Please use the comments for discussion and to contribute your reviews, perspective and thoughts. Your colleagues and other visitors will appreciate it! If you need help, please contact us. Requests for help will not be answered in comments.
BILL HEWARD: Good afternoon. Welcome to session four of PaTTAN's webinar series Quality Educational Practices for Students with Higher Functioning Levels of Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Well, today's topic, inclusion and teamwork and collaboration.
Well, I google inclusion students with autism, and then about a second and a half got 2,420,000 google hits. And there's, of course, entire books, courses,
conferences on inclusion of students with disabilities, and in particular including students with autism spectrum disorders.
And the same goes with teamwork and collaboration. Googling teamwork special education produced over four million hits. And again, books, courses, conferences.
I've no doubt that each of you have completed courses, attended conferences and workshops, and read entire books on both of these topics.
So what could we possibly do in an hour to make some sense out of these topics? Well, what I have chosen for today's agenda is to, within the area of inclusion,
suggest three strategies: teach self-monitoring and self-management, ensure success experiences by students, the use of group contingencies.
And for teamwork and collaboration, two strategies, and in particular a way to approach the idea of collaboration and have that be a focus on student outcomes and parent involvement.
Now again, involving parents, that's an entire course in and of itself, at least.
And so what I'm going to do with each of these is suggest a practice or two for you to consider within each of these strategies.
Why is inclusion so important? Why is it important to help students with autism be successful in the regular classroom? Well, that's where the students are.
Over a third of students with autism are included full-time in regular classrooms. Another 18% are in resource rooms.
Some more than one-half of all students with autism spend a considerable amount of time in the general education classroom.
And to be successful in the classroom, that student needs to be able to achieve his or her IEP goals, make meaningful progress in the regular curriculum, have friends, be happy,
and be safe. And really those, with the exception of achieving IEP goals, the characteristics of success for a child with autism in the classroom are no different.
They're like those for any child with or without disabilities.
You'll recall a -- I shared this slide with you in our first session. It was the result of an informal survey I did. I asked a group of 40 educators, clinicians,
and parents who together had -- represent more than 500 years of experience in teaching and living with children with autism spectrum disorders. And I asked them
what their experience had taught them to be the most important skills, the most important things that a student with autism needs to do to have success in the general education classroom.
And the numbers to the right show the number of people that identified each of these areas.
And in the sessions that we've had so far, session two focused on participating and learning in group lessons.
In our social skills session last week, we looked at some strategies to help children interact appropriately and constructively with their classmates,
as well as with their teachers in terms of ways to recruit teacher assistance and feedback effectively.
And these critical skill areas that lead to success for a student with autism really form the basis for today's session as well.
And the strategies and practices that I'll suggest that you consider for teaming and collaborating
to make inclusion more effective and successful for children, each are related in one way or another to one or more of these outcomes for children.
Teach self-monitoring and self-management skills. As a child grows older, the expectations and benefits of being independent increase.
For a student to be successful in an inclusive classroom, he's got to be able to work quietly, stay at an assigned task until it's completed.
And students who quickly become off-task or disruptive not only have a hard time learning, they make it difficult for other children in the classroom as well.
They're less appreciated by the general education teacher and it doesn't go well for kids who aren't able to self-manage themselves to some degree.
Now fortunately, we've got a number of tools and a significant base of research literature to help us help children become more independent and use self-monitoring
and self-management skills to do that. A variety of simple tools. One shown here is called the motivator. It's a small, lightweight, plastic device that's got a little battery in it.
The student clips it to -- can clip it to his or her clothes. And it buzzes. It vibrates at preset, fixed, or variable intervals.
A number of studies have been published evaluating, analyzing the results of teaching children with autism and other disabilities to self-monitor their behavior using the motivator.
The result of one of those studies shown here. Others are in the reference list.
But rather than my trying to explain how the motivator can be used, let's let Brandon, the young man shown in the previous picture, explain how he uses the motivator.
Now Brandon, when we did this video tape, was a second grader. This was several months into the school year now.
And at the beginning of the school year, Brandon didn't stay in his seat for more than 10, 15 seconds at a time.
He had a very difficult time completing any work. Made it hard for the teacher and the rest of the students to work as well.
Brandon's teacher developed a self-management plan for Brandon, systematically taught him how to use the motivator,
and things improved considerably for this young man and the entire class. Let's take a look and listen.
