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I appreciated your definitions and comments on the patterns of behavior. They helped me to better understand and further develop my understanding of them and how they impact and effect an individuals learning. I agree with your statement on latency. I feel it is overlooked in students who are performing in our classrooms. I remind my peers often that we need t give students an opportunity to respond, not just in academic settings, but also when dealing with behavior. Some students need to take longer to process the information and allow for clearer choices to be made or time to organize their thoughts. I appreciate you comment about being reserved and quickly responding. I agree that taking your time to respond during difficult times is a better method than quickly jumping back into the conversation. It is a difficult thing for many to do, to sit in silence while thinking.
I agree with you. Students that have the cognitive skills are often included and the teachers prefer to have them in their classrooms with them receiving their instruction. Having the support of the SPED dept. for behavior plans, assignments modifications and adaptions are often the key to their success in the classroom. The social skills that they observe and develop in the general classroom are hard to recreate in the resource room. I am appreciating the concept of working with a students strengths as we move through this class and appreciate your thoughts on using their strengths as building blocks.
Patterns of Quality
Quality is defined as a demonstration of a concept or skill in a way that, while allowing the child to accomplish a desired task, is done in such a way that it may hinder understanding of others, the accuracy of the performance, and/or may get in the way. Examples of quality include, issues around intelligibility, application of too much or not enough force, moving too quickly or too slowly, talking too loudly or softly etc. Patterns of quality don’t automatically suggest a concern; rather, they are an important consideration if they are interfering with interactions, physical health, and/or acquisition of future concepts and skills.
My understanding of Quality: The learner may be able to complete a task or demonstrate a skill; however the completed project is not readily recognized or understood by others. To understand the response the evaluator would need to take extra time in observing, questioning, or studying etc. to make sense of the response. The learner’s quality of work does not demonstrate his knowledge in a way that is recognizable to others.
Patterns of Latency
Latency, as it relates to learning or development, is defined as the amount of time it takes for someone to act or “do” after a request or prompt. In other words, how quickly does a child respond? Examples of latency include issues around time to task or verbal responses to questions or prompts, and also include concerns around impulsivity. Patterns of latency may not always be a concern, however they are important to consider if they are negatively impacting learning, development, health, communication, and/or behavior.
My understanding of latency – is the amount of time that the learner takes to respond reasonable? If the learner is able to respond appropriately within a reasonable amount of time they understand that task or question, if they respond quickly and are not able to complete the task reliably or fully, they are on their way to understanding or have holes in their learning. If the learner does not respond, looks away, or is unable to demonstrate task the learner is struggling and does not understand the task.
Patterns of Assistance
Assistance is when an adult, a peer/sibling, or the environment performs part of the concept or skills under consideration. Assistance alone does not warrant concern or a higher tier of instruction (i.e., assistance might be expected based on what is known about developmental expectations); however, when a pattern of needing assistance (e.g., required under predictable circumstances/situations beyond what would be expected of a novice learner, for the child’s age/present level of ability/developmental readiness, culture, and/or prior exposure) emerges, a concern is noted.
Patterns of Interfering Behaviors
An interfering behavior is one that a child demonstrates instead of the desired or expected concept of skills. Not all interfering behaviors are aggressive or purposeful; however many times they are (e.g., hitting, biting, throwing). At times, behaviors can interfere given that the child (by choice or otherwise) is not able to maintain or establish attention, walks away from interactions or tasks, or even outright refusal to participate. Sometimes these are unconscious (sensory/biological); so this pattern has less to do with challenging behavior and more to do with a barrier to learning.
My understanding of Interfering Behaviors are those behaviors that prohibit the learner from participating in learning or task completion. The behaviors may be conscious or unconscious to the learner. They may be easily seen or heard or hardly noticeable to the observer. In order for the task to be completed the learner needs move beyond these behaviors, possibly with the offer a reward (intrinsic or extrinsic).
Patterns of Unexpected Performance
Patterns of unexpected performance represent instances where the child’s performance would not have been anticipated or expected according to typical development. For example, a child was demonstrating a later skill before demonstrating an earlier skill, or was emerging across early and later skills simultaneously. This pattern may also represent situations where children have a tendency to demonstrate inconsistent performance, to the extent that they may excel or struggle on the same skill without a clear explanation for the difference in performance.
To me Unexpected Performance is being able to do something without someone teaching you how, explaining it to you or you having seen a picture of it before. I would think an example would be like a child able to add numbers without having practice with the skill or being able to read long words with only beginning decoding skills.
