BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE PERFORMANCE
IN ENGLISH OF GRADE FOUR PUPILS WITH BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS
AND LEARNING, AGUSAN CAMPUS
University of the Visayas
Dr. Evelyn R. Nada
Rationale of the Study
Teaching a number of diverse pupils in one classroom has become an issue of concern for many educators. Teaching a group of pupils with emotional or behavior problems is even more challenging on the part of the teacher for nothing can be more frustrating in a classroom of 30 to 40 than have one or five children who exhibit negative or disruptive behavior.
Educators have long understood that behavior or difficulties can keep pupils from functioning productively in class. Hence, for learning to take place, understanding how children understand their academic and social environment is very important. Learning about the pupils’ performance or functioning in and outside the classroom is very necessary. Cochan-Smith (1995) pointed out that personal knowledge of pupils will result in an effective and responsive curriculum in the classroom.
Observing children allows teachers to understand the pupils’ changes by considering their backgrounds, behaviors, and interactions with others. By observing and interviewing children, teachers can compile questions regarding the children’s learning and development during academic or social situations. For example, a teacher may observe that a child does not interact well with peers in the classroom or the child is always out of seat when activity is given. A resulting question such as “How can we engage the child in our activities or how can we keep him on task?” may be the source of trying new and different approaches with the child. Teachers, then, analyze classroom data to determine the success of their interventions. Teachers analyze instructional strategies for effective classroom management and behavior management compatible with the developmental characteristics of children with emotional problems.
Schools then, analyze best practices for effective classroom organization to minimize disruptive behavior and increase learning. Schools according to Cochan-Smith (1995) are expected to adjust classroom differences with disabilities by changing factors in the school environment that may not favor the pupil’s progress. Gartin et al. (2002 ) described it as differentiated instruction that is “using strategies that address pupil strengths, interests, skills, and readiness in flexible learning environment.” In addition, Tomlinson (2000) emphasized that teachers must possess a solid understanding of a curriculum and its components to successfully differentiate instruction to meet diverse needs.
Mather et al. (2001) stressed that the effective use of behavioral and cognitive strategies in the classroom may appear daunting even to experienced teachers. However, changing one’s behavior and strategies is often the most efficient and effective means of improving all types of classroom behaviors, both disruptive and non-disruptive. As pointed out by Turbull (2001) through practice comes proficiency. The building block of emotions and behavior likely contains the largest and most diverse set of problems encountered in the classroom. By first understanding these problems and seeing the world through the eyes of the pupils and, by then developing and using a set of intervention strategies on a regular basis, problems of emotions and behavior can be effectively managed and changed in the classroom.
Indeed, the field of education is continuously changing as well as research on areas such as classroom management. Teachers need to continuously learn new strategies of classroom management, as well as review of techniques in order to best serve an ever-changing population of pupils, especially pupils with emotional problems.
The Philippine Normal University in Agusan aimed to “give Filipinos training in the science of teaching” and to provide a training ground for pupil-teachers, a laboratory school for Grades I-VI. Although, pupils were admitted on a selected admission undergoing entrance examination and interview, however, the process is not an assurance of non-admission of pupils with emotional disorders. Many teachers observed there were pupils who exhibited disrupted behaviors.
The researcher, being a part of the faculty of the CTL was prompted to conduct the present study to lessen off-task behavior of Grade Four pupils identified with behavior problems.
This study is anchored on the theory developed by Ching-Ching N. (1998) that without strong classroom management, it is very difficult for pupils to thrive academically and socially in a non-stimulating environment. He added that taking the time to improve upon one’s classroom management would result in positive outcomes or academic performance for pupils with behavior problems.
According to Kauffman (1993) managing pupils’ behavior has always been a demanding task, but it has become much more exacting during the past decade. He explained that when teachers are not successful in helping pupils learn and enjoy school, the reason is likely to be, in large measure the difficulty they experience in managing classroom. Many teachers who become discouraged feel “burned-out” or leave the profession and attribute their unhappiness in teaching to their difficulty in managing pupils’ behavior. What experienced teachers tell people in the field, what they read and what they see in schools - a very reliable indicator - tell them that disruption, aggression, disinterest in school, social withdrawal, and other forms of undesirable behavior are increasingly common in nearly all schools. Without effective strategies for dealing with unacceptable and troublesome behavior, teachers are unlikely to have a career in teaching, and even less likely to enjoy and be successful in their chosen profession. Furthermore, pupils are more unlikely to learn what they should when their teachers are unhappy and feel defeated. Hence, understanding how to respond to behavioral concerns and being responsive to each child begin with understanding of problem behavior and how one can prevent it from occurring through effective classroom behavior management strategies.
