Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Event Details

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Symposium #393
CE Offered: BACB
Teaching Writing With Morningside Generative Instruction: Explicit Instruction, Frequency Building, and the Good Behavior Game
Monday, May 29, 2023
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Convention Center 405
Area: EDC/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Andrew Robert Kieta (Morningside Academy)
CE Instructor: Alyssa R McElroy, M.A.

The Morningside Model of Generative Instruction (MMGI) has been applied to teaching written performance to both typical and non-typical children and adult learners. Explicit instruction, frequency building to criterion, and classroom management procedures derived from evolutionary theory and student participation are key components of MMGI. First, Paige Sherlund-Pelfrey will provide a systematic review of the evidence of the effectiveness of explicit instruction and frequency building to criterion as methods to build writing skills with typical and non-typical elementary and middle school children. Second, Alyssa McElroy will describe a specific study that evaluated Morningside’s Writing Persuasive Compositions program, which includes explicit instruction and frequency building to criterion, to teach persuasive writing to college students with disabilities. Finally, Hannah Jenkins will detail a system for teaching students to set learning, organizational, and citizenship behaviors, as well as procedures for transitioning from the Good Behavior Game to the Mystery Behavior Game, to set the context for effective writing instruction.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Professionals interested in behavioral education, direct instruction, Precision teaching/frequency building, Response to Intervention, Good Behavior Game, and special education. Audience should have a basic understanding of applied behavior analysis as applied to academic learning behavior.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Describe the effectiveness of explicit instruction and frequency building on writing performance, 2. List four types of persuasive sentences and describe explicit instruction and frequency building procedures for teaching those sentence writing performances, 3. Describe the procedures for establishing the Mystery Behavior Game as a classroom wide, group contingency for shaping student learning, organizational, and citizenship behaviors.
A Systematic Review of Explicit Instruction and Frequency Building Interventions to Teach Students to Write
(Applied Research)
PAIGE LEE SHERLUND-PELFREY (Western Michigan University ), Alyssa R McElroy (Western Michigan University), Jessica E. Van Stratton (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Using explicit instruction (EI) and frequency building to a performance criterion (FBPC) as an intervention to teach writing skills to individuals with and without disabilities has become increasingly common in recent years (Datchuk & Kubina, 2017; Datchuk & Rodgers, 2018; Rodgers et al., 2020). While literature reviews on writing interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (Accardo et al., 2019; Pennington & Delano, 2012) and writing difficulties and learning disabilities (Datchuk & Kubina, 2012) are available, to date there is no systematic review of EI and FBPC for writing skills. Researchers and practitioners may benefit from knowledge surrounding the effectiveness of these interventions for different populations and various writing skills. Thus, the purpose of the current systematic review is to examine and summarize the available evidence on EI and FBPC as a method to teach writing skills, provide recommendations to practitioners and teachers, and establish future directions in research for the research community.

Using Explicit Instruction and Frequency Building to Teach Persuasive Writing to College Students With Disabilities

(Applied Research)
ALYSSA R MCELROY (Western Michigan University), Jessica E. Van Stratton (Western Michigan University), Paige Lee Sherlund-Pelfrey (Western Michigan University )

Proficient writing skills are critical for academic, vocational, and social outcomes for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). However, many individuals struggle to develop proficient writing repertoires (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2012; Whitby & Mancil, 2009). This study sought to teach eight college students with disabilities to write four types of persuasive sentences (e.g., thesis statement, major point, minor point, transition sentence) using a modified explicit instruction program and frequency building to a performance criterion sessions. Five of the eight participants met criteria for all four sentence types and demonstrated maintenance skills during follow-up sessions. Future directions regarding instructional strategies for college-level writing will be discussed.

The Mystery Good Behavior Game: An Evolution of the Good Behavior Game to Occasion Generative Responding
(Service Delivery)
HANNAH JENKINS (Morningside Academy), Andrew Robert Kieta (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: Extending the author's prior research, procedures were designed to guide classroom teachers on how to systematically shift class wide social-behavior contingencies from the Good Behavior Game (GBG), to the Caught Being Good Game (CBGG), to the Mystery Behavior Game (MBG), in which reinforcement is delivered for desirable behaviors that are not explicitly stated to the students (Jenkins 2022). First, procedures were designed for setting classroom expectations using Ostrom's eight core design principles for governing groups. Students agreed upon values, expectations, rewards, and punishments. Second, the learning, organizational, and citizenship behaviors required for writing class success were analyzed and organized into a scope and sequence. Third, procedures and data-based decision-making criteria were designed to evolve the group contingency intervention from the punishment based GBG to the constructional, reinforcement-based CBGG, in order to teach some of the targeted behaviors in the scope and sequence. Fourth, the MBG was introduced in order to evoke and reinforce novel behaviors that were not explicitly taught during the previous game iterations. Finally, the author will evaluate what other untargeted or unexpected behaviors emerged from the MGB.



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