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Supporting teachers and children during in-class transitions

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Title:
Supporting teachers and children during in-class transitions the power of prevention
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English
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Mele, Sarah M
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University of South Florida
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Early intervention
Challenging behavior
Teaching pyramid
Preschool
Head start
Dissertations, Academic -- Applied Behavior Analysis -- Masters -- USF   ( lcsh )
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non-fiction   ( marcgt )

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Summary:
ABSTRACT: In early childhood classrooms, transitions are often targeted as times of the day during which teachers encounter problems with deficiencies in child engagement, as well as frequent occurrences of challenging behavior. Studies to date on improving child behavior during in-class transitions have focused on providing supports for individual children, as well as on reducing transition duration. The present study evaluated the effects of systematic transition strategies, as applied to three Head Start preschool classrooms during targeted in-class transitions. Strategies encompassed an accumulation of antecedent and consequent manipulations and were selected on the basis of environmental fit with individual classroom environments. Participants included three Head Start preschool teachers and their respective students, all three to five years of age.The dependent measures examined in the study included mean percent classroom engagement and percent occurrence of challenging behavior, measured across all phases of the study (i.e., baseline, coaching and independent implementation). Results, evaluated in a multiple baseline probe across classrooms, indicated that with implementation of systematic transition strategies, mean percentages of classroom engagement within intervention phases (i.e., coaching and independent implementation) were higher and relatively more stable than those observed in baseline, within and across all three participating classrooms. Furthermore, mean percent occurrences of challenging behavior were lower and relatively more stable within phases of intervention (i.e., coaching and independent implementation) than those observed in baseline, within and across all three participating classrooms.Data on the accuracy with which teachers implemented selected strategies (i.e., treatment integrity) were also documented and presented in the context of results obtained. Implications for future research are discussed, in light of the limitations and findings of the current investigation.
Thesis:
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2008.
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Includes bibliographical references.
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by Sarah M. Mele.
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Title from PDF of title page.
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Document formatted into pages; contains 139 pages.

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University of South Florida
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aleph - 001999215
oclc - 318186281
usfldc doi - E14-SFE0002450
usfldc handle - e14.2450
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SFS0026767:00001


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Supporting Teachers and Children During In-Class Transitions: The Power of Prevention by Sarah M. Mele A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Appl ied Behavior Analysis College of Graduate School University of South Florida Major Professor: Lise K. Fox, Ph.D. Bobbie J. Vaughn, Ph.D., BCBA Kwang-Sun Blair, Ph.D. Shelley Clarke, M.A., BCBA Date of Approval: March 31, 2008 Keywords: early intervention, challenging behavior, teachi ng pyramid, preschool, head start Copyright 2008, Sarah M. Mele

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank all those who have so graciously contributed to this work. I would like to thank my dear friend, Lindsey Jo nes, for her faithful dedication to the many hours of data collection and anal ysis, as well as for her endless prayers and support. I am forever grateful to my parents, Dennis and Lynn Mele, for their prayerful support and quiet encouragement when words eluded them Many thanks to my Supervisor, Dr. Lise Fox, for her guidance throughout the entire research process, as well as to Shelley Clarke for her willingness to guide me through what wa s, at times, a rigorous editorial process. I’d like to thank my committee members fo r their willingness to contribute their knowledge and expertise to the progression of this work. Lastly, many thanks and blessings to the participati ng teachers and staff of one be loved Head Start Center, the patience and participatio n of whom was much appreciated. Thank you.

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i TABLE OF CONTENTS LIST OF TABLES iv LIST OF FIGURES v ABSTRACT vi CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION & LITERATURE REVIEW 1 Prevalence of Challenging Behavior in Young Children 1 Why Intervene: Avoiding the Developmental Trajectories 3 Supporting Social-Emotional Development: The Teaching Pyramid 4 Universal Level: Positive Relationshi ps and Supportive Environments 5 Secondary Level: Supporting Social-Emotional Competence 7 Tertiary Level: Individu alized Interventions 8 Supporting Children During Transitions: Issues & Interventions 11 The Use of Verbal and Auditory Cues 12 Physical Transitions: The Use of Music, Peer Buddies, & Self-Monitoring The Use of Music, Peer Buddies, & Se lf-Monitoring 15 Supporting Teachers: Barriers to Implementation 22 Coaching & Performance Feedback 24 Summary of Research to Date 26 CHAPTER 2. METHODOLOGY 28 Setting and Participants 29 Teacher A 31 Teacher B 31 Teacher C 32 Dependent Variables 33 Design and Data Collection 35 Interobserver Agreement 37 Treatment Integrity 39 Social Validity 40 Independent Variable 41 Teacher Consultation Procedures 43 Initial Consultation 43 Teacher A: Initial Consultation 44 Teacher B: Initial Consultation 46 Teacher C: Initial Consultation 48 Intervention Strategy Selection 49

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ii Teacher A: Intervention Strategy Selection 50 Teacher B: Intervention Strategy Selection 53 Teacher C: Intervention Strategy Selection 56 General Procedures 59 Baseline 59 Intervention 60 Informal In-Vivo Coaching 60 Coaching 60 Independent Implementation 61 CHAPTER 3. RESULTS 62 Methods of Data Analysis 62 Data Analyses of Changes in Dependent Measures 62 Classroom A 64 Classroom B 66 Classroom C 68 Summary of Results for Classrooms A, B, and C 70 Data Analyses of Treatment Integrity Measures 71 ` Teacher A 71 Teacher B 73 Teacher C 74 Data Analyses of Social Validation Measures 74 CHAPTER 4. DISCUSSION 77 Discussion of Research Questions 77 Research Question # 1 77 Research Question # 2 78 Consumer Satisfac tion Interviews: General Results 80 Limitations and Implications for Future Study 82 Summary and Conclusions 85 REFERENCES 88 APPENDIX A: MEASUREMENT TOOLS 101 Sample Data Sheet 102 Treatment integrity checklist for Teacher A 103 Treatment integrity checklist for Teacher B 105 Treatment integrity checklist for Teacher C 107 Social Validity Questionnaire 109 Consumer Satis faction Interview Questions 110 APPENDIX B: OPERATI ONAL DEFINITIONS OF CLASSROOM ENGAGEMENT FOR CLASSROOM A 111 APPENDIX C: OPERATI ONAL DEFINITIONS OF

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iii CLASSROOM ENGAGEMENT FOR CLASSROOM B 117 APPENDIX D: OPERATI ONAL DEFINITIONS OF CLASSROOM ENGAGEMENT FOR CLASSROOM C 122 APPENDIX E: SUMMARY OF SYSTEMATIC TRANSITION STRATEGIES SE LECTED BY TEACHER A 127 APPENDIX F: SUMMARY OF SYSTEMATIC TRANSITION STRATEGIES SE LECTED BY TEACHER B 131 APPENDIX G: SUMMARY OF SYSTEMATIC TRANSITION STRATEGIES SE LECTED BY TEACHER C 135 APPENDIX H: MEAN NUMBER OF CHILDREN PRESENT DURING DATA COLLECTION SESSIONS, WITHIN AND ACROSS CLASSROOMS A, B, AND C 138

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iv LIST OF TABLES Table 1. Changes in level and variability of classroom engagement within and across phases for Classroom A 64 Table 2. Changes in level and variability of challenging behavior within and across phases for Classroom A 66 Table 3. Changes in level and variability of classroom engagement within and across phases for Classroom B 67 Table 4. Changes in level and variability of challenging behavior within and across phases for Classroom B 68 Table 5. Changes in level and variability of classroom engagement within and across phases for Classroom C 69 Table 6. Changes in level and variability of challenging behavior within and across phases for Classroom C 70 Table 7. Level and variability of tr eatment integrity measures within intervention phases for Teacher A 73 Table 8. Level and variability of tr eatment integrity measures within intervention phases for Teacher B 73 Table 9. Level and variability of tr eatment integrity measures within intervention phases for Teacher C 74 Table 10. Data Analysis of Social va lidation measures for Teachers A, B, and C 76

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v LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1. Mean Percent Classroom Enga gement and Percent Occurrence of Challenging Behavior Within a nd Across Phases for Classrooms A, B, and C 63 Figure 2. Percentage of Systematic Transition Strategies Accurately Implemented Within and Across Intervention Phases for Teachers A, B, and C 72

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vi Supporting Teachers and Children During In-Cla ss Transitions: The Power of Prevention Sarah M. Mele ABSTRACT In early childhood classrooms, transitions ar e often targeted as times of the day during which teachers encounter problems with deficiencies in child engagement, as well as frequent occurrences of challenging beha vior. Studies to date on improving child behavior during in-class transitions have focused on providing suppor ts for individual children, as well as on reducing transition du ration. The present study evaluated the effects of systematic transition strategies, as applied to three H ead Start preschool classrooms during targeted in-class transitions Strategies encompassed an accumulation of antecedent and consequent manipulations and were selected on the basis of environmental fit with indivi dual classroom environments. Pa rticipants included three Head Start preschool teachers a nd their respective stude nts, all three to five years of age. The dependent measures examined in th e study included mean percent classroom engagement and percent occurr ence of challenging behavior, measured across all phases of the study (i.e., baseline, coaching and independent implementation ). Results, evaluated in a multiple baseline probe across classrooms, indicated that with implementation of systematic transition strategies, mean percentages of classroom engagement within intervention phases (i.e., coaching and independent implementation ) were higher and relatively more stable than those observed in baseline, within and across all three

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vii participating classrooms. Furthermore, mean percent occurrences of challenging behavior were lower and relatively more stable within phases of intervention (i.e., coaching and independent implementation ) than those observed in baseline within and across all three participating classrooms. Data on the accuracy with which teachers implemented selected strategies (i.e., treatment integrity) were also documented and presente d in the context of results obtained. Implications for future re search are discussed, in light of the limitations and findings of the current investigation.

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1 CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION & LITERATURE REVIEW In the analysis of human behavior, researchers over th e last several years have given particular atten tion to behaviors perceived to be “socially important” (Baer, Wolf, & Risley, 1968). Among this populace of behaviors are those identifying children, particularly those referred to as displaying or experienci ng “challenging behavior”. As defined by Smith and Fox (2003), “challengi ng behavior” constitutes “any repeated pattern of behavior…that interferes with or is at risk of interfering with optimal learning or engagement in prosocial interactions with peers and adults” (page 7). The purpose of the following chapter is to provide a review of the literature on the prevalence of challenging behavior in young ch ildren, as well as a rationale for providing early intervention for children in whom pa tterns of challenging behavior are unremitting. Following this discussion is that related to the growing interest in the development of multi-tiered intervention models, as relevant to research conducted with individual and multiple children. Implications for supporting te achers and other behavior change agents are also discussed in light of barriers common to implementation. Prevalence of Challenging Behavior in Young Children Reviews of the prevalence of challeng ing behavior in young children have come to a general consensus that a pproximately 7-25% of preschool aged children (i.e., ages three to five years) have mild to modera te behavior problems (Barnett et al., 2006). Research has demonstrated that children e xposed to various environmental correlates

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2 may be particularly vulnerable to expression s of challenging behavi or, to include those living in poverty, child ren exposed to domestic violence and parental substance abuse, and those neglected by caregivers (Conroy & Brown, 2004). A review by Qi & Kaiser (2003) revealed that 30% of children of low-income families demonstrated common characteristics of challenging behavior, as compared to three to six percent of young children in the general populat ion. In addition to consideri ng the environmental correlates associated with a higher prevalence of cha llenging behavior, long itudinal studies have revealed that developmentally disabled child ren may exhibit a rate three times that of typically developing children (Hemmeter, Ostrosky, & Fox, 2006). Even given the implications for children particularly vulnerable to demonstrating these patterns of behavior, rese arch has revealed that as lit tle as 10% of these children will receive the necessary supports to addre ss challenging behavior (Kazdin & Kendall, 1998). Without early identification and inte rvention for these children, the continued persistence of these to pographies is highly predictive. One review indicated that, of preschoolers in whom patterns of challenging behavior were identified, as many as 50% continued on these trajectories, up to tw o years following initial identification (e.g., Webster-Stratton, 1997). In a review by Ca mpbell and Ewing (1990), authors reported that 67% of the participa ting preschoolers who had demonstrated behavioral characteristics of hyperactivity and excessive physical aggression at the age of three, continued to demonstrate these pervasive beha vioral problems at the age of nine. Other studies have supported the persistence of pr oblem behavior in pr eschool children beyond that of three years, up to seven years fo llowing initial identifi cation (Campbell & Ewing, 1990). Furthermore, research has revealed that the extent to which an intervention is

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3 successful is highly correlated with early identific ation, posing serious implications for the potential failure of supports ap plied later in life (Dodge, 1993). Why Intervene?: Avoiding the Detrimental Trajectories The implications of allo wing children to continue on these trajectories are commonly associated with the emergence of more severe patterns of behavior, beyond the stability and persistence of those behaviors initially identified (Campbell & Ewing, 1990; Webster-Stratton, 1997). Among these patterns are those related to delays in socialemotional and cognitive development, as we ll as to overall academic success (Powell, Dunlap, & Fox, 2006). As per social-emotional development, children who continue on these detrimental trajectories often demonstrate deficiencies in the ability to establish and maintain positive interactions with peers a nd adults, manage personal and interpersonal conflict, regulate emotions, and accurately interpret the emotions of others (Conroy & Brown, 2004; Joseph & Strain, 2003). Moreove r, many of these children, who do not receive intervention, receive la ter diagnoses of Emotional/B ehavioral Disorders (E/BD) and Emotional Disturbance (ED) (Barnett et al., 2006; Campbell & Ewing, 1990). The temperamental characteristics common to childr en who continue to decline in behavioral and social skills include hyperactivity, social alienation, low adaptability, and abnormally high expressions of irritability and reactivity (Stormont, 2002). Persistence of these social skills deficits often impede later academic success, presenting implications for the adequacy with which these children are pr epared for secondary schooling, as well as more pronounced threats of academic failure in later years (Powell et al., 2006). In the last decade, there has been a gr owing interest among researchers in the use of the multi-tiered approach to address the intervention needs of children at risk for and

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4 with disabilities (Fuchs & Fuchs, 1998). Thes e approaches use the public health models of prevention and treatment. As with to the public health model, promotional supports at the universal level are those designed to promote th e healthy development or behavior of all individuals of a particular population, secondary strategies are those implemented for purposes of providing preventative measur es of support for those at-risk, and tertiary interventions are available for individuals w ho have been diagnosed with a particular disorder, often in need of supports beyond t hose provided at the uni versal and secondary levels (Commission on Chronic Illness, 1957). School-wide models of this three-tiered approach such as school-wide positive beha vior support, have been identified in the literature as successful in reduc ing instances of overall prob lem behavior, as well as in producing subsequent increases in time de voted to academics (Horner, Sugai, Todd, & Lewis-Palmer, 2005; Sugai et al., 2000). Supporting Social-Emotional Development: The Teaching Pyramid With the application of mu lti-tiered models to the school setting, those developed for young children are often conducive to s upporting social-emotional competence, as well as to serving as preventative measures of support for children at-risk for challenging behavior. The rationale for this is highly a ssociated with the detrimental trajectories previously discussed, in light of the impact of poor social-e motional development in early childhood on later academic and social success. One such model is that developed by Fox, Dunlap, Hemmeter, Joseph, and Strain (2003), known as The Teaching Pyramid Similar in form to other models of intervention, The Teaching Pyramid follows a multi-tiered approach, w ith particular attention to the application of universal stra tegies to promote the social-emotional competence of all

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5 children, the use of preventative supports for ch ildren identified as at-risk for challenging behavior, and individualized interventions for those childr en identified as exhibiting patterns of challenging be havior (Fox et al., 2003). The Teaching Pyramid is therefore a hierarchical model founded on practices of promotion, preventi on, and intervention (Hemmeter, Ostrosky, & Fox, 2006). Universal Level: Positive Relationships and Supportive Environments Conducive to the provision of supports at the universal level, the first component of The Teaching Pyramid comprises the foundational aspect of fostering positive social relationships between children and their peers, teachers, family members, and other individuals with whom they frequently intera ct (Fox et al., 2003). Positive relationships are those that emphasize the reinforcement of ch ildren’s initiations of interactive play and conversation, as well as provi sion of praise for appropriate behavior (Bodrova & Leong, 1998; Kontos, 1999). The rationale for supporting the development of positive relationships is such that the environments in which these interactions are established will likely reinforce a child’s attempts to initiate and respond to social intera ctions (Powell, Dunlap, & Fox, 2006). As such, the use of challenging behavior to express a need or desire is often irrelevant in the context of supportive environments. Conducive to the establishment of these supportiv e environments at the univer sal level is a consideration for family-professional collaboration, such that familial involvement in a child’s socialemotional development will aid in the promotion of these supportive contexts, across a generalized sample of environments (Cox, 2005; Hemmeter et al., 2006). Research in this area has demonstrat ed a strong correlation between positive teacher-child relationships and the child’s subsequent social-emotional competence and

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6 development of prosocial patterns of behavior (Birch & Ladd, 1998; Cugmas, 2003; Howes, 2000; Mashburn, 2006; Pianta, St einberg, & Rollins, 1995). Furthermore, evidence exists in support of a correlation between the developmen t of positive teacherchild relationships and a child’s positive association with pe ers and other adults (Howes & Hamilton, 1993; Howes & Smith, 1995). Conducive to supporting a child’s engagement in these positive social relationships is the structur ing of various physical and in teractive components of the environment (Fox et al., 2003; Sainato, 1990). P hysical arrangements often incorporate an emphasis on open spaces and appropriate pa rtitioning of areas to delineate different activity centers (Twardosz, Cataldo, & Risle y, 1974), clearly define d areas for physical transitions from one area of the room to anot her, and the availability of developmentally appropriate materials in the context of classroom activities (Bailey & Wolery, 1984; Doke & Risley, 1972; Hart, 1978; Sainato, 1990 ). In addition, teachers may post visual schedules of activities to increase the predictability of daily routines, as well as rules outlining expectations as to appropriate behaviors required during these routines (Fox et al., 2003; Hemmeter & Fox, in press; Hemmet er et al., 2006; Neilsen, Olive, Donovan, & McEvoy, 1999). At the universal practice level, teachers are also encouraged to create classroom schedules that have a balance of sm all and large-group activit ies, to include the structuring of well-planned transitions (He mmeter et al., 2006; Saintao, 1990). Relevant to planning activities is the necessity of delineating responsibility among classroom staff during transitions (LeLaurin & Risley, 1972), as well as ensuring that time between activities is minimal so as to reduce wait time (Doke & Risley, 1972). Studies have revealed that classroom environments arra nged in such a manner often promote child

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7 engagement in academically and socially -appropriate behavior, with concomitant reductions in individual a nd classroom-wide problem behavior (e.g., DeKlyen & Odom, 1989; Hagekull & Bohlin, 1995; Holloway & Reichart-Erikson, 1988; Kontos & WilcoxHerzog, 1997; Peisner-Feinberg et al ., 2001; Zaslow et al., 2006). Secondary Level: Supporting Social-Emotional Competence While universal practices are designed to promote the appropriate behavior and social skills development of all children in the classroom, s econdary interventions may be necessary as a preventative approach for child ren identified as at-risk for challenging behavior (Fox et al., 2003; Hemme ter et al., 2006). In a review of eight social emotional curricula designed for use at the secondary in tervention level, Jose ph and Strain (2003) identified two as highly evidence-based and therefore including m easures of treatment fidelity, maintenance, social validity and acceptability measures, and evidence for generalization across a diversity of individuals. These include the Incredible Years Child Training Program (Dinosaur School) (Webster-Stratton, 1990) and First Step to Success (Walker et al., 1998). The Incredible Years program teaches children to problem solve through the use of video modeling, role play rehearsals, interactiv e activities, and the supplemental use of puppets (Webster-Stratt on, 1990). This program has been successful in reducing incidents of problem behavior at home and school, increasing children’s use of problem-solving techniques to manage va rious emotions, and reinforcing children’s ability to initiate and maintain positive inte rpersonal relationships with others (WebsterStratton, 1990). The First Steps to Success program is designed for use with individual children and has been successful in reinforc ing the acquisition of adaptive behavior, while reducing occurrences of socially-maladaptive behavior in both the home and school

