TTAC Topics                                                                                                    November 2016
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The 2x10 strategy: A simple way to build student relationships

Do you have a student whose behavior is challenging? Have you used strategies, without success, to attempt to improve his or her behavior? One strategy to consider is the 2x10 strategy developed by researcher Raymond Wlodkowski. The goal of the 2x10 strategy is to positively connect with a student and to begin to build a long lasting relationship. As a result, student behavior is likely to improve.
How does the 2x10 strategy work? Basically, you spend two minutes a day for ten consecutive days talking with a student about anything he or she wants to talk about. The conversations can be about their interests outside of school, their families, etc. It's about getting to know the student as a person other than as your student. The two minute conversations help the student to develop a positive connection with someone who cares and is interested in learning about him/her. These positive relationships, in turn, can affect the student's behavior in school, moving from a misbehaving student to one who is more engaged and on task in the classroom.
If you would like to learn more about the 2x10 strategy, you can check out these resources:

Five effective features of classroom management
"How does Mrs. Brown do it?  She never has any behavior issues in her classroom!"  There are five effective features of classroom management.  A teacher, who doesn't appear to have behavioral issues in the classroom, will have posted behavior expectations and taught, reviewed, monitored, and reinforced these behavior expectations on a daily basis. That teacher will maximize structure by providing consistent procedures and routines on a daily basis. She will actively engage her students in well thought-out and planned interactive and hands-on activities every 15-20 minutes during a lesson. She 'll  use  a continuum of strategies to encourage expected behavior, such as providing a rationale for why the behavior is important and giving specific praise to the students frequently . And, this teacher will use a continuum of strategies to discourage problem behavior such as ignoring the behavior, redirecting the student's attention to the task or offering simple and meaningful choices.  These preventative and proactive measures can ensure a well-managed classroom. 

An excellent resource to support classroom teachers is Preventing challenging behavior in your classroom: Positive behavior support and effective classroom management by Matt Tincani.  This book focuses on practical strategies to prevent and reduce behavior problems and enhance student learning. Check it out now from the VCU TTAC library.
Independent workstations help increase independence in students with autism
Teaching i n dependent work skills may sometimes feel like a daunting task for teachers working with students with autism.  There can be barriers 
that impact a student's  success to complete tasks independently. These barrier s may include  difficulty initiating a task, distractibility, poor organizational skills, inability to sequence a set of steps, and generalization of skills taught.
A structured work system, sometimes called a workstation, is structured work to be done within a visually cued system that answers four questions:
  1. What work needs to be done?
  2. How much work needs to be done?
  3. How do I know when I'm finished?
  4. What do I do next?
While a written or picture schedule directs a student where to go, a work station instructs a student on wha
t to do once they arrive in the scheduled area. A structured work system provides all of the required information contained in task boxes needed to complete a task without adult prompting and teaches the student to attend to visual cues. When using the routine and structure provided in the task boxes,  students  are enabled to work through a set of tasks independently.  

Task boxes are created based on individual student needs and abilities. Tasks   can incorporate sorting objects, file fol der act ivities, fine motor tasks, reinforcement of concepts taught during science and social studies, and prevocational and vocational tasks. 

If you would like to learn more about setting up work stations with task boxes check out these online resources.

Search for structured teaching

Search the VCU TTAC library and check out the Task Galore books for additional ideas.

TTAC welcomes new staff
Amber Butler recently joined the T/TAC at VCU in October as a Program Specialist in Special Education Instruction, Grades 2-5. Amber was recently employed by Richmond City Schools as an Instructional Specialist. She previously taught special education in Richmond City, Henrico County and Prince Edward schools.  She earned her Bachelor of Science from Longwood University and her Master's in Education from Liberty University. 
VDOE's Training and Technical Assistance Center at VCU
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Richmond, VA 23284-3081