There are various definitions of what management consists of. Brophy (1996) defines classroom management as actions taken to create and maintain a learning environment conducive to successful instruction — arranging the physical environment of the classroom, establishing rules and procedures, maintaining attention to lesson and engagement in academic activities. On the other hand, Burden (1995) defines it as actions and strategies teachers use to maintain order. Duke and Meckel (1980) define it as the procedures needed to establish and maintain an environment in which instruction and learning can occur. Classroom rules, routines, and order play an important part in the classroom management.
These definitions may vary in how they are worded, but they still emphasize the major themes of classroom management. All of these mean maintaining order, positive learning environment, and establishing rules and routines. Pupils in a classroom that uses successfully classroom management know how the class is run, and they are stimulated in an academic and social manner.
The study of Delgado (2001) revealed that in most classrooms, the majority of pupils’ misbehavior are interruptions, off-task behavior, and disruptive physical movements. The most common disruptive behaviors are verbal interruptions (talking, humming, laughing, calling out, whispering, etc.), off-task behaviors (daydreaming, sleeping, combing hair, playing with something, doodling, physical sitting on the desk or on two legs of chair, throwing paper, etc.) and disrespect toward teachers and pupils (arguing, teasing, and talking back) The so-called surface behaviors are present in every classroom in every school almost every day. He added that no matter how much time and energy the teacher directs toward prevention these behaviors do not totally disappear and to some extent are an ever-present, continuing fact of life for all teachers so that managing classroom behavior is of prime importance to effect learning.
Management Strategies Classroom
compliment Self-monitoring Masking
Behavior Management Strategies
Masking tape strips
Figure 1. The Theoretical Framework
Figure 1. The Theoretical Framework
Statement of the Problem
The purpose of the research was to determine the performance in English of children with behavior problems in Grade Four at the Philippine Normal University, Center for Teaching and Learning, Agusan Campus during the School Year 2006-2007. Specifically the study sought to answer the following sub-problems:
1. What were the common behavior problems exhibited by Grade Four pupils at PNU-CTL as perceived by the teachers?
2. What observed behaviors were exhibited by Grade Four pupils with behavior problems along the following specific instructional activities:
large group discussion/work;
small group work;
silent reading; and
3. Was there a significant difference in the number of off-task behavior of children with behavior problems when:
3.1 not using behavior management strategies, and
3.2 using behavior management strategies?
4. Was there a significant difference between the performance of pupils with behavior problems given with behavior management strategies and the performance of regular pupils of the same academic level not given any behavior management strategies?
5. To what extent did the behavior management strategies used among Grade Four pupils with behavior problems reduce off task behavior in terms of:
masking tape strips
HO1: There was no significant difference in the number of off-task behavior of children with behavior problems when:
not using behavior management strategies; and
using behavior management strategies.
HO2: There was no significant difference between the performance of pupils with behavior problems given with behavior management strategies with the performance of regular pupils of the same academic level not given any behavior management strategies.
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND PROCEDURES
This study used the descriptive method using the case study conducted under the naturalistic participant observation technique. The study also used the process documentation technique to record the observations of the teacher as basis of her analysis of the data, reflection, and insights.
The Philippine Normal University in Agusan was opened in 1968 which aimed to “give Filipinos training in the science of teaching.” To provide a training ground for pupil-teachers, a laboratory school for Grades I-VI was established which was later known as Philippine Normal University Center for Teaching and Learning (PNU CTL). Pupils were admitted on a selected admission undergoing entrance examination and interview. However, the process is not an assurance of non-admission of pupils with behavior problems. As observed by teachers, there were pupils who manifested misbehaviors.
The participants of the study were the five identified children with behavior problems in Grade Four at the Philippine Normal University, Center for Teaching and Learning, Agusan Campus enrolled during the School Year 2006-2007. The pupils in Grade Four were screened to identify the manifestation of behavior problems. This was done in consultation with the observations and feedbacks of the class adviser, classroom and subject teachers, parents and siblings of the participants, and referrals from the guidance counselor.
Child Behavioral Checklist. This checklist, taken from Achenbach (1991), is a list of academic or behavioral skills the child exhibits. The teacher, the adviser and the guidance counselor rate pupil behaviors. A letter of request asking the class adviser, subject teachers, school guidance counselor to rate the subjects was given.