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8 setting (Walker et al., 1998). Creators of The Teaching Pyramid assert that the extent to which these interventions are effective often depend upon the inclusion of preliminary modeling of appropriate behavior, role-plays with childre n in the naturalistic environment, use of prompts to encourage the use of skills, and reinforcement provided contingent upon appropriate use of these skills (Hemmeter & Fox, in press; Joseph & Strain, 2003). Tertiary Level: Individualized Interventions As previously reviewed, the first two levels (i.e., universal practices and secondary interventions) of The Teaching Pyramid are designed to promote the socialemotional development of all children and to prevent the development of challenging behavior of children at ris k. However, prevalence studies have indicated that a small percentage of children (i.e., 5-30%) will ha ve persistent challenging behavior that requires more intensive and individualized interventions (Hemmeter, Ostrosky, & Fox, 2006). For these children, The Teaching Pyramid includes the necessity of individualized supports at the tertiary level, often involving procedures c onducive to a process known as Positive Behavior Support (PBS). PBS, mandated by the 1997 IDEA amendm ents for inclusion in a student’s Individualized Education Progr ams (IEP), is a process involv ing the initial identification of stimuli associated with occurrences of pr oblem behavior, the subsequent determination of the function of behavior, and the devel opment of interventions designed to teach functionally-equivalent replacement be haviors (Fox, Dunlap, & Cushing, 2002). Interventions common to the PBS process therefore include those designed to differentially reinforce the acquisition of appropriate replacement behaviors, while

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9 simultaneously placing inappropriate behavi or on extinction (Dunl ap, 2006). The extent to which these interventions are effectiv e is often dependent upon the collaborative involvement of individuals in the child’s lif e, as well as on the availability of active supports for the implementation of interventions in a variety of naturalistic environments (Hemmeter & Fox, in press). Research in this area has revealed succe ssful reductions in problem behavior through such strategies as embedding preferen ce and choice into academic and leisure activities (e.g., Blair, Umbreit, & Bos, 1999; Dunlap et al., 1994; Lerman, Addison, & Kodak, 2006; Newton, Ard, & Horner, 1993; Parsons & Reid, 1990; Waldron-Soler, Martella, Marchand-Martella, & Ebey, 2000) as well as modifying the length and difficulty of academic tasks (e.g., Blair, Umbreit, & Eck, 2000 ; Dunlap, Kern-Dunlap, Clarke, & Robbins, 1991; Umbreit, 1995; Um breit, 1996). Furthermore, successful acquisition of appropriate replacement beha vior has been demonstrated through the implementation of such procedures as F unctional Communication Training (FCT) (e.g., Durand & Carr, 1991; Durand, 1999; Horner & Day, 1991; Reeve & Carr, 2000) and self-instructional proced ures designed to reinforce indepe ndence in academic and social activities (e.g., Reeve & Ca rr, 2000; Sainato, Strain, Le fevbre, & Rapp, 1990; Strain, Kohler, Storey, & Danko, 1994; Wert & Neisworth, 2003). Even given the systematic utility of The Teaching Pyramid as a model of intervention for young children with challengi ng behavior, there is little empirical evidence to support the applicati on of this model to naturalis tic classrooms, particularly for young children between the ages of three and five years. For purposes of applying strategies to promote healthy social-emotiona l development, as well as to prevent the

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10 occurrence of challenging behavior, more resear ch is needed in the application of this model to early childhood education settings. Furthermore, while in terventions at the secondary and tertiary leve ls are paramount to the academic and social-emotional development of children, there exists a particularly strong rationale for applying interventions at the universal level. For young children, the provision of supports at the universal level, particular those pertinent to environmental and structur al arrangements, fosters an environment in which the utility of challenging behavior to communicate is no longe r relevant, and the appropriate behavior of all ch ildren is supported (Fox et al., 2003; Hemmeter et al., 2006; Kern & Clemens, 2007). As such, supports at th is level represent a proactive approach to the promotion of social skills, prevention of problem behavior, and the acquisition and reinforcement of appropriate engagement. Th e rationale for supporti ng the engagement of children in the classroom is such that it repr esents an important dimension of appropriate behavior, functioning both to replace the releva ncy and efficiency of problem behavior in the classroom and to reinforce progress toward academic and social objectives (McWilliam et al., 1985). Though the topogra phy of engagement has encompassed several dimensions throughout the early ch ildhood literature, it has been generally defined as comparable to “the amount of time children spend interacting with the environment in a manner that is developm entally appropriate” (McWilliam et al., 1985). As a behavior that is necessarily incompatib le with challenging behavior, engagement has been recognized as a functi onally-appropriate replacement behavior. Perhaps foundational to providing universal supports is a consideration for what authors have referred to as “setting even ts”, described by Kantor (1959) as those

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11 variables that affect the extent to which va rious environmental stimuli will successfully reinforce or punish behavior. In preschool classrooms, e fforts to support children are largely dependent upon one setting event in pa rticular: the predictability of routines (Nordquist & Twardosz, 1990). Of the litera ture to date involving overall classroom predictability, research has suggested that efforts to support young children often involve interventions designed to reinforce acquisiti on of “independent mastery skills” (Sainato, 1990). These skills are often comprised of t hose conducive to making transitions, as well as engagement in other activities requiring active participation, i ndependent of teacher assistance. The focus of the current discussi on is on that of providing supports for children during transitional activities. Supporting Children During Transiti ons: Issues & Interventions An early estimate postulated that as much as 20 to 30% of a child’s daily classroom activities are spent in transition fr om one activity or loca tion to another (Berk, 1976). For purposes of the current discussion, transitions have been defined in the literature as “teacher-initiated directive(s) to students to end one activity and to start another” (Arlin, 1979). Research has demons trated that the period of time between activities common to transitions often serv e as setting events for problem behavior (Paine, Radicchi, Rossellini, Deutchman & Darch, 1983). Furthermore, occurrences of problem behavior during transitions are of ten associated with such issues as unpredictability and lack of clarity as to e xpectations regarding appropriate behavior (Buck, 1999). The successful support of childre n during transitions is often dependent upon teacher behaviors, particularly those asso ciated with giving children the information

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12 necessary to understand and predict the expect ations of current and upcoming routines and activities (Buck, 1999; Sainato, 1990). While general recommendations often include providing environmental supports that clearly delineate rules a nd expectations, research suggest s that the nature of these supports are often dependent upon the context of the transition itself (Buck, 1999). These include transitions requiring children to end an activity, those involving physical movement from one area of the room to anot her, and transitions requiring children to begin a new activity (Buck, 1999). Given these implications, following is a brief review of the literature concerning interventions de signed to support childre n during transitions, as is pertinent to universal preventive strategies. The Use of Verbal and Auditory Cues Research has suggested that the occurrenc e of problem behaviors in the context of demands to end an activity and begin the next are often associated with the absence of supplemental directives to cue upcoming transitio ns, whether auditory or visual in nature. These cues are sometimes referred to as “safety signals”, defined as “any external stimulus that correlates with the end (or beginning) of an activity” (Reichle, York, & Sigafoos, 1991). The function of these signals is therefore to delineate the end of an activity and approaching transition, such that do ing so increases the predictability of and preparation for the upcoming transition. Early studies evaluating the use of these signals to prompt transitions have produced mixed re sults, particularly in comparison to other procedures (e.g., Goetz, Ayala, Hatfield, Ma rshall, & Etzel, 1983; Sainato, Strain, Lefebvre, & Rapp, 1987; Wurt ele & Drabman, 1984). A study by Goetz and colleagues (1983) demonstrated the conditioned efficacy of

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13 an auditory stimulus, paired with teacher praise, to signal transitions for 14 preschool children. Results, evaluated via an alternating treatments design, indicated that with presentation of the auditory stimulus, all 14 children demonstrated increases in active engagement during transitions, thereby functi oning to reduce the amount of time spent in transitions. Dependent engagement measures were therefore correlated with time spent during transitions. Improvements were maintain ed even after removal of teacher praise, demonstrating the conditioned efficacy of the st imulus to signal transitions, as well as to reinforce appropriate child engagement during transitions, with subsequent reductions in problem behavior. Wurtele and Drabman (1984) demonstrated similar effects in a study with a class of 18 typically developing kindergarten ch ildren, identified as spending excessive amounts of time in transition between clean-up from morning free play and initiation of the next, large-group activity. In this study, children were requ ired to clean up their areas prior to the sound of a buzzer. The primar y dependent measure was time spent during clean-up, calculated as a latency measure (i.e., time from an initial pr ompt to “clean-up” to the end of clean-up). Results evaluated in a reversal design within which the buzzer was applied and removed during respective pe riods, demonstrated reductions of time spent in clean-up relative to baseline measures, contingent upon application of the buzzer. Results generalized to conditions in which th e teacher was not present and maintained for a period of one year. While these earlier studies (Goetz et al., 1983; Wurt ele & Drabman, 1984) provided preliminary support for the efficacy of auditory stimuli to signal and reduce time spent in transitions, child engagement during these activities was not operationally

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14 defined in either study and was only assumed to be associated with durational measures. As such, these studies are limited in provi sion of evidence to support a functional relationship between the use of stimuli to incr ease the efficiency of transitions and do not provide data on how these strategies may aff ect appropriate child engagement. In a more recent study by Ferguson, Ashbaugh, and O’Reilly (2004), authors evaluated the effects of a multicomponent intervention package on transition times during two morning and two afternoon transitions. Pa rticipants included 14 males in a selfcontained kindergarten classroom, ranging in age from five to six years. The two components of intervention, evaluated in a multiple baseline across transitions design, included a prompt training procedure and a prompt plus reinforcement procedure. During the prompt training procedure, students were taught to associate the soun d of a bell with prompts to transition, encompassing instruct ions to stop at the sound of the bell and contingent reinforcement for those students who demonstrated appropriate “stopping” behavior. During the prompt plus reinforcement procedure, the sound of the bell signaled prompts to transition, and compliance to the pr ompt during actual tr ansitions was paired with a contingent edible reinforcer. Depende nt child measures included duration of mean transition time, calculated via direct observa tions during each of the four targeted transitions. Results revealed that mean time to tran sition decreased across all four transition activities, providing some evidence for the ge neralization of these pr ocedures to a range of activities. Though participants were in itially described by teachers as exhibiting various externalizing behavi or problems (e.g., aggression, elopement, destruction, noncompliance, etc.) observers did not meas ure dimensions of these behaviors, and

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15 therefore associations between reductions in transition time and problem behavior are limited to anecdotal evidence, a pplicable only to mean transition times rather than more stringent assessments of child behavior. The Use of Music, Peer Buddies, & Self-Monitoring Among strategies designed to support young children during tr ansitions requiring physical movement from one location to anot her are those involving the use of music as applied to entire classrooms (e.g., Register & Humpal, 2007), as well as the use of peer buddies and self-monitoring strategies for t hose students requiring more individualized interventions (e.g., Connell, Carta, & Baer 1993; Sainato, Strain, Lefebvre, and Rapp, 1987). Register & Humpal (2007) presented a review of three case studies on the efficacy of using music to decrease transiti on time and minimize the amount of prompts necessary to initiate physical transitions, as well as to increase child engagement in behaviors appropriate to teacher expectati ons. The three case studies involved conducting direct observations in an incl usive toddler classroom, a kinde rgarten class for students of low-income families, and an inclusive pre-kindergarten class for at-risk four-year olds. Transitions in each of the three classroom s encompassed cleanup procedures prior to beginning music therapy sessions, as well as putting instruments away after therapy sessions. In baseline, directives to transiti on were given without the accompaniment of music and included teacher-directed assistan ce during the actual transitions. Intervention procedures involved the use of songs as prom pts to transition to the carpet for therapy sessions, as well as for initiating cleanup pr ocedures after sessions. Latency measures were taken and began with the therapist’s initial verbal directive to transition and ended

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16 with the last child’s completion of the task. Frequency measures were also scored, as per the number of prompts given for purposes of redirecting students to the appropriate behavior. Results, evaluated in reversal designs, indicated that with the contingent application of songs to transi tional activities, time between initial prompts to cleanup and the last child’s completion of the task decreased substantially relative to baseline measures. Furthermore, the frequency of pr ompts and redirections to engagement in expected behaviors were substantially reduced with the addition of music. Results were consistent across all three classrooms. Acco rding to anecdotal information provided by the authors (Register & Humpal, 2007), teache rs reported continued use of songs during transitions subsequent to the close of th e study, having witnessed greater reductions in time spent during transitions, throughout the remainder of the school year. These case studies therefore provide preliminary eviden ce in support of the e fficacy of music to reduce time spent in transitions, as well as of minimizing the amount of prompts necessary to engage children in behaviors as sociated with making appropriate transitions. Though results were interpreted in such a wa y as to suggest an association between reduced transition time and concomitant increas es in appropriate behavior, “appropriate behavior” during transitions (i.e., engageme nt) was not operationally defined. Results therefore provide only implications for evid ence of a relationship between active, appropriate engagement in transitional activ ities and reduced tran sition times with the application of music. Furthermore, anecdotal evidence revealed that, while the majority of students responded to musical prompts to transition, a select few experienced continued difficulty. The following studies exem plify interventions fo r children otherwise

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17 unresponsive to procedures applied to whole classrooms. In a study by Sainato, Strain, Lefebvre and Rapp (1987), authors employed an alternating treatments design to compare the e ffects of using an antecedent prompt to signal transitions, to that of a peer-mediated buddy system. Participants included three preschool males (i.e., ages three to four y ears), all diagnosed as “severely autistic” and enrolled in an integrated preschool classr oom. All participants we re identified by their teacher as having demonstrated particularly problematic behavior during three targeted in-class transitions. During the peer-mediated condition, the teacher assigned two normally-developing classmates to each of the three participants and modeled appropriate transition behaviors. She then instructed the peer buddies to hold ha nds with the assigned participant to assist duri ng transitions. During the antecedent prompt condition, teachers directed participants to independently transition to another area and, once there, instructed the student s to ring a bell. Direct observations were conducted via two independent observers, and target behaviors were measured during five-s econd continuous intervals. The primary dependent measure of child behavior was the rate of movement during transitions, referred to as child performance and yielded a measure of meters traveled per second. Appropriate behavior was scored as movement of the ch ild within five seconds of the teacher’s prompt to transition, and inappropriate behavior was scored contingent upon instances of off-task behavior, defined as engaging in any behavior unrelated to the teacher’s instruction to transition (e.g., ma nipulation of objects unrelated to the task, movement toward unassigned ar eas, stereotypic behaviors, at tempts to escape from the room, inappropriate vocalizations, etc). Classe s of teacher behavior included frequency

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18 measures of prompt delivery (i.e., verbal, partial physical, full physical), attempts to block the child’s movement contingent upon noncomplicance to the instruction, and frequency of praise provided contin gent upon appropriate child responding. Results indicated that both procedures increased appropriate behavior and decreased inappropriate behavior during all three in-class transitions for all three participants, though the bell procedure was cons istently superior to the peer-mediated procedure. Changes in teacher behavior also indicated concomitant reductions in the use of prompts to assist participants in tran sitions, particularly du ring the antecedent bell procedure. Even with evidence in support of the potential superior ity of an antecedent stimulus procedure to that of a peer-med iated intervention in increasing appropriate engagement time during transitions, results of this particular study (Sainato et al., 1987) may be confined to populations of children di agnosed as autistic, inasmuch as the study was conducted with a limited number of part icipants and did not include measures representative of a larger samp le of students. Relative to pr evious studies (Goetz et al., 1983; Wurtele & Drabman, 1984), however, this study (Sainato et al., 1987) provided more precise definitions of appropriate a nd inappropriate transitional behavior, beyond that concerning the amount of time spent in tran sitions. Measures of teacher behavior also indicated that, with increases in appropriate child behavi or, the necessity of teacher prompts to facilitate tran sition was greatly reduced. Other supports for individual students during transitions include the use of selfassessment and self-monitoring procedures. Re sults of a study by Connell and colleagues (1993) indicated that children can be taught to accurately self-assess their behaviors during transitions, as well as to solicit teacher reinforcement for adherence to rules

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19 associated with in-class transitional behavior s. In this particul ar study (Connell et al., 1993), participants included four children, al l four years of age and identified by their respective teachers as exhibiti ng problem behaviors during tran sitions, particularly those involving clean-up after morning free play activities and movement to a large-group circle activity. All four children were identified as language and/or cognitive delayed. Self-assessment procedures were taught via m odeling and rehearsal procedures, both in training rooms outside the classroom environment, as well as in the children’s respective classrooms to assess generalization of skills to the naturalistic environment. Visual modeling was provided via posters de picting photographs of the children engaging in appropriate transitional behaviors, referred to as active engagement Rehearsals involved teaching the children to associat e happy and sad face s with respective appropriate and inappropriate transitional behaviors (i.e., competing behaviors ). Experimenters provided feedback contingent upon accurate and inaccurate assessment of behavior during clinical and in-vivo transitions. Sessions de signed to teach children to recruit teacher praise contingent upon adhere nce to rules for transitions were conducted in the children’s respective classrooms, during targeted transitions. These in-vivo procedures involved modeling, role plays, re hearsals, and feedback for appropriate and inappropriate recruitment, as provided by the children’s respective teachers. Dependent child measures included active engagement, competing behavior and appropriate recruitment (of teacher praise). Observation sessions were conducted three times each week, in both training and natu ralistic classroom environments. Child active engagement and competing behavior were scored using a 10-second momentary time sampling procedure, and opportunities to recruit were scored usi ng continuous 10-second

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20 partial intervals. Appropriate recruitment and total teacher praise were scored using discontinuous 10-second part ial recording intervals. Results, evaluated in a multiple baseline across participants design (with reversals), revealed that three of the four children were able to self-assess their behavior during transitions, with concomitant decreases in competing behavior and increases in active engagement evident in both training and natura listic environments. With increased recruitment of reinforcement contingent upon appropriate engagement, teachers were observed to have increased overall rates of praise during prev iously problematic transitions and reduced the number of prompt s provided to facilitate child transitory behaviors. Results of the study (Connell et al., 1993) th erefore provide evidence in support of using preventative strategies to in crease child engagement during transitions, particularly through acquisition of self-assessment techniques and appropriate solicitation of teacher praise contingent upon active e ngagement during transitions. Furthermore, results extend those of previous studies re garding transitional activities, demonstrating generalizations of training sessions to the classroom environment, with the teacher serving as the agent of intervention. In an effort to extend results of transi tion-based interventions to children without developmental disabilities, authors (Cote, Thompson, & McKerchar, 2005) employed a multielement design to evaluate the effects of three transition interventions on child behavior. Participants included three typica lly developing children, all within 14 to 30 months of age, identified by their daycare teachers as exhibiting problematic behaviors during routine transitions from free play to diaper change procedures. The three interventions included a warning provided two minutes prior to the transition (i.e.,

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21 warning ), the opportunity to hold a prefe rred item during the transition (i.e., toy ), and the use of extinction for inappropriate behavior during transitions (i.e., extinction ). Dependent child measures included compliance, defined as entering the diaper change area within 20 seconds of th e teacher’s initial prompt. Problem behaviors included various topographies of ex ternalizing behaviors (e.g., ki cking, hitting, biting, pushing, screaming, crying, etc.). Observations were conducted one to two times a day, four to five times weekly and involved recoding occurrence or nonoccurrence of target behaviors. Results indicated that when the two antecedent strategies were implemented together (i.e., toy and warning ), rates of compliance did not increase relative to baseline for any of the three participants. As such, increased rates of compliance were observed only contingent upon application of all extinction procedures (i.e., extinction, warning plus extinction, and toy plus extinction ), providing substantial evidence for the functionality of an extinction component in interventions designed to support children’s engagement and appropriate behavior during transitions. As a potential limitation of the study, however, functional analyses were not conducted to identify the function of noncompliance during transitions, though the e fficacy of extinction would suggest that the behaviors were in fact maintained by escape from one or more components of the required transition. Even with preliminary evidence in support of the success of these procedures with typically developing children, few studies regarding the appl ication of universal supports involve preschool children between the ages of three and five years, particularly those developed for supporting children during in-cla ss transitions. Of those applied to this

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22 population, most have demonstrated the effect s of providing supports for individual or small groups of children, few of which have evaluated the efficacy of these techniques as universal interventions to promote overall cl assroom engagement and reduce incidents of problem behavior. Furthermore, of those st udies that have demonstrated evidence in support of the efficacy of universal preventi on strategies to promote engagement, few have provided stringent operational definitions of “engagement”, nor have they provided systematic procedures to measure engagement As such, research should evaluate the use of these procedures within typical early education and childcare environments, with particular attention to the effects of these procedures on measures of child engagement and problem behavior incidents. Supporting Teachers: Barriers to Implementation Despite the lack of empirical evidence, early educators are strongly encouraged to apply these strategies to entire classrooms, consistent with th e idea that the prevalence of challenging behavior is one of the most frequently cited requests for support from early childhood educators (Hemmeter & F ox, in press). This is particularly true of Head Start educators, as evident in earlier reports signif ying that 37% of survey ed teachers identified challenging behavior in children as among the most imperative of child-related concerns. This same report, however, rev ealed that 72% of surveyed teachers were dissatisfied with the quality and extent to wh ich they received the necessa ry technical supports and training in the implementation of behavior management programs (Piotrkowski, Collins, Knitzer, & Robinson, 1994). The implications for a deficiency in pr ovision of supports for early educators are grave, including those affecting both teacher an d student. As the trajectories for children

