior. A method which provides promise for improving the behavior of the student with ADHD is through external reinforcement. This can come in the way of a token economy which provides rewards for appropriate behavior. In a token economy, the ADHD student might receive chips or points at different intervals throughout the school day that he can redeem for rewards or prizes when he has earned a certain number. According to Cook (2005), ―Behavioral psychology research shows that the most effective type of reward is intermittent positive reinforcement. This means that a target behavior is most likely to increase when rewards are given periodically, on an intermittent basis‖ (p. 7). Studies have debated whether or not the rewards for ADHD
  33. 33. Behavior Management 33 children must be immediate or will have the same impact if delayed. According to Michel, Kerns, and Mateer (2005), the timing of the reward may not be the critical factor, ―however, there was an intriguing suggestion that the potential for reinforcement changed the underlying mechanisms of task performance in children with and without ADHD‖ (p. 301). As the child’s behavior progresses, he will move from receiving material rewards to earning special privileges or activities, and finally to a behavior contract where his behavior will continue to be monitored through an occasional revisiting of the contract (Evans, Schultz, and Sadler, 2008). Positive reinforcement can occur through teacher praise of the student. Ryan, Sanders, Katsiyannis, and Yell (2007) state: Research indicates that classes in which the teacher has a strongly positive reinforcement ratio often have fewer behavior problems (Sugai & Horner, 2002). When teachers use a 5-to-l ratio of positive to negative comments, the classroom will have a more reinforcing atmosphere—an atmosphere from which students will not want to be removed. (p. 63) The use of a Daily Behavior Report Card (DBRC) is an effective behavior modification strategy, of particular value with the collaboration of parents and teachers. A home system can be developed that will complement the DBRC, reinforcing the behavior that was seen in school. If the child behaves poorly during the school day, the result will be lost privileges at home. If the child behaves well during the school day, extra privileges can be granted, supporting the good behavior the child displayed at school that day. Research on the effectiveness of DBRCs appears promising, especially when DBRCs are used in conjunction with an existing home token economy with response cost procedures (Davies & McLaughlin, 1989; Kelley & Mc-Cain, 1995). Indeed, DBRCs are widely used in schools, are adaptable to many situations, and are an acceptable strategy for most
  34. 34. Behavior Management 34 teachers (Chafouleas, Riley-Tillman, & Sassu, 2006). (Evans, Schultz, & Sadler, 2008, p. 51) Self-regulation, also known as cognitive-behavior management, is a behavior modification strategy which leads to the child taking control of his own behavior. Feedback is critical to the success of the self-regulation strategy so that the child understands immediately what acceptable and unacceptable behaviors entail. ―Self-regulation theory has long recognized the importance of a feedback cycle in which individuals systematically self-assess and self- evaluate their behavior (Pintrich, 2000; Zimmerman, 2000)‖ (Reid, Trout, & Schartz, 2005, p. 362). While teachers may invest more time in the short-term, the effects of self-regulation will pay off long-term. Self-regulation involves the completion of logs for on-task behavior by the student. A daily log is kept by the student to assess his ongoing behavior. A student can record a summary of his afternoon or morning behavior on a weekly log. As the child becomes witness to the amount of times he is veering off task, the hope is that he will self-correct his behavior. ―Cognitive behavior management is a valuable tool for helping students reach their academic and social potentials by providing teachers with strategies and information on how to support student needs‖ (Crum, 2004, p. 308). Software has also been developed to help with self-regulation. A program called ―KidTools‖ promotes the use of self-regulation strategies among children with behavior problems. Teachers have recognized the benefits of this type of software. According to Miller, Fitzgerald, Koury, Mitchem, and Hollingsead (2007): Most teachers who implemented strategies from the EPSS [Electronic Performance Support Systems] reported positive changes in the behavior of their students (Miller et
  35. 35. Behavior Management 35 al., 2004). Teachers stated that using the software slowed the children down and helped them think before acting‖ (p. 17). Time-outs can be a valuable means of behavior modification if not used excessively. Training should be given to teachers in regard to employing an effective time-out strategy. First, teachers must provide an enriching classroom experience to keep the attention of the ADHD student. By doing this, the child will believe that he is missing out when he is removed from instruction. ―The combination of effective training in the effective use of time-out procedures and an established policy on its use in classrooms will help ensure that time-outs are used safely and effectively in reducing inappropriate behaviors‖( Ryan, Sanders, Katsiyannis, & Yell, 2007, p. 66). ―Good communication with parents and psychological preparation are the most critical keys to the success of substantial behavioral improvement among hyperactive children‖ (Chang, Chang, & Shih, 2007, p. 147). The importance of parent involvement in the behavior of the ADHD student cannot be underestimated. Teachers should reach out to parents to gain their support. Parents should be encouraged to attend training sessions and cooperate with teachers in attempting to reduce poor behaviors. Literature supports the theory that parent involvement is crucial in reigning in the behavior of the ADHD child. ADHD can be improved through proper use of medicine and the application of psychological therapy. During the therapeutic process, the degree of cooperation between teachers and parents determines the degree of improvement to the children’s problematic behaviors (Connor, 2002). (Chang et al., 2007, p. 148) Working hand in hand with the parent will serve to strengthen relations and improve cooperation between the parent and the child’s behavior at school.