For the behavior problems committed by the pupils, the scale based on the Likert scale was used: always, often, sometimes, seldom and never.
Behavioral Observations Techniques. One of the most frequently used behavioral assessment methods was direct behavioral observation. Behaviors may be observed for frequency, duration or intensity. To ensure objectivity of the observations gathered, the researcher employed five trained SPED Para teachers (pupil - teachers) working with the researcher and worked for the behavioral observations done every English 4 class period in Grade Four, and recorded all events, frequency of occurrence of the target behaviors (e.g. off-task, talk-out, non-compliant, out-of-seat, etc.). The following methods and techniques were used:
Anecdotal Recording. Behavioral intervention strategies are based on a clear understanding of why a behavior occurs. One behavioral observation technique that enabled the teacher in identifying the exact behavior, antecedent event, and reinforcing event or consequence of the children with behavior problem in English Grade Four class, is called anecdotal recording. In the study, the teacher observed the five pupils with behavior problems and wrote down everything that occurred during their English 4 class subject.
Event Recording. The observer recorded the frequency of a target behavior (e.g. off-task, talk-out, non-compliant, out-of-seat, etc.), exhibited by the five children; it was also called frequency counting.
Time Sampling. The teacher identified the target behaviors namely: talk-out, out-of-seat, non-compliant, and off-task then recorded pupil’s activity for a time period.
Interval Recording. The teacher sampled a behavior intermittently for very brief periods of time. The teacher used this to observe frequently occurring behaviors.
Interview. The teacher conducted interview both formal and informal to augment the gathered data and elicited essential information like about the parents’ work, number of siblings in the family, and the like.
The first step in the intervention of behavior problems in English 4 class was the identification of the target behavior (off-task). Once the exact behavior or behaviors were identified, systematic observation began. In the study, off-task behavior among children with behavior problems in English Grade Four class was recorded in establishing a baseline data, which was later used in monitoring the pupils’ progress following intervention in the 5th-28th sessions.
Academic Performance Assessment. One method of assessing a pupil’s current level of academic functioning was through assessment of collection of pupil’s school activities, teacher-made test results, including curriculum-based assignments, results of an informal reading inventory with miscues noted and analyzed. These provided a holistic view of the pupils’ strengths and weaknesses in determining if there existed a significant difference in the pupil’s academic performance when given remediation.
In the selection of pairing between the target pupil and a typical class peer, Rhode et. al., (1992) suggested to match the target pupil with a same sex peer. In the study, the researcher based the pairing through the result of the PNU-CTL Multi Level Program. The Multi Level Program was specifically designed to identify pupils’ levels particularly in two areas, English and Mathematics. In determining pupils’ competence along the curriculum goals and objectives, teacher-developed tests, direct observation and checklists were used for assessment. The principal, class adviser, evaluation team-teachers, and school guidance counselor decided for the pupil’s level, based on the result of the assessment. Through the list given by the coordinator of the Multi Level program, the researcher was able to pick up five pupils (peer) belonging to the same level (academic level) with the target pupils (pupils with behavior problems) whose results in their performance in English 4 which covered sessions 5th -28th (table 8) were recorded and compared to see if there existed a significant difference in the performance in English of pupils with behavior problems given with remediation compared to the performance of their peer without remediation.
Rubric Performance Assessment. In the assessment of performance in English of these pupils with behavior problems, the researcher made use of rubrics. The Rubric was an authentic assessment tool particularly useful in assessing criteria which were complex and subjective like sentence/paragraph writing, reading and oral presentation, which was conducted during instructional activities in Grade Four English class. The use of rubric of performance, allowed the researcher to be more objective and consistent in giving of points/scores.
Statistical Treatment of Data
Statistical analyses were conducted with the aid of statistic software, SPSS (Statistical Products, Solutions and Services) Version 2. This study used the following statistical treatment:
The information gathered from the Child Behavioral Checklist, and observations was tallied and summarized. The behavior problems with the highest frequency of occurrence were considered to be the common behavior problems exhibited in English by the Grade Four pupils as perceived by their teachers. While observed behaviors in specific instructional activities (small group, transition, paper-pencil activity, etc.) were considered as:
Number of frequency of occurrence Classification
0 No behavior
1-5 Low rates of behavior
6-10 Persistent behavior
The observation was recorded at ten-minute intervals (for a total of 90 intervals). The computed means (X) were used in answering problems number 1 and 2 which determined the common behavior problems in English Grade Four class with behavior problems; and identified the observed persistent behaviors exhibited by these pupils with behavior problems.