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23 who do not receive the necessary supports ma y suggest plausible concern for future diagnoses of emotional and behavioral disord ers, deficiencies in training teachers to implement these supports may further hinder th e academic and social success of these children. The rationale for such is based upon results of research in the realm of the teacher-child relationship, some of which have indicated that teachers’ perceptions of the extent to which a child with challenging beha vior will succeed often serve as variables to these children’s actual degr ee of success (Rimm-Kaufma n & Pianta, 2000). This relationship is therefore cyclical in nature, suggesting that the prev alence of challenging behavior in a child may influence a teach er’s perception of the child, and those perceptions, in turn, may fuel or hinder a child’s success. Furthermore, studies have suggested th at variables influe ncing a teacher’s perceptions of a child’s be havior are not consistently dependent upon an objective analysis of the child’s behavi or itself. Rather, some of these perceptions are founded on characteristics of the child that are not dir ectly related to the pe rceived behavior, but rather to such variables as the child’s ethnicity and socioeconomic status, as well as to the child’s prior exposure to social and envi ronmental interactions (Rimm-Kaufman & Pianta, 2000). These interactions are relevant both to parenting practices, as well as to the nature of the peer relationships children form beyond the physical constraints of a classroom environment (Hollenstein, Granic, Stoolmiller, & Snyder, 2004; Jafee, Caspi, Moffitt, & Taylor, 2004). The nature of these influential variables to extend beyond the immediate control of the educators with whom children interact, may serve as further support for behavior management programs, the function of which is to educate teachers

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24 as to the rationale for and a pplication of preventative meas ures, as well as functionallyappropriate replacement behaviors. Unfortunately, the prospect of suppor ting teachers in the implementation of interventions in an applied setting is not devoid of challenges, beginning with that of facilitating a teacher’s understanding of th e relationship between challenging behavior and subsequent social-emotional competence in children (Hemmete r & Fox, in press). Furthermore, comprehension of this relations hip as it applies to young children is often difficult, given the unique characteristics a ssociated with this population (Hemmeter & Fox, in press). These deficiencies are often exacerbated by a lack of outside supports, the complexity of an intervention, the amount of time required to implement an intervention, the perceived and actual effec tiveness of an intervention, an d the acceptability of an intervention (Gresham, 1991; Gresham, 1996; Gresham et al., 2000; Kratochwill & Van Someren, 1995; Salend, 1984). The individual and interactive effects of these variables often impede implementation of interventi ons in naturalistic sc hool settings, placing further emphasis on the importance of effectiv e consultation and active support of change agents. Following is a brief review of proce dures designed to suppor t teachers in their acquisition of skills necessary to implemen t universal strategies in the classroom. Coaching & Performance Feedback Within the realm of research regarding the provision of supports for teachers’ implementation of interventions in the classroom much of the research has been in that of training teachers to implement interventions most prominently evident in the use of coaching and performance feedback procedures (e.g., Mortenson & Witt, 1998; Noell, Duhon, Gatti, & Connell, 2002; Noell et al., 2000; Noell et al., 2005; Schepis, Ownbey,

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25 Parsons, & Reid, 2000; Petscher & Bailey, 2006 ; Witt, Noell, LaFleur, & Mortenson, 1997). Coaching is defined in the literature as “a reciprocal process between a coach and learner, comprised of a series of conversations focused on mutually agreed upon outcomes” (Rush, Shelden, & Hanft, 2003) Within the realm of early childhood interventions, particularly those applied to classrooms, coaching reflects a process of behavior change that supports the foundational rationale of The Teaching Pyramid That is, coaching supports the establishment of pos itive relationships between the consultant and the teachers and paraprofessionals re sponsible for supporting the social-emotional growth of children. Conducive to the esta blishment of these relationships is a consideration for the contextual fit of interv entions developed during initial consultations with teachers, regarding both the practicality and efficacy of these procedures as applied to individual classrooms (Horne r, Sugai, Todd, & Lewis-Palmer, 2000). Contextual fit, as relevant in consultation with early childhood educators, en sures active a nd collaborative participation in the selection of interventi ons, as well as provisi on of in-vivo training following didactic instruction regarding accurate implementation. As such, direct observations following initial consultation i nvolve what 25 years of research have demonstrated as imperative to the coachi ng process: performan ce feedback (Ackland, 1991). Performance feedback involves severa l components, to include a review of behavioral data obtained from direct observations, provision of contingent praise for accurate and consistent implementation of the intervention components, corrective feedback on incorrect or inaccurate impleme ntation, and consultation regarding various areas of concern or ambigu ity (Codding et al., 2005).

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26 Early research in the evaluation of pe rformance feedback have demonstrated greater efficacy in acquisition of consultee be haviors, relative to the conventional didactic method (e.g., Watson and Kramer, 1995). Did actic methods are those involving an interchange between consultant and consultee, largely comprised of verbal instruction in the identification and analysis of problem behavior, as well as collaborative efforts to develop plans of intervention. Other studies have demonstrated the efficacy of performance feedback given on less dense schedu les, provided weekly rather than daily (Mortenson & Witt, 1998), as well as followup consultation procedures to maintain effects of feedback over time (e.g., Noell, Duhon, Gatti, Connell, 2002; Noell, Witt, Lafleur, Mortenson, Rani er, & Levelle, 2000). Even with evidence in support of the e fficacy of performance feedback on the integrity of teachers’ implementation of interventions, the impact of performance feedback on subsequent changes in child be havior has produced re latively inconclusive results. In addition, much of the research in this area has been conducted in elementary school classrooms, with a primary focu s on improving the academic behaviors of individual students. Summary of Research to Date Transitions between activities have been identified in the literature as comprising a substantial portion of a pres chool child’s day. As such, re search have speculated that the setting events for problem behavior comm only associated with transitional activities (i.e., ) may be lessened with implementation of universal intervention strategies. As provided via a review of the literature involving application of universal interventions, few studies have demonstrated the effects of applying universal intervention strategies to

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27 preschool children between the ages of three a nd five years. Of thos e studies that have demonstrated successful reducti ons of problem behavior fo r these children, few have been conducted with whole cla ssrooms. Furthermore, even with evidence in support of the efficacy of universal interventions, more research is needed to delineate a clear functional relationship between application of these procedures and increases in child engagement, necessitating more stringent opera tional definitions of child engagement, as well as the application of a systematic me thod for measuring whole-class engagement. The purpose of the current investigation is to evaluate the effects of implementing universal intervention strategies throughout periods of transiti on. These strategies will be referred to as systematic transi tion strategies, as relevant to the applicatio n of universal interventions to transition targeted by preschool teachers as problematic.

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28 CHAPTER 2. METHODOLOGY The purpose of the following chapter is to identify and describe the methodology and procedures used to address th e following research questions: 1. Will the use of systematic transition strategies, as implemented by preschool classroom teachers, affect the classroom engagement of preschool children during targeted transitions from one activity to another? 2. Will the use of systematic transition strategies, as implemented by preschool classroom teachers, affect the challengi ng behavior of preschool children during targeted transitions from one activity to another? Given the intended purposes of the presen t study, efforts to expand upon the current literature knowledgebase were supported by in clusion of the followi ng features: 1.) the participants included teachers of typically-developing pres chool children between the ages of three and five years; 2.) depende nt measures included mean percentages of classroom engagement and occurrence of challenging behavior during targeted transitions, for each session of all phases of the study; and 3.) supplemental measures regarding possible outcomes a ssociated with application of the interventions included treatment integrity data on teacher implementa tion of the interventions (i.e., percentage of steps completed), and social validation measur es regarding teachers’ perceptions of the goals, procedures and outcomes of the study.

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29 Setting and Participants The site of the present study was that of a Hillsborough County Head Start Center. The center was on a full year, fu ll day schedule, with children attending preschool from 7:00am to 5:30pm each day. To merit eligibility for Head Start services, families of children enrolled in the program were required to have met Federal Poverty guidelines or to have been in receipt of pub lic assistance (i.e., Aid to Families with Dependent Children or Supplemental Security Income, SSI). The Head Start Center housed two Ea rly Head Start and four Head Start classrooms, with children rangi ng in age from one to two year s and three to five years, respectively. The overall enrollment at the time of the study en compassed 76 children (i.e., 12 Early Head Start and 64 head Start ch ildren). Each of the two Early Head Start classrooms enrolled six children, and the Head Start classrooms enrolled an average of 18 children. Each Head Start and Early Head St art classroom was staffed by a teacher and one classroom teaching assistant. At the time of the study, the overall dem ographics of children enrolled in the Head Start Center were as follows: 39.5% African-American, 35.5% EuropeanAmerican, 22.4% Hispanic, and 2.6% of an “unidentified” nationality. Ten of the 76 children (i.e., 7.6%) were identified as ha ving been diagnosed with a developmental disability, diagnoses having ranged in topogr aphy from that of global developmental delays to Pervasive Developmental Disord er, Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). The teaching staff employed by the center included nine African -American females, one Hispanic female, and two European-American females.

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30 Teaching staff at the Head Start Center ha d served as participants in a programwide effort to implement the Teaching Pyramid model (Fox et al., 2003) within their classrooms. The researcher of the current st udy, a graduate student at the University of South Florida, had previously collaborated wi th teachers of the Head Start Center on the program-wide initiative to apply principles of the Teaching Pyramid to their classrooms. The purpose of the current study was to provide additional supports to interested teachers, in an effort to collaborate on the focuse d implementation of universal intervention strategies, applied to specific transitions selected by teacher s as particularly problematic. The primary researcher of the current study al so served as behavi oral consultant to participating teachers. Eligibility for particip ation in the current st udy was dependent upon low implementation scores (i.e., 0-2 out of 5) on the Teaching Pyramid Observation Tool for Preschool Classrooms (TPOT, Hemmeter & Fox, 2007), pa rticularly in the area of providing well designed transitions betw een activities (i.e., item 9 of the TPOT ). Teachers with low scores were contacted by the researcher who described the study and inquired about their interest in participation. The researcher then arranged to meet with interested teachers to review the study procedures and obtain consent to participate, as well as to answer any questions or concer ns expressed by teachers. Informed consent documents were completed for purposes of se curing confidentiality and safety of all participants. Participants of the current study included three of the Head Start teachers, as well as their respective students, all between the ages of three and five years. The following

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31 information describes each of the three par ticipating teachers, as well as the general demographics of children in their classrooms. Teacher A Classroom A was staffed by Teacher A, an African-American female with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Servi ces, along with an Afri can-American teaching assistant with national certification as a Child Development Associate (CDA). Teacher A’s background in teaching had encompassed an accumulation of eight years as a Head Start teacher. Throughout the duration of the study, 16 children were enrolled in Classroom A, 10 (i.e., 62.5%) of whom were African-American, four (i.e., 25.0%) of whom were European-American, and two (i .e., 12.5%) of whom were Hispanic. For Teacher A, the selected transition was that between breakfast and morning language activities, referr ed to throughout as the breakfast to language transition. Teacher B Classroom B was staffed by Teacher B, an African-American female with an Associate’s degree in Criminology and nati onal certification as a Child Development Associate (CDA), along with a female Eur opean-American teaching assistant with national certification as a Child Developmen t Associate (CDA). At the time of the study, Teacher B had served eight years as a Head Start teacher, and the teaching assistant had accumulated a total of 11 years of experience in working with pres chool-aged children. A total of 15 children were enrolled in Cla ssroom B, five (i.e., 33.3%) of whom were African-American, four (i.e., 26.7%) of whom were European-American, four (i.e., 26.7%) of whom were Hispanic, and two (i.e., 13. 3%) of whom were of an “unidentified” nationality.

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32 Due to the fact that Teacher B filled th e additional position as Director of the Head Start Center, there were several sessi ons during which she was unable to be in the classroom. On those session da ys, the assistant teacher was responsible for managing the classroom and leading classroom activities. As a result, the research er initiated contact with the assistant teacher to inquire of her interest in se rving as a participant in the study. The researcher arranged to meet with her to review study procedures and obtain consent to participate in the study. Teacher B selected the transition from cen ter cleanup to morning circle activities, referred to throughout as the centers to circle transition. Teacher C Classroom C was staffed by Teacher C, an African-American female with a Master’s of Arts degree in Community Counseling, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education. At the ti me of the study, Teacher C had served 10 years as a Head Start Teacher. Classroom C was also staffed by a female EuropeanAmerican teaching assistant with nine years of experience in working with young children. Classroom C consisted of 12 childre n, two (i.e., 13.3%) of whom were AfricanAmerican, three (20%) of whom were Eur opean-American, seven ( 46.7%) of whom were Hispanic, and three (20%) of an “unidentified” nationa lity. One (0.07%) of the 15 children was identified as having been di agnosed with Down Syndrome. (The mean number of children present in participating classrooms, for each session of all phases of the study, may be obtained from the researcher upon request.) Teacher C targeted the transition from circle to morning centers, referred to throughout as the circle to centers transition.

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33 Though occurrence of challenging behavior was targeted as a dependent variable of interest in the current study, common t opographies and dimensions of challenging behavior in children differed across particip ating classrooms. As reported by Teachers A and C, common topographies of challenging beha vior generally include d those associated with more age-typical behaviors (e.g., st ruggling over a common toy, taking a toy or object away from a peer without permission, speaking at volumes louder than that of normal conversational speech, etc.), relative to behaviors common in children referred for intensive, individualized services. As reported by Teacher B and her assistant, topographies of challenging behavior common to children enrolled in Classroom B were of greater intensity and freque ncy that those of Classrooms A and C, as associated with attempts to or actual occurrences of physic al aggression and prope rty destruction (e.g., punching, kicking, biting, using objects in an at tempt to harm another, throwing objects at peers or inanimate objects, etc.). Dependent Variables The researcher identified two dependent va riables for data collection, consistent across all three participating classrooms a nd utilized across all children present during data collection sessions. The two identified de pendent variables targeted for study were classroom engagement and occurrence of challenging behavior. As the primary dependent measure, classroom engagement was measured using a modified form of the Engagement Check II (McWilliam, 1998a), a variation of the Planned Activity Check (PLA-Check; Risley & Cataldo, 1973). In the present study, classroom engagement was defined as: physical orientation and/or m ovement toward or away from the teacher, materials, location, and/or activ ities related to directives to transition; eye contact or

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34 orientation toward the teacher to receive transition direc tives; interaction with peers and/or adults in a manner consistent with transition directives and expectations; and movement from one location to new, teacher-d irected locations. For purposes of accurate data collection, operational definitions of cl assroom engagement for each of the three participating classrooms were dependent upon the extent to which children followed teacher expectations associated with target ed transition activities, as identified by teachers during initial consulta tions. If children exhibited be haviors incompatible with teacher expectations, they were not scored as engaged. (Refer to Appendices B, C, and D for operational definitions of classroom e ngagement for Classrooms A, B, and C, respectively.). Behaviors reflecting lack of engagement were mutually exclusive and generally encompassed those related to la ck of attending (i.e., lack of eye contact with the teacher upon delivery of verbal instructions and exp ectations; body orientation and/or movement away from the teacher, materials and/or phys ical location related to the delivery of teacher-led verbal instructions and exp ectations). Behaviors incompatible with engagement also included those that may have interfered with the ability of the child, or of his or her peers, to appr opriately attend to teacher-initi ated instructions (e.g., crying, screaming, or whining, at volumes louder than that of normal conve rsational speech). Occurrence or nonoccurrence of challenging behavior was also scored as a dependent measure during direct observat ion sessions. Operational definitions of challenging behavior were consistent across all cla ssrooms and included any occurrence within the 15-second interval of physical aggression, with the potential to cause harm to oneself or another (e.g., attempts to or acts of hitting, punching, kicking, biting,

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35 scratching, pinching, pulling hair pulling clothes, directed to ward other children and/or adults, etc.); elopement (i.e ., leaving assigned areas wit hout teacher permission); and inappropriate use of materials and/or prope rty destruction (i.e., using materials in a manner other than that intended, such as in throwing or using objects to hit another peer or adult, pulling toys off of shelves, knocking over toy bins or containers, struggling with another child over a particular toy or object and/or taking toys and other materials without teacher permission). Design and Data Collection The effects of the implementation of sy stematic transition strategies on mean percentages of classroom engagement and o ccurrence of challenging behavior during inclass transitions were evaluated in a multip le baseline probe across classrooms design (Horner & Baer, 1978). This design provided an experimentally-controlle d analysis of the potential effects of the indepe ndent variable on targeted beha viors, as evaluated within and across participating classrooms. The study was conducted in each teacher’s classroom during transitions targeted for intervention, as identified via initial consultations w ith teachers. Teachers and children were observed three to five days a week, throughout the duration of targeted transitions. During data collecti on sessions, data collectors were positioned in an area of the classroom conducive to obser ving all children throughout th e targeted transitions and remained as unobtrusive as possible. The tota l number of children present was counted and confirmed between data collectors prio r to each session, and records of children present during each interval included only those in view (i.e., unobstructed by an inanimate object or person). Data collection sessions were initiated with teacher-led

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36 verbal directives to children to end one act ivity and begin anothe r and ended with all children in the appropriate loca tion, as dependent upon the activity. During targeted transition activities, data collectors recorded classroom engagement and partial interval measur es of the occurrence or nonoccurrence of challenging behavior, utiliz ing a 15-second observation recording system, followed by five seconds of recording time. Observers used paper and pencil to record direct observation data, using a modification of the Engagement Check II (See Appendix A for a sample data sheet.) Coding consiste d of both momentary time sampling and noncontinuous interval recording. An auditory cu e, heard only by the observers and emitted from an audiotape, was used to signal th e start time of each 15-second interval. Each interval functioned as a momentary time samp ling (i.e., engagement scan) of all children in the classroom for purposes of determ ining the number of children engaged. Engagement scans were conducted in a part icular pattern for each classroom, as determined by observers prior to data collect ion sessions. During each interval, to ensure that both data collectors were observing th e same children simultaneously throughout the scan, the primary observer (i.e., researcher) e ither pointed to children and/or tapped out a rhythm that corresponded with children observed, according to the pattern in which scans were conducted. (Engagement scan patterns fo r Classrooms A, B, and C are indicated within the context of operat ional definitions, located in Appendices B, C, and D, respectively.). Partial interval measures for the occu rrence or nonoccurrence of challenging behavior were also recorded during1 5-second observation interval s. If, at any time during

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37 the 15-second interval, one or more childre n engaged in challenging behavior, observers scored an occurrence of challenging behavior for that interval. For each interval of data collection, classroom engagement was calculated by counting the number of children engaged, di viding that number by the total number of children present and observable during each interval, and multiplying by 100 to yield a percentage of classroom engagement. Interv al scores of classroom engagement were averaged to produce a mean pe rcentage of classroom engagement for each session (i.e., summation of interval percentages divided by the total number of intervals scored). For each session of data collection, the percent occurrence of challenging behavior was calculated by dividing the summation of occurrences across intervals by the total number of intervals scored, multiplied by 100 to yield a percent occurrence of challenging behavior for each session. Interobserver Agreement To ensure reliability of de pendent variables, a second obs erver was trained in data collection procedures using The Engagement Check II. At the time of the study, the second data collector had severa l years of previous experience in working with children and was enrolled in the Applied Behavior Analys is Master’s program at the University of South Florida. Reliability training consisted of coding videotaped segments of preschool classrooms engaging in both stationary (e .g., circle and tabletop activities) and transitional activities (e.g., moving from in side to outside, etc.). Contingent upon attaining a minimum criterion of 80% inter observer agreement in training for three consecutive data collection sessions, th e second observer simultaneously and independently recorded data for a minimum of 30% of all sessions.