I think a Pattern of Exposure should be added to the list. Many of our students are lacking the exposure or the skills the need to access prior knowledge they need to be successful. It does not require that the student be referred for SPED services but does require some support. Patterns of Exposure limit a child’s ability to access the same information as their grade level peers.
Part II: Example of at Least One Pattern
(Remember, you only need to complete one, but feel free to complete as many as you like.)
Patterns of Quality
List Patterns of Quality:
Pattern Considerations: What do the identified patterns mean?
Quality of behavior are the “toos”. Too difficult to understand. Too hard to read. Too much or not enough. The lack of effective delivery of a skill or production of a product.
What does it tell you about yourself? Quality: when I am nervous I tend to speak quickly which often make it difficult for others to understand what I am saying. This speed affects the quality of the conversation or the information that I am trying to share. I feel that my emotions impact my ability to be effective; as does my interest level and patience for a task.
What are the implications? Implications for Quality: When evaluating a learners task or response, if they are not understood a leader might feel that the learner is not capable of completing the task and reteach or recommend extra supports for the learner.
Patterns of Latency
List Patterns of Latency:
Pattern Considerations: What do the identified patterns mean? These patterns suggest that the amount of time it takes an individual to respond is related to the mastery level of the respondent or the lack of understanding.
What does it tell you about yourself? It took me several rereadings of this assignment to understand the tasks, then several readings of the patterns to understand them. This time that it took me to respond to the task I feel demonstrated a pattern of latency as I was not quickly able to respond to the task at hand. Latency is not a pattern that I struggle with in topics that I am familiar with. I find that I often answer to quickly when peers ask me for favors (I hear the task, understand how to do it, but then later struggle with the consequences of the favor). I struggle with patterns of latency when I am unfamiliar with topics or when I don’t want to discuss something. One would suggest I need support and the other enlists avoidance techniques. When I don’t understand a task it tasks me longer to process and come to a conclusion.
What are the implications? Implications of Latency would suggest that if the response is slow in coming or not accurate or doesn’t come at all that the learner requires support.
Patterns of Assistance
List Patterns of Assistance:
Pattern Considerations: What do the identified patterns mean? What does it tell you about yourself? What are the implications?
Patterns of Interfering Behaviors
List Patterns of Interfering Behavior:
Pattern Considerations: What do the identified patterns mean? The behavior pattern would suggest that the behavior is creating an obstacle to the student learning. The struggle in learning is not a result of a lack of ability but rather a lack of emotional or physical control to complete a task that may be not preferred.
What does it tell you about yourself? Interfering Behaviors: The weather is nice and school is out for summer, I don’t REALLY want to get on my computer to work on anything, So I think I’ll do it later. I need to do this now. The day is young. Tomorrow… tomorrow I’ll do it. These are all examples of my avoidance or interfering behaviors. I don’t ever become verbally or physically aggressive in order to avoid a task. I may offer a several excuses or create other tasks which interferes with my ability to complete tasks . Tells me I’m a procrastinator.
What are the implications? Implications of Interfering Behaviors: Often the task is not completed and the learning did not occur. If the task was completed was the chances of long term learning were probably diminished because the focus was on the behaviors not the task. Interring behaviors can be frightening to those around the learner or painful. The behaviors may be exhausting to the learner and demand energy that is no longer available for learning. Interfering behaviors interfere…
Patterns of Unexpected Performance
List Patterns of Unexpected Performance:
These are behaviors or skills that occur without prior experience or teaching. They may be a result of some exposure or interest.
Pattern Considerations: What do the identified patterns mean? These patterns occur out of the blue. The pattern may be regularly occurring or fleeting. The pattern may be demonstrated as a strength or a weakness or impacting behavior.
What does it tell you about yourself? I’m struggling to see Unexpected performance in myself. When I think of things I haven’t done before and the end result is good, I can then make links to the end result.
What are the implications?
An implication of an Unexpected Performance might suggest that a learner is challenged to with more complex tasks while they are lacking the foundational skills for the tasks. I might even predict that over time other learners would develop these skills and the learners who were experiencing these unexpected performances would possibly be struggling with the depth of the skill or no longer considered advanced.
It sounds like struggling students in your district are quickly identified as struggling and given the supports that are needed. I think the team teaching approach is a good idea in many situations when teachers work well together and have a similar goal in place. I agree that kinders without preschool experience often struggle with the structure of school more so than the students with previous experiences. We see this struggle also with students that have been on homeschool for their academic experience. We often find that students coming from homeschool also are struggling with skills. Often in desperation for supports general ed. teachers will look to SPED to support these students. It would be a great benefit to have the support of the many programs that are available in large districts. I appreciate all that everyone does in supporting students who are struggling.
