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Data? –TPOT’s and BIR’s Why? How Do I Use It?. Annette Hahn Teaching Pyramid Consultant/Coach, Trainer Objectives. Understand purposes for use of the Teaching Pyramid Observation Tool (TPOT)

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Data? –TPOT’s and BIR’s Why? How Do I Use It?

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data tpot s and bir s why how do i use it

Data? –TPOT’s and BIR’s Why? How Do I Use It?

Annette Hahn

Teaching Pyramid Consultant/Coach, Trainer

  • Understand purposes for use of the Teaching Pyramid Observation Tool (TPOT)
  • Assess how well teachers are implementing the Teaching Pyramid model through use of the TPOT
  • Summarize and evaluate the results of the TPOT on the TPOT Summary
  • Understand challenging behavior has meaning for the child.
  • Know children use behavior to access something or someone (obtain/request) or avoid something or someone (escape/protest).
  • Use Behavior Incident Reports to determine the function or purpose of challenging behavior.
  • What is it?
    • Used as a way to determine how well teachers are implementing the pyramid
    • Meant to be an ongoing tool, not a one time event
      • Can be a pre/post measure
      • Can supplement other tools (e.g., ECERS…)

The Teaching Pyramid

Individualized Intensive Interventions

Social Emotional Teaching Strategies

Designing Supportive Environments

Building Positive Relationships


  • Benchmarks of Quality
    • Program-wide adoption of fidelity tool
    • Identifies strengths and areas for implementation
    • Captures growth in fidelity of implementation
using the tpot
Using the TPOT
  • Observations
    • Conducted for a minimum of 2 hours
    • Must observe centers or free play and at least one teacher-directed activity
    • Focus on observation is lead teacher’s behavior
  • Interviews
    • For those practices that cannot be observed in a 2-hour observation
format of the tpot
Format of the TPOT
  • Three types of items
    • Environmental items (items 1-7) – yes/no based on observation
    • Ratings of practices (items 8-22) – ratings based on observation and/or teacher report
    • Red Flags (items 23-38) – yes/no based on observation
environmental arrangement items
Environmental Arrangement Items
  • Clear boundaries
  • Move easily around room
  • Lack of large open spaces
  • Adequate number of centers
  • Materials support play
  • Preparation of centers
  • Classroom rules
items based on observations and or teacher report
Items based on observations and/or teacher report
  • Schedules
  • Transitions
  • Conversations
  • Promoting Engagement
  • Behavior Expectations
  • Providing Directions
  • Social Skills
  • Expressing Emotions
  • Problem Solving
  • Friendship Skills
  • Persistent Problem Behavior
  • Communication with Families
  • Involving Families
  • Relationships with Adults
items are scored based on teacher report
Items are scored based on teacher report
  • Supporting children with persistent problem behavior
  • Communication with families to promote involvement
  • Involving families to support social emotional development and addressing problem behavior
  • Strategies to build collaborative teaching with other adults
red flag items 23 38
Red Flag items 23-38
  • Represents issues related to teacher training, support, or program practices
  • Indicated areas for immediate training
  • Scored as yes/no
summarize results
Summarize Results
  • Use Teaching Pyramid Observation Tool (TPOT) Summary
    • Strengths
    • Emerging Skills
    • Professional Development needs
challenging behavior basic assumptions
Challenging Behavior Basic Assumptions
  • Challenging behavior usually has a message- I am bored, I am sad, you hurt my feelings, I need some attention.
    • Children often use challenging behavior when they don’t have the social or communication skills they need to engage in more appropriate interactions.
    • Behavior that persists over time is usually working for the child.
    • We need to focus on teaching children what to do in place of the challenging behavior.
tom herner nasde president counterpoint 1998 p 2
Tom Herner (NASDE President, Counterpoint 1998, p.2)

“If a child doesn’t know how to read, we teach.” “If a child doesn’t know how to swim, we teach.” “If a child doesn’t know how to multiply, we teach.” “If a child doesn’t know how to drive, we teach.” “If a child doesn’t know how to behave, we……..... ……….teach? ………punish?”“Why can’t we finish the last sentence as automatically as we do the others?”