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38 Interobserver agreement for classroom engagement was calculated on an intervalby-interval basis, by comparing each interval scored and recorded by the primary and reliability data collectors. Agreements were defined as both observers independently recording the number of ch ildren engaged, within one. Interobserver agreement for challenging behavior was also calculated on an interval-by-interval basis, for total agreement (i.e., occurrence-nonoccurrence agreement). Agreements were defined as both observers independe ntly recording an occurrence or nonoccurrence of challenging behavior. Interobserver agreement for both classr oom engagement and occurrence of challenging behavior was calcu lated by dividing the total number of agreements by the number of agreements plus disagreements, multiplied by 100 to yield a percentage. Overall, mean percent interobserver agreement for classroom engagement exceeded 99.0% across all three participati ng classrooms. Mean percent interobserver agreement totals were 99.3% for Classroom A (range: 97.2% to 100.0%), 99.1% for Classroom B (range: 93.8% to 100.0%) and 99.6% for Classroom C (range: 97.9% to 100.0%). Overall, mean percent interobserver agr eement for challenging behavior exceeded 98.0% across all participating classrooms. Mean percent interobserver agreement totals of challenging behavior were 99.7% for Classroom A (range: 97.4% to 100.0%), 98.3% for Classroom B (range: 88.1 to100.0%), and a stable 100.0% for Classroom C. Interobserver agreement measures for classroom engagement and challenging behavior were calculated across 40.0% of sessions for Cl assroom A, 31.8% of sessions

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39 for Classroom B and 33.3% of sessions for Cl assroom C, across all phases of the study (i.e., baseline, coaching, and independent implementation ) Treatment Integrity Observers scored the integrity with wh ich teachers implemented the systematic transition strategies during all se ssions of intervention phases (i.e., coaching and independent implementation ). Scores were based on checkli sts that reflected components of strategies selected for each individual classroom. Immediately following sessions of intervention, observers scored treatment integrity, based upon the accuracy with which teachers implemented components of intervention. “Accurate” implementation of a particular component, scored as a “yes”, was dependent upon correct and complete use of a component strategy, as relevant to written descriptors of implem entation in teachers’ scripts. A “no” was scored for those component s that were not implemented at all or were implemented inaccurately (i.e., incorrectly an d/or incompletely). An “N/O” (i.e., “no opportunity”) was scored if, during a da ta collection session, the opportunity to implement a particular component was not pr esented. Treatment integrity scores were calculated by dividing the number of strategies accurately (i.e., correctly and completely) implemented by the total number of applicab le or opportune strategies, multiplied by 100 to yield a percentage of strategies impl emented for each session. (Refer to Appendix A for Treatment Integrity Checklists for Teachers A, B, and C.). To ensure interobserver reliability for treatment integrity measures, a second observer as present for at least 25% of all sessions during which tr eatment integrity was collected (i.e., during coaching and independent implementation phases). Agreements were defined as both observers independently recording an exact match (i.e., “Yes”,

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40 “No”, or “No Opportunity”). In terobserver agreement for treatment integrity measures was calculated by dividing the number of agreem ents by the number of agreements plus disagreements, multiplied by 100 to yield a percentage. Overall, mean interobserver agreement fo r treatment integrity measures exceeded 96.0% for all participating teach ers. Mean percent interobserver agreement for Teacher A was 100.0% (i.e., stable), 98.1% for Teacher B (range: 92.3% to 100.0%), and 96.7% for Teacher C (range: 90.0% to 100.0%). Inter observer agreement was calculated across 35.0% of intervention sessions for Teacher A, 28 .6% of intervention sessions for Teacher B and 33.3% of intervention sessions for Teacher C. Social Validity To assess teachers’ acceptability and perception of the goals, procedures, and outcomes of the systematic transition strategi es (Wolf, 1978), the researcher administered questionnaires following each classroom’s final session of the independent implementation phase Items on the questionnaire referenced the extent to which teachers found the intervention conducive to goals disc ussed during selection procedures (e.g., increased classroom engagement and fewer incidents of challenging behavior during targeted transitions), overall satisfaction with actual outcomes, and feasibility of implementation in the classroom. Measures we re assessed on a three-point Likert-type scale (i.e., 1 = Not at all Effective/Well/Easy; 2 = Moderately Effective/Well/Easy; 3 = Very Effective/Well/Easy ). In addition to administration of the soci al validity questionnai re, the researcher conducted direct interviews (i.e., Consumer Satisfaction Interview ) with each of the participating teachers (i.e., Teacher A, Teacher B, Teacher B’s assistant, and Teacher C).

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41 While the purpose of the social validity questionnaire was to obtain a quantitative measure of teachers’ perceptions of th e goals, procedures, and outcomes of the interventions, interviews we re conducted to collect addi tional qualitative information regarding teachers’ overall impressions of th e consultation process and data collection procedures. These interview sessions were a udio-taped for each of the participating teachers. (Refer to Appendix A for a copy of the social validity questionnaire and Consumer Satisfaction Interview questions.) Independent Variable The independent variable of the present study was the implementation of systematic transition strategies during ta rgeted transitions. Throughout processes of intervention strategy selection the researcher collaborated with teachers to select strategies appropriate for thei r classrooms and targeted tran sitions. General strategies, as outlined in Item 9 of the Teaching Pyramid Observation Tool ( TPOT, Hemmeter & Fox, 2007) and/or reviewed in the literature, we re presented to teachers as possible interventions to implement th roughout targeted transitions In the present study, these included both antecedent and consequent manipulations. Antecedent manipulations, as presente d to teachers for possible selection, encompassed the implementation of visual sche dules, verbal and auditory cues delivered prior to teacher-initiated direc tives to move from one activity to another, and the use of supplemental visuals and activities, delivered prior to and throughout the transition, to further clarify teacher expectations and reinforce children’s engagement in these expectations.

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42 The content of verbal cues included in formation regarding the amount of time remaining until the next activity, as well as de scriptive statements regarding the content of the upcoming activity and/or of expecta tions for children during the period of time between delivery of the cue and verbal initia tions of the next ac tivity. If chosen as strategies to implement in place of or as supplements to verbal cues, auditory cues (e.g., a ringing bell) were provided prior to t eacher-led directives to transition. Visual schedules, if selected, were made up of posters depicting illustrations of behaviors expected of childre n throughout targeted transitions. These schedules were reviewed by teachers and posted in areas of the classroom visible to all children. Mini visual schedules, similar in topography but sma ller than visual schedules, were utilized for purposes of reinforcing the sequence of ta sks in which children were expected to engage, as specific to particular periods of targeted transitions. Supplemental visuals were also implemented as antecedent manipulations, the functions of which were to serve as additio nal environmental cues to further clarify teacher expectations. These visu als were individualized for e ach classroom, as associated with teachers’ goals for targeted transitio ns. Possible options presented to teachers included the use of actual objects and/or pict ures to serve as discriminative stimuli for engagement in teacher expectations, as well as to reinforce active engagement throughout targeted transitions. As a supplemental activity, the “Beat the Bu zzer” game has been presented in the literature as a method to reduce cleanup tim e, as well as to increase children’s engagement in cleanup activities. Implementa tion of the “Beat the Buzzer” game was

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43 presented as an option for one of the three pa rticipating teachers (i.e., Teacher B), as she chose to target a transition during which child ren were expected to clean their areas. Consequent strategies implemented were consistent across classrooms and included the delivery of de scriptive praise, continge nt upon exhibiting behaviors compatible with teacher expectations (e.g., “S ally, great job sitting criss-cross-applesauce with your book!”). Redirections were also implemented across classrooms, defined as verbal directives delivered to children c ontingent upon exhibiting behaviors incompatible with teacher expectations. Redire ctions included descriptors of expected behaviors, rather than reprimands regarding behaviors in compatible with compliance to teacher expectations (e.g., “John, please place your di rty silverware in the sink.” versus “John, don’t leave your silverware on the table.”). Redirections were occasionally accompanied by visuals, depicting illustrations of teacher expectations to further reinforce appropriate engagement in targeted tran sition activities (Refer to Appendices E, F, and G for summaries of systematic transition strategi es selected by Teachers A, B, and C, respectively.). Teacher Consultation Procedures Initial Consultation Prior to the start of the study, the researcher conducte d an initial consultation session with each teacher for purposes of identif ying transitions to target for intervention, as well as behaviors associated with thes e transitions. Initial consultations were approximately 20 to 30 minutes in duration and occurred at a time and place most convenient for each teacher. The researcher be gan with a general discussion of what may constitute transitions in a preschool classr oom, described via examples provided in the

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44 literature (i.e., “…teacher-initiated directives to students to end one activity and to start another”) (Arlin, 1979). After giving a generalized descrip tion, the researcher collaborated with teachers to identify one pa rticularly problematic transition. The process of operationalizing targeted transitions for purpos es of data collection involved an inquiry of overt stimuli associated with start and end times, as well as a delineation and operational description of requirements childre n were expected to follow throughout the selected transitions. As pertinent to teachers’ descriptions of expectations for children during targeted transitions, the researcher de veloped operational defi nitions of behaviors that reflected appropriate classroom engage ment for each of the three participating classrooms. In addition to a description of appropriate engagement, teachers were asked to describe topographies (i.e ., intensity and frequency) of challenging behavior common to targeted transitions. While general descriptions of transitions provided in the literature are simplistic and involve movement from one activity to anot her, transitions targeted by each of the three participating teachers were comple x and encompassed a sequence of multiple activities. The rationale for targeting entire tr ansitions was such that teacher expectations associated with transition activities were completed by children at various times, rather than by all children simultaneously. Below is a description of information gathered during each teacher’s initial consultation procedure, as associated with targeted transitions and descriptors thereof. Teacher A: Initial Consultation. Teacher A identified the transition from breakfast to morning language groups as particularly proble matic. (This transition will be referred to as the breakfast to language transition.). Contingent only upon Teacher A’s

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45 verbal instruction to get up from breakfast tables, children were expected to get up from their chairs, push their chairs under their tables, take any disp osable breakfast materials to the trash receptacle, place used silverware into the sink, pour any le ftover milk from the milk carton into the sink, and stand in line ou tside the restroom to brush teeth. Following completion of their tooth brushing task, childr en were expected to leave the restroom area, walk to one of two bookshelves to retr ieve a book, walk to their assigned carpeted areas while holding their books in hand, sit cros s-legged with their books until the start of morning language activities, and place books back onto the shelves, contingent upon Teacher A’s verbal instruction to “put books away”. Children were not permitted to leave their assigned areas, prior to t eacher-initiated verbal instruc tions to put books away and transition to morning language groups. Teacher A indicated that stimuli as sociated with the start of the breakfast to language transition served as prompts for childre n to end breakfast and prepare for the transition to language. These cues included verbal inst ructions to children at the breakfast tables to stand up, called according to num bers assigned to each table (e.g., “Table number one, get up.”). The breakfast to language transition ended with Teache r A’s verbal directive to “put books away” and move to the areas in which language would be conducted for the day (e.g., “Put your books up and go to your tabl e for language.”). Children’s designated language areas were dependent upon the plan ned language activity and were generally conducted at the breakfast tables or on two se parate carpeted areas. On days during which both Teacher A and her assistant were in th e classroom, the children were divided into two groups, each led by Teacher A or the assistant teacher.

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46 When asked to consider challenging behavi ors that were particularly common to the breakfast to language transition, Teacher A reported th at the majority of problematic behaviors were associated with “not fo llowing directions” and/or with behaviors incompatible with teacher expectations (e .g., getting up from the table prior to Teacher A’s verbal instruction; leavi ng leftover breakfast materials on the tables; elopement from teacher-appointed carpeted areas between the period of time between breakfast and language groups). Teacher A expressed that her goal for the breakfast to language transition involved increasing the extent to which ch ildren were able to independently follow expectations. She explained th e rationale for identifying the breakfast to language transition as most problematic, as related to the difficulty of completing various tasks that were required of her (e.g., preparing the ch ildren’s toothbrushes, washing tables after breakfast, preparing materials for daily langua ge activities, etc.), while simultaneously attempting to keep the children engaged with all expectations and requirements. Teacher A reported that her ability to divide her atte ntion between tasks was particularly difficult on days when the assistant teacher was absent or attending to res ponsibilities beyond that of the classroom (e.g., kitchen duty). The average duration of the breakfast to language transition was approximately 13 minutes. Teacher B: Initial Consultation. Teacher B’s targeted transition began with the five-minute period of time prior to center cl eanup and continued unt il the initiation of morning circle activities. (This tran sition will be referred to as the centers to circle transition.). Throughout the five minutes prior to cleanup, as well as during the actual

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47 cleanup process, children were expected to re main within the physical boundaries of their chosen centers. Following cleanup, children we re expected to place their nametags, appointed for center activities onto the counter located near the restroom, remove a book from one of three bookshelves, and sit crosslegged and/or kneeling with their books until the start of morning circle activities. The centers to circle transition began with a verbal cue to children regarding the amount of time re maining, prior to the start of cleanup (i.e., “You have five more minutes until cleanup!”), and ended with all children seated on the carpeted area in which morning ci rcle activities were conducted. Teacher B reported that the period of tim e between completion of the cleanup task and initiation of circle activities was most problematic, with the highest frequency of problem behaviors. This was pa rticularly true on days during which the lead or assistant teacher was unable to supervise children on the carpeted area. Common topographies of challenging behavior included in appropriate use of materials and/or property destruction (e.g., throwing toys and other items at or ne ar other children or inanimate objects, physical struggles between childre n over a particular toy or ob ject, and/or taking toys and other materials from other children without permission), as well as incidents of physical aggression (e.g., attempts to or acts of hitting, punching, kicking, biting, scratching, pinching, pulling hair, pulling on the clothes of another, etc.). In addition to targeting appropriate child engagement, Teacher B communicated that her goals for the centers to circle transition were to reduce the amount of time children spent cleaning their areas, as well as to increase the clas s’s understanding of expectations for the period of time between cleanup and the start of morning circle.

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48 The average duration of the centers to circle transition was approximately 13 minutes. Teacher C: Initial Consultation. Teacher C targeted the transition from morning circle activities to the selection of centers. (This transition will be referred to as the circle to centers transition.). The transition began with an instruction to the ch ildren to sit crosslegged and face the teacher, in preparation to choose centers. At the beginning of the transition to centers, the teach er placed the children’s nametags, designated for center activities, onto a nearby table. Contingent upon verbal instructions from Teacher C to choose a center, children were expected to get up, walk toward the teacher, and remove their nametags from the table. After selecting a center, children were instructed to walk directly to their chosen cent ers, and remain within the bound aries of their chosen areas throughout the duration of the routine. Beyond that of reinforcing appropriate child engagement in ac tivities associated with the circle to centers transition, Teacher C’s ra tionale for identifying circle to centers as most problematic was associated with her goal that the routine operate as conducive to increasing the children’s understanding and ru les regarding availa ble and unavailable centers, as well as to increase the degree of independence required of children to find and remain within the boundaries of their chosen centers. Conversations with the teacher regarding the topography (i.e., frequency and intensity) of ch allenging behaviors common to circle to centers revealed concerns regarding mildly aggressive behaviors (e.g., pushing, pulling, struggling over a common toy, etc.). The average duration of the circle to centers transition was approximately 8 minutes.

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49 Intervention Strategy Selection Following identification of problematic tr ansitions, the researcher arranged to meet with each teacher for a second consultation. The purpose of the second consultation was to guide teachers in the se lection of systematic transition strategies to implement during targeted transitions. This process be gan with a discussion of issues regarding problems preschool children commonly experience during transitions (e.g., unpredictability, unclear expecta tions and rules, unclear tran sition start and end times). Following this discussion, the researcher pr esented teachers with universal intervention strategies commonly applied to attenuate these problems. Presented strategies included the use of visual schedules, verbal and audito ry cues delivered prior to teacher-initiated directives to move from one activity or location to another, and the use of supplemental visuals and activities to furt her clarify teacher expectati ons and reinforce children’s engagement in expectations. The researcher collaborated with teac hers to select in terventions most contextually appropriate for their classroom environments and targeted transitions. The process of selecting interventi on strategies began with a di scussion of any discrepancies between teacher expectations of children during targeted transitions, as outlined during initial consultations and child behavior observed during baseline sessions. After guiding teachers in the selection of systematic transi tion strategies, the researcher reviewed each component of the interventi on with teachers, while si multaneously describing the rationale for each. Teachers were provided w ith typed scripts of each component for use during subsequent implementation sessions, as well as a time for questions and comments as pertinent to implementa tion of the components.

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50 Teacher A: Intervention Strategy Selection. Selection of antecedent manipulations for Teacher A included the implementation of a visual schedule, use of a mini visual schedule, and the delivery of verbal cues Selection of supplemental antecedent manipulations (i.e., visuals) wa s based upon Teacher A’s goal to increase children’s engagement in expect ations, as well as to increase the extent to which children were able to independently fo llow expectations throughout the breakfast to language transition (i.e., “train tickets”, colored footpr ints, circle seat phot ographs, and book bins). Consequent strategies implemented include d the delivery of desc riptive praise to children engaged in expectations associated with the breakfast to language transition, as well as providing redirections to those child ren exhibiting behaviors incompatible with engagement. Visuals were occasionally presente d as supplements to verbal statements of redirection, to further reinforce children’ s understanding of teach er expectations. The rationale for implementation of the visual schedule was primarily preventative in nature. The use of pictures to illustrate Teacher A’s expectations for children throughout the breakfast to language transition was projected to increase the overall predictability of these expectations. Th e visual schedule was placed in an area of the classroom visible to all ch ildren from their breakfast tabl es (i.e., on the front door of the classroom) and remained in this location throughout the duration of the breakfast to language transition. Pictures were not remove d from the schedule or turned over contingent upon completion of an activity, as common to the implementation of visual schedules. The rationale for this was two-fol d. Activities illustrated on the schedule were exhibited by children at di ffering times throughout the breakfast to language transition. Maintaining the visibility of pictures throughout the routine was hypothesized to

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51 strengthen the function of the schedule to serv e as a stationary visual cue to children of teacher expectations. Secondary to this rati onale was that of supporting Teacher A’s goal to increase children’s level of independe nce in following her expectations. As a component of the various strategies selecte d, Teacher A reviewed the visual schedule with children, prior to deliver ing the first verbal cue. Delivery of verbal cues also served a preventative function, as it served to increase the predictability of upcoming events. The first verbal cue was delivered following review of the visual schedule and served to remind child ren of the amount of time remaining prior to Teacher A’s verbal instru ctions to children at the first table to get up from their table. This predictability wa s particularly useful, given the tendency of children to stand prior to verbal instructions to get up from breakfast tables. An additional verbal cue was provided at the end of the breakfast to language transition, prior to Teacher A’s instruction that children put th eir books away and prepare for the start of language activities (e.g., “You ha ve five more minutes with your books; then, I going to ask you to put your books back in the bins.”). Observations during baseline confirmed the tendency of children to leave leftover breakfast materials on the table, rather than disposing of the materials as per Teacher A’s expectation. In collaborating with Teacher A to clarify the exp ectation that children dispose of waste prior to standi ng in line to brush teeth, a box of what were referred to as “train tickets” was placed on a shelf, located within five feet of the trash receptacle. During a daily review of the visual schedule, children were instructed to remove a ticket from the box, after disposing of any leftover br eakfast materials, and deliver the ticket to Teacher A upon approaching the “train” (i.e., a line children formed near the class

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52 restroom and on which children stood to brus h teeth). The established contingency was that children were permitted to stand in line, contingent only upon handing her a train ticket. The proximity of the box to the trashcan was intended to function as a discriminative stimulus and visual cue to ch ildren to dispose of any leftover breakfast materials, prior to receiving permission to stand in line to brush teeth. The colored footprints served as environm ental cues to clarify the area in which children were to remain while standing in line to brush teeth and wait to use the restroom. As children arrived to brush teeth, the teacher instructed them to give her their “train tickets” and stand on one of the f our sets of colored footprints As children finished in the restroom, Teacher A used a mini-schedule to remind children of the sequence of expectations in which to engage, followi ng completion of tooth brushing and prior to teacher-initiated directives to transition to language groups. Other antecedent manipulations applied during intervention phases involved the use of children’s photographs to delineate s eating arrangements on each of the two carpeted areas, as well as th e placement of an open bin in the center of each carpeted area. The placement of book bins was intended to serve as discriminative stimuli to children of the expectation th at they look through a book wh ile waiting for language to begin, as well as to decrease the response cost of getting a bo ok. Eight children were assigned to each carpeted area, and therefore each bin held a minimum of eight books, for use during this targeted transition. In addition to the application of antecede nt prevention strategies, the researcher suggested that Teacher A implement conseque nt strategies, delivered contingent upon child behavior (i.e., verbal statements of de scriptive praise and verbal statements of

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53 redirection). Occasional statem ents of descriptive praise were delivered to children engaging in behaviors compatible with teacher expectations (e.g., “Sa lly, great job sitting criss-cross applesauce with your book!”). Verbal statements of redirection were delivered to child ren, contingent upon exhibiting behaviors incompatible with teacher expectations. These redirections were to function as descriptors of what children were expected to d o, rather than of what they were not permitted to do (e.g., “Johnny, throw your trash in the trash can, then get on the train to brush teeth.”). Teacher B: Intervention Strategy Selection. Teacher B’s selection of antecedent manipulations included provision of a verbal cue prior to cl eanup, use of periodic verbal cues to facilitate children’s understanding of the amount of time they had left to clean up, use of a mini visual schedule, the use of a cleanup-themed song, and opportunities for children who finished cleaning early to assi st their peers. Selection of supplemental antecedent manipulations (i.e., visuals) wa s based upon goals to reduce the amount of time children spent cleaning their areas, as well as to increase appropriate engagement during the period of time between cleanup a nd the start of circ le activities. Consequent strategies incl uded descriptive praise to those children following expectations, and redirections for children who exhibited behaviors incompatible with teacher expectations. Descriptor s of and rationales for the aforementioned strategies were also discussed with the assistant teacher. Fu rthermore, both teachers were present for the initial in-vivo coaching session during which st rategies were modeled and teachers were provided feedback on accurate and inaccurate re hearsal of components (i.e., session 11).

