Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


33rd Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2007

Event Details

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Symposium #220
CE Offered: BACB
Morningside Academy: What's New?
Sunday, May 27, 2007
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
America's Cup C
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Joanne K. Robbins (Morningside Academy)
CE Instructor: Joanne K. Robbins, Ph.D.

Morningside Academy teachers will present descriptions and data on a variety of development projects in our laboratory school. We will discuss assessment strategies for reading comprehension, oral reading fluency, and vocabulary; behavioral approaches to counseling; study skills; prompting question-generating; and improving number-writing fluency.

Assessment: Reading Comprehension, Oral Reading Fluency, and Vocabulary.
HEATHER GRADA DURBECK (Morningside Academy), Marianne Delgado (Morningside Academy), Kent Johnson (Morningside Academy), Julian Gire (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: Correlations between Robert Dixon et al’s reading comprehension program, “Reading Success: Effective Strategies for Reading Comprehension,” and the Iowa Test of Basic Skills test scores of Morningside students prior to and following a year of instruction will be discussed. Strategies of the reading program and other Morningside methods of reading instruction will be briefly reviewed. Data will be shared using the Standard Celeration Chart to analyze class-wide results for different levels of the program. This presentation will also discuss an evaluation of the effectiveness of video training for oral reading fluency inter-scorer agreement. Morningside Academy conducts weekly checks of Oral Reading Fluency using the DIBELS curriculum. In order to ensure inter-scorer reliability and accurate assessment information, a video training procedure, combined with written materials and immediate feedback was evaluated. Included participants were members of the assessment team; their results will be presented as will a brief demonstration of the video training procedure. Finally, our assessment presentation will discuss two methods of vocabulary instruction in a 7th grade reading curriculum: SAFMEDS flashcards and student-directed activities, using a weekly CBA to track application of vocabulary words in a 5-minute student free write. SAFMEDS instruction consisted of a 15-minute fluency session of teacher generated short definitions, tracked on a standard celeration chart. Student-directed methods consisted of giving students access to full dictionary definitions and the word in context and have them determine a correct definition, study of the denotation and connotation of words and informal and formal registers, exploration of different grammatical forms and related words, and having students create contextual examples. The CBA was a weekly free/write with a word bank of the instructed vocabulary words, scored across three dimensions: total words written, correct writing sequences, and number of vocabulary words used correctly. Growth on the curriculum-based assessment was tracked using a standard celeration chart. Data from a full school year of vocabulary instruction in a 7th grade literature curriculum will be presented and future curriculum decisions based on the data will be discussed.
Adding a Clinical Component to a Middle School Curriculum: Problem Solving Planning System (PSPS).
ADAM G. STRETZ (Morningside Academy), Marianne Delgado (Morningside Academy), Kent Johnson (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: One of the goals of Morningside Academy is to equip their students with a problem-solving model through behavioral analysis. This will be shown using data gathered through a PSP form and student generated tracking plans. Transactional Analysis is introduced to the students as a Psychology class and this instruction teaches the students the language and background they will need to take part in PSPS sessions. The sessions focus on student participation and planning in solving their own problems. These ‘problems’ are varied and can include: issues at home, issues at school, interpersonal issues, repeated areas of difficulty, etc. Students explore what is going well and what their concerns are. Eventually, a particular concern is isolated and a goal to change or improve that concern is stated. The advocate helps the student consolidate and summarize until a specific plan of action is in affect that both the student and the advocate believe will potentially accomplish the student’s stated goal.
Fluent Thinking Skills: Becoming an Active and Engaged Reader in a Content Course.
MEGAN KNIGHT (Morningside Academy), Joanne K. Robbins (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: Fluent Thinking Skills refers to a composite-level performance that teaches learners to actively become responsible for obtaining important information from text in any content area. Students are taught how use titles, headings, and graphics to focus their attention on predicting and extracting relevant information before reading unfamiliar text. They also tap into their own prior knowledge to connect their experiences to the upcoming lesson. A system of sophisticated note-taking is used to organize questions, predictions, and answers. This approach to learning in a content class at Morningside has proven to be extremely powerful and rewarding, as it gives more responsibility to the learners themselves.
Prompting Question-Generating Behaviors; Promoting Number Writing Fluency with Discrimination Training.
JENNIFER REILLY (Morningside Academy), Joanne K. Robbins (Morningside Academy), Julian Gire (Morningside Academy), Erin Mitchell (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: Learned helplessness seems to be a pitfall for many children with mild to moderate learning and developmental disabilities. As responsible educators we tend to accept sole responsibility for students failing to make significant academic gains, “If the student hasn’t learned, the teacher hasn’t taught.” While this statement may be true, we often underestimate the students’ role and responsibilities to problem solve and interact with instruction within the classroom. Transferring the responsibility from adult to child is one of Mark Ozer’s main premises when he defines Degrees of Responsibility. Ozer defines responsibility as continuing a dialogue between adult and child. This dialogue is further defined as the exchange of questions and answers between individuals. Skills in maintaining this dialogue are placed on a continuum and include the degree or level a child answers questions to the child generating questions independently. Ozer’s principle of Degrees of Responsibilities is the underlying concept used to operationally define target behaviors expected of students at Morningside Academy. By identifying and shaping the skills necessary to actively interact with instruction, these once failing students soon learn to become active participants in their learning and show dramatic improvement in their academic performance. This presentation will also discuss handwriting difficulty, which can seriously impede a learner's ability to succeed in mathematics. Fluent writing enables the learner to focus on the conceptual or computation demands. Typical daily exercises at Morningside Academy include timed writing practice of the digits from 0-9. Those students who have high error rates were identified and offered a new intervention that required discrimination of well-formed from poorly-formed digits. A shaping process followed if digit production occurred in an inefficient manner. Once these behaviors were established, rate building in 0-9's continued. Data will be presented on the effects of this discrimination intervention.



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