Children who are identified as hard to manage at ages 3 and 4 have a high probability (50:50) of continuing to have difficulties into adolescence (Campbell & Ewing, 1990; Egeland et al., 1990; Fischer, Rolf, Hasazi, & Cummings, 1984).

changing our view
Changing Our View
  • Take the problem away from the child and ask:
    • Why is this behavior happening?
  • What changes can I make to prevent the problem from occurring and teach the child new skills?
understanding challenging behaviors
Understanding Challenging Behaviors
  • Form vs. Function
    • Form
      • What does the behavior look like?
    • Function
      • What is the purpose of the behavior from the child’s perspective?
challenging behavior works
Challenging Behavior Works
  • Children engage in challenging behavior because “it works” for them.
  • Challenging behavior results in the child gaining access to something or someone (i.e., obtain/request) or avoiding something or someone (i.e., escape/protest).
behavior equation
Behavior Equation

Joey is asked to come to circle. Teacher provides physical prompt to move him to group.

Joey resists, cries, and hits teacher.

Teacher moves away from Joey and allows Joey to select a different activity.

setting event
Setting Event
  • Event that occurs at another time that increases the likelihood the child will have challenging behavior. Setting events serve to “set the child up” to have challenging behavior.
behavior equation30
Behavior Equation

Quan approaches computer and sees child working on program.

Quan moves his picture to indicate that he is next. Quan observes and waits for his turn.

Child leaves computer and Quan sits down and begins working.

behavior equation31
Behavior Equation





Setting Event

Quan was up most the night with an asthma attack. He arrives at school looking sleepy and with dark circles under his eyes.

Quan approaches computer and sees child working on program.

Quan hits child and pushes his body on the child’s chair.

Child leaves computer and Quan sits down and begins working.

what is the function
What is the function?
  • Sevon, a 3 year old hits the teacher and says “no” when give a puzzle to complete. The teacher removes Sevon from the table and places him in a chair away from the group.
  • Franz, a preschooler with Downs Syndrome, cries when the teacher is passing out popcorn and accidentally skips him. The teacher quickly gives him some popcorn.
what is the function33
What is the function?
  • Christina, who has autism, rocks back and forth when there is free play in the classroom. The class ignores her.
  • Mary, a 4 year old, “smarts off” to her teacher and the entire class laughs.
  • Kirby, who is 3 years old, runs to the play area when his teacher tells him it is time to sit at the table. The teacher says “no” and brings Kirby back to the table.
behavior incident report procedure
Behavior Incident Report Procedure
  • Complete all areas of the form for each instance of problem behavior using the instructions provided for completing the Behavior Incident Report
  • Behaviors that……
    • Cause injury to self, or others
    • Cause damage to the physical environment
    • Interfere with learning new skills
    • Socially isolate a child
behavior incident report procedure38
Behavior Incident Report Procedure
  • The BIR is completed for any behavior that is perceived as challenging.
    • Look at the situation in which the behavior occurs
    • Identify and describe the challenging behavior
    • Identify what events, people, activities, are associated with the behavior
share information
Share Information
  • Use Bar Graph or other visual to display TPOT Summary results
  • Tabulate BIR’s.
    • Define the behavior
    • Identify factors related to the behavior
      • When, where the behavior occurs
      • Persons the behavior occurs with
      • Activities and time related to the behavior
    • Identify the functions/outcomes for the behavior
  • Next Steps for TPOT
    • Develop a Professional Development Plan based on the TPOT Summary needs of the teaching team
    • Use the Fidelity Checklist to determine the degree to which interventions are carried out as planned
  • Next Steps for BIR’s – Facilitating the Development of a Positive Behavior Support Plan
    • Learn how to use a team work approach in conducting a functional behavioral assessment, developing a hypothesis, creating a behavior support plan and monitoring outcomes.