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54 Originally, Teacher B and he r assistant initiated the centers to circle transition with a verbal warning to child ren that they had “five more minutes left until cleanup”. Following this warning, several of the child ren began the cleanup pr ocess prior to the actual instruction to begin cl eanup. As a result, these childr en often sat on the carpeted area for several minutes, without direct inst ruction or guidance from a teacher. As discussed during initial consulta tions with the lead and assist ant teachers, this period of unstructured time was frequently associated with incidents of problem behavior, particularly on those days during which only one teacher was present in the classroom and therefore unable to attend to children on the carpeted area. The researcher suggested that Teacher B and her assistant change th e current verbiage of the verbal warning, provided prior to the start of cleanup. This warning cue was to be given with the clarification that child ren had “___ minutes left to play ”, without reference to cleanup. The purpose of this change was to increase th e functionality of the verbal warning to serve as an opportunity for children to finish their current activiti es, rather than to reinforce initiation of the cleanup process. Th e overall intent was to extend the time children engaged in play, so as to mi nimize unstructured time spent on the carpet between cleanup and the start of circle activities. After delivery of the verbal cue, it was suggested that one or both teachers visit each center and prompt children to discuss what they would put away when instructed to clean up their areas, the rationa le for which was associated with providing children a cue as to the upcoming cleanup pro cess. In doing so, one of the teachers used a finger puppet, introduced to the children as “Polly-Pickup” to increase their engagement in these

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55 discussions, as well as to re inforce the expectation that th ey remain within the boundaries of their centers during play. In order to address the teach ers’ goal that children spe nd less time cleaning their areas, the actual cleanup process was init iated with initiation of a game known throughout the literature as “Beat the Buzzer”. This game has been implemented for purposes of increasing children’s engagement in the cleanup process, as well as for reducing the amount of time children sp end cleaning up (e.g., Wurtele and Drabman, 1984). Prior to providing verbal instructions to children to begin the cleanup process, teachers encouraged children to clean up thei r areas, before a timer reached the end of a five-minute countdown. At the start of the ga me, one or both teachers presented a mini visual schedule, depicting illustrations of exp ectations associated with the period of time following cleanup and prior to teacher initiati on of circle activities (i.e., place nametags on the counter, get a book, and sit on the carpet with a book until circle). After starting the timer and delivering the verbal instruction to “cleanup”, the lead or assistant teacher played a cleanup-themed song, the function of which was to serve as an additional predictability cue to children of the expectation to clean their areas. The use of cleanup-themed music has been shown in the literature to increase child engagement in the cleanup process, as well as to reduce th e amount of time childre n spend cleaning their areas (e.g., Register & Humpal 2007). One of the teachers also walked around the room with a red glove, used as a supplemental visual aid to facilitate ch ildren’s understanding of the amount of time remaining. This was indicated by holding up the appropriate number of fingers, as associated with the a ppropriate amount of time (e.g., five fingers to indicate five minutes left to clean up).

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56 To reinforce teachers’ expectations that children sit on the carpet with a book following their completion of cleanup, one or both teachers provided children engaged in these expectations with conti ngent opportunities to serve as “helping hands”. Contingent upon accepting the opportunity to serve as a “helping hand”, one or both teachers directed children to centers in which other peers were still cleani ng. Teachers presented children on the carpeted area with a mini visual schedule to further clarify the contingency between sitting on the carpet and the opportunity to serve as a “helping hand”. In addition to the implementation of an tecedent and preventative visual supports, Teacher B and her assistant implemented conseq uent strategies to reinforce appropriate engagement, as well as to reduce occurrenc es of challenging be havior. Throughout the cleanup process, the teacher walked around to each center with “Polly Pickup” and provided occasional statements of descriptive praise to ch ildren actively cleaning their areas. Redirections were also delivered to children, contingent upon engaging behaviors incompatible with expectations (e.g., walking within or moving toward areas beyond the boundaries of designated centers, etc.). In addition to verbal redirections, teachers used supplemental mini visual schedules to remind children of teacher expectations, contingent upon exhibiting behaviors incompatible with engagement. Teacher C: Intervention Strategy Selection. As per Teacher C’s expectations for children during the circle to centers transition, strategies select ed included the use of an auditory cue following morning circle activities and prior to the teacher’s initiation of the process of selecting centers (i.e., ringing a bell), a mini-schedule depicting illustrated

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57 expectations, center necklaces and stop si gns to indicate center availability, and supplemental visuals to increase children’s engagement throughout. Consequent strategies include d the delivery of descriptive praise for children who followed the steps of the routine. Redirec tions were also implemented for children exhibiting behaviors incompatible with teacher expectations. Teacher C began the targeted transition by ringing a bell, contingent upon which she explained the association between the bell and her expectation th at, prior to choosing centers, children sit cross-legged with eyes on her. The rationale for use of the bell, beyond that of serving as an a uditory cue, was that the sound of the bell would become a conditioned stimulus for the expectation that ch ildren sit with their ey es oriented toward the teacher. As such, Teacher C was observed to ring the bell both at the beginning of the transition and throughout, so as to reestab lish the contingency between the sound of the bell and her expectations for the children. This reminder was occasionally supplemented with a mini visual, depicting illustrations associated with Teacher C’s expectations. After having gained the fu ll attention of all childre n, the teacher explained the rationale for the center necklaces. The neckla ces were made up of laminated photographs of each center, attached to a piece of yarn large enough to f it comfortably around a child’s neck. The necklaces were hung on hooks, above which were larger photographs of the corresponding centers. The number of necklaces for each center corresponded with the number of spaces available in that particul ar center, having served as visual reminders to children of the number of spaces designa ted for each center. As centers became full, Teacher C placed a stop sign over the associated photograph of the center to indicate that it was no longer available for selection. Th e presence of stop si gns and necklaces

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58 therefore became conditioned stimuli for differentiating between unavailable and available centers, respectively. After explaining the association between center necklaces, stop signs, and the availability of centers, Teacher C pulled photographs of children, each attached to a colored craft stick, from a paper bag. The photograph chosen from the bag corresponded to the child chosen to select a center. During baseline sessi ons, topographies of behaviors incompatible with classroom engagement included eye contact and body orientation away from the teacher or child selecting the center, as well as getting up from seated positions, prior to teacher-initiated instructions to do so. The use of children’s photographs was instituted as a method to increase children’s engagement in the selection of centers. After each child selected a center, Teacher C directed the child to remove the corresponding necklace, place it over his or he r neck, and led the child to the chosen center. To reinforce children’s understanding of available and unavailable centers, the teacher provided occasional reviews throughout In doing so, she pointed to and verbally labeled each center and prompted children to discriminate between available and unavailable centers. In addition to providing children with a visual representation of the contingency between stop signs and unavailab le centers, as well as between necklaces and remaining centers, these prompted re views were intended to reinforce the engagement of remaining children in the selection of centers. The area in which children sat during the circle to centers transition was the same as that in which the “construc tion” center was located. The re searcher suggested that the teacher designate an area for children who chos e this center to wait. The teacher attached laminated pieces of paper onto the floor, each with pictures of items associated with

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59 construction, the function of which was to serv e as environmental cues for children as to where to sit while waiting for remaining children to select their centers. Consequent strategies included those rela ted to providing descriptive praise to children following teacher expectations, as well as redirections to those children exhibiting behaviors incompatible with engagement during the circle to centers transition. In addition to providing verbal redirections to children, Teacher C also occasionally used the mini visual schedule to prompt children to sit cross-legged with eyes oriented toward her. For children having difficulty moving toward and staying within the boundaries of their chosen cente rs, Teacher C occasionally used the center necklaces as visual reminders to children of the expectation that, after selection, they walk directly to their chosen centers and re main there throughout th e duration of play. General Procedures Baseline Following initial consultation procedures and prior to intervention strategy selection, baseline probes were conduc ted in each of the three participating classrooms during transitions targeted for interventi on. Teachers were instructed to conduct the targeted routines as they normally would, wit hout further instruction from the researcher. Baseline probes were conducted three to five days a week with each teacher (or assistant teacher) until achieving stable or decreas ing trends in mean percent classroom engagement and/or stable or increasing tr ends in percent occu rrence of challenging behavior

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60 Intervention Informal In-Vivo Coaching. Following baseline and intervention strategy selection procedures, the researcher conducted one in-vivo coaching session with each teacher, during which they were guided in the implementation of the selected interventions, as applied to transitions targ eted for intervention. In-vivo coaching sessions included procedures similar to those outlin ed in the coaching literature (e.g., Rush, Shelden, & Hanft, 2003). Using scripts deve loped from strategi es selected during intervention strategy selection procedures, the researcher began by modeling the correct implementation of individual strategies, with prompts to teachers to rehearse the modeled strategy. Following teachers’ rehearsal of each strategy, the researcher provided descriptive praise for accura te (i.e., correct and complete ) implementation, as well as corrective feedback for strategies implem ented inaccurately (i.e., incorrect and/or incomplete). Data were not collected during these init ial coaching sessions, as the purpose of these sessions was simply to evaluate the extent to which the interventions selected were in fact contextually appropria te for each teacher and classr oom, as well as to provide teachers will initial instruction as to implementation of components. Coaching. Following informal in-vivo coaching sessions, teachers were instructed to implement the interventions dur ing targeted transitions, independent of invivo coaching. Data collection during these se ssions proceeded as during baseline, with the addition of treatment integrity data to document teachers’ implementation of intervention components. Prior to these sess ions, the researcher met with teachers to review scripts of strategi es created as a product of intervention strategy selection as well

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61 as to provide an opportunity for questions and concerns regarding implementation. During debriefings following these sessions, the researcher provided teachers with verbal and written feedback, inclusive of praise for components implemented correctly and constructive feedback for components implem ented incorrectly or incompletely. These debriefings also served to provide an opport unity to address any que stions or concerns. Coaching continued until teachers achieved a mi nimum of three consecutive sessions with treatment integrity measures of at least 90%. Contingent upon achieving this criterion, coaching procedures were withdrawn entirely. Independent Implementation Following teachers’ achievement of treatment integrity criterion (i.e., three c onsecutive sessions with treatment integrity measures of at least 90%), sessions were conducted with each teacher during targeted transitions. No additional coaching was provided during this pha se. Treatment integrity data were taken throughout the independent implementation phase, for purposes of documenting teacher implementation of intervention components. Sessions were conducted with each teacher until achieving stable or increasing trends in mean percent classroom engagement and/or stable or decreasing trends in perc ent occurrence of challenging behavior. Following the last session of independent implementation for each teacher, the researcher met with teachers to administer a social validity questionnaire, as well as to conduct Consumer Satisfaction Interviews with each teacher. Results of systematic and visual analys es of dependent measures, as well as teachers’ treatment integrity scores and res ponses to social validity questionnaires, are presented in Chapter three (i.e., Results).

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62 CHAPTER 3. RESULTS The purpose of the following chapter is to present the results obtained from the current investigation. Outcomes of the depe ndent measures evaluated (i.e., classroom engagement and challenging behavior) will be presented. Following an evaluation of changes in dependent measures, a discussion of results obtained from teachers’ treatment integrity data and responses to social validity questionnair es will be provided. Methods of Data Analysis Data were analyzed using systematic behavioral observati ons, as well as via standardized methods of visual analysis. Anal yses were those associated with changes in trend, level, and variability of dependent measures (Kazdin, 1982) across all phases of the study (i.e., baseline, coaching, and independent implementation ). These analyses were conducted for all participating classrooms dur ing each phase of the study, as applicable both to changes between classrooms and to changes observed within and across phases for each classroom. Determination of trends was based upon visual analyses of the data; variability was determined based upon ranges in dependent measures within phases; and level was determined based upon mean scores of dependent measures within phases. Data for each of the three participati ng classrooms on mean percent classroom engagement and percent occurrence of challengi ng behavior are shown in Figure 1. (Refer to Appendix H for a table including in formation on the mean number of children present for each session of data collection, within and ac ross participating classrooms.).

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63 Figure 1. Mean Percent Classroom Engagement and Percent Occurrence of Challenging Behavior Within and Across Phases fo r Classrooms A, B, and C Data Analyses of Changes in Dependent Measures Note: Informal in-vivo coaching sessions are represented on the graphs of each participating classroom as blank spaces and synonymous with the first session of the coaching phase. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Mean Percent Classroom Engagement Percent Occurrence Challenging Behavior 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 12345678910111213141516171819202122232425 Lead Only Both Assistant Only Percent Within Sessions Classroom A Classroom B Classroom C Baseline Coaching Independent Implementation

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64 Data Analyses of Changes in Dependent Measures Classroom A Visual analyses of mean percent classroom engagement for Classroom A reveal a downward trend in baseline a variable trend across coaching sessions, and an increasing and relatively more stable trend across independent implementation sessions. The mean percent classroom engagement for Classroom A increased from baseline to both phases of intervention (i.e., coaching and independent implementation ), with a mean of 79.3% across all baseline sessions, 93.7% across all coaching sessions, and 97.6% across all i ndependent implementation sessions. Analyses of changes in level for classroom engagement measures indi cate a minimum increase of 14.4% from baseline to coaching and independent implementation phases, with increases of 14.4% and 18.3%, respectively. Analyses of changes in variab ility of mean percent classroom engagement reveal smaller ranges between m easures across sessions in both coaching (i.e., 91.1% to 95.9%) and independent implementation (i.e., 95.1% to 99.5%) phase s, relative to the overall range of measur es across sessions in baseline (i.e., 63.7% to 87.7%). Data regarding changes in level and vari ability in measures of mean percent classroom engagement within and across phases for Cla ssroom A are presented in Table 1. Table 1. Changes in level and variability of classroom engagement within and across phases for Classroom A Phase Mean Score Range of Scores Baseline 79.3% (63.7%-87.7%) Coaching 93.7% (91.1%-95.9%) Independent Implementation 97.6% (95.1%-99.5%)

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65 Visual examination of trend for percent occurrence of challenging behavior reveals a slightly decreasing, though variable, trend across baseline sessions, a relatively more stable and decreasing trend across c oaching sessions, and a decreasing trend across i ndependent implementation sessions. Though the slight decreasing trend across baseline sessions was not anticipated, measures were more variable in baseline relative to trends during intervention phases (i.e., coaching and independent implementation ). Percent occurrence of challenging be havior for Classroom A decreased from baseline to phases of intervention (i.e., coaching and independent implementation ) with a mean of 5.7% acr oss all sessions of baseline 2.4% across all coaching sessions, and 0.5% across all independent implementation sessions. Analyses of changes in level for Classroom A’s percent occurrence of challenging behavior reflect a minimum reduction of 3.3% from baseline to coaching and independent implementation phases, with reductions of 5.2% and 3.3% respectively. Analyses of ch anges in variability of percent occurrence of challenging behavior reveal smaller ranges between measures across both coaching (i.e., 0.0% to 5.1%) and independent implementation (i.e., 0.0% to 4.1%) phases, relative to the overall range of measures observed across sessions in baseline (i.e., 0.0% to 9.8%). Data regarding changes in level and variab ility in measures of percent occurrence of challenging behavior within and across phases for Cla ssroom A are presented in Table 2.

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66 Table 2. Changes in level and variability of challeng ing behavior within and across phases for Classroom A Phase Mean Score Range of Scores Baseline 5.7% (0.0%-9.8%) Coaching 2.4% (0.0%-5.1%) Independent Implementation 0.5% (0.0%-4.1%) Overall, analyses of classroom engageme nt data across phases for Classroom A reveal that the overall level in baseline was lower and relatively less stable than levels observed within both phases of intervention (i.e., coaching and independent implementation ). Furthermore, analyses of challeng ing behavior data indicate that the overall level in baseline was higher and relatively less stable than levels observed within both intervention phases. Classroom B Visual analyses of trend in m ean percent classroom engagement measures for Classroom B reveal a decreasing trend in baseline an increasing trend across coaching sessions, and an increasing trend across independent implementation sessions. The mean percent classroom engagement for Classroom B increased from baseline to phases of intervention (i.e., coaching and independent implementation ), with mean a percent of 74.0% across all baseline sessions, 91.9% all across coaching sessions, and 96.0% across all i ndependent implementation sessions. Analyses of changes in level for mean percent classroom engagement i ndicate a minimum increase of 17.9% from baseline to coaching and independent implementation with increases of 17.9% and 22.0% respectively. Analyses of changes in variability of mean percent classroom engagement reveal smaller ranges between m easures across sessions in both coaching

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67 (i.e., 83.3% to 96.8%) and independent implementation (i.e., 88.1% to 99.7%) phases, relative to the overall range of measures across sessions in baseline (i.e, 62.4% to 86.4%). Data regarding changes in level and vari ability in measures of mean percent classroom engagement within and across phase s for Classroom B are presented in Table 3. Table 3. Changes in level and variability of classroom engagement within and across phases for Classroom B Phase Mean Score Range of Scores Baseline 74.0% (62.4%-86.4%) Coaching 91.9% (83.3%-96.8%) Independent Implementation 96.0% (88.1%-99.7%) Visual analyses of percent occurrence of challenging behavior for Classroom B reveal a variable trend in b aseline and relatively stable and decreasing trends across intervention phases (i.e., coaching and independent implementation ). Percent occurrence of challenging be havior for Classroom B decreased from baseline to phases of intervention (i.e., coaching and independent implementation ), with a mean of 16.1% across all sessions of baseline 5.3% across all coaching sessions, and 3.8% across all i ndependent implementation sessions. Analyses of changes in level for percent occurrence of challenging be havior indicate a minimum reduction of 10.8% from baseline to coaching and independent implementation with reductions of 10.8% and 12.3% respectively. Analyses of cha nges in variability of percent occurrence of challenging behavior reveal smaller ranges between m easures across sessions in both

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68 coaching (i.e., 0.0%% to 13.0%) and independent implementation (i.e., 0.0% to 9.5%) phases, relative to th e overall range of measures across sessions in baseline (i.e, 2.3% to 27.5%). Data regarding changes in level and variability for percent occurrence of challenging behavior within and across phases for Classr oom B are presented in Table 4. Table 4. Changes in level and variability of challeng ing behavior within and across phases for Classroom B Phase Mean Score Range of Scores Baseline 16.1% (2.3% 27.5%) Coaching 5.3% (0.0%%-13.0%) Independent Implementation 3.8% (0.0%-9.5%) Overall, analyses of data across conditions for Classroom B reveal that overall level of classroom engagement was lower and relatively more variable within baseline than levels within intervention phases of the study (i.e., coaching and independent implementation ). Analyses of changes in percen t occurrence of challenging behavior indicate that overall level in baseline was higher and relatively more variable than levels observed within inte rvention phases. Classroom C Visual analyses of mean percent classroom engagement measures for Classroom C reveal decreasing trends in baseline a sharp increase from baseline to coaching sessions, and an increasing trend across independent implementation sessions. The mean percent classroom engagement for Classroom C increased from baseline to phases of intervention (i.e., coaching and independent implementation), with a mean of 78.4% across all baseline sessions, 97.6% across coaching sessions, and 98.2%

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69 across i ndependent implementation sessions. Analyses of changes in level for mean percent classroom engagement indicate a minimum increase from baseline to coaching and independent implementation phases of 19.2%, with increas es of 19.2% and 19.8%, respectively. Analyses of changes in va riability of mean percent classroom engagement reveal smaller ranges between m easures across sessions in both coaching (i.e., 96.5% to 98.2%) and independent implementation (i.e., 96.5% to 99.3%) phases, relative to th e overall range of measures across sessions in baseline (i.e, 65.9% to 86.5%). Data regarding changes in level and vari ability in measures of mean percent classroom engagement for within and across phases for Classroom C are presented in Table 5. Table 5. Changes in level and variability of classroom engagement within and across phases for Classroom C Phase Mean Score Range of Scores Baseline 78.4% (65.9%-86.5) Coaching 97.6% (96.5%-98.2%) Independent Implementation 98.2% (96.5%-99.3%) Visual analyses of percent occurrence of challenging behavior reveal a slightly variable trend in baseline and relatively stable trends across coaching and independent implementation sessions. Percent occurrence of challenging behavior for Classroom C decreased from baseline to phases of intervention (i.e., coaching and independent implementation ), with a mean of 1.9% across all sessions of baseline and 0.0% across all sessions of both

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70 coaching and independent implementation phases. Analyses of ch anges in level indicate an overall 1.9% reduction from baseline to coaching and independent implementation phases. Though seemingly modest, percen t occurrence of challenging behavior was completely eradicated during both coaching and independent implementation phases of the study. Analyses of changes in variabili ty of percent occurr ence of challenging behavior reveal smaller ranges betw een measures across sessions in both coaching (i.e., 0.0%) and independent implementation (i.e., 0.0%) phases, relative to the overall range of measures across sessions in baseline (i.e, 0.0% to 5.6%). Data regarding changes in level and variability for percent occurrence of challenging behavior within and across phases for Classr oom C are presented in Table 6. Table 6. Changes in level and variability of challeng ing behavior within and across phases for Classroom C Phase Mean Score Range of Scores Baseline 1.9% (0%-5.6%) Coaching 0.0% (0.0%) Independent Implementation 0.0% (0.0%) Overall, analyses of classroom engageme nt data across phases for Classroom C reveal that the overall level in baseline was lower and relatively less stable than levels observed within both phases of intervention (i.e., coaching and independent implementation ). Analyses of challenging behavior da ta indicate that the overall level in baseline was higher and relatively less stable than levels obs erved within both intervention phases. Summary of Results for Classrooms A, B, and C. Analyses of changes in dependent measures across participating classr ooms reveal that mean percent classroom

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71 engagement and percent occurrence of challenging behavior changed in directions projected by the resear cher, contingent only upon implemen tation of systematic transition strategies. The use of a multiple baseline probe was useful in demonstrating these experimental effects, both within and across the three participating classrooms. Overall, mean percent classroom engagement from baseline to intervention phases increased by a minimum of 14.4% across all thr ee participating classrooms; and percent occurrence of challenging behavior decreased by a minimum of 3.8% acr oss participating classrooms. Ranges in measures across sessions for phases of intervention (i.e., coaching and independent implementation ) were less than those across sessions in baseline. Results therefore demonstrate the pres ence of a treatment effect, contingent upon implementation of the independent variable (i.e., sy stematic transition strategies). Data Analyses of Treatme nt Integrity Measures In the current investigation, treatment integrity measures were documented to monitor the implementation of th e independent variable by each of the three participating teachers. The following are analyses in trend a nd level of treatment integrity scores for all three participating teachers, within intervention phases of the study (i.e, coaching and independent implementation ). Treatment integrity data within and across all three participating teachers are presented in Figure 2. Teacher A Visual analyses of treatment integrity measures reveal a stable trend across coaching sessions and an increasing trend across independent implementation sessions.