The t-test was used to answer problem number 3 in determining the significant difference in the number of off-task behavior between the pupils who were not using any behavior management strategies and the pupils who were using behavior management strategies.
Z-test was used to determine if there was significant difference between the performance of pupils with behavior problems given with behavior management strategies with regular pupils of the same academic level and not given any behavior management strategies.
In determining if there existed significant difference among the means of the eight treatments (classroom seating, fiddle stuff, response cost, self-selected rewards, individual schedule, daily compliment, self-monitoring, and masking tape strips), F-test ANOVA was conducted. To further determine which groups differed from the others, the Duncan Multiple Ranges Test (DMRT) was conducted.
INPUTS PROCESSES OUTPUTS
Figure 2. The Flow of Research
Figure 2. The Flow of Research
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The common behavior problems were teasing /bullying, less interest in the lesson, laziness and slovenliness, unnecessary noisiness, troublesome/destructiveness, stubbornness/ rebelliousness, restlessness/excusing oneself to go out and playfulness.
The common behaviors often observed by the teachers were quarrelling/fighting, uncooperativeness in group activities, easily gave up when the answer was wrong, boastfulness/demanding, failure to submit assignments and projects, disobedience, inhibitions to recite in class, disrespectful, teasing the opposite sex, like touching another’s sensitive parts, peeping, domineering , shyness to relate to teachers and other pupils/ lack of self-confidence, irritable and does not help in the classroom.
The observed persistent behaviors exhibited by the pupils with behavior problems during transition period, students with behavior problems showed persistent non-compliant behavior. Talk-out behavior was also exhibited during transition but of low rate.
It was also observed that in large group discussion/work, these pupils were always out of seat. They kept on moving around the room, moving toward their classmates’ chairs, and talk-out with a classmate and showed non-compliant to teacher’s instruction.
In small group lecture/work, within one week observation, pupils showed no persistent behavior problems or if there was any, only of low rates. This implies that pupils in Grade Four with behavior problems can go well in using this strategy.
Engaging independent work to children with behavior problem was quite difficult. The pupils showed persistent off-task and non-compliant behaviors during individual activities. They cannot manage themselves to work on assigned task.
Giving Paper-Pencil activity to children with behavior problem is even more difficult for these types of children who do not like to write. It is observed that during the activity, these children are always moving out from their seats or if not, they did not comply with what is asked from them.
For children with behavior problems, having worksheet/workbook activities are too difficult to handle. These children are less interested to answer worksheets. They are too lazy to finish the assigned task. They are always out-of-seat. They tend to feel tired and bored if placed for extended periods of time.
During Read Aloud,
it is observed that children listened attentively and participated in class discussion. But if they were the ones called to do the oral reading, they showed negative response when asked to stand in front or do the Read Aloud.
Instructional game activities to children with behavior problem showed no negative behavior. This implies that children participated actively in the activities conducted.
The average number of off-task behaviors for pupils who were not using behavior management strategies was 62.1; while those who were using behavior management strategies was 26.37.
The mean performance of pupils with behavior problems was 85.57; while their peer counterpart was 83. 42.
Self-selected reward and response cost were the best strategies as they have the lowest means. On the other hand, strategies that were less effective were fiddle stuff and classroom seating.
Children with behavior problems usually achieve low academic performance due to their inability to sustain on task behavior.
The behavior modification strategies such as response cost and self selected reward were effective in reducing off-task behavior paving the way for the improvement in English performance.
The teacher’s use of classroom accommodation/modification/adaptation such as modified instructional techniques to provide differentiated instruction and materials to meet students’ individual need; assign peer buddies, peer tutors or cross-age tutors; provide alternative ways of completing assignments; adapt how the student can respond to instruction so that instead of answering questions in writing, allowing a verbal response; help limit unnecessary classroom disruptions and increase pupils’ classroom participation.
Reinforcers and punishments proved to be effective to modify pupils’ misbehaviors. Modeling is a powerful tool to develop in pupils’ good behavior. All of these reinforce the Behavior Management Strategies in increasing English performance through reduction of off-task behavior.
Based on the findings and conclusions, the following are recommended:
Diagnostic tools to identify the behavior problems of pupils at the Philippine Normal University Center for Teaching and Learning, Agusan Campus should be conducted in order to address the needs of these children with special needs.