  36. 36. Behavior Management 36 Selected Solutions/Calendar Plan To improve the teacher’s ability to manage the students with and without ADHD in the classroom, the teachers will attend a training class at the local community college focused on implementing behavioral interventions with children in elementary school. The training is a 40- hour course taken in the evenings for a four week period. The first step is educating the teachers about how to identify students with ADHD. The beginning of the training course will focus on identifying symptoms. The symptoms of ADHD can be broken down into three categories; inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, n.d.) gives the following information regarding inattention: Six or more of the following symptoms of inattention have been present for at least 6 months to a point that is disruptive and inappropriate for developmental level; often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities; often has trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities; often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly; often does not follow instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions); often has trouble organizing activities; often avoids, dislikes, or does not want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework); often loses things needed for tasks and activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools); is often easily distracted; is often forgetful in daily activities. (para. 3) The CDC (n.d.) lists the following as symptoms of hyperactivity:
  37. 37. Behavior Management 37 Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat; often gets up from seat when remaining in seat is expected; often runs about or climbs; often has trouble playing or enjoying leisure activities quietly; is often quot;on the goquot;; often talks excessively. (¶ 4) According to the CDC (n.d.), a student having difficulty controlling impulsivity ―often blurts out answers before questions have been finished; often has trouble waiting one's turn; often interrupts or intrudes on others‖ (¶5). After learning how to identify students with ADHD, the training will move onto teaching behavior modification techniques and how to measure the student’s behavior. Techniques involving setting limits, establishing clear consequences for actions, and using positive reinforcement will be taught. The training will show teachers how to set up routine and structure within the classroom. Since children with ADHD have shorter attention spans, teachers will be taught how to break lessons down into smaller achievable tasks. According to Cook (2005): Teachers can also assist children with ADHD by dividing their worksheets into sections and reducing their amounts of homework. Math problems and written assignments especially may prove extremely difficult and time-consuming for children with ADHD, and reducing the quantity of these types of tasks is recommended. (p.8) Teachers will be taught to identify the signs of target behaviors. Target behaviors are behaviors which the teacher either wants to decrease or eliminate, such as not touching the other students and keeping their hands to themselves. When the behaviors have been identified, the teacher will talk with the student about the behavior and let them know a clear consequence, such as time out, which has been a successful strategy in reducing undesirable behaviors. When teachers encounter student problem behaviors that need to be decreased, they may need to use behavior reduction procedures such as timeout….From a behaviorist
  38. 38. Behavior Management 38 perspective, timeout is defined as a behavior reduction procedure or form of punishment in which students are denied access to all opportunities for reinforcement, contingent upon their displaying inappropriate behavior (Alberto & Troutman, 2006). (Ryan, Sanders, Katsiyannis, & Yell, 2007, p. 60) The training will also teach how successfully to use a reward system for positive behavior. Adding a reward such as praise or a sticker for positive behavior witnessed is one way of implementing a reward system. ―Common techniques used with preadolescent children include behavioral systems such as token economies, whereby desired behaviors (e.g., getting ready for school on time) are rewarded with tangible tokens, such as stars, stickers, or poker chips‖ (Evans, Schultz, & Sadler, 2008, p. 50). Being consistent with any form of behavior modification techniques is important to be successful. In closing the training class, the instructor will focus on instructing the teacher on how to discuss the student’s behavior with his or her parents. The teachers will learn that when they meet with the parents, they should discuss both the positive and the disruptive behavior the student shows in the classroom. The techniques used in the classroom should be discussed with the parents. An open discussion is necessary with the parent to set up the same techniques used in the classroom to be used in the home environment. At the conference, strategies can be discussed with the parents such as the use of a daily behavior report card (Evans et al., 2008). On the daily report card, the student’s behavior will be rated by the teacher. Rewards and privileges according to the teacher’s rating can be established by the parents. ―Given the need for strong school-home communication, DBRC effectiveness can be limited if either parents or teachers fail to implement the procedures and communicate with each other consistently‖ (Evans