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72 Figure 2. Percentage of Systematic Transition Strategies Accura tely Implemented Within and Across Intervention Phases for Teachers A, B, and C 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100Lead Only Both Assistant Only 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 12345678910111213141516171819202122232425 Teacher A Teacher B Teacher C Sessions Percentage ofStepsAccuratelyImplemented WithinSessions Baseline Coaching Independent Implementation

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73 Analyses of overall level in treatment integrity scores reveal a mean across coaching sessions of 92.3% (range: 92.3%) and a mean across independent implementation sessions of 99.1% (range: 92.3% to 100%). Level and variability of treatment integrity measures within intervention phases (i.e., coaching and independent implementation ) for Teacher A are presented in Table 7. Table 7. Level and variability of treatment integrit y measures within intervention phases for Teacher A Phase Mean Score Range of Scores Coaching 92.3% (92.3%) Independent Implementation 99.1% (92.3%-100%) Teacher B Visual analyses of treatment integr ity data for Teacher B reveal a sharp, increasing trend across coaching sessions and a relatively variable trend across independent implementation sessions. Analyses of overall level in treatment integrity scores reveal a mean across coaching sessions of 82.9% (range: 61.5% to 92.3%) and a mean across independent implementation sessions of 91.1% (range: 83.3%-100%). Level and variability of treatment integrity measures within intervention phases (i.e., coaching and independent implementation ) for Teacher B are presented in Table 8. Table 8. Changes in level and variability of treatment integrity measures within intervention phases for Teacher B Phase Mean Score Range of Scores Coaching 82.9% (61.5%-92.3%) Independent Implementation 91.1% (83.3%-100%)

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74 Teacher C Visual analyses of treatment integrity da ta for Teacher C reveal a stable trend across coaching sessions and a relatively variable trend across independent implementation sessions. Analyses of overall level in treatment integrity scores reveal a mean across coaching sessions of 100% (range: 100%) and a mean across independent implementation sessions of 98.3% (ra nge: 90.0% to 100.0%). Level and variability of treatment integrity measures within intervention phases (i.e., coaching and independent implementation ) for Teacher C are presented in Table 9. Table 9. Changes in level and variability of treatmen t integrity measures within intervention phases for Teacher C Phase Mean Score Range of Scores Coaching 100% (100%) Independent Implementation 98.3% (90.0%-100%) Data Analyses of Social Validation Measures Following the final session of independent implementation the researcher administered a social validity questionnaire to each of the three pa rticipating teachers. Items on the questionnaire were associated with teachers’ percep tions of the goals, procedures, and outcomes of the study. Ratings were measured on a 3-point Likert-type scale, ranging from 1 (i.e., Not well at al/Not Effective/Not Easy ) to 3 (i.e., Very well/Very Effective/Very Easy ). Overall, responses to soci al validity questionnaires acro ss the three participating teachers reveal that the systematic transiti on strategies chosen were valid methods

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75 whereby to increase classroom engagement and to decrease occu rrence of challenging behavior across children in a preschool classroom. In additi on to support of a functional relationship between projected changes in depe ndent measures and implementation of the strategies, teachers’ respons es were supportive of the eas e and comfort with which strategies were implemented, as well as overall contextual fit with ch ildren and classroom environment. (Responses to social validity ques tionnaires within and across participating teachers are presented in Table 10.) In addition to responses to social valid ity questionnaires, the researcher conducted direct interviews with each participating teacher, following the final data collection session of independent implementation for each teacher. The purpose of the interview was to inquire of teachers’ perceptions of issues beyond those related to the overall effects of systematic transition strategi es on dependent measures. The researcher conducted interviews with Teachers A, B, a nd C, as well as the assistant teacher for Classroom B, as she was present for the majority of data co llection sessions. General responses to Consumer Satisfaction Interview questions are discussed within the context of the following chapter (i .e., Discussion). The following chapter also discusses the aforementioned results in light of the research questions presented in Chapter 2 (i.e., Methodology), as well as of implications for future study.

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76 Table 10. Social Validation Measures within and across Teachers A, B, and C Note: Scores were based on a 3-poi nt Likert-type scale, with 1 = Not Well/Effective/Easy at all, 2 = Moderately Well/Effective/Easy; and 3 = Very Well/Effective/Easy Question Teacher A Teacher B (Assistant Teacher’s Score) Teacher C Overall Mean (Range) 1. How well do you feel the strategies helped to improve children’s appropriate involvement in transition activities (e.g., compliance, following directions) in completing steps of the routine? 3 3 (3) 3 3 (3) 2. How well do you feel the strategies addressed the overa ll goals you’ve set for the children in your classroom, particularly during the transitions you’ve targeted as most problematic? 3 3 (2) 3 2.8 (2-3) 3. How well do you feel the strategies helped to reduce children’s overall incidents of problem behavior? 3 3 (3) 3 3 (3) 4. If you do in fact feel the strategies were effective in accomplishing goals thus far, how well do you think they will continue to work in the future? 3 3 (3) 3 3 (3) 5. Do you think the strategies were effective for all children, regardless of diversity (gender, developmental disability, ethnicity, race, nationality, etc.)? 3 2 (3) 3 2.8 (2-3) 6. How easy was it for you to use the strategies? 3 3 (2) 3 2.8 (2-3) 7. How well did the strategies fit with your classroom routine? 3 3 (3) 3 3 (3) 8. How well did the strategies fit with your teaching style? 3 3 (3) 3 3 (3)

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77 CHAPTER 4. DISCUSSION The purpose of the following chapter is to address the research questions proposed in Chapter 2 (i.e., Methodology), based upon results obtai ned via visual and systematic analyses of dependent measur es (i.e., mean percentages of classroom engagement and occurrence of challenging beha vior) and supplemental measures (i.e., treatment integrity data and so cial validation measures). Discussion of Research Questions Research Question # 1 Will the use of systematic transition strategies, as implemented by preschool classroom teachers, affect the classroom engagement of preschool children during targeted transitions from one activity to another? The first research question addressed the extent to which the implementation of systematic transition strategies would affect the mean percent classroom engagement of children in three preschool classrooms. As postulated by the researcher, measures of mean percent classroom engagement would increase relative to baseline measures, contingent upon implementation of the uni versal intervention strategies during coaching and independent implementation phases. As validated by visu al and systematic analyses of data, classroom engagement measures changed in the projected direction for all three participating classrooms.

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78 Beyond evidence of a func tional relationship between implementation of systematic transition strategies and pr ojected changes in classroom engagement it should be noted that the magnitude and variability of these changes differed across participating classrooms. Though only anecdotal, these differe nces may have been associated with a number of extraneous variables. These incl ude, but are not limited to, the number of children present across sessions, the number of days between sessions, and the number of teachers present in the classroom during data collection sessions. Though a possible extraneous variable, the number of children present across se ssions was relatively stable within all three participating classrooms, w ith insignificant differences across classrooms. Number of days between sessions was also re latively stable within and across classrooms and likely contributed little to variability in measures. Given Teacher B’s additional role as Di rector of the Head Start Center, the assistant teacher consented to serve as a participant of the study and therefore implemented strategies on those days duri ng which the lead teacher was not present during data collection sessions. Fu rthermore, regardless of the number of teachers present in Classrooms A and C during data collecti on sessions, both Teachers A and C served as the primary behavior change agents, for all sessions of intervention. Research Question #2 Will the use of systematic transition strategies, as implemented by preschool classroom teachers, affect the challenging beha vior of preschool children during targeted transitions from one act ivity to another? The second research question addressed the extent to which the implementation of systematic transition strategies would affect the mean percent occu rrence of challenging

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79 behavior incidents across child ren in three preschool classr ooms. Analyses of results indicated that, relative to baseline measures, mean percent occurrence of challenging behavior decreased within both coaching and independent implementation phases of the study, for all three participating classrooms. Despite changes in the pr ojected direction, it is im portant to note that the magnitude and variability of changes in th e mean percent occurrence of challenging behavior were different acro ss participating classrooms. The overall reduction across participating classrooms in the mean pe rcent occurrence of challenging behavior from baseline to intervention phases was highest for Classroom B (i.e., 10.8%), relative to reductions across phases for Classrooms A a nd C (i.e., 3.3% and 1.9%, respectively). In addition to differences in the magnitude of changes in dependent measures, the data indicate that ranges across m ean percentages of classroom engagement and occurrence of challenging behavior were lower within all pha ses of the study for Classrooms A and C, relative to Classroom B. This may suggest a possible association with differences in variability of measures across participating classrooms. In consideration of these differences acr oss participating classrooms, it should be noted that the topographies and di mensions of challenging behavior reported via consultations with teachers (i.e., initial consultation and intervention strategy selection ), as well as observed during data collection se ssions, were different across classrooms. In particular, mean percent occurr ence of challenging behavior a ssociated with the greatest reductions of variability and increases in level across baseline and intervention phases (i.e., coaching and independent implementation ), was also representative of the classroom

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80 (i.e., Classroom B) with the most intense topographies of challenging behavior (i.e., physical aggression and pr operty destruction). In addition to differences in topogra phy of challenging behaviors reported and observed across participating classrooms, one a dditional extraneous variable may be that associated with the presence of additional children during data collection sessions. The frequency of this addition was highest for Cl assroom B, in that a child from Early Head Start was present in the classroom for si x of the 22 sessions (i.e., 27.3%). Though only anecdotal, the majority of challenging behavi or occurrences during these sessions (i.e., 18, 19, 20, 23, 24, and 25) appeared to have been attributable to this child. Consumer Satisfaction Interviews: General Results The content of direct interview questions was that associated with teachers’ impressions of the overall consultation proce sses, general data colle ction procedures, and provision of coaching and feedback dur ing phases of implementation (i.e., coaching and independent implementation ). Interviews were conducted with Teacher A, Teacher B, Teacher B’s assistant, and Teacher C. In asking teachers to describe the extent to which they were comfortable with the presence of one or more data collectors in the classroom during transitions targeted for intervention, all reported that they did not feel as though data collection processes “got in the way of” or interfered with classroom routines or the ability of children to adhere to teacher expectations associated with targeted transitions. In asking teachers to describe their perceptions of the overal l consultation processes (i.e., initial consultation and intervention strategy selection ), all four expressed that it was “helpful” to speak to someone, both in regards to identifying problem atic transitions to target for intervention,

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81 as well as in selecting individualized systema tic transition strategies. In relation to this, teachers expressed that past attempts to do so included the noncontigent delivery of tangible rewards (e.g., stickers), as well as ge neralized statements of redirection. While statements of descriptive praise and redirection were presented to teachers as strategies to deliver contingent upon child behavior, the intent of the present study was to expand upon the use of class-wide intervention st rategies, beyond the one-dimensional use of consequent manipula tions alone. Embedded within the overall consulta tion process was the use of informal coaching procedures, particularly those associ ated with the delivery of feedback related to implementation of strategies. When inqui ring about teachers’ perceptions of these processes, overall comments suggested that feedback was provided in a “constructive” and “positive” manner. Teachers generally expressed limited “discomfort” in the withdrawal of coaching procedures contingent upon the start of independent implementation phases of the study. This was noted both anecdotally, during occasional conversations with teachers throughout the course of th e study, as well as during interview processes. All teachers communicated their appreciation for verbal and written feedback and expressed that any “discomfor t” experienced followi ng the withdrawal of feedback was “short-lived”. With respect to accommodating systematic transition strategies with teachers’ typical methods of teaching and overall classroom dynamics, teachers reported that implementation was “a good fit”. All reported that they would continue to use the strategies with little or no modification, as well as to recommend use of the strategies to other teachers.

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82 Limitations and Implications for Future Study Several noteworthy limitations exist for the present study. Systematic transitions strategies selected and implemented in each of the three participating classrooms were designed and chosen on the basis of teach ers’ individual needs and appropriate environmental fit with classroom environmen ts. While intentional, the prospect of designing interventions in this manner poses im plications for the analysis of a functional relationship between implementa tion of systematic transition strategies and changes in dependent measures, both within and acr oss participating classrooms. With individualization of strategy selection, the topography and ove rall number of strategies implemented were different across participa ting classrooms. Teacher A, for instance, chose to implement a visual schedule with th e intent to increase the predictability of teacher expectations for children throughout th e targeted transition (i.e., breakfast to morning language groups). While suggested as a possible strategy fo r Teachers B and C, both teachers chose not to implement the visu al schedule as a component of the overall intervention. It was the intent of the researcher, however, to encourage selection of interventions based upon teacher preference and environmental fit to the targeted transitions, in an effort to reinforce impleme ntation of intervention components. Thus, the experiment did not allow for an examinati on of the functional relationship between a particular transition strategy and dependent measures evaluated. In addition, teachers selected the transition routine that was most problematic for them; targeted transitions were therefore inconsistent across teachers. Fu ture studies should evaluate the effects of the implementation of systematic transiti on strategies on classroom engagement and

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83 occurrence of challenging behavior, as applied to the same or similar transitions across participating teachers. As related to differences across partic ipating classrooms, information reported by teachers during consultation processes (i.e., initial consultation and intervention strategy selection ), as well as via direct observati on sessions conducted by the researcher throughout the study, revealed a range of vari ability in topography and dimension (i.e., frequency and duration) of challenging beha viors commonly exhibited during targeted transitions. Classroom B, for instance, was asso ciated with the most frequent and intense occurrences of challenging behavior, as comm only exhibited by the same child or small group of children. The general isolation of these occurrences to a particular child or small group of children suggests the need for individua lized behavior interventions for targeted children in this classroom. While systema tic transition strategies as a universal intervention are designed to affect the engage ment and behavior of the entire classroom, they are not expected to be e ffective in addressing the challe nging behavior of individual children. The systematic transition strategies us ed in this study were multicomponent and comprised of a package of systematic transiti on strategies. Experimental analyses of the present investigation confirm a functional relationship between implementation of the whole package and contingent changes in dependent measures. Future studies should conduct analyses of the effects of the im plementation of individual components on measures of classroom engagement and o ccurrence of challenging behavior. Past research, for instance, has provided some ev idence for a functiona l relationship between teacher-child interactions and child engagement measures (e.g., Mahoney & Wheeden,

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84 1999). In the present study, consequent st rategies (e.g., descriptive praise and redirections) were employed by all teachers. Though implementation of these strategies was analyzed via documentation of treatme nt integrity data, the topographies and dimensions of these strategies were not sy stematically measured during data collection sessions. The implementation of descriptive praise, for instance, was documented as having occurred or not occurred throughout the duration of ta rgeted transitions; however, the actual frequency with which praise wa s delivered was not documented. Treatment integrity of this particular measur e only required that teachers provide statements of praise, the majority of which were to be descrip tive in topography. Perhaps secondary to a component analysis of the effects of systematic transition strategies on classroom engagement and occu rrence of challenging behavior is the need to evaluate the relationship between the ex tent to which behavior change agents accurately implement intervention strategies (i.e., treatment integrity) and concomitant changes in dependent measures. While the re searcher of the current study evaluated the extent to which teachers’ implemented the universal intervention strategies with integrity, the direct relationship between accurate (i.e ., correct and complete) implementation and measures of classroom engagement a nd occurrence of challenging behavior was not systematically evaluated or defined in th e current study. The rationale for documentation and evaluation of treatment integrity measures was base d upon the need to monitor teachers’ implementation so as to determine appropriate points at which to fade coaching procedures, as is common to consultation in applied settings. Regarding the establishment of a functional relationship between measures of treatment integrity and the extent to which an intervention is effective, futu re studies should provide a more rigorous

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85 component analysis of interv ention strategies implemented, and the effects of specified implementation on possible treatment effects. An additional limitation of the present st udy is that related to the lack of followup or maintenance data. Given the time cons traints of the current study, as well as Teacher C’s impending plans to change occupati ons, the researcher chose not to continue evaluation of intervention eff ects. Furthermore, generalization may have been limited in that evaluation of systematic transition strategies on classr oom engagement and occurrence of challenging behavior was conducted across childre n in three preschool classrooms, all within the same Hillsborough C ounty Head Start Center. Future research should evaluate these effects across mu ltiple classrooms and preschools. Summary and Conclusions Even given the aforementioned limitations and implications for future research, results of the current inves tigation provide support for a treatment effect and thus a functional relationship between implementation of systematic transition strategies and increased measures of classroom engageme nt and reduced occurrences of challenging behavior in three Head Start preschool classr ooms. In addition to systematic and visual analyses of data, evidence for a functiona l relationship was provided via teachers’ responses to social validity questionnai res, as well as through responses to Consumer Satisfaction Interviews The individualization of strate gy selection for each of the three participating teachers, as relevant to f unctional and environmental fit to targeted transitions, may provide addi tional support for the importance of contextual fit, as embedded in processes of consulta tion with preschool teachers. Beyond a preliminary demonstration of a functional relationship between

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86 implementation of systematic transition strate gies and projected ch anges in dependent measures (i.e., increased classroom engageme nt and reduced occurrences of challenging behavior), the purpose of th e present study was to extend the current knowledgebase associated with the application of multi -tiered approaches to early childhood interventions. Out of this multi-tiered approach, the Teaching Pyramid (Fox et al., 2003) was created as a hierarchical model intended to support all children at the universal level, children at-risk for developing pa tterns of challenging behavior and children in need of individualized supports. The model is founded on practices of promotion, prevention, and intervention (Hemmeter, Ostrosky, & Fox, 2006) as conducive to promoting the socialemotional competence of young children a nd addressing challenging behavior. Systematic transition strategies are among the interventions outlined in the first tier of practices (i.e., universal interv entions for all children), presented in the literature as essential to classroom management and prom oting young children’s engagement. In an effort to expand upon the current knowledgebase regarding the efficacy of these classwide strategies, the current investigation examined whet her the implementation of systematic transition strategies would pr oduce an observable impact on young children’s engagement in classroom activities and occurrences of challenging behavior. Though preliminary, this study offers some evidence of a func tional relationship between implementation of systematic transiti on strategies and in creased measures of child engagement, as well as reduced occurr ences of challenging behavior. Furthermore, this study contributes to research efforts to identify evidence-based practices that may be implemented by teachers in a preschool classroom, with the intent to foster environments

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87 conducive to overall social-emotional deve lopment and increased engagement in academic and pro-social activities.

