moving right along
In the article, Moving Right Along: Planning Transitions to Prevent Challenging Behavior; a lot is talked about regarding behavioral issues that arise during transitional times within the classroom setting. The article suggests that many children undergo some behavioral issues around transitional periods due to many different factors including inconsistency between teachers and environments, unclear expectations of what needs to be done and often children become overwhelmed because too many children are waiting to do the same thing i.e. 5 children are waiting in line to wash their hands for lunch or often times simply because the child is not motivated to move on from their current area of interest. The article goes on to describe different methods that can be used within a classroom in order to help make these transitions less stressful and to reduce the amount of behavioral issues that may occur during these times. The article offers an example of a typical classroom routine and what can be changed in order to help reduce the likeliness of challenging behaviors. Some of these changes are simple like offering snack as a center choice so that children can feel free to eat when they are hungry. The article suggests that limiting the amount and time spent in transitions is a key factor in more successful transitions. The article suggests that teachers take observations during transitional periods in order to help better understand what can be modified for the children and help reduce challenging behaviors from occurring. The article also describes what will help for children who have specific disabilities that may increase stress and behavioral issues to occur during these times, “Some children may have a difficult time with transitions due to disabilities (difficulty with change is a characteristic of autism, for example) or limited communication, social emotional, or cognitive skills.
For example, some children may take longer to process directions. If adults give too many directions at once or give oral directions without cues, such as holding up a backpack to signal that it is time to go home, these children may not know what to do. In these situations, teachers may view the child as engaging in challenging behavior rather than recognizing that the child needs to learn a skill or receive additional cues to understand the direction.” The article suggests that during these instances it is important for a teacher to be available for individuals who need additional support. For example having a teacher is available at the door engaging children in a song or finger play as they prepare to go outside, and having another teacher implement individual reminders before the transitions for children with disabilities or children who may need additional support. Another method in helping to reduce challenge in behaviors during this time especially with children who have disabilities is the use of a visual schedule which will help illustrate a better understanding of what is expected to occur and what the children can expect to happen throughout the day. “Teachers should address four questions in creating individual plans: Why is the behavior occurring? How can it be prevented? How can I respond if the behavior occurs? And what new skills should I teach the child?” This article provides various different methods and ideas in order to help support teachers in creating a consistent, clear routine with children so that there can be less challenging behaviors and distress around transitions in the classroom.
This article can be applied and used in order to help support the understanding of children who have special needs and disabilities. Though this article does address the general classroom and typical students, it also touches the topic of children with exceptionalities. This article is helpful in that it reminds the readers that each child is an individual and though a schedule needs to be in place for an entire classroom to utilize there still needs to be additional support for individuals. The article is extremely helpful in reminding me that children with exceptionalities and behavioral disabilities are not just becoming upset because they want to, but they are becoming overwhelmed and just don’t know that to do in certain situations. I don’t currently work with students who have exceptionalities or behavioral disorders so I have found this article resourceful in that I could apply it to my practice if and when it is needed. The article serves as a resourceful reminder that children with exceptionalities can better follow a routine if they have an individualized approach in their routine. For example if a teacher is able to clarify before, during and after transitional periods for a child it may help reduce the chances of challenging behavior or anxiety. Reading this article is hitting close to home for me because I have a child in my classroom that really seems to struggle with anxiety around routines and especially around transitional times. I can use the information provided in this article to help support this child better and have him feel more comfortable in times of transitions. I really enjoyed reading this article and found it extremely resourceful especially in the realm of special education. Understanding that a few modifications to a classroom routine can make all the difference for children with disabilities or other exceptionalities is extremely comforting and helps me to feel confident in that I can provide a safe, comfortable environment for all kinds of children to thrive in.
Hemmeter, Mary Louise, Michaelene M. Ostrosky, and Kathleen Artman. "Planning Transitions to Prevent Challenging Behavior." Beyond the Journal (2008). Print.