Summer is officially here and we are starting to enjoy it! Picnics, parties, playdates, pools . . . we love it all except it does bring a slight increase in my anxiety with regards to safety. Anyone with a preschooler or toddler knows the warm weather begs them to come out and run around.
2 years ago I attended a local TagTeach Training based on the collective work of B.F. Skinner. One of the greatest concepts I received was the idea of using "tagpoints" - an achievable objective construction to allow rapid, definitive evaluation with regard to success. Tag points help to identify a goal; what you want the learner to do. There are 4 main rules to tagpoints:
1. What you want to happen 2. Single criterion 3. Observable/definable 4. 5 words or less
I wanted my daughter to be safe when playing outside so I created a few safety tagpoints for her. I provided enough strong reinforcement when teaching the behavior, that wherever we are, when I provide the instruction the behavior will occur.
Here are some of my tagpoints: 1. Stop at curb 2. Hold my hand 3. Stand next to me 4. Touch the car
Many of these tagpoints compete with potential unsafe or problem behavior. I taught stop at curb to prevent running into the street or parking lot. I taught hold my hand to use when crossing the street or in a parking lot. I taught stand next to me while in a store (this one took the longest because competing reinforcers in a store are strong). I taught touch the car for use in the parking lot. Avery has always disliked her stroller so when we are in a parking lot and I have my hands full I immediately have her touch the car so I know where she is while I open doors. Touch the car has been extremely valuable and one I use most often today.
You can learn more about TagTeach Here.