Morning Attendance and Calendar Group


Morning Attendance and Calendar Group Activity Andrea Barroso


Morning Attendance and Calendar Group 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Phase I ………………….…………………………………………………..…… 3 Community………….……………………………………………………… School…………...….……………………………………………………… Classroom……….….……………………………………………………… Phase II ……………………………………………….…………………………… Phase III …………………………………………….…………………………… Phase IV ……………………………………………….………………………… References…..……………………………………………………………………. Appendix………………………………………………………………………… A. Morning Attendance and Calendar Group Data Sheet………………… B. Morning Attendance and Calendar Group Graph………..…………….. C. Morning Attendance and Calendar Group Video……………..………..

Morning Attendance and Calendar Group 3 Phase I Planning and Preparing for Student Learning Community Eden 2 is a not-for-profit school for children with autism. The actual location of the school is in an urban neighborhood, but students come from all over Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn. The dominant business surrounding the school is a mechanic shop located down the street of the school, which also blocks the streets sometimes with their trucks. School The mission of the Eden 2 is to provide people with autism specialized community-based programs and other opportunities, with the goal of enabling them to achieve the highest possible quality of living across their life spans (Eden 2, 2008). A group of parents of children with autism went out to find educational settings that could effectively treat their children. They visited many agencies, and found a highly successful program, the Eden Institute, located in Princeton, New Jersey. The parent group opened a non-profit school for children with autism, located in Staten Island. They called the school the Eden 2 School for Autistic Children. It opened in November of 1976 with 6 students, one special education teacher, and a director. Eden 2 now offers a large variety of programs and services – a Pre-School, Schools, Vocational School, Adult Services, Residential Services, Family Support Services, and Outreach and

Morning Attendance and Calendar Group 4 Training (Eden 2, 2008). Eden 2 provides specialized treatment services designed to meet the particular needs of individuals with autism. The following principles are universal to every one of its programs. Treatment is systematic and based on the principles of applied behavior analysis - ABA. ABA is only method that has been empirically validated to treat people with autism (Eden 2, 2008). Eden 2 is committed to providing treatment based on well-documented research and clinical experience. Psychologists are attached to every Eden 2 program to design reinforcement strategies and devise behavior management plans. Treatment is personal, with specific, achievable, individualized goals for every student. The Eden 2 model does not require that every student follow the same program. Instead, it requires that the program be tailored to fit the individual (Eden 2, 2008). Classroom I have six students in my classroom, all of which have “emerging language.” The ratio of my classroom is 6:1:3. Three of my six students have a mandated paraprofessional due to health or behavioral reasons. Some are able to communicate expressively, but need a few prompts. Others rely on a Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) Book to communicate. My room is long and narrow, but larger than other classrooms. Along my wall with

Morning Attendance and Calendar Group 5 windows I have all the students’ work areas. Each of my students has different programs (concepts) to learn, so they need the on-on-one attention from their teachers. All of my students’ work areas are separated by dividers, with the exception of two students. These two students have similar programs so they work in a pair. At the end of my classroom I have a bookshelf of puzzles, games, and manipulatives that my assistants and I use during session. On the right corner is the break area, separated by a carpet with toys for the students to play with, along with the TV during movie time. In the middle of the room I have the “group table.” In the group table we have group activities, attendance, arts and crafts, and lunch. On the wall facing the table I have my daily schedule, lunch assignments, and which assistant is working with which student. I also have the attendance board and the calendar board. Right next to the table, close to the doorway is my desk. I like to have my classroom brightly decorated according to the theme and season. I want to make it as close to a regular education classroom as possible so I’m always decorating and hanging up student work. My students are very diverse. I have one student who is Jewish, one who is Asian (and my only girl), and two are Hispanic. My other two students are Caucasian. I will be working with one student, Chris. He is seven years old and lives in Staten Island. He has been in the school since he was three. He is somewhat verbal, and uses a PECS Book to communicate wants and needs. Chris is a lovable boy

Morning Attendance and Calendar Group 6 and enjoys doing puzzles, playing games with adults, and playing with figurines. He is not shy and will say hello when prompted to do so. The concept I will be teaching him is our morning attendance activity. He just started in my classroom two weeks ago so he is still learning how to sing along and raise his hand when called on.