  39. 39. Behavior Management 39 et al., p. 51). Being consistent with the techniques used in the classroom and at home will ensure greater success. Training and support techniques will also be given to the teacher from the school psychologist. The teachers will meet once a week for four weeks for one hour at a time. Prior to the meeting, the teacher will fill out a form discussing behavior techniques they have previously used in the classroom and specific skills they would like to see improved. Based on the needs of the teacher after reviewing the form, the school psychologist will develop the scope of the meeting. Some of the topics the school psychologist may discuss are how to establish classroom rules and enforce them, how to organize the classroom, the use of timers, the type and amount of work given, how to use positive reinforcement, how to use redirection and reprimands, how to use time outs and how to use reinforcers. In follow-up meetings the teacher will discuss what worked well in their classroom and what did not work well. The school psychologist will review with the teacher areas which need improvement. He will also visit the teacher’s classrooms on a regular basis to ascertain if overall behavior is improving or the teacher is in need of further training and assistance. See Appendix D for a sample calendar. Students with ADHD are sometimes unaware of the disruptions their behavior causes in the classroom; therefore, self-management strategies with peer-mediated interventions will be taught to the students. Self-management strategies assist students with ADHD to develop self- evaluation skills which will aid them in building social skills needed throughout life (Christensen, Young, and Marchant, 2004). According to Plumer (2007), using peers for intervention has had a positive impact and demonstrates success in promoting social skills for children with ADHD. Peer attention is more reinforcing than teacher attention to an ADHD student. The peer-mediated interventions shift responsibility for behavior from teacher to
  40. 40. Behavior Management 40 student, enabling teachers to devote more time to teaching. Using peers is cost-effective since it minimizes the amount of time a teacher needs to work with the ADHD student. Since teachers are not always aware of a student’s behavior, using peers increases the possibility of intervening at the point of the actual performance and it decreases the focus that ADHD students bring when asking for assistance from adults for their problems (Plumer, 2007). The first step in the intervention program is selecting peer partners from the class who have a good attendance record, are average in academic performance, maintain positive interactions with others, follow directions, and with whom the students are comfortable and trust. The teachers will make the final selection because of the personal knowledge of the students. The goal of the peer partner strategy is to decrease the amount of negative social interactions that the ADHD student has throughout the day and to assist the student in reaching the weekly goal. This will require the peer partner to spend as much time as possible with the ADHD student which may not be acceptable to some parents. Permission to participate in the study will be requested from the parents of all participants before implementation. The second step of intervention involves training all participating students to self- monitor, to identify alternative social skills, and to give reinforcement for positive and negative behaviors (Christensen et al., 2004). Involving all students in the training will ensure everyone knows how the process works and what is expected. The students will be trained outside of the classroom by the school psychologist for one hour each day for a week. Peer partners will be given instructions on what to say when the ADHD student is observed performing positive or negative behavior. The students will be advised to meet the first thing in the morning to discuss issues from the day before and to decide on a plan for the present day. During the training the
  41. 41. Behavior Management 41 students will be instructed to speak to the teacher anytime help is needed. Once the training is completed the strategies will be implemented in the classroom. The self-monitoring strategies will be used to train the students to supervise their own behavior, effectively giving the teacher opportunities to instruct and work with other students. The teachers and peer partners will be given a timer to signal time intervals (Christensen et al., 2004). To begin with, the peer partner will receive a signal every 3 minutes to give the ADHD student a sticker as a reward for positive behavior. If there was an incident of negative behavior during the three minutes, a sticker will be removed immediately and the peer partner will start the timer to begin the 3 minute interval again. In addition to having the sticker removed the ADHD student will be given a form referred to as a ―think sheet‖ on which to write the negative behavior performed and why (see Appendix E). At the end of the week the stickers will be totaled and if 300 stickers or more have been received during the week the student will select a prize from the treasure chest. If the teacher observed that the peer partners performed their duties the partners will also receive a prize from the treasure chest as a reward. Every 15 minutes the teacher will give feedback and praise to the ADHD student as a form of reinforcement (Christensen et al., 2004). As a method of self-monitoring, if during the 15 minute intervals the student realizes he is not on task, the student will be trained to ask for help. If help is needed, the student will raise his hand and the peer partner will respond by answering the question or assisting with the task (Plumer, 2007). If no help is required, the student will instruct himself to stay on task through self-talk. The student may take a break by going to the restroom or water fountain to get a drink of water but must immediately return to the work area.
