The Leaps Blog
Our blog is full of articles, updates, helpful information and ideas from our users and more. You can also use the category list to find info by topic.
Lisa Young is a 4th grade teacher who has seen improvement in her students, both behaviorally and academically after using Leaps lessons and assessment tools. Her school uses Leaps for Response to Intervention (RTI) in Tier 2 groups as well as in the...
Tammy Geiger, a specialist who works with special needs children at Lake County Schools, shares her story about using Leaps lessons to change the bullying behavior of a student who was targeting a deaf person. The bully is known to be a member of a gang. After...
This process provides the opportunity for a pre and post participation assessment which provides specific and quantifiable statements of progress or regression.
Tier II – Targeted Group Intervention
Leaps is a comprehensive social and emotional interactive curriculum replete with multi-modal assessing instruments. Leaps “Classroom Challenges” is a perfect fit for the process of utilizing “prescriptive assessments to design instruction”. This feature allows classroom teachers to identify the area of topical focus based upon the preventative needs presented by the classroom.
For small groups, Leaps enables educators to choose completed, individual profiles of the specific students he or she wants in a small group from the database. Leaps then takes each individual student’s profile and aggregates them into a profile for the small group. Leaps takes this data and creates a report on the group that outlines the functioning level of the group, the categorical strengths and deficits of the group, and then provides a prescription for intervention, prevention, and social support lessons specific to the needs of the students within that group.
Leaps has the answer – through a classroom based observational assessment process that identifies the most relevant lesson plans for a classroom based upon the observations of the teacher. This allows for a systemic focus on a core element such as Bullying or Respect but it also means that each individual classroom, though focused on the core element, is learning skills necessary for that class.
Leaps complements PBIS within four key elements of the PBIS framework. It is a comprehensive, online program and resource for educators who are creating learning environments built upon resources that provide both evidence of benefit and content for delivery.
Over the last several weeks we have talked about behavior influencers and social and emotional catalysts and impediments. It is important to know these things because you need to understand the baseline kids are coming from if you want to change their behaviors. Over the next several weeks we are going to break behavior change down into manageable and understandable posits. But before we do, let’s talk honestly about behaviors.
I was watching the news last night and it was chilling when the newsman said, “Well here we go again, another shooting at a mall in …”
An interesting study from Alliance for Education Excellence found here provides some interesting findings on why teachers are leaving the teaching profession. Here are the top three reasons for the teacher dropout rate:
In our last behavior conversation we laid out the A-B-C process for changing behaviors. It is a complicated but straight-forward process. However, it is a process that doesn’t really lend itself to a school or home environment. So instead of trying to fit a round peg into a square hole – like trying to turn all of our teachers into functional analysts & behavior specialists – let’s tackle the processes that make sense in the classroom and talk about what they mean, how you should be tracking and understanding them, and ultimately what you should be doing about it.
This past week the sports world was in full tilt. We had Super Bowl Sunday plus a full slate of college and professional basketball games followed immediately by college football’s National Signing Day. For a sports fan, it is a great time of the year. But let me tell you about the best game I saw all weekend.
We have spent a good deal of our Thursday conversations talking about where behaviors come from, the purpose they serve, how our experiences play a role in our choices, and last week we talked about the relevancy of antecedent events. This week we need to spend a little bit of time talking about the difference between organic and acquired behavioral problems.
Over the past week every time I turned on the radio or television I heard about Valentine’s Day. I kept hearing that if you really loved your wife then she needed flowers and chocolates and maybe even diamonds. Then I heard that if you really loved your kids they needed new toys and clothes and maybe even a new phone. If an alien landed on this planet last week and all he knew of our civilization was what he heard in advertisements he would think that this is a very expensive and shallow place to live. He would think that relationships are built on stuff – really expensive stuff.
Over the past several weeks we have been discussing what a behavior is and where behaviors come from. We have even talked a little about the difficulties of recording and measuring and reporting behavioral incidents. Now let’s start talking about the elements that will help us change behaviors. To begin this discussion we have to start with the focal point of behavior change – the function the behavior serves.
I just closed my eyes and now it is time to start all over again. The morning shower is about the only time I am going to have today with a little silence. I have found myself standing under the water a little longer each day as the school year is passing. That moment of peace is my chance to brace for the day. The problem is that in my moment of peace I can’t take my mind off of my kids who are struggling. I can’t stop thinking about the things I should have done to make learning a little easier. Wait, I have to clear my mind. I just need 5 minutes for me. The rest of the day can be for the kids.
Everybody likes something. Sounds kinda simple, doesn’t it? But the fact that “everybody likes something” means that there is something out there for everybody that they find pleasurable and therefore reinforcing. Think about the things that make you happy. I love a good steak. I also really enjoy spending time with my wife and kids. These are the types of things that make me smile and make me want to work toward being able pay for a good steak and to spend time with my wife and kids. I have learned that these are things in my life that require work on my part to sustain.
I woke this morning to news that Russia and the new Ukraine government are in a political standoff with military options mobilizing. There was also news of another major storm that has temperatures as far south as Austin in the 30s heading east and picking up steam and looking like it will slam the east coast again. Then there was the appalling news of a school in Nigeria where terrorist had killed a schoolyard full of children and burned their bodies in some twisted attention grab in the name of a twisted view of their religion. The news went on and on with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. I watched and read and listened to a litany of events that should make a grown man seek refuge. But one horrible story gave way to another, and the incredible news of the Nigerian tragedy faded from the television screen and a smiling anchorman talking about a rampant pack of Chihuahuas in Arizona segued into a story of absolute silliness. Those dead children were worth a 20 second mention – about the same as a pack of ankle biting dogs.
In our conversation last week we talked about how reinforcements are often misunderstood in behavior programming. For example, a teacher becoming weary of being interrupted offers her class an extra 10 minutes of recess if they are all quiet for the remainder of the lesson. This might be effective and it is a fine method to gain much needed silence but it is not a change agent. This is a short term delay of a behavior that is not targeted for change and will likely continue once the reinforcement has been gained. In other words, it is a short term bribe and the gain is solely in the short term. The kids will be talking and interrupting again right after recess.