Behavior series- Collecting Useful Data

            Welcome to my mini series on behavior. Every day this week there will be a new post discussing how to identify patterns, what to do about it and how to increase student self-regulation skills. Today we are going to start with identify patterns. Teachers are busy and don't always take the time to go through the whole process, but I promise you your days will go smoother if you do. 

            Once you start noticing that a student has a behavior that is interfering with learning then it is time to do an FBA or Functional Behavior System. The first step in a FBA is take data. I can hear the groans now....not more data!! I know it is a pain, but it WILL help you. Make sure you note as many details as possible when collecting the behavior data so you don't overlook any patterns. Here is an example of what a data collection sheet might look like...

                     In the first column you are going to write what was going on when the behavior began. Was it a structured or unstructured time? Many students have trouble during transitions, so you might want to note that as well. Was it a small group or whole class activity, etc. The second column is the space where you document what the behavior looked like. Be very specific. Do not write what you think the problem was. Instead write exactly what happened. What did the student say, what did s/he do, how many times, etc. 
Don't write: Ben didn't want to do his math so he threw a fit
DO write: When asked to go to math Ben said no and began kicking the leg of the desk.

                   The third column is where you record what the result or consequence was. Be honest...did you ignore it, yell, send him to the office, move him away, time out, etc. This information is helpful when it comes time to look for patterns. The results of behavior are often what drives the student to engage in them. If he doesn't like the result he is likely to either stop the behavior or change the behavior to something else (good or bad) that gives him a result he likes better. 

                       Stay tuned tomorrow for part 2 of the series- finding patterns.


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