  42. 42. Behavior Management 42 The teacher will meet with all students once a week to see how the process is working and if any adjustments in efforts need to be made. The time intervals will be increased weekly if the ADHD student is making progress. See Appendix F for a sample of the student schedule calendar. The calendar plan will cover six weeks of training and the implementation of the peer partner’s strategy. Training will involve one hour before school starts each morning for six weeks, and an additional hour on Fridays after school for five weeks. The training will discuss methods of behavior modification as well as the peer partner’s strategies. Week 1. On Monday, a letter of permission will be sent home to the parents of students selected as peer partners as well as the student with ADHD (see Appendix G). Upon collection of the permission slips, peer partners will be chosen on Friday of the first week. Week 2. Formal behavior modification training will begin for teachers. The training will be held before school starts from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. The teachers will also have the opportunity to spend an hour each day with the school psychologist to make sure they are on the right track with the strategies that they have learned. During week two, the teachers will be trained to identify alternative social skills and how to use both positive and negative reinforcement correctly. Expectations for peer partners will be stressed during Tuesday’s training. Learning to use the timer correctly and at the proper intervals will be the focus of Wednesday’s meeting. On Thursday, training for an appraisal system will be held. Friday will close the training with discussion between the faculty and training staff. An opportunity for questions and answers will also be given.
  43. 43. Behavior Management 43 Week 3. Behavior modification training during week three will focus on time-out and how proper usage of time-out can improve behavior. Monday of week three provides the commencement for the peer partners to begin their work together. On each of the following days, the peer partners will meet in the morning to discuss the previous day’s behavior and ways that it might be improved. The behavior will have been monitored at three-minute intervals, where a sticker is given for positive behavior or taken for negative behavior. Teachers will provide feedback and praise every 15 minutes. Think sheets will be sent home each night which allows the children to address problems with negative behavior in a note to their parents. On Friday afternoon, the teacher will meet with each child who has 300 stickers and allow them to select a prize for good behavior. Week 4. During week four, teachers will be trained in stimulant medication which can be prescribed for ADHD students and how the medication can affect student behavior. The training will also focus on the benefits that the combination of behavioral techniques and stimulant medication provides. The peer partner process will continue as in week three with peer partners meeting each morning to discuss previous day’s behavior, think sheets continuing to be filled out, and teachers giving feedback. As each week progresses, the teacher will also begin to assess student behavior to see if intervals can be adjusted and the students can go longer intervals before reinforcement occurs. The teacher will continue to meet with the students at the end of each week who have achieved set goals for good behavior and allow them to choose a prize as their reward.
  44. 44. Behavior Management 44 Week 5. In week five, the focus of training will be on self-monitoring and how the use of such strategies can move the ADHD child towards independence. The peer partner process will continue through weeks five and six as will the teacher’s assessment of student behavior. Week 6. Finally, in week six, the teachers will be given instruction in how to talk to parents with children of ADHD and strategies that will help the parent and teacher become a unified force in the child’s academic life.
