July 29, 2011

Positive Reinforcement Workshop = Good Stuff!

This week, I attended a great workshop on positive reinforcement that was taught by our district behavior intervention specialist.  Although I am not a special education teacher, I work with a diverse population of students and have seen some pretty unusual behaviors.  The class was full of good reminders and some practical strategies to implement.  My theory... the more tools in my toolbox the better!

Here are some highlights I thought worth sharing:
  •  Remember to use lots of positive specific feedback.  Research shows that you can improve behavior by 80% just by pointing out what someone is doing correctly.  We all do this, but this statistic makes me really want to keep it up!
  • There are 6 different types of positive reinforcement: primary (food, drink), tangible (treasure box, stickers), activity (computer time, drawing time), token (tickets, points), social (praise, smile, high five), and natural (good grades, friends).  The types of reinforcement go from extrinsic to intrinsic.  Our goal is to move students from an extrinsic reinforcement to intrinsic.  I just thought this was interesting.  I had never thought about it like this before. Remember to always pair social reinforcement with any of the others.
  • Relationships and knowing your students, as always, is key in teaching new behaviors.  Reinforcement for a behavior has to be something the student cares about and will really work for.  It's human nature, right?  It is hard to go to the gym everyday if you are not seeing results. We all continue doing something because we like something that we get out of it. For example, I continue to eat cookies because they taste good and I feel happy when eating them.  :)  Here is an example of a reinforcement survey to help you better understand what might motivate a particularly challenging student.  ReinforcementSurvey.pdf
I will post more specific strategies soon.  Hope this was helpful and I'd love your feedback and other ideas.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog for my celebration. I'd love to send you your product, but I need you email. Email me at jenrunde(at)yahoo(dot)com, and I'll send it out to you.
    Have a great weekend!
    Runde's Room


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