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88 REFERENCES Ackland, R. (1991). A review of the peer coaching literature. The Journal of Staff Development, 12 (1), 22-27. Arlin, M. (1979). Teacher transitions can disrupt time flow in classrooms. American Educational Research Journal, 16 (1), 42-56. Baer, D. M., Wolf, M. M., & Risley, T. R. (1968). Some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1 (1), 91-97. Bailey, D. B. J., & Wolery, M. (1989). Assessing infants and preschoolers with handicaps. (pp. 516). Columbus, OH, England: Merrill Publishing Co. Berk, L. E. (1976). How well do classr oom practices reflect teacher goals? Young Children 32 64-81. Blair, K. C., Umbreit, J., & Bos, C. S. ( 1999). Using functional assessment and children’s preferences to improve the behavior of young children with behavioral disorders. Behavioral Disorders, 24 151-166. Blair, K. C., Umbreit, J., & Eck, S. (2000). Analysis of multiple variables related to a young child's aggressive behavior. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 2 (1), 33-39. Bodrova, E., & Leong, D. J. (1998). Developmen t of dramatic play in young children and its effects on self-regulati on: The Vygotskian approach. Journal of Early

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101 APPENDIX A MEASUREMENT TOOLS

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APPENDIX A (CONTINUED) 102 Sample Data Sheet Date: _____ Primary Data Collector: _____ Reliability Data Collector: _____ Teacher: __________ Session #: ___ Start Time: _____ End Time: _____ Number of Children Pr esent (at onset): _____ Interval/ Percent Engaged Enter(+) Exit (-) (#) Cannot Score (#) Number Engaged Occurrence of Challenging Behavior Interval/ Percent Engaged Enter(+) Exit (-) (#) Cannot Score (#) Number Engaged Occurrence of Challenging Behavior 1 Yes 31 Yes 2 Yes 32 Yes 3 Yes 33 Yes 4 Yes 34 Yes 5 Yes 35 Yes 6 Yes 36 Yes 7 Yes 37 Yes 8 Yes 38 Yes 9 Yes 39 Yes 10 Yes 40 Yes 11 Yes 41 Yes 12 Yes 42 Yes 13 Yes 43 Yes 14 Yes 44 Yes 15 Yes 45 Yes 16 Yes 46 Yes 17 Yes 47 Yes 18 Yes 48 Yes 19 Yes 49 Yes 20 Yes 50 Yes 21 Yes 51 Yes 22 Yes 52 Yes 23 Yes 53 Yes 24 Yes 54 Yes 25 Yes 55 Yes 26 Yes 56 Yes 27 Yes 57 Yes 28 Yes 58 Yes 29 Yes 59 Yes 30 Yes 60 Yes

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APPENDIX A (CONTINUED) 103 Treatment Integrity Checklist for Teacher A Please check a Yes (Y) or No (N) for the fo llowing. To score a “Yes”, the entire step must have been completed appropriately (i.e., accurately and consistently). Check N/O if the opportunity is not presented for the t eacher to engage in a particular step. Date: ___________ Session #:_____ Primary Data collector: _____ Reliability Data Collector: _____ Y N N/O 1 The colored footprints are down on the floor, forming what is referred to as “the train”. 2 There is a bin of library books at the center of each carpeted area. 3 The circle seat pictures are down on each carpeted area. 4 The train tickets are out and in an area accessible to ALL children (i.e., near the trashcan). 5 The visual schedule is posted on the inside of the front door or in an area of the classroom visi ble to and at eye level to ALL children (i.e., from th eir breakfast tables). 6 The teacher reviews the visual schedule with the children, prior to giving the first verbal cue. This “review” should include bot h verbal explanations of the steps of the routine, as well as occasional opportunities/prompts to the children to repeat the expectations. 7 The teacher provides a verbal cue, prior to calling the first table to get up from breakfast (e.g., “In five minutes, I’m going to call the first table to get up!”) 8 As children get to the train, the teacher takes their train tickets and directs children to stand on one of the colored sets of footprints on the floor 9 There are no more than four children on the train at one time Score a “no” if, at any time during the session there are more than four children on the train at once.

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APPENDIX A (CONTINUED) 104 Treatment Integrity Checklist for Teacher A (Continued) Treatment Integrity (%) = Steps implemented accurately (i.e., correctly and completely) divided by the total number of opportune steps, multiplied by 100 to yield a percentage 10 When children are done brushing teeth the teacher instructs them to: 1. get a book from the bin on th eir assigned carpeted area, 2. find their picture, and 3. sit criss-cross applesauce on their picture (with their book) until it’s time for language The majority of these directives must include all three expectations in order score as “yes”. 11 The teacher provides a verbal cue prior to beginning language (e.g., “Three more minutes, then it’s time to put your books in the bin and get ready for language!”) 12 The teacher provides descriptive praise to children who are following the steps of the rout ine (e.g., “Wonderful standing on the train and brushi ng teeth, Hannah!”). The majority of praise statements must be descriptive in order to score as “yes”. 13 The teacher redirects children who appear to be having difficulty with any of th e steps of the routine. The majority of these redirecti ons must clearly indicate the teacher’s expectation in positi ve terms in order to score a “yes” (i.e., what TO do, vs. what NOT to do).

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APPENDIX A (CONTINUED) 105 Treatment Integrity Checklist for Teacher B Please check a Yes (Y) or No (N) for the following. To score a “Yes”, the entire step must have been completed appropriately (i.e ., accurately and consistently). Check N/O if the opportunity is not presented for the t eacher to engage in a particular step. Date: ___________ Session #:_____ Primary Data collector: _____ Reliability Data Collector: _____ Y NN/ O 1 Prior to giving the first verbal cue the teacher ensures that she has all her materials prepared and ready to use (i.e., timer, five-minute glove, “Polly Pickup finger puppet, CD set on “repeat” to play song 14) 2 Prior to announcing clean up the teacher provides a verbal cue that specifies the amount of time children have left to play, prior to the start of cleanup (e.g. “You have five more minutes left to play!”). The verbiage used to do so must exclude mention of “cleanup time”, in order to score a “yes”. 3 After giving the verbal cue, the teacher walks around to each center and directs each child to tell “Polly-Pickup” what he or she is planning to pickup when “cleanup time” begins. 4 When it’s time to clean up, the teacher explains the rules of the “beat the buzzer” game (i.e., The children are reminded that they are to clean up their own areas, within th e five minutes of time allotted.). 5 The teacher explains the use of the five-minute glove (e.g., “During cleanup time, Polly and I are going to be walking around to each center with this glove. The glove will tell you how many minutes you have left to clean up…”) 6 After the rules of the game are reviewed, the teacher reminds the children of what they are to do after they’re finished cleaning up their areas : 1-Put your nametag on the counter. 2-Get a book. 3Sit criss-cross applesauce with your book until it’s time for circle. This explanation must include all three expectations, as well as prompt(s) to the children to repeat the expectations, in order score a “yes”. 7 After giving children the directive to begin cleanup, the teacher starts the timer.

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APPENDIX A (CONTINUED) 106 Treatment Integrity Checklist for Teacher B (Continued) Treatment Integrity (%) = Steps implemented accurately (i.e., correctly and completely) divided by the total number of opportune steps, multiplied by 100 to yield a percentage 8 The “cleanup-themed” music is playing in the background. 9 During cleanup, the teacher walks around the room with the fiveminute glove and uses the glove to indicate the amount of time children have left to fi nish cleaning their areas. 10 During cleanup, the teacher walks around to each center to provide descriptive praise to children actively cleaning their areas (e.g., “Sally, great job putting the blocks on the shelf!”) The majority of praise statements must be descriptive in order to score a “yes”. 11 During cleanup, the teacher walks around to each center to provide redirection to those children having difficulty cleaning up their areas. The majority of these redirections must clearly indicate the teacher’s expectation in positive terms, in order to score a “yes” (i.e., The teacher tells the children what TO do, vs. what NOT to do). 12 As children finish cleaning their areas, the teacher directs those finished early and following teac her expectations to serve as “helping hands” for children in need of help This may be done with or without the use of the Fi rst/Then visual (i.e., “First, ‘sit criss-cross with a book’; then, ‘be a helping hand’.”) 13 For children who arrive to the ca rpet early and are not serving as “helping hands”, the teacher direct s them to get a book and sit crisscross on the carpet until it’s time for circle This may be done with or without the use of the Fi rst/Then visual (i.e., “First, ‘get a book’; the n, ‘sit criss-cross applesauce’.”)

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APPENDIX A (CONTINUED) 107 Treatment Integrity Checklist for Teacher C Please check a Yes (Y) or No (N) for the fo llowing. To score a “Yes”, the entire step must have been completed appropriately (i.e., accurately and consistently). Check N/O if the opportunity is not presented for the t eacher to engage in a particular step. Date: _____ Session #:_____ Primary Data collector: _____ Reliability Data Collector: _____ Y NN/O 1 At the end of circle, the teacher transitions children into choosing centers by providing an auditory cue (i.e., ringing the bell) and announces that “it’s time to choose centers!”. 2 The teacher reminds children of th e expectation that they are to be sitting “criss-cross applesauce”, with eyes on her before she is able to call the first child to choose centers. This may be done with or wit hout the supplemen tal use of the First/Then visual (i.e., “First, ‘sit criss-cross with eyes on the teacher’; then, ‘c hoose centers’.”). 3 The teacher provides descriptive praise for children sitting “crisscross”, with eyes on her. The majority of praise statements must be descriptive in order to score a “yes”. 4 The teacher redirects those children who appear to be having difficulty with the expectation that th ey are to be sitting “criss-cross”, with eyes on her. The majority of these redirections must clearly indicate the teacher’s expectation in positive term s in order to score as “yes” (i.e., what TO do, vs. what NOT to do). 5 The teacher explains the associa tion between the number of center necklaces on the hooks and the number of children allowed in each center as well as the significance of placing stop signs over centers to differentiate availabl e and unavailable centers. 6 The teacher uses pictures of the ch ildren, attached to craft sticks, to choose the order in which children choose centers The teacher may allow a child who is following her expectations to serve as a “helper” in pulling a picture from the bag. 7 After a child chooses a center, th e teacher instruct s the child to remove the appropriate center necklace from its corresponding hook

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APPENDIX A (CONTINUED) 108 Treatment Integrity Checklist for Teacher C (Continued) Treatment Integrity (%) = Steps implemented accurately (i.e., correctly and completely) divided by the total number of opportune steps, multiplied by 100 to yield a percentage and directs the child (either verba lly or by gesturing/pointing) to move in the direction of his or her chosen center. 8 The teacher places stop signs over centers that are no longer available and reviews available and unavaila ble centers with the children remaining. 9 The teacher directs children who choo se to go to the “construction” center to sit on the spots designated for th ese children, located on the boundaries of the carpeted area. 10 After all children have chosen a center, the teacher provides descriptive praise to those who are within the boundaries of their center. The majority of praise statements must be descriptive in order to score a “yes”. 11 After all children have chosen a center, the teacher redirects those children who appear to be having difficulty finding their center. She may do this verbally and/or by pointing to the child’s center necklace as a reminder of where the child has chosen to go.

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APPENDIX A (CONTINUED) 109 Social Validity Questionnaire Teacher: ____________________ Date: ______ Please circle the number that corresponds to your response on each of the following. 1. How well do you feel the strategies are he lping to improve children’s appropriate engagement in transition activities, as relate d to their compliance in following the steps of the routine? 1 = Not well at all 2 = Mode rately well 3 = Very Well 2. How well do you feel the strategies are help ing to reduce children’s overall incidents of problem behavior? 1 = Not well at all 2 = Mode rately well 3 = Very Well 3. How well do you feel the strategies addr ess the overall goals you’ve set for the children in your classroom, pa rticularly during the transiti ons you’ve targeted as most problematic? 1 = Not well at all 2 = Mode rately well 3 = Very Well 4. If you do in fact feel the strategies have b een effective in accomplishing goals thus far, how well do you think they will cont inue to work in the future? 1 = Not well at all 2 = Mode rately well 3 = Very Well 5. Do you think the strategies were effectiv e for all children, rega rdless of diversity (gender, developmental disability, et hnicity, race, nationality, etc.)? 1 = Not at all Effective 2 = Moderately Effective 3 = Very Effective 6. How easy was it for you to use the strategies? 1 = Not at all easy 2 = Som ewhat easy 3 = Very easy 7. How well do the strategies fit with your classroom routine? 1 = Not well at all 2 = Mode rately well 3 = Very Well 8. How well did the strategies fit with your teaching style? 1 = Not well at all 2 = Moderately well 3 = Very Well

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APPENDIX A (CONTINUED) 110 Consumer Satisfaction Interview Questions 1. How did you feel having someone in the room collecting data while you lead class activities? Describe your comfort level with this, as well as how you feel it may or may not have affected you as a teacher. 2. Please describe your overall impressions of the consultation process. (To what extent were you comfortable speaking to so meone about difficult tr ansitions, as well as with having someone help you select strategies to apply to these transitions? What about this process made you feel this wa y? Would you recommend this process to another teacher? Would you go throu gh the process again yourself?) 3. What were your perceptions of having th e consultant provide feedback on your use of the suggested strategies? How did it feel to have this feedback withdrawn after the first few sessions? 4. In considering the expectations you’d lik e children to follow during the routine you selected as problematic, please descri be whether you feel the strategies you selected have affected your children and cl assroom environment. Please describe how these changes, if any, have affected you as a teacher. 5. Describe changes, if any, you’ve seen in the problem behavior of children since applying the strategies. 6. Describe how the transition st rategies did or did not fit with your teaching style and overall classroom environment. Describe your comfort level and confidence in using the strategies. (What were some di fficulties you experien ced in using the strategies? What were some successes?) 7. Describe some things you’ve tried in the past, in order to help children follow your expectations. How do these things comp are and contrast with the transition strategies you’ve recently a pplied to you classroom (effectiveness, ease of use, fit with your teaching style and classroom environment)? 8. Did you find that any of the strategies were more effective for some children than others? If so, please describe. 9. Do you plan to continue using the strate gies? If so, are th ere any changes you would make to any of the strategies?

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111 APPENDIX B OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS OF CLASSROOM ENGAGEMENT FOR CLASSROOM A

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Expectation Scoring Instruct ions for Classroom Engagement 1. Children are to remain at their breakfast tables until Teacher A calls them to get up and push in their chairs. 1. Score children who have not yet been called to get up as engaged if they are sitting in their chairs with their entire bottoms touching their chairs, both feet on the floor, and all four legs of the chair touching the floor. Do not score children as engaged if they are doing one or more of the following: -standing and/or orie nting their bodies in such a way that their entire bottoms are not touching their chairs -standing and/or orie nting their bodies in such a way that both feet are not touching the floor -moving their chairs in such a wa y that all four legs of their chairs are not touching the floor After getting up from the table, the children are to exhibit the following behaviors (i.e., items 2 through 4): Score children who have been called to get up as engaged if they are doing one or more of the following (i.e., items 2 though 4): 2. push their chairs under the table; 3. throw their trash into the trashcan; 2. standing up from their assi gned chairs and/or pushing their chairs under their tables; Do not score children as engaged if they are remaining seated in their chairs, with en tire bottoms touching chairs) 3. walking back and forth betw een the trashcan and tables with used breakfast materials and/or throwing soiled materials into the trash receptacle; APPENDIX B (CONTINUED) 112

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During coaching and independent implementation phases of the study, include those children walking toward and/or removing “train tickets” from th e designated box, located on the bookshelf within five feet of the trashcan. 4. empty their dirty silverware and pour any leftover milk into the sink; 4. walking toward the sink to deposit dirty silverware and to drain partially filled milk containe rs and/or depositing silverware and leftover milk into the sink; 5. stand on the “train” (i.e., a line formed outside the bathroom door) to brush teeth; 6. place toothbrushes back onto the toothbrush rack; 5. walking toward or standing on the “train” and exhibiting one or more of the following behaviors: -retrieving their toothbrushes a nd/or cups from the table, positioned near the class restroom -holding their toothbrus h and cup; and/or -brushing teeth with cup in hand; (Children may be facing forward or backward but must be standing within two feet of other children on the “train”.) During coaching and independent implementation phases, include those children handing Teacher A a “train ticket”. 6. walking toward the table on which toothbrushes are kept and/or placing their toothbrushes ba ck onto the rack on the table; For items 3-6, do not score children as engaged if they standing and/or moving within areas of the room other than those between breakfast tables, the trash receptacle, APPENDIX B (CONTINUED) 113

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7. get a book; 7. walking toward one of two bookshelves to get a book, each located within the boundaries of the two carpeted areas and/or standing within the boundaries of the assigned carpeted areas. (The carpeted areas are those on which children are instructed to sit for the period of time between breakfast and language. There are two separate carpeted areas, each assigned to eight children.) During coaching and independent implementation phases of the study, include those childre n standing between the train and tables, receiving or waiting to receive instructions from Teacher A as to her expectations for the period of time following tooth brushing. Include also those children walking toward or getting a book from the bi ns located at the center of the carpeted areas. 8. sit “criss-cross applesauce” with a book until language begins. 8. sitting cross-legged with a book until Teacher A instructs children to place books back onto the shelves; (In order to score children as engaged, their eyes do not need to be oriented toward their books, but they must be holding a book and sitting with their en tire bottoms touching the carpeted area. Children may talk with peers and adults during this time, as long as they are holding a book, their entire bottoms are touching the floor, and their entire bodies are within the boundaries of thei r assigned carpeted areas.) During coaching and independent implementation phases of the study, include those childre n sitting on their designated circle photographs and/or are sitting with their entire bottoms touching the floor. APPENDIX B (CONTINUED) 114 114

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Do not score children as engaged if they are doing one or more of the following: -sitting and/or orien ting their bodies in su ch a way that their entire bottoms are not touchi ng the floor (e.g., laying on their backs, sides, stomachs, etc.) -sitting and/or orien ting their bodies in su ch a way that their entire bodies are not within the physical boundaries of the carpeted area 9. put books away and “get ready” for language. 9. Score children as engaged if they are getting up and walking toward one of the two bookshelv es and/or placing books back onto the bookshelves, continge nt upon the teacher-initiated directive to “put books away”. During coaching and independent implementation phases of the study, include those children get ting up from their circle seat pictures, moving toward the bins located at the center of the carpeted areas, and/or placi ng books back into the bins. Do not score children as engaged if they are doing one or more of the following: -remaining seated (i.e., entire bo ttoms touching the floor), with book in hand -sitting, standing, or moving in such a way that they are orienting their bodies aw ay from the bookshelves Data collection sessions for breakfast to language will begin with Teacher A’s verbal instru ction to the first table to get up (e.g. Table number one, get up.”) and will end with all ch ildren in their appropriate language groups and Teacher APPENDIX B (CONTINUED) 115 115 115 115

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A’s verbal initiation of disc ussion and activities associated with langua ge (e.g. “What letter are we studying this week?”). Instructions for conducting the Engagement Scan : Begin with the breakfast table in closest physical proximity to the area in which data collection is conducted. Begin with the child at that table in closes t physical proximity and move from child to child in a cloc kwise direction. *Note that the breakfast tables and seats at which children sit will change on a daily basis. Prior to each session, data collectors will agree on the child with whom to initiate data collection. The or der in which tables are scanned will also be discussed prior to each session. As children are dismissed to brus h teeth, scan children at tables, in the sa me pattern as that described above, and move from tables to areas of the classr oom to which children move (i.e., areas be tween tables and the trashcan, the line on which children stood to brush teeth, the two carpeted areas on which children sat to look at books prio r to the start of language activities). For scans of children standing in line to brush teeth, begin with the child in the back of the line and move from child to child toward the front of the line. Begin scans of children on the two carpeted areas with the carpet located furthest fr om the area in which data collection is conducted. Begin scans of ch ildren seated on the carpet with the child in closes t physical proximity and continue around to ot her children in a cloc kwise direction. *Note that while carpeted area s on which children sit are consistent, children are not assigned to part icular areas of the carpets. The child with whom to begin scans on the carpet will be discussed during each data collection session, as children arrive to the carpets. APPENDIX B (CONTINUED) 116

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117 APPENDIX C OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS OF CLASSROOM ENGAGEMENT FOR CLASSROOM B

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1181. Children are to remain within the boundaries of their center, during the entire five mi nutes prior to cleanup. 1. When Teacher B (or the assistant teacher) announces that children have “five more minutes until cleanup”, score children as engaged if their entire bodies are within the boundaries of th eir appointed centers and they are either continuing play or beginning the cleanup process. During coaching and independent implementation phases of the study, include those children speaking with Teacher B (or the a ssistant teacher) about the items they plan to pick up. (This will occur following delivery of the verbal cue that children have “five minutes left to play”.) Do not score children as engaged if they are moving and/or stationed in areas of the classroom other than those within the boundari es of a center 2. When Teacher B (or the assistant teacher) announces that it is time to clean up, children are to remain within the boundaries of their own centers and pick up the toys and materials within those centers. 2. When Teacher B (or the assistant teacher) announces that it is time to clean up, score children as engaged if their entire bodies are with in the boundaries of their chosen centers and they are actively “cleaning” their areas (i.e., picking toys a nd other materials off the floor; placing toys and others items back onto appropriate shelves or bins ; hanging clothes back onto appropriate hooks, etc.). APPENDIX C (CONTINUED)