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  46. 46. Behavior Management 46 Child & Family Behavior Therapy, 27(4), 29-49. Retrieved February 22, 2009, doi:10.1300/J019v27n04_02 Crum, C. (2004, May). Using a cognitive--behavioral modification strategy to increase on-task behavior of a student with a behavior disorder. Intervention in School & Clinic, 39(5), 305-309. Retrieved February 20, 2009, from Academic Search Complete database. Evans, S., Schultz, B., & Sadler, J. (2008, August). Psychosocial interventions used to treat children with ADHD: safety and efficacy. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services, 46(8), 49-59. Retrieved February 20, 2009, from CINAHL Plus with Full Text database. Farmer, T., Goforth, J., Hives, J., Aaron, A., Jackson, F., & Sgammato, A. (2006). Competence enhancement behavior management. Preventing School Failure, 50(3), 39-44. Retrieved February 20, 2009, from Academic Search Complete database. Foy, J., & Earls, M. (2005). A process for developing community consensus regarding the diagnosis and management of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Pediatrics, 115(1), e97-104. Retrieved February 20, 2009, from CINAHL Plus with Full Text database. Grskovic, J., Hall, A., Montgomery, D., Vargas, A., Zentall, S., & Belfiore, P. (2004, March). Reducing time-out assignments for students with emotional/behavioral disorders in a self- contained classroom. Journal of Behavioral Education, 13(1), 25-36. Retrieved February 20, 2009, from Academic Search Complete database. Killu, K., Weber, K., Derby, K., & Barretto, A. (2006, Fall2006). Behavior intervention planning and implementation of positive behavioral support plans: An examination of states' adherence to standards for practice. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 8(4), 195- 200. Retrieved February 20, 2009, from Academic Search Complete database.
  47. 47. Behavior Management 47 Kirkpatrick, L. (2005, Fall2005). ADHD treatment and medication: What do you need to know as an educator?. Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 72(1), 19-24. Retrieved February 20, 2009, from Academic Search Complete database. Kos, J., Richdale, A., & Hay, D. (2006, June). Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and their teachers: A review of the literature. International Journal of Disability, Development & Education, 53(2), 147-160. Retrieved March 6, 2009, doi:10.1080/10349120600716125 Kos, J., Richdale, A., & Jackson, M. (2004, May). Knowledge about Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A comparison of in-service and preservice teachers. Psychology in the Schools, 41(5), 517-526. Retrieved March 6, 2009, from AcademicSearch Complete database. Lawton, J. (2009). Letter of Informed Consent Sample. Retrieved March 9, 2009, from University of Phoenix, Week Three, MTE561. Michel, J., Kerns, K., & Mateer, C. (2005, June). The effect of reinforcement variables on inhibition in children with ADHD. Child Neuropsychology, 11(3), 295-302. Retrieved March 6, 2009, doi:10.1080/092970490911270 Miller, K., Fitzgerald, G., Koury, K., Mitchem, K., & Hollingsead, C. (2007, September). KidTools: Self-management, problem-solving, organizational, and planning software for children and teachers. Intervention in School & Clinic, 43(1), 12-19. Retrieved February 20, 2009, from Academic Search Complete database. MuniNetGuide. (2009). Your hub for municipal related research. Retrieved February 20, 2009 from
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  49. 49. Behavior Management 49 Waschbusch, D., Carrey, N., Willoughby, M., King, S., & Andrade, B. (2007, November). Effects of Methylphenidate and behavior modification on the social and academic behavior of children with disruptive behavior disorders: The moderating role of callous/unemotional traits. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 36(4), 629-644. Retrieved February 20, 2009, doi:10.1080/15374410701662766
  50. 50. Behavior Management 50 Appendix A
  51. 51. Behavior Management 51 Figure A1 Comparison of Average Number of Disruptions Logged in Per Day between Class A and Control Class 14 Number of Daily Disruptions Logged 14 12 10 8 Disruptions 6 2 4 2 0 Class A Control Class Comparison Classes Figure A2 Comparison of Grade Point Average (GPA) Between Class A and Control Class 4 3.5 3.05 3 2.8 2.8 2.8 2.65 2.65 3 2.3 2.5 2 2.1 1.85 GPA 1.8 1.85 1.65 2 1.5 Class A 1 0.5 Control Class 0 Subjects
  52. 52. Behavior Management 52 Figure A3 Comparison of Class A's Grade Point Average (GPA) Between 2nd and 3rd Grade 4 3.3 3.5 3.05 3.05 2.95 2.85 2.8 2.7 3 2.3 2.5 2.1 2 1.85 1.85 1.8 GPA 1.65 2 1.5 Class A 2nd Grade 1 Class A 3rd Grade 0.5 0 Subjects
  53. 53. Behavior Management 53 Appendix B
  54. 54. Behavior Management 54
  55. 55. Behavior Management 55
  56. 56. Behavior Management 56 Appedix C
  57. 57. Behavior Management 57
  58. 58. Behavior Management 58
  59. 59. Behavior Management 59 Appendix D