I like the idea that the PLAAFP as a story about a child’s strengths, talents, and lastly their weaknesses. I feel that sometimes I read PLAAFPs that are so focused on the things that the child can’t do or the negative things that they are doing that we forget they are wonderful little people with differing personalities. I like the idea about adding more information about home and their functioning in the community. I feel it gives the reader and team a better idea of the obstacles that we need to focus on as a team. I think that including parents in determining “what matters” is key to the success of the IEP itself and ultimately to the student’s education.
Are all Tier 3 needs IEP worthy? I don’t think so. While learners in this Tier need the most support and remediation, I don’t feel that the need is always IEP worthy. Possibly for one reason or another there is one piece that the student is missing and when they have that part it will all come together. Possibly the instruction didn’t meet the child’s needs and therefore a different level or instruction or instructor is needed. Possibly there could be new issues at home influencing the learners progress. Culture and language could also be impacting the students’ learning. So, no not all Tier 3 needs are IEP worthy.
How would you define “the messy middle”? To me the messy middle the area where the teacher and/or the team recognizes that a learner is struggling but don’t know exactly what the issue is or how to address it. In the messy middle the teacher needs to identify the need then attempt different methods, materials, teaching techniques, or teachers to address that need(s). I don’t feel that if the learner is in the second tier they are necessarily in the messy section. They may be in the second tier and be working on their needs to build their skills.
Can a Tier 2 (targeted) need be IEP worthy? The reading and information that I have gathered indicates that at Tier 2 is not SPED. However, I think that a Tier 2 need could be IEP worthy. The student may continually struggle with a skill and this skill is necessary for development into other areas. When interventions are unsuccessful other means of support should be investigated and it may be determined that the need is having an adverse impact on his access, participation, and progress and therefore would then become IEP worthy.
Explain why you feel the way you do: In what way can a child who is eligible for special education have Tier 1 needs? My first thought is that the SPED issues are not in Tier I but elsewhere in the triangle. My next thought is that the student has the capacity to learn but there are other issues that negatively influence the students’ ability to learn. Perhaps the child has behavioral issues that affect his learning and are IEP worthy. Perhaps the child struggles applying his skills in new situations (generalizing) and therefore creates a SPED need. Possibly the child has a language issue and it takes longer for him to process language and therefore creates a stronger need. The learner may struggle with responding within a reasonable time period and may require supports for completing tasks. There are a number of factors that could influence a child’s learning in a negative way leaving him to struggle without interventions. The child may be working at the Tier 1 level because of the SPED supports and without them would not be in the Tier 1 range.
Students who do not qualify for SPED are often referred to Title I when they do not qualify. About half of the referrals to SPED come from Title I and if they don’t qualify they go back to Title. I believe that sometimes these students receive more Title I time. Generally, if students are struggling and do not qualify the teachers may ask or I will offer suggestions and/or materials to support the teacher in the classroom. Sometimes they use the suggestions and come back for more, others they keep on keeping on and do what they can in the classroom to support the student.
To ensure that the child is receiving what they need I could follow up with the teacher and check in to see if they are using the suggestions and materials presented. Other times I take the student for shorter periods of time and offer instruction during the school day to work on the area that they are struggling. Often these student will fit into a group that is already formed and we are able to work on their needs with others.
My school does allow me to work with the general education teachers and help students not on my caseload. I am often supporting teachers after school and offering suggestions or materials for struggling learners. I believe that I am very approachable and have been spoken to about several students who teachers feel are struggling, but aren’t quite ready to make a SPED referral. I would really like to see an RTI program instituted in my school. It seems there is a lot of talk about it yearly. One year, we actually had the start of a program started in the primary grades. Unfortunately, the program fizzled out with the change of administration. When I have spoken with my current principal he is for the program starting. I feel that there are enough teachers in the building that have a good understanding on how the process works. I think our school is lacking the follow through to push it into practice.