Morning Attendance and Calendar Group 7 Phase II Teaching Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is the most effective form of treatment for students with autism, according to research (, 2008). ABA is the analysis of behavior, with the aim of reducing maladaptive behaviors and increasing appropriate behavior with the use of discrete trial instruction and positive reinforcement. The ultimate goal is to teach students the necessary skills to live, each skill broken down into individual steps. The most common way of organizing behavioral teaching strategies is called discrete trial instruction (DTI). DTI is basically a structured opportunity to practice a new skill, with each teaching session providing repeated opportunities to practice, which is necessary for skill acquisition. There are four components that make up discrete trial instruction – the discriminative stimulus (Sd), the prompt if needed, the consequence, and the inter-trial interval (Eden 2, 2003). The Sd is the command to elicit a desired response (i.e. “Touch red”) from the student. The student must be attending to the teacher in order to make that between the Sd and the proper response. It must be presented clearly and consistently for the student to generalize and maintain (Eden 2, 2003). The second component is the prompt, if it is needed. It is utilized to build the association between the Sd and the desired response. Prompts are used when teaching a new skill or when the student’s response is inconsistent. The response is the “answer” the student gives. The response definition (what the response should be) in a given program must be written clearly and specifically to distinguish between correct and incorrect responses (Eden 2, 2003). The consequence is the fourth component in discrete trial teaching. The consequence depends on the preceding response of the student. Correct responses are reinforced according to the

Morning Attendance and Calendar Group 8 student’s motivational system (primary or secondary). Incorrect responses are extinguished. Practice and prompts are also appropriate consequences of incorrect responses. The final component is the inter-trial interval. It is a pause between trials, which serve different functions. The teacher has the opportunity to record data, reorganize materials, and reinforce other skills such as waiting (Eden 2, 2003). At Eden 2, there are no formal lesson plans written; each student has a “program book” with different programs (i.e. unit plan) tailored to meet the students’ individual needs. Each program covers a learning concept, whether it is Reading, Math, Science, etc. Programs are also created to focus on other concepts besides academics, such as Play Skills, Activities for Daily Living (ADL), Art, and Group Activities. Every concept we teach is completely individualized for each student and broken down to individual steps (i.e. lessons). Everything we teach is very systematic and data is recorded to show an increase or decrease of learning for that concept. The concept that I am teaching Chris is a Morning Attendance and Calendar Group Activity. This activity is done every morning with the rest of the class. The teacher conducting the group activity holds up a picture of the student and asks, “Is ____ here today?” The student that is called on must raise his/her hand and respond with, “here.” If the student is non-verbal, he/she is allowed to only raise their hand. The teacher then gives the picture to the student and presents the Sd, “Match.” The student must stand up, and match their picture to their name on the attendance board. The student then sits back down. The teacher starts slapping the table and sings the morning song. While another student is being called on, the other students must sit quietly without engaging in inappropriate behaviors.

Morning Attendance and Calendar Group 9 After all the students are called on, the teacher continues with the calendar. The teacher holds up the current day of the week and allows each student to say the day (or give a verbal approximation) and touches the card. The teacher then places the current day with a distracter (another day) in front of the student and presents the Sd, “What day is today?” The student must touch and/or say the correct day. The teacher then holds up today’s date and presents the Sd, “What number?” The student must say the number of today’s date. The student is then asked to place the number on the correct spot on the calendar and counts from the first of the month to today’s date. The most appropriate teaching strategy to use is called Prompt and Prompt Fading. Prompts are specific cues to the individual intended to elicit a particular correct response (Eden 2, 2003). A full physical prompt is a prompt that rely on physical guidance of the individual to facilitate the correct response. A partial physical prompt is a prompt that rely on partially guiding the individual (i.e. a nudge, hand on elbow). A gestural prompt rely on signals or gestures to enable the correct response (i.e. pointing to the correct response) (Eden 2, 2003). Independent does not require a prompt from the therapist for the individual to answer correctly. The student’s response is recorded on a group program data sheet (Appendix A) according to the level of independence the student needed (full physical prompt, partial physical prompt, gestural prompt or model, and independent) (Eden 2, 2004). Each day the score is given a number from 0 through 3 and a graph (Appendix B) is created. The student does not continue to the next step until he/she responded independently for two consecutive days. The first step was for Chris to raise his hand and say, “here” when presented with