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119 When children are finished cleaning their areas, they are to exhibit the following behavior s (i.e., items 3 through 5): Do not score children as engaged if they are moving and/or stationed in areas of the classroom other than those within the bounda ries of a center Score children who have finished cleaning their areas as engaged if they are doing one or more of the following (i.e., items 3 through 5): 3. place their nametags on the counter, 3. walking toward the counter near the restroom to put their nametags away and/ or actually placing their nametags onto the counter; 4. get a book; 4. walking toward one of three bookshelves and/or are in the process of removing a book from a bookshelf; (One of the three shelves is located within the carpeted area on which children sit for circle activities, and the other two are separating the math and art centers from the library center.) 5. sit “criss-cross applesauce” w ith their books until Teacher B announces that it is time for circle. 5. walking toward the carpet ed area on which circle activities are conducted and/or are sitting on the carpeted area with their books. (Children’s eyes do not need to be oriented toward their books, but they must be holding a book and sitting with their entire bottoms touching the carpeted area and/or kneeling with knees touching the carpeted area. Children are permitted to talk with peers and adults during this time, as long as they are holding a book, their knees and/or bottoms are touching the floor, and APPENDIX C (CONTINUED)

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120their entire bodies are wi thin the boundaries of the carpeted area.) During coaching and independent implementation sessions, include children standing and/or moving toward a center to serve as “helping hands” for other children cleaning their areas, contingent only upon being appointed by Teacher B (or the assistant teacher) to do so. 6. put books away and “get ready” for circle. 6. Scor e children as engaged if they are getting up and placing books back onto one of the three bookshelves, contingent upon the teacher-ini tiated directive to “put books away and get ready for circle”. *Do not score children as e ngaged if they are doing one or more of the following: -remaining seated (i.e., entire bottoms touching the floor), with book in hand -sitting, standing, or moving in such a way that they are orienting their bodies aw ay from the bookshelves Data collection sessions for centers to circle will begin with Teacher B’s (or the assist ant’s) verbal cue as to the amount of time children have left to play (e.g. “You have five minutes left to play...”) and will end with al l children seated on the carpet and teacher initiation of circle activities (e.g., “Good morni ng class; It’s time for circle.”) Instructions for conducti ng the Engagement Scan: The scan will begin with the child or children in one particular center, as di scussed prior to data collection sessions, and will continue in a clockwise direction to children in the nine remaining centers. As children finish cleaning and move to the carpeted area, the scan of children will begin with the child in closes t physical proximity to the area in which data APPENDIX C (CONTINUED)

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121collection is conducted, whether walking towa rd one of three bookshelves to get a boo k or seated on the carpet. The scan will continue with children on the ca rpet, in a clockwise direction. APPENDIX C (CONTINUED)

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122 APPENDIX D OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS OF CLASSROOM ENGAGEMENT FOR CLASSROOM C

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123Expectation Scoring Instructions for Classroom Engagement 1. When Teacher C announces that it is time to choose centers, children are to be sitting “criss-cross apples auce” with eyes on the teacher and/or on the child choosing his or her center; 1. Score children who have not yet been called to choose a center as engaged if they are sitting with their entire bottoms touching the floor and eyes oriented toward the teacher and/or the child who has been called to choose a center; Do not score children as engaged if they are doing one or more of the following: -sitting on the carpet in such a way that their entire bottoms are not touching the floor (e.g., kneeling, laying on side, stomach, back, etc.) -orienting their eyes away from the teacher and/or child choosing hi s or her center (i.e., looking down or in a direction opposite that of the teacher and/or ch ild choosing centers) When Teacher C calls a child to choose a center, he or she is to exhibit the following behaviors (i.e., items 2 through): Score children who have been called to choose a center as engaged if they are doing one or more of the following (i.e., 2-4): 2. get up from the floor and inform her of the center in which they’d like to play for the period designated fo r child initiative (i.e., centers); 2. getting up from the floor, contingent ONLY upon being called by Teacher C to choose a center; Do not score children as engaged if they are doing one or more of the following: -remaining seated on the carpet APPENDIX D (CONTINUED)

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124 3. get his or her center nametag from the table; -orienting eyes and/or body away from the teacher 3. walking toward the table of nametags and/or are in the process of picking nametags from the table; Do not score children as engaged if they are walking away from the teacher and/or area in which they are instructed to go to choose centers (i.e., the table on which center nametags are placed). During coaching and independent implementation sessions, nametags designated for centers are replaced by center necklaces. As such, score children as engaged during these phases if, after Teacher C calls them to choose a center, they are exhibiting one or more of the following behaviors, as related to implementation of center necklaces: -announcing their chosen centers; -pointing to or walki ng toward the center necklaces that corresponds to the chosen centers; -retrieving the appropriate center necklaces from the corresponding center hook or waiting for Teacher C to retrieve the necklaces; and/or () APPENDIX D (CONTINUED)

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125 -placing the correspondi ng center necklaces around their necks Do not score children as engaged if they are walking away and/or area in which they are instructed to go to c hoose centers (i.e., the table on which center nametags are placed). During coaching and independent implementation sessions, nametags designated for centers are replaced by center necklaces. As such, score children as engaged during these phases if, after Teacher C calls them to choose a center, they are exhibiting one or more of the following behaviors, as related to implementation of center necklaces: -announcing their chosen centers; -pointing to or walki ng toward the center necklaces that corresponds to the chosen centers; -retrieving the appropriate center necklaces from the corresponding center hook or waiting for Teacher C to retrieve the necklaces; and/or -placing the correspondi ng center necklaces around their necks Do not score children as engaged if they are walking away APPENDIX D (CONTINUED)

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1264. walk directly to the chosen center and remain within the boundaries of that center for the duration of play 4. walking directly toward their chosen centers and remaining within the physical boundaries of their chosen centers for the duration of play, unless otherwise instructed. Do not score children as engaged if they are moving and/or stationed in areas of the classroom other than those within the boundaries of a center Circle to centers begins with Teacher C’s instruction to children to sit “criss-cross applesauce with eyes on (her)” and ends with all children within the boundaries of a center. Instructions for conducting the Engagement Scan : Children are positioned on the carpet in rows, facing Teache r C. The engagement scan will begin with the child in the back row, furthest from Teacher C and in closest proximity to the area in which data collec tion will occur, continuing to children in the same row and to the left of this child. The scan of children in the next row will begin with the child furthest from the site of data collection and will move to chil dren to the right of this chil d. This pattern will continue until the last child, seated in the front row and in closest pr oximity to the site of data collection, had been scanned. *Note: The order in which children sit will change, however patterns of engage ment scans will be consistent across sessions. As children stand to go to their c hosen centers, the scan will continue fr om the carpeted area to the child or children in one of the 10 center locations, as discussed prior to data collection sessions, and will continue in a clockwise direction to children in th e nine remaining centers. APPENDIX D (CONTINUED)

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127 APPENDIX E SUMMARY OF SYSTEMATIC TRANSITION STRATEGIES SELECTED BY TEACHER A

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Systematic Transition Strategy Operational Description Verbal Cue (A) A verbal statement of warning, provided 3 to 5 minutes prior to transition from one activity to another (i.e., prio r to verbal directives to end one activity and begin another). 1. The first verbal cue was provided following review of the visual schedule and 3 to 5 minutes prior to Teacher A’s verbal instruction to children at the first table to get up from breakfast. This statement included in formation regarding the amount of time remaining, prior to Teacher A’s verbal instru ction to the first tabl e to get up (1) and a statement regarding the activity to follow (2). e.g., “In five minutes (1), I’m going to call the first table to get up from breakfast (2).” 2. The second verbal cue was provided 3 to 5 minutes prior to Teacher A’s verbal instruction to children to put books away a nd move to designated language activities. This statement included information regardi ng the amount of time remaining, prior to Teacher A’s verbal instruction to put books away (1) and a statement regarding the activity to follow (2). e.g., “You have five more minutes with your books (1), then I’m going to ask you to put your books away (2).” Visual Schedule (A) A 22” by 28” navy blue poster board with 5” by 6.5” laminated pictures illustrating teacher expectations Illustrations included pictures taken from Microsoft Office Clipart, as well as digital photographs. Above each picture were descri ptors of the illustrated expectations, typed in 50-point Arial text. APPENDIX E (CONTINUED) 128

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Visual Schedule (Continued) Illustrations and associated de scriptors included the following: 1. clipart of a child sitting at a table (i.e., “Sit at Table”); 2. digital photograph of a classroom chair (i.e., “Push in Chair”); 3. digital photograph of the classroom trash receptacle (i.e., “Thr ow Away Trash”); 4. clipart of a train (i.e ., “Get Train Ticket”); 5. digital photograph of the classroom si nk (i.e., “Put Silverware in Sink”); 6. clipart of a footprint (i.e., “Stand on Train”); 8. clipart of a toothbrush (i.e., “Brush Teeth”); 9. clipart of a child retrieving a book from a bin (i.e., “Get a Book.”); 10. clipart of a child’s portra it (i.e., “Find Picture”); and 11. clipart of a child sitting with a book (i.e., “Sit ‘Criss-Cross’”) Mini Visual Schedule (A) An 8.5” by 11” piece of laminated paper, depicting 2” by 2” illustrations of expectations associated with pa rticular periods of time during breakfast to language (i.e., following completion of the tooth-brushi ng task and prior to teacher initiation of circle activities) Illustrations included pictures taken from Microsoft Office Clipart, as well as digital photographs. Below each picture were writ ten descriptors of the illustrated expectation, typed in 32 -point Arial font. Illustrations and associated de scriptors included the following: 1. clipart of a child retrieving a book from a bin (i.e., “Get a Book.”); 2. clipart of a child’s portra it (i.e., “Find Picture”); and 3. clipart of a child sitting with a book (i.e., “Sit Cr iss-Cross.”) “Train Tickets” (A/SV) Laminated pieces of 2” by 4” paper, each de picting a picture of a train (i.e., Microsoft Office Clipart.) APPENDIX E (CONTINUED) 129

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Colored Footprints (A/SV) 10” by 3” cut-out pictures of colored foot prints (i.e., Microsoft Office Clipart) attached to the floor with contact paper Circle Seat Photographs (A/SV) Laminated 5.8” by 4.5” digital photographs of children, attached to carpeted areas with Velcro Above each photograph, in 44-point Comic Sans MS text, was the name of the child depicted in the photograph. Descriptive Praise (C) A verbal statement of acclamation, delivered to children contin gent upon appropriate behaviors These statements were provided throughout breakfast to language and functioned to label and reinforce children’s engagement in teacher expectations (e.g., “Good job sitting ‘criss-cross applesauce’ on your circle seat, Susan!”). Statement of Redirection (C) A verbal directive, delivered to childre n contingent upon exhibiting inappropriate behaviors, inclusive of statements rega rding behaviors in which children were expected to engage, rather than behavior s incompatible with teacher expectations (e.g., “Place dirty silverwa re in the sink, Bobby.” versus “Bobby, don’t leave dirty silverware on the table.”). These statements were delivered throughout breakfast to language and functioned to label and reinforce children’s enga gement in teacher expectations. APPENDIX E (CONTINUED) 130

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131 APPENDIX F SUMMARY OF SYSTEMATIC TRANSITION STRATEGIES SELECTED BY TEACHER B

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13 2 APPENDIX F (CONTINUED) Systematic Transition Strategy Operational Description Verbal Cue (A) 1. The initial ve rbal cue was provided approxima tely 5 minutes prior to the teacher’s (i.e., lead or assistant) verbal instruction to begin cleanup. *This statement included information regarding the amount of time remaining prior to verbal instructions to begin cleanup (1), as well as a statement regarding the expectation that childre n continue play throughout this period of time (2). e.g., “You have five minutes (1) left to play in your areas (2).” 2. Following the teacher’s (i.e., lead or assi stant) verbal instruction to children to begin cleanup, one or both teachers walked around the room, providing verbal cues as to the amount of time remain ing for cleanup. This verbal cue was delivered 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 minute(s) prior to the end of cleanup. e.g., “You have 5…4…3…2…1 minute(s) left to cleanup!” Mini Visual Schedule (A) An 8.5” by 11” piece of laminated paper, depicting 4” by 4” illustrations of expectations associated with a particular period of time during cleanup to circle (i.e., following cleanup and prior to teacher initia tion of circle) Illustrations were taken from Microsoft Office Clipart. Below each picture were written descriptors of the il lustrated expectations, typed in 40-point Arial font. 1. The first mini schedule was introduced following the delivery of the first verbal cue (i.e., “You have ___m inutes left to play!”). Illustrations and associated de scriptors included the following: clipart of a child retrieving a book from a bookshelf (i.e., “Get a Book.”), next to which was clipart of a child sitting crosslegged with a book (“S it Criss-Cross.”). 132

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13 3 APPENDIX F (CONTINUED) Mini Visual Schedule (Continued) 2. The second mini schedule was introduced to children as they finished cleaning their areas and arrived to the carpeted area. The purpose of the visual was to clarify the contingency be tween following the expe ctation and contingent opportunity to serve as a “hel ping hand” for other children. Illustrations and typed desc riptors included clipart of a child sitting cross-legged with a book (i.e., “First, Sit Criss-Cross. ”) and clipart of a child’s hand (i.e., “Then, be a ‘helping hand’.”). 5-Minute Glove (A/SV) A red glove, paired with ve rbal cues as to amount of cleanup time remaining, worn by the teacher providing the cues “Beat the Buzzer” Game (A/SA) Teacher sets an electronic timer for five minutes and instructs children to finish cleaning their areas, prior to the end of a five-minute countdown Descriptive Praise (C) A verbal statement of acclamation, de livered to children contingent upon appropriate behaviors These statements were provided throughout centers to circle and functioned to label and reinforce children’s enga gement in teacher expectations. e.g., “Good job picking up the blocks, Juan!” Statement of Redirection (C) A verbal directive, delivered to childre n contingent upon exhibiting inappropriate behaviors, inclusive of statements rega rding behaviors in which children were expected to engage, rather than prohi bited behaviors (e.g., “Sit with a book, Janine.” Versus “Stop crawling around the carpet, Janine.”). These statements were delivered throughout centers to circle and functioned to 133

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13 4 APPENDIX F (CONTINUED) Note: A = Antecedent Manipulation (i.e., preven tions and environmental manipulations) A/SV = Antecedent Manipulation/Supplemental Visuals (i.e., preventions and environmen tal manipulations involving the supplemental use of visuals) A/SA = Antecedent Manipulati on/Supplemental Activities (i.e., preventions and environmental manipulations involving the supplemental use of activities) Statement of Redirection (Continued) label and reinforce children’s engage ment in teacher expectations. 134

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135 APPENDIX G SUMMARY OF SYSTEMATIC TRANSITION STRATEGIES SELECTED BY TEACHER C

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136Systematic Transition Strategy Operational Description Auditory Cue (A) In place of a verbal cue pr ovided prior to the start of circle to centers Teacher C rang a bell, contingent upon which childre n were expected to sit "criss-cross applesauce” and orient their eyes and bodies toward her. Mini Visual Schedules (A) An 8.5” by 11” piece of laminated paper, depicting 4” by 4” illustrations of expectations associated with circle to centers -Below each picture were written descriptor s of the illustrated expectations, typed in 40-point Arial font. (Pictures were taken from Microsoft Office Clipart.) *Illustrations and typed descri ptors included clipart of ey es and of a child sitting cross-legged (“First, Sit Cr iss-Cross with eyes on Ms .___.”), next to which was a digital photograph of one of the center neck laces (i.e., “Then, Choose Centers.”) Center Necklaces (A/SV) 4” by 5” digital photographs of each, the number of which corresponded to the number of children allowed the ce areas attached to 24” pieces of yarn -Center necklaces were hung on hooks attach ed to the wall, above which were identical 6” by 7” photographs of the associated centers. Children’s Photographs (A/SV) Laminated 2.5” by 2.5” digital photographs of children, each attached to a craft stick and pulled from a paper bag to dete rmine the order in which children were chosen to select centers Above each photograph, in 36-point Comic Sa ns MS text, was the name of each photographed child. Descriptive Praise (C) A verbal statement of acclamation, deliver ed contingent upon appropriate child behavior These statements were provided throughout circle to centers and functioned to APPENDIX G (CONTINUED)

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137 Note: A = Antecedent Manipulation (i.e., preven tions and environmental manipulations) A/SV = Antecedent Manipulation/Supplemental Visuals (i .e., preventions and environmental manipulations involving the supplemen tal use of visuals) A/SA = Antecedent Manipulation/Suppl emental Activities (i.e., preventions and environmental manipulations involving the supplementa l use of activities) C = Consequent Manipulation (i.e., statements of response, delivered contingent upon child behavior) Descriptive Praise (Continued) label and reinforce children’s enga gement in teacher expectations. e.g., “Good job sitting ‘criss-c ross applesauce’ with eyes on the teacher, Joey!” Statement of Redirection (C) A verbal directive, delivered to childre n contingent upon exhibiting inappropriate behaviors, inclusive of statements rega rding behaviors in which children were expected to engage, rather than prohibited behaviors. These statements were delivered throughout circle to centers and functioned to label and reinforce children’s engage ment in teacher expectations. e.g., “Sit criss-cross with eyes on me, J ohn.” versus “Stop looking at your hands, John.” APPENDIX G (CONTINUED)

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138 APPENDIX H MEAN NUMBER OF CHILDREN PRESENT DURING DATA COLLECTION SESSIONS, WITHIN AND ACRO SS CLASSROOMS A, B, AND C

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139 Mean Number of Children Present During Da ta Collection Sessions within and across Classrooms A, B, and C Note: BL = Baseline; Coach = Coaching; I nd Imp = Independent Implementation Session # Classroom A ( Phase ) Classroom B ( Phase ) Classroom C ( Phase ) 1 13.6 ( BL ) 15.0 ( BL ) 11.9 ( BL ) 2 13.6 ( BL ) 3 16.0 ( BL ) 13.9 ( BL ) 11.9 ( BL ) 4 14.0 ( BL ) 14.0 ( BL ) 12.0 ( BL ) 5 In-Vivo Coach 13.9 ( BL ) 13.0 ( BL ) 6 15.0 ( Coach) 7 12.0 ( Coach ) 13.9 ( BL ) 14.0 ( BL ) 8 12.7 ( Coach ) 14.9 ( BL ) 9 13.1 ( Ind Imp ) 14.0 ( BL ) 10 13.7 ( Ind Imp ) 14.1 ( BL ) 11 12.7 ( Ind Imp ) In-Vivo Coaching 14.0 ( BL ) 12 14.9 ( Ind Imp) 15.0 ( Coach ) 13 12.1 ( Ind Imp ) 14.0 ( Coach ) 14.0 ( BL ) 14 15.2 ( Ind Imp ) 13.6 ( Coach ) 14.0 ( BL ) 15 14.0 ( Ind Imp ) 13.9 ( Coach ) In-Vivo Coaching 16 14.4 ( Ind Imp ) 11.0 ( Coach ) 17 13.6 ( Ind Imp ) 8.9 ( Ind Imp ) 13.0 ( Coach ) 18 14.9 ( Ind Imp ) 7.0 ( Ind Imp ) 13.0 ( Coach ) 19 12.3 ( Ind Imp ) 11.6 ( Ind Imp ) 12.8 ( Coach ) 20 12.7 ( Ind Imp ) 11.9 ( Ind Imp ) 13.0 ( Ind Imp ) 21 12.3 ( Ind Imp ) 12.0 ( Ind Imp ) 12.9 ( Ind Imp ) 22 12.6 ( Ind Imp ) 12.6 ( Ind Imp ) 12.0 ( Ind Imp ) 23 13.0 ( Ind Imp ) 11.9 ( Ind Imp ) 12.0 ( Ind Imp ) 24 13.7 ( Ind Imp ) 11.9 ( Ind Imp ) 14.0 ( Ind Imp ) 25 12.4 ( Ind Imp ) 11.8 ( Ind Imp ) 13.8 ( Ind Imp ) Overall Mean across phases 13.5 12.8 13.8


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Supporting teachers and children during in-class transitions :
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ABSTRACT: In early childhood classrooms, transitions are often targeted as times of the day during which teachers encounter problems with deficiencies in child engagement, as well as frequent occurrences of challenging behavior. Studies to date on improving child behavior during in-class transitions have focused on providing supports for individual children, as well as on reducing transition duration. The present study evaluated the effects of systematic transition strategies, as applied to three Head Start preschool classrooms during targeted in-class transitions. Strategies encompassed an accumulation of antecedent and consequent manipulations and were selected on the basis of environmental fit with individual classroom environments. Participants included three Head Start preschool teachers and their respective students, all three to five years of age.The dependent measures examined in the study included mean percent classroom engagement and percent occurrence of challenging behavior, measured across all phases of the study (i.e., baseline, coaching and independent implementation). Results, evaluated in a multiple baseline probe across classrooms, indicated that with implementation of systematic transition strategies, mean percentages of classroom engagement within intervention phases (i.e., coaching and independent implementation) were higher and relatively more stable than those observed in baseline, within and across all three participating classrooms. Furthermore, mean percent occurrences of challenging behavior were lower and relatively more stable within phases of intervention (i.e., coaching and independent implementation) than those observed in baseline, within and across all three participating classrooms.Data on the accuracy with which teachers implemented selected strategies (i.e., treatment integrity) were also documented and presented in the context of results obtained. Implications for future research are discussed, in light of the limitations and findings of the current investigation.
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