The school should explore the need for strategies and support systems to address any behavior that may impede the learning of the child with the disability or the learning of his or her peers.
Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) should be provided for this type of children with behavior problems. The IEP may also include psychological or counseling services with the growing recognition that families, as well as their children, need support, respite care, intensive case management and multi-agency treatment plan.
A team composed of administrators; school guidance counselor, classroom adviser, subject teachers, and parents should be organized to compose the IEP team and shall formulate a functional behavioral assessment plan to collect data for developing a behavior intervention plan.
The participation, support and cooperation of parents, teachers, and administrators are highly encouraged in the successful implementation of a behavior intervention program.
School personnel and family as members of IEP team, should work together closely in collaboratively developing comprehensive management and instructional plans for students with behavior problems.
Further study on the causes of behavior problems to provide information in the existing behavior problems and their possible remedies may be recommended to future researchers.
RESEARCH OUTPUT: THE INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PLAN
The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is the "road map" to the child's education. It is both a process and a product. Specific steps lead to the development of the document. The process is as important as the product. It begins with conducting tests and assessments, and then knowledgeable school personnel and parents meet to determine whether the student needs special education services. The development of an IEP requires thinking through the priorities for the child deeply and carefully. The process concludes with a lengthy document, an individualized educational plan. The plan is designed to address the individual strengths and weaknesses of the student. But equally important, the IEP is the avenue by which parents become equal partners in educational decisions about their child. By planning together, parents and professionals develop, monitor and evaluate a program that benefits the child. Basically, individualized instruction is instruction that considers the needs of the students. Ideally, the students would control the pace at which they progress through instruction and the materials they use would be suited to their cognitive skills and learning styles (Gagne et al., 1992).These plans provide evidence that there were alternatives to traditional instruction available. Because they involved self-directed as well as teacher-led instruction, these plans provided support for the continued development of well-designed materials and instruction.
The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) gives parents a "voice" in their child's education. By working together, parents and professionals develop a program that benefits the child. Much of the responsibility for the child's education falls on the parents. Parents are the experts regarding their child and are equal partners throughout the evaluation and IEP process. It is up to them to help develop, evaluate and monitor the IEP.
The IEP is also a written plan that addresses the child's special needs and abilities. A team composed of administrators, school guidance counselor, classroom adviser, subject teachers, and parents organized together and formulated a functional behavioral assessment plan to collect data for developing a behavior intervention plan. The plan should not be exactly like anyone else's. Even though other children may have the same disability, all children have unique needs and abilities. It should be tailored on the individual needs of the child.
PROPOSED INDIVIDUAL EDUCATION PLAN
Name of Child: Pupil 4 Area(s) of Focus
Gender/ Age : Male (11) A. Academic Skill
Date Prepared: ________ English 4: Sessions 5 and 6
Prepared by: ________ B. Emotional/Behavior
Target Behavior: off-task
Targets to Be Achieved
Classroom Modification/Accommodation/ Adaptation
1. To increase ones vocabulary through reading structural analysis of words with C as /k/ and /s/
2. Use possessive nouns in a sentence.
3. Sequence events
develop one ‘s talent through self-actualization
4. Reduce Off-Task behavior
1. Contest on completing puzzle.
2. Pronunciation drill on /s/ or /k/ for C
3. Supervised seatwork Collaborative talk
4. Story mapping for sequencing of events
5. Acting out completed dialogue
6. Fiddle Stuff/Finger Feeler
1. Adapt the goals or outcome expectations while using the same materials (e.g.) utilize instructional game to encourage pupil with behavior problem maximum participation.
2. Provide different instruction and materials to meet pupil’s individual goals
3. Increase the amount of personal assistance with a specific learner (peer buddies)
4. Provide tactile learners with something to keep their hands busy while the teacher is discussing.
1. Achieved 75 % of work
2. Pupil 4 showed noncompliance to the KWL strategy but when the puzzle was given, he began to show interest and participated actively in the discussion.
3. Increasing pupil personal assistance or peer support help pupil with attention difficulty succeed in his academic activities. While pupil 4 writes, and his peer or partner dictates, both of them learn.
Practice reading words with /s/ or /k/ for C.
Read as often as possible.
Follow instruction and participate in class discussion.
Make sure the words sent home are practiced.
Encourage Pupil 4 to speak in class.
Maintain home/school reading practice
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