Precision Teaching Series – Part 5 of 5: Summarizing Our Findings

The Precision Teaching Series

This series of 5 blogs will introduce you to the Precision Teaching Method created by Ogden R. Lindsley for data collection, data analysis and decision making.


Summarizing our Findings

The last four posts have covered the importance of measuring frequency in precision teaching. Now you can see the use of frequency as data on a Standard Celeration Chart, the workhorse of the Precision Teaching set of tools.

  • You can measure any behavior that is observable and repeatable.
  • You can measure it for a varied amount of time (e.g. a 30 second timing of a child saying sounds and sound combinations from their reading program; a five minute creative writing task to see how quickly a child can put their creative story ideas on paper.)
  • You can collect the data on a daily basis and see the direction in which the student’s performance is going.
  • If there is no growth, or negative growth, the chart alerts you to make a change in the program.
  • It does not tell you what to change or how to change, but it will give you feedback on the effects of the change so that you know whether or not you are now being successful.
  • Once you see the celeration line for a few days, you can begin to predict the amount of time, given this rate, that the student will need to reach a level of fluent performance.
  • The data will assist you in making decisions such as whether you should be trying to increase the student’s pace or whether you should be trying to improve the quality of the performance by reducing errors.
  • You can keep track of as many behaviors as you need information about.
  • Generally I suggest that you begin with two or three critical academic behaviors that you want to know about and start with that. Three typical reading behaviors would be saying sounds and sound combinations, reading words from lists of words already taught and reading passages hopefully made up of words that have already been taught.
  • You can teach older children how to chart and make decisions about their own behavior.
  • You no longer have to depend on unit tests, periodic exams or state-wide testing to know how your student is doing.
  • The standards for excellence have been worked out for many academic tasks with millions of students over the past 50 years. They are completely reliable as indicators of academic success.
  • You do not need a Ph.D. to put dots on a chart and determine if the line is going up, down or across. This is not rocket science.
  • Since this is an actual frequency of a very specific behavior in a specified period of time with a known standard of excellence, such as reading words in a story, it is not difficult to determine improvement in pace and or quality of a student’s performance.
  • It is very hard to argue against such a direct, simple measure of performance. That would be like arguing against the stroke rate of an Olympic swimmer if it were placed on a chart.
  • You now have a new reliable tool at your disposal.

Where Do I Get Standard Celeration Charts?

The Standard Celeration chart can be ordered in reams of 500 from Behavior Research or in smaller quantities from Maloney Method by e-mail or phone 1-877-368-1513.

In my next series of articles I will share the results of a 12 year old developmentally delayed youth who is learning to read and for whom English is a second language. The data speaks for itself.


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