Getting Creative With the Individualized Behavior Plan

As I start writing this post I can't help but think about all the teachers I work with and imagine them laughing at this post because, well...they know.

Every classroom has some sort of behavior plan in place, sometimes more than one. You can have the most perfectly thought out behavior plan, and there will always be students that just don't give a rat's tail about that behavior plan. Then enters the individualized behavior plan. Individualized behavior plans should be just that...individualized. Pinterest is a great starting point for ideas, but I urge you to personalize it to your students. Anyway, here are some things I tried to get EXTRA creative this year.

First I tried this picture behavior sort that I got from the amazing, Mrs. Ricca.

 1. We sorted good choices and poor choices as a class. We never mind another chance to practice this in kindergarten, and it helped prevent the student from feeling singled out. 
2. We sorted good choices and poor choices one-on-one. This allowed me to engage in a conversation with the student about what these choices look like to them.
3. We used a large mailing envelope to keep the pictures. When transitioning to resource, lunch, recess, or dismissal, we talked about what good choices and poor choices would look like when we went there.
4. I encouraged the student to talk about their good choices and bad choices with the other children.

This worked...sometimes. Depended on the day. For a little while. Anyway, I was quickly racking my brain for more ideas.

I started to think more about the student and what the specific behaviors were that I wanted to minimize. The biggest was personal space and keeping hands and feet away from other students. So I found a cute little stuffed bunny that looked a little like this, but not really. 

So we learned about Little Bunny Foo Foo and practiced GENTLY bopping the bunny on the head when we felt like we had a little extra BOP we had to get out. My thoughts were that maybe the student needed another outlet for the hand movements. I also tried play-doh and stress balls with this goal in mind. This worked for one day. One.

THENNNN I made this:

Yes that's a pill box. I broke down our school day and labeled each opening. I had observed that the student was motivated by computer time and a little free time to play with his cars or the sensory bin. Every time the student kept their hands to themselves during a portion of the day, they got to open the box and see what the reward was.

While using that, I also tried a daily behavior log similar to this one from Mrs. Willis Kindergarten. I changed it to reflect our schedule. This was absolutely the resource that worked the best. It was so much better than giving one color for the entire day. This allowed the student to feel that success was much more within their reach.

It's also important to note that I did change things in our classroom environment as well. For example, our rug. I switched classroom rugs with another room because it had lines on it. I felt that a rug with lines would attach a visual to personal space. This had a big impact.

Here are just a few tid-bits that I would suggest to keep in mind when creating an IBP.

1. Get to know the student! 
2. Observe them to find out what motivates them.
3. Observe them for what times of day behaviors are occurring. Do this for two weeks and look for trends. Is it after lunch when they've been exposed to loud noises? Is it before resource (specials) when they're making a transition? You get the drift.
4. Take notes and document. This allows you to look for triggers. Maybe it's something in the environment that is setting them off. It's important to think about what things AROUND them might be impacting them.
5. Most importantly...let them feel successful. Start with small goals and build your way up. The feeling of success is essential to the motivation of the student.

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