Morning Attendance and Calendar Group 10 the Sd, “Is Chris here today?” On his first day he gave no response at all. He needed to be fully prompted to raise his hand and said “here.” Over the next few days Chris independently raised his hand but did not say here. Instead, he was repeating the last word I said, which was “today.” I decided to modify the Sd by dropping “today” in the question. When I say, “Is Chris here” I emphasize “here” so that he can repeat it while raising his hand. The next step was for Chris to walk to the attendance board. He did it independently and without engaging in inappropriate behaviors. The third step consists of Chris matching his picture to his name. At first he needed help finding his name among five others, but once he got used to scanning all the names he became independent. I also made sure to move the names around so Chris does not have a positional prompt within the step. The fourth step was for Chris to return to his seat without inappropriate behaviors, which he did independently. The next step is to slap the table during the morning song. He knows how to slap the table, but does not like to put much effort to do it. Instead, he put one hand on top of the other and was slapping the table that way. I had to model how to slap the table correctly the first day, afterwards he did it independently. The sixth step is to sit quietly while another student is called on. Chris at times will engage in inappropriate behaviors consisting of hand flapping and stereotypic verbalizations (i.e. silly talk). His first day on this step he was verbalizing and I put my finger to my mouth to indicate quiet. The following two days he sat quietly for the other students. Once all the students matched their picture to their name, I move on to the days of the week. I start by holding up a card of the day and saying, “Today is ___.” I then pass it around to each student and allow them to say the day. I needed to nudge Chris a little

Morning Attendance and Calendar Group 11 bit to point to the day and give at least a verbal approximation. It turns out that he actually knew how to say the day, was just not putting in a lot of effort into it. Eventually he was saying the day independently. The next step is for Chris to identify the day of the week with a distracter (another day). I laid out both days in front of him on the table and presented the Sd, “Touch {day}.” The first two days he needed to be fully prompted. The next few days it seemed like he was getting confused. Each day is a different day, so it forces Chris to really pay attention when I present the day without the distracter first. All of my students have a harder time in this step. A prerequisite for this step is to be able to identify the days of the week, which not all of my students have. Chris is currently working on it, so when the day happens to fall on a day he has not mastered yet, he had a more difficult time. He eventually figured out that the first day I hold up is the same day I am looking for when there are two days in front of him. The next two steps are putting the date on the calendar and counting the first of the month to today’s date. Before Chris puts the date on the calendar, I hold up the date to each student and ask, “What number?” Each student is able to expressively label the number. When Chris first put the date on the calendar, I needed to point to the correct space. Afterwards, he was able to do it independently, along with counting from the first of the month to today’s date. He knew right away to stop at today’s date. The final step is to sit quiet for a break. The first day Chris engaged in an inappropriate behavior by hand flapping, in which he was redirected to put his hands on his lap. Afterwards, he sat quietly without any behaviors.

Morning Attendance and Calendar Group 12 Phase III Analyzing Student Learning Appendix B illustrates the line graph that was created upon completion of Chris’s group instruction. The X-axis demonstrates the dates each day Chris participated in the group activity. The Y-axis demonstrates the level of independence (by number) Chris required to complete his current step. The legend on the right of the graph is the different program steps required to master the group activity. The legend on the bottom of the graph shows what level of independence each number represents. According the graph, Chris showed a consistent improvement on each of the mastered steps. Appendix C is a video demonstrating Chris mastering each of the steps in the group activity.

Morning Attendance and Calendar Group 13 Phase IV Self-Evaluation and Reflection Chris was required to participate in my Morning Attendance and Calendar Group Activity as independently as he possibly can. The activity was broken down into individual steps and he must master each step before he can continue with the next. Chris is required to follow all the steps in the activity, but I only took data on his current step. I took data on his level of independence, and to achieve mastery he must be independent on the current step for two consecutive days. It took Chris about two months to be independent on all the steps, which I expected. He is a fast learner, but there were certain steps he had a more difficult time mastering. He had a harder time on two steps. The first was “raise hand and say here.” He has echolalia, so when I said, “Is Chris here today” he would respond with “today” or sees himself in the picture and say “Christopher.” At that point, I changed my question with, “Is Chris here” and that would prompt him to say “here” and raise his hand. The other step he had a hard time on was “touch day of the week with a distracter.” A prerequisite for this step is to be able to identify the days of the week. It was one of his current academic programs, but when it happen to fall on a day that he has not mastered yet, he would get confused. There were two steps he did really well on. The first was to match his picture to his name on the attendance board. On his first day, he needed a little help scanning through all the names to find his, but after that, he did really well. I try to move the names around so the students do not get used to having their name in the same spot everyday. This forces the student to really scan the board to find their name and match it. The other step he did really well was, “count from the first of the month to the current

