# When Behavior Analysis is Insufficient Part 2 – The Good Behavior Clock

### The Good Behavior Clock

Sometimes it is difficult to get children to attend to the task at hand, especially when we want them to work independently on some assigned work. It becomes critical that you can control their production and their interruptions. There are several successful strategies that are likely to assist teachers or parents to do this.

The Good Behavior Clock is one such strategy. Dr. Edward Kubani of University of Hawaii first reported The Good Behavior Clock in the educational research literature some thirty years ago. It worked then and it still works today.

Materials Required: To create the Good Behavior Clock you need a kitchen timer, a Tupper Ware bowl, a table of random numbers from a statistics book, a reinforcement schedule, a Points Record Sheet, a pencil, and a reward agreed to by parent and child.

Procedure: The teacher, classroom aide or another student sets the timer to a prescribed time as indicated by the reinforcement schedule which is taped inside the Tupper Ware bowl. The bowl then placed over the timer while the student works.

When the timer sounds, the parent or teacher immediately looks to see if the child is working. If so, a point is awarded and recorded and the timer is set to the next setting indicated by the schedule and covered by the bowl. At the end of the session, the points are added to the Point Record Sheet and the student can determine how many he has accumulated and how many more are required to “purchase” his reward.

#### Step One

Determining the Current Independent Work Period Length You first have to determine the length of time that the students currently are able to work quickly and quietly. This assumes that the child has been properly instructed and is actually able to do the work demanded in 20 the assignment. Determining the baseline for independent work is accomplished by keeping a record of the Student on-task behavior for several days. Once you have that data, you can determine the average length of time that these students work on task. Most teachers have a pretty good ballpark notion of this from their previous work with the class. Once you know the length of the average on-task work period, you determine the amount of total time that you expect the child to be engaged in academic work. In a normal classroom day, there are approximately 300 minutes of educational time.

If the student can work on-task for only 5 minutes at a time, there would be 60 individual work periods (60 periods of 5 minutes = 300 total educational minutes). If the child were capable of 10- minute stints of on-task work, there would be 30 periods per day (30 periods of 10 minutes = 300 educational minutes).

#### Step Two

Setting up a Reinforcement Schedule A schedule is then devised using these periods. The consultant constructs a different schedule for each day of the week so that the schedule does not become predictable. An example of the timer settings using 60 periods of 5 minutes is outlined below. The clock is set on Monday for the first period. It will ring after 2 minutes. That leaves 3 minutes remaining in the first period. Those 3 minutes are added to the second setting (2 minutes plus 3 minutes = 5 minutes) so that the clock will ring again in 5 minutes. When the clock rings a second time, there are still 2 minutes left in the second period. These are added to the 2-minute setting for the third period to yield a setting of 4 minutes.

This system generates a series of clock settings which determines the times for reward for the entire school day. Schedules for 5 and 10-minute reward periods are set out below.

#### Awarding Points

The timer, the recording sheet and the schedule, taped inside the Tupperware bowl, are given to one of the group leaders to free up the teacher. At some point within each of the designated periods, the timer will ring. The teacher immediately scans the groups of students and awards points and praise to each group for working quickly and quietly, or not as the case may be.

The timekeeper then resets the clock to the next setting and the teacher continues with the lesson. The students soon learn that the timer may ring at any moment, so that it is best to keep working. Soon the students learn to work for longer and longer periods and the clock can be set for longer periods until it is no longer needed.

Each day the points are totalled 21 and announced with great fanfare to the entire class. For the next 10 weeks we will work with 5 and 10 and 15-minute schedules of reward. In the first reinforcement schedule given below, the clock will ring at some time within a five-minute period.

In the second reinforcement schedule, the period is set for the clock to ring with a ten-minute period. As a result, the number of periods decreases from 60 periods per day to 30 periods per day when students have learned to work long enough to change the schedule from 5 to 10 minutes.

In order to maintain the integrity of the system, the points awarded on the ten-minute schedule have to be doubled. In the third example, the reward periods occur at some time within a fifteen minute time span. Once again this reduces the frequencies of opportunities for rewards so that the number of points earned needs to be adjusted so that the students can earn the same number of points.

#### Token Economies in the Classroom

Another option, when the problem is sufficiently serious that it will not be solved by praise alone, is to use a token economy system. In a token economy system, some medium of exchange, a token, is awarded for appropriate behavior. The tokens can be counted and deposited by their 2324 owners in order to participate in auctions, draws, or an opportunity to purchase items, or activities.

The teacher carries a number of tokens or has a person available to dispense tokens for instances of appropriate behavior. At selected intervals, the teacher allows the tokens to be turned in for rewards.

Bonus: Check out the FREE lessons of the Maloney Method Digital Reading Program.