[VIDEO BEGINS] BRANDON: Hi, my name is Brandon Warden. I use a motivator.
TEACHER: Okay, and what is this motivator thingy? Explain it to us.
BRANDON: It is a sort of like a machine that buzzes in whatever time a teacher sets it for.
TEACHER: So how many minutes do I set it for? Actually, you set it, so how many minutes do you set it for?
TEACHER: Five minutes. And what happens when it hits zero? What does it do?
BRANDON: It buzzes.
TEACHER: Show us. Yikes! Does that hurt? Does it tickle? Good. Okay, so when it buzzes, what does that tell you? What does that tell you?
If you're working and it buzzes, what does that tell you to do?
BRANDON: It tells me to put five points on my clicker.
TEACHER: Right, and I see you already have five, right? Cool. Go ahead and put the five on there. Show us how it works.
You can add five to that. Okay, great. So how many points do you have to earn at the end of the day?
BRANDON: 109 today.
TEACHER: Okay, and what happens when you get 109 points? What do you do next?
BRANDON: I put a sticker on Brandon Jr., and he is my snail.
TEACHER: Brandon Jr. is your snail?
TEACHER: Cool. Okay, so it looks like you already had a lot of great days so far. Okay, and what happens when you fill up the shelf with stickers?
BRANDON: There's a surprise at the end.
TEACHER: There's a surprise at the end? Awesome. So are you excited to get to the center of the snail? So do you think other students would like to use a motivator?
BRANDON: Uh-huh. I really think a motivator would help students who are bringing -- who have bad grades from lack of work.
And I think it would be really good for the teachers and the students who do not think they can do their work. So it'd probably be great for other students.
TEACHER: Great. So it would help to remind them to do their work maybe if they were thinking about something else, and then all of a sudden it buzzes and it would remind them to get back on task.
Or if they're working, it shows them, oh, I'm working. I get to put points down. I get to work for a prize.
BRANDON: This is my card chart. And it has all these cards that match all these different slots. [VIDEO ENDS]
BILL HEWARD: Well, Brandon went on for a while there. He's rightfully proud of his -- of his achievements and kind of like the salesperson for the motivator now.
He suggests it'd be good for all students who need to do their -- need to do their work. But children can learn to do more than discriminate whether they're on or off-task.
Students and even students with significant disabilities have been taught and learned how to record the frequency of their performance academically, count responses per minute,
chart their performance, use those data to provide themselves and peers evaluative feedback.
And students who can do a variety of these self-management skills not only aid in their own learning, but they just make an entire classroom run smoother. Transitions occur smoothly and quickly.
It reduces downtime and disruptions. And the ultimate goal or the most valuable outcome is the students themselves become increasingly competent and independent.
Just one brief clip here of a class of middle school students. All of the students with autism at the Haugland Learning Center, where they have been systematically taught to use a variety
of self-management skills. And we'll just see a little bit of the interaction among the students and the teacher as they transition from one activity to another.
[VIDEO BEGINS] TEACHER: Jacob B and Jacob P in the shop [inaudible] Very good. Nice job using [inaudible] All right, very nice [VIDEO ENDS]
BILL HEWARD: We'll revisit this classroom in our final session, see some of the things that these students do to collect performance progress data and evaluate their performance and so forth.
And there's a considerable research literature on self-monitoring. Just a few examples shown here. More are provided in the list of references and resources that accompany this session.
I'm just going to run through now as examples a variety of self-monitoring tools. This is an example of one that'd be taped on a student's desk and follow a sequence.
And it brings in self-monitoring with the recruiting teacher assistance that we looked at last week.
A procedure called the count tune. A count tune illustrates and describes the actual contingency in play. I do some math work.
Here's what I need to do. This is what will happen. And a place to record those behaviors.
There's a tremendous resource available online at no cost. It's kidtools.missouri.edu. And go there, you'll find this related materials under Kid Coach.
And a whole variety of self-management tools for children from primary grades through middle school.
So for example, under E-Kid Tools, self-monitoring cards, point cards, cartoons, and so forth. And here's an example of a [inaudible] self-monitoring card.
There's also some high tech stuff with apps available. I'm not familiar with this company per se, but just in exploring around a little bit,
this Good Karma Applications, they have a variety of things for iPads and iPhones and so forth.
