Components of Self-Management
2: Self-Recording of Data
Once goals are selected, students may be given the opportunity to make a record of their own behavior. Students may fill in a chart such as the one below to keep track of their behaviors. Self-recording may be used to track a behavior so that the student can be given a reinforcer (reward) based on the completion of certain behaviors.
For example, a student may write a checkmark on a chart for each 5 minutes he or she is on task working in class or place a plastic gold coin in a jar each time he or she responds to a peer’s question during lunch time. When a certain number of checkmarks or coins are earned, the student receives a reward, such as computer time.
Even if rewards are not in place, sometimes the act of recoding alone can have a positive effect on behavior. Several research studies have suggested that student records of behavior are quite accurate when compared with teacher records of behavior. Some studies even indicate that inaccurate student records can have a positive effect on student behavior.
Before teaching students to record their own behavior, they must be aware of exactly what appropriate behavior they need to achieve. For example, identification of what on-task behavior looks like may be taught through observation and modeling of teacher and peer examples, role-play, and/or Social StoriesTM (http://www.thegraycenter.org/social-stories ).
Teachers and parents using self-recording should utilize the following components:
•Selecting goals (a target behavior),
•Starting small. If a student has trouble staying on task, start with a small interval of time, such as getting a checkmark, sticker, or token every minute. As the student is successful with this, gradually increase the time to two minutes, then three, and so on. To determine which interval of time to start with, observe the student to see how long he or she is currently able to stay on task, and set your time interval either right at that time, or just slightly longer.
•Specifically define a target behavior to be monitored, The student needs to know exactly what the behavior “looks like” (what he or she is expected to do).
•Selecting a data collection/recording system (such as the above chart),
•Teaching the student to recognize the appropriate behavior in himself or herself, and
•Teaching the student to use the selected data collection system.
References / Resources
Alberto, P. A., & Troutman, A. C. (2009). Applied behavior analysis for teachers (8th ed.). Columbus, OH: Merrill Prentice Hall.
Goldiamond, I. (1976). Self-reinforcement. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 9(4), 509-514.
Koegel, R. L., Koegel, L. K., & Surratt,A. (1992). Language intervention and disruptive behavior in children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 22, 141-152.