One of my students struggles across the curriculum. I’m always reminding my self and my staff that we need to teach her one letter or one number at a time. To focus on the singular rather than the multiple as it is too much information for her to work with. Same situation is true for abstract and concrete. Many of my students are good at finding facts from their reading that they have read directly in the text, but when it comes to inferring or picking up on the abstract that’s where their struggles are and where we have to break down the skill. Sometimes when describing how we use too many words and we need to keep our language simple and use unnecessary language. I see children who are less mature struggling with specific items or directions and do much better with global pictures of contexts or directions. For example go play is sometimes easier to take than go play in the kitchen area. I explain to parents quite often that we see attention and behavior struggles at home sometimes more often then they do because school is lined out with specific objectives and tasks. There is not very much free choice in school. While at home, there might be directives, but they are much broader. Go play in your room at home generally leaves a child a whole room full of experiences. Working with familiar topics and tasks is much easier for all of us, no matter our age or abilities, while working with the unfamiliar involves a whole other set of skills and higher level thinking skills. When given an option for doing a preferred task or an unpreferred, wouldn’t we all select the preferred. There is a reason why my floors don’t get mopped very often, but the tv comes on every day at my house. Same hold true for children in school. It takes a level of discipline to attempt and complete an unpreferred task. Some of us work or give naturally to others. For others, working with or giving to others is a skill that has to be developed. Some children may not understand or enjoy playing with others so we need to break the skill down and develop it in stages until they are ready to include others.
When I write IEP goals I look at what the child can do, what the his grade level peers are doing, consider the next sequential step in the process, then think about how to build on what the child can do to build up to reach his greatest potential. I think about the child’s social skills and development and how their behaviors affect both their academic learning and their social development. I feel that families concerns are important in developing IEP goals. Their influence on their children is generally paramount in a child’s learning. Most my parents are concerned with their child exiting SPED and working at grade level in order to graduate from high school. Some parents are more concerned about social development over academics. We often discuss ways that we can support their child’s social skill development. I believe that a child’s perspective should be valued. The child, overall, has the most influence in his development. When we are working with children we often are able to determine what “matters” to them. The student may not have the foresight to see into the future and what skills are needed for the future, but they are able to see what their peers are doing and what they would like to be able to do.
Using the ABC formula helps get to the “what matters” of IEP writing by really having the constructors of the IEP really think and evaluate the child, their skills, their needs, their behaviors, and the management of these issues. All of these make of the B or the behavior. Then we look at the A, the antecedent, where and in what context the child will perform the skills that we feel are what matters in the their development. Finally, we consider the C or the criteria. Why are we measuring this goal, what makes it matter, and how are we going to measure it with confidence. Through the use of the ABCs we are hopefully able to construct an IEP that has meaning to the student, the parents, and other members of the team that will build life long skills building independence and the skills necessary to develop and maintain social relationships and skills.
I enjoyed reading your goals. I felt they were all clearly defined and I am always looking for better ways to write goals with clearer meaning and better wording. I also felt your rationale for each goal was clear and reasonable. I appreciated that you added background information in your description. The background information added meaning to the goals and your rationale. I wish that I would have thought to do that, I found it challenging to express my rationales. : )
I also like your qualitative goal for behavior. The behaviors expected are very clear and sets a period of time that your student is to attend to the task at hand. I also like that you have supported his behaviors by prompting his behaviors back to the expectation with your cues. I agree that this goal is easily able to document and then monitor for progress allowing the team to make an amendment when appropriate.
Frequency- Sam will greet a peer once a morning when arriving to school when class is prompted to greet their neighbor as observed by staff.
The goal is to increase the number of times Sam greets a person, therefore we are going to record the frequency of the event. The idea is to increase in activity not the accuracy of the targeted audience. This goal does not need to be timed or endured so latency and duration are not criteria that I am considering. We are not concerned with his physical ability to engage in the goal therefore endurance is not a concern. This goal does not need force or effort to complete so intensity is not being measured. Independence could be record after we have taught the skill and he is completing the goal more regularly.
Accuracy- Sue will correctly match a group of objects 1-10 to the corresponding printed number 1-10 with 90% accuracy.
This math goal depends on the student being accurate. We could measure how often the student is accurate. At this time I am not concerned that that goal is completed within a certain time period. This goal does not require prolonged endurance or duration. This goal does not measure intensity of the task and this goal does not need to be done independently at this time.
Latency- Dan will don his winter gear within five minutes to prepare to go to recess 4/5 days a week.
This goal is measured with latency as it needs to be completed within a reasonable time. This goal is not dependent on how many times in a set period that he is able to complete the task the goal is to complete the task in a prescribed time limit. This goal is not dependent upon being accurate. Dan is not resistant to the task, he is not focused on the task itself. Therefore duration isn’t an issue. He has the physical endurance to complete the task therefor endurance is not an issue. This goal does not involve intensity. The concern is for Dan to complete the task within a time limit, which will lead to him being independent of the monitoring of the task.