Self-monitoring and self-management how-to materials. Again, these are all included in your reference list. I have two handouts as well that you can download.
One describes the motivator procedure and another is an article by Amanda Flaute and colleagues called Motivate Me: 20 Tips for Using the Motivator in the Classroom.
These are all very, very practical ideas built on a solid research foundation. In addition to having students use the motivator,
in this article they talk about a number of ways that teachers, professionals can use it as well, for example to remind ourselves to catch them being good.
Another practice, another general strategy, a variety of ways to implement it at the practice level is to ensure student success experiences as a way to make inclusion successful.
One of the most amazing and effective special educators I've ever known and have had the privilege to observe and work with was a middle school resource room teacher named Ronnie Hockman-Spratt.
And Ronnie was just incredible at catching her students being good. Her favorite saying was, nothing succeeds like success.
And she always felt that the key to being a resource room teacher was identifying students' strengths and building on them,
and then helping replace skill deficits as needed with enough skills so that students could be successful in the regular classroom, both academically and socially.
And one of the ways that -- ways that we can ensure success experiences for students in the general education classroom is, for example, when doing choral responding, mentioned this I believe briefly
in our second session, the teacher randomly calls on individual students from time to time. Instead of having all of the students respond, you'll call an individual student.
Well, you position yourself and you hear the special needs student respond correctly to a question or an item along with the rest of the group.
And then purposely when you do an individual turn for this student, you provide that question to make it very,
very likely that this student will answer correctly and have an opportunity to perform successfully in front of his or her peers.
Then the collaborative learning strategies that we looked at in our last session, numbered heads together and class-wide peer tutoring, are designed -- if they're successful at all,
if they're designed well, they'll provide all students with ongoing, frequent opportunities to be successful in the classroom, importantly successful in front of their classmates and peers.
Think, pair, share is another collaborative learning technique. We didn't look at it earlier, but you'll see the references to it in the resource list.
But essentially the teacher presents a problem or a question to the group, to the class, and students are paired together.
And then the teacher tells them to think a little bit individually each of what the answer is, how they've solved the problem.
Then pair together and share their ideas and come up with an answer that they both are comfortable with, and then the teacher will randomly call on different students.
And thoughtfully pairing the student with autism, a student with disabilities, a student who is struggling,
with another student who will be supportive will provide those students with lots of opportunities to be successful.
Now what the teacher is doing, when you're -- for example, in choral responding or it could also be done in response cards, you see the student with autism mark on her response card
and hold up a correct answer. And then you mix in some choral responses, and later you call on that student. You've purposely contrived that opportunity for success.
But the success is not contrived. It's real; it's genuine. And it's a very powerful, always available reinforcer. We just need to be skilled and smart enough to make use of it.
Group contingencies are another way to make inclusion successful, to help students with autism have a successful general education classroom experience.
There's a whole variety of ways to schedule and conduct a group contingency, but essentially a group contingency is a common consequence,
typically a reward that the teacher intends that will function as reinforcement. But this common consequence is contingent upon either the behavior of an individual member of the class,
the behavior or performance of part of the group or the class, or it can be everyone in the group.
And a particular flavor of group contingencies that I like a lot, and that there's a tremendous amount of research to show that they are effective
in supporting and raising both social and academic performance in classrooms, are called interdependent group contingencies.
And in an interdependent group contingency, all of the students are yoked together and depend on one another to achieve a common goal or to earn the reward.
Numbered heads together is an example of a routine that incorporates an interdependent group contingency. Students are seated in heterogeneous groups of three or four.
Each student is given a number of one, two, three, or four. The teacher asks a question to the class. Each group discusses the problem, comes up with an answer.
Then the teacher randomly selects a number from one to four and calls upon one or more students with that number to answer.
And with numbered heads together, it's important that every student in the group knows the answer to the question. So this strategy promotes cooperation within the group rather than competition.
Each student must know the answer, so group members help each other to understand the answer and not only just to have the answer to repeat it, but how they came up with it, the reasons behind it.
So in this case, numbered heads together as a collaborative learning strategy makes great use of an interdependent group contingency where we're
all dependent upon one another in the group for success.
Another example is something that Priscilla Brin called in her dissertation the story, fact, recall game, a way to use an interdependent group contingency
to make sustained silent reading more effective and more meaningful. Sustained silent reading is a commonly used, widely held technique, particular at the elementary grades.