Morning Attendance and Calendar Group 14 date.” Before my student puts the date on the board, I go over the number. They either have to say the number or touch it. Chris knows his numbers up to 31 very well, so he was required to say the number. Once I go over the number of today’s date, they put the date on the board and count. Most of my students did not know to stop on the current date and kept going. Whenever it was Chris’s turn, he stopped at the correct date. All of my students are required to participate in the group activity. They way I present it to them may be different depending on the student. For example, when asking, “Is {name} here today” I may have to change it and drop the “today” for my students who have echolalia. Another step I usually have to modify is when the students have to match their picture to their name. For some I can just hand their picture to them and they know to go to the board and match. Others I have to present the Sd, “Match” or “Match {name}.” The strategy that worked best for my student in the activity is Prompt and Prompt Fading. For each step, I allowed Chris to answer independently. If he answers incorrectly, I provide the necessary prompt needed. Depending on the step, I may have to point to the correct answer (gestural prompt), nudge his arm a little (partial prompt), or hand over hand guide him to the correct answer (full prompt). Everyday I fade back the prompts to allow independence. Everyday before I began the morning group activity, I had to look back at the data from the previous day to see if Chris can continue to the next step or stay at the current step. I knew Chris can move on to the next step if he was independent for two consecutive days. I graphed the data every week to track his progress and see if there are any trends in his answers. It also allowed me to make any necessary modifications to

Morning Attendance and Calendar Group 15 how the steps are presented to him. One goal I have for growth and development is to have more patience. I noticed that when Chris has mastered a step and for whatever reason on a certain day he would consistently be incorrect after being fully prompted. He knows how to complete the step; he has done since he came to my classroom. I’m like that with all my students. If I know they know how to complete a certain step and just are not doing it, I get really frustrated. The last thing I want for my students is regress.

Morning Attendance and Calendar Group 16 References Eden 2 Model. (2008). Retrieved February 8, 2008 from Eden 2. (June 2003). Eden 2 New Hire Manual – Chapter 3: Teaching Strategies. Eden 2. (November 2004). Eden 2 New Hire Manual – Chapter 9: Data Sheets.

Morning Attendance and Calendar Group 17 Appendix A Morning Attendance and Calendar Group Data Sheet

Attendance Group Data Sheet
Chris Date: Initial: Raises hand and/or says "here" when name is called Walks to attendance board Matches picture to name on board Returns to seat

Slaps table and/or sings to morning song Sits appropriately while another student is called Touches day of week with out distracter Touches day of week with distracter Puts date on calendar

Counts the first of the month to today's date Sits quietly until told to take a break

Morning Attendance and Calendar Group Appendix B
Chris Morning Attendance and Calendar Group 3


School Year 2007-2008

Program Steps Disc raise hand


walks to board match pic sits down

1 level of independence

slaps table sits quietly for other students touch day w/o distracter touch day w/ distractor 02/11/08 02/14/08 02/26/08 02/29/08 03/05/08 03/10/08 03/13/08 03/25/08 03/28/08 04/02/08 04/07/08 04/10/08 date on 02/12/08 02/15/08 02/27/08 03/03/08 03/06/08 03/11/08 03/14/08 03/26/08 03/31/08 04/03/08 04/08/08 04/11/08 02/13/08 02/25/08 02/28/08 03/04/08 03/07/08 03/12/08 03/24/08 03/27/08 04/01/08 04/04/08 04/09/08 calendar counts sits quietly for break





1 level of independence 0

level of independence 0

4/14/08 4/17/08 4/21/084/24/08 4/15/08 4/18/08 4/22/08 4/16/08 4/18/08 4/23/08 4/14/08 4/17/08 4/23/08 4/15/08 4/21/08 4/16/08 4/22/08 4/24/08
0= Full Prompt 1=Partial Prompt 0= Full Prompt 1=Partial Prompt 2=Gestural Prompt 3=Independent 2=Gestural Prompt 3=Independent


Morning Attendance and Calendar Group 19 Appendix C Morning Attendance and Calendar Group Video QuickTimeª and a H.264 decompressor are needed to see this picture.

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