Duration- Jim will remain in assigned center play for 3 minutes before moving out of center.
Jim does not enjoy being in centers and therefore we need to build the amount of time spent in the area. Frequency is not measured at this time as we are building his ability to remain in the area. This is not a goal where accuracy is measured. Jim does not engage in the task therefore latency is not measureable at this time. We could measure his endurance to the task, however I felt that I needed to build his ability to engage in the goal before I can measure his repeated behavior in the goal.
Endurance- Brooke will catch a tennis-sized ball with two hand 4/5 times as observed in sets of three.
Brooke needs to build her ability to complete the task over multiple sets. Therefore we need to build her endurance. Brooke does not resist participating in the activity therefore we are not measuring frequency. We could measure her accuracy after she has build the physical endurance for the task. This is not a timed task therefore we are not measuring latency or duration. I am not concerned with the force that she catches the ball and therefore the intensity of the task is not in question. Brooke does not need prompting to complete the task she is looking to build her ability through endurance to do so.
Intensity- Maria will respond to a question in a voice loud enough to be heard across a three foot table in 4 opportunities 5 days a week.
This goal is best measured with intensity as it revolves around the effort and force Maria is putting behind her voice. It could be a measured with how frequently she speaks with intensity, but my first concern is getting her loud enough to hear her. This isn’t a time goal and therefore latency and duration are not criteria for the goal. This goal is not measuring her physical endurance to speak loudly because she is able to speak loudly outside of school. This goal isn’t dependent on the accuracy of her voice, but rather the intensity of it. Maria is independent with her speech, she simply isn’t loud enough to be heard.
Independence- Bob will indicate that he needs to use the bathroom, without prompting, at least one time a day.
This goal is best measured by independence as it is a goal that most should be completing without reminding or prompting. I don’t feel that how frequently this child needs to use the bathroom is as critical as him being able to indicate that he needs to. The accuracy of the goal is managed within the goal itself. This isn’t a time goal and therefore latency and duration are not criteria for the goal. We are not measuring the physical endurance of the task. This goal does not involve intensity.
An example of a qualitative behavior goal could be “John will keep his hands within his designated space (as defined by visual prompt such as placemat) throughout the lunch dining period. ”
I feel that this is the best approach to this goal as it is clear that John’s hands should stay within his space as it is socially unacceptable to be in others dining space or food and a period of time within the lunch period or a number of times a week would not meet the social requirements for group dining. Using a qualitative goals allows the team to use words to define how long the behavior should continue because as adults we understand that the time it takes to eat varies from day to day and the minute component varies. However, the behavior while eating is expected to be consistent throughout the experience,
An example of a quantitative behavior goal could be…”Joan will sit in a chair for two minutes during math seat work time.
I feel that this is an appropriate goal for Joan who struggles with sitting in a chair for any period of time. This indicates a set number of minutes for Joan to work up to sitting in a chair then be allowed to move from the seated position.
It sounds like your school has a good system for referring students. It is a goal of my school to develop a better system and stick with it. It seems every fall there are good intentions to get things started then people get busy and things return to the old way. I like the idea of creating a more complete parent survey. Some of our parents are resistant to special education placement while others are frustrated when their child doesn’t qualify for the support they think they need. I am hoping that in the upcoming school year we develop our RTI system. Well done for being a part of a well organized system.
Good Afternoon Olena,
I like your idea of investigating a 504 for Spencer. Your transportation question is a relevant concern. If Spencer is sensitive to loud environments that would certainly create resistance to going to school. If he hasn’t had an OT evaluation for sensory issues, I agree that one should be completed. I also agree that Spencer’s wants are impacting his education, social skills, and his heath.
Here in my school we work with data driven decisions when qualifying most students. I feel that a great weakness in my school is the referral process. I feel that most teachers do not present their data for referral a child very well. Generally, it is… this child is struggling, he is failing, I’ve tried a couple of things (sometimes) and he just isn’t getting it. I feel that it is one area that as a school we really need to develop better. The veteran teachers are the worst at the referrals, the new teachers create the most complete referrals. Once testing in completed, I use the testing data, classroom observations, teacher interviews, and parent input to support eligibility determination. I feel that the sped teachers in my building follow the process continually and make informed decisions based on information gathered. I feel that a strength in my school is that we work well together as a team. There are three sped teachers in the building (1 preschool and 2 resource rooms). I feel that we support each other, discuss transitioning through the school, and work together to create the best programs for students with the varying needs. I feel that once the referral process is completed and the evaluation is started that the classroom teachers are happy to contribute more information when questions are asked.