Many teachers devote 20 to 30 minutes a day to it, where students can read silently from books of their choice.
For students who are skilled and motivated readers, it's a great thing. But for students who struggle to read or are not motivated, it can be an unfortunate waste of precious time.
The story, fact, recall game can encourage students to read with a purpose during sustained silent reading.
At the end of the period, the reading period, the teacher asks each of several randomly selected students a question about the book they're reading.
And for example, a teacher will have a coffee tin and have popsicle sticks and the names of the students on the sticks and randomly pull out.
And for example, a student who's reading chapter three of Elizabeth Winthrop's The Castle in the Attic might be asked, what did --
what did William give the silver knight to eat? The answer is bacon and toast.
The correct answer is praised by the teacher, applauded by the class, and earns a marble in a jar for a reward for the whole class.
And students can't tell when they will be called on or what they might be asked. And a student might even be called twice in the same session.
So we're all tied together as a team, and the randomness of it keeps everybody on their toes and pulling for one another.
The three jars method, I won't go into much detail on this -- on this now, but it's a technique -- actually, I think I have a -- I have a picture of some jars
that can coach me through it. Here they are. Now these -- the three jars here were actually used to illustrate how this kind of interdependent group contingency might be used
by college students in a dormitory to increase sustainable practices such as energy conservation and recycling.
And this is adapted from and based on a nice body of research in classrooms, inclusive classrooms, where drawing from jars or boxes or paper bags. First the behavior,
for example math, language arts, social studies, or homework. Then the criteria, for example a percentage of completeness or accuracy that must be achieved.
And then who: which student, several students, or a small group, or a row of students.
And as the teacher randomly draws these out, if and as the criteria are met, then the students have the opportunity to earn a reward for the entire group.
Mystery motivators are a fun way to -- fun thing to incorporate into these interdependent group contingencies.
And I have a handout shown here that you can download that describes the mystery motivator procedure.
But essentially the teacher, with input from the student, comes up with a pool of rewards. And then the teacher adds some really fun, crazy ones,
like the teacher sings a song that the students choose, or the teacher does 25 sit-ups, or wear a wig and funny glasses while teaching a lesson. Just a variety of things.
And then each reward is written on a card. And the teacher selects a card, puts it in an envelope, marks a big question mark on the envelope,
and then maybe hangs it from the ceiling in the class or tapes it up above the bulletin board. But the mystery motivator envelope is there to remind the students that the game is at hand.
And then the students with some variation of the interdependent group contingency have the opportunity to go for a mystery motivator if, collectively and individually, they've met the criteria.
We'll look at one more example of a teacher using an interdependent group contingency, and this one's called the clock light. Kind of a medium-tech application.
Takes about $20 to produce, to make the clock light. It's an analog clock with a second hand and you attach a rope light around it, as you can see here. And then at Radio Shack for about $15,
you can get a little remote control to turn the clock on and off. And there's a handout with the details. In the readings are the details on how to put this together if you're interested.
Let's take a look at a teacher using the clock light to help a group of students learn to follow the teacher's directions and work independently.
Essentially what the teacher does is she moves around and as the students, as a group, are following directions and behaving well, the second hand is moving.
The clock is on. It's accumulating minutes. So the students can see the green light, things are going well. If and when a student misbehaves,
is off-task, the teacher doesn't deliver any reprimands, doesn't talk to that student, simply clicks the remote, the clock goes off. Immediate feedback to the entire class. Let's take a look.
[VIDEO BEGINS] TEACHER: Very good. 10 goes into 100 how many times? Get ready.
TEACHER: 10 goes into 90 how many times? Get ready.
TEACHER: 10 goes into 40 how many times? Get ready?
TEACHER: I want you to do parts 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13. That is your independent work for today. Remember, if you have a question, you raise your hand. You don't shout anything out.
If you have a question, you raise your hand. Don't forget that when you're writing your answers, you want to make sure that you write your answer above the last digit.
Don't write it in the middle, okay? I'm going to come back. I want you to fix those. I'll come back and check them, okay?
So it looks like you guys earned about 42 minutes today on the clock. Very good. Go ahead and give yourselves a round of applause.
CHILD: If we get 30 minutes on the clock, then we get to move our animal. And if we land on something like this --
TEACHER: A professional, that's what we call those.
CHILD: We land on a professional, we get to have a free day. Then we don't have to do math. All we do is just play games.