Week 5 – discussion 1 and week 5 – discussion 2


Week 5 – Discussion 1

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Differential Reinforcement


Review the various types of differential reinforcement explained in Behavior Advisor and how to set up a token economy system:


  1. DRL: Differential Reinforcement of Lower Rates of Behavior
  2. Differential Reinforcement of Other Behaviors 
  3. DRI: Differentiated Reinforcement of Incompatible Behaviors
  4. Classroom token economy 




A fellow teacher and friend calls you pleading for help with his fifth grade class. When you ask what is going on he tells you:


Every time I turn my back, Michael is either throwing something, hitting someone playfully, or making fun of me.  When I ask him to please stop, he gets defensive and says, “It wasn’t me!” but I know it was.  The principal and the parents just scold him and he is just as disruptive the next day.  When he behaves like that, it causes the entire class to be off task.  I just don’t know what to do.


Because you have been taking this course, you feel equipped to help your friend by suggesting he try using differentiated reinforcement with a token economy system.  Design a plan using one of the differentiated reinforcement techniques and the token economy system.  Support your reasoning for choosing a specific technique with one additional resource.

Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your classmates.  Do you agree with the technique your classmates chose?  Why or why not?  Use the resource you found to support your decision.  Include in your response at least one additional way the token economy system suggested could be improved.


Week 5 – Discussion 2


Review Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports and Positive behavior support plan (Essential elements)

Positive behavioral intervention and support (PBIS) can either be individually based or school wide (SWPBIS), and in many cases both. The whole school can have a behavior intervention plan that involves system-wide positive rewards for following the school’s code of conduct and consistent negative reinforcement for code violations. Individually based behavior plans are dependent on the student’s unique target behavior and what the student finds as a motivator. The main goal of either a school-wide or individual-based PBIS is to teach students to generalize positive behaviors in the “real world” without adult support or external rewards.

Thomas was a fourth grader at a local elementary school who was diagnosed with Down syndrome and received specially designed instruction as defined on his IEP. Thomas had been attending the school since first grade and knew several of the other students.  He received most of his instruction in separate special education class that was located within the general population.  Thomas’ teachers described his problem behaviors as off task and disruptive to instruction and other activities that included excessive talking, prolonged waving and pointing at peers, and excessively long transitions between activities. Thomas has also been sent home several times for touching peers in private areas.  The teachers have reported that when there are five or more students per teacher the majority of problems arise. Thomas really likes getting the teacher’s attention, high-fives, and getting calls home to say he is doing a great job.

What would you choose as the one target behavior that needs to be modified? Which differentiated response would you choose to use to modify the behavior and why? How will you teach this new skill? What will you use as a reward? What will you use as a negative reinforcer? What are two short-term goals (1 month each) you can use to achieve your long term goal? What is your long-term goal (at the conclusion of 6 months)? How will you teach him to generalize this goal?



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