"A Strategy for Implementing Positive Behavior Supports & Interventions Through Applying
Behavioral Principles & Approaches with Visual, Concrete & Predictable Red and Green Choices Strategies

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Author Bio


Program Philosophy


General Presentation Learning Objectives

Irene at The OSSPEAC Ohio School Speech Pathology & Educational Audiology Coalition  Annual Conference, November 2004

Green (2003) © "Red and Green Choices"
TM www.redandgreenchoices.com

Irene is a special education, multiple disabilities instructor with thirteen years experience in various settings. She has worked in an inclusionary model public high school and elementary school, an MR/DD facility ages 3-21, an alternative school with elementary aged students, and a public vocational/career center for students aged 18-21.

Irene began a successful & first in-house multihandicapped resource room for an inclusionary model public elementary school.  With that, she wrote many individual behavior plans, while serving as an Intervention Consultant and also as that district’s first Specialized Instruction Team Leader. She developed the district’s first summer autism program, co-authored a $30,000 "Successful Model for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder" grant, and co-published the grant article in "Highlights in Special Education" from the Ohio Department of Education. Irene served on her "Effective Schools" District Core Team, Building Leadership Team and In-Building Facilitation Team, while also serving on her district-wide technology team. She attended a two-day state technology conference in Columbus, along with regular education teachers, and secured a $5,000 augmentative / assistive technology device for a non-verbal student with autism. Irene also provided in-home academic & behavioral consultation to new students and parents entering her classroom.

After successful implementation of her own behavioral and academic strategy, “Red and Green Choices”, many teachers, parents, school psychologists, and principals scheduled classroom observations and wanted to know exactly what she was doing. So, Irene decided to publish the adult strategy book, “Red and Green Choices, A Positive Behavioral Development Strategy for Students with Autism or Behavioral Predispositions” and then complimented the approaches with two behaviorally directive children’s books, “Cindy T’s Circle Time” and “Niki’s Next Grade”. She continues to expand her supportive teaching tools with her most recent endeavor of creating  “Red and Green Choices” classroom posters for general education and special education classrooms and teachers. Irene continues to provide strategies through her web-site writings and presentations.

Irene uses her pseudonym, "Green Irene", to retain anonymity.

Beginning the 2005-06 school year...
Irene began her career shift with a new teaching position at a local ESC (Educational Service Center) for high school Multiple Disabilities students aged 17 to 21. Irene was quite hesitant to begin incorporating Red and Green Choices for students with the ability to work in community based job-sites, but is thankful to report after the first quarter / nine weeks that each student - does NOT want "red" on their paper (daily sheet home). Irene is still amazed by the effect of her strategies, no matter what the age:

"Even though I am now in a high school setting, the students' responses remain the same... through establishing a 'behavioral trust' relationship with each child through consistent and concrete reactions and results (consequences)... students amazingly realize a behavior needs to be changed - and are willing to be responsible for their own actions and reactions!"

"It's the same predicted response I created in "Niki's Next Grade" in 2003-- the students do NOT want red on their paper. I had an 18 year old student (2005) trying to negotiate with the program teacher (regular education teacher) to not tell me of his red choice.. because he would get red on his paper and his dad would see it.  I remember when my kindergartner did this to the classroom aide in gym class! The kindergarten student make red choices, and after realizing the set consequence, tried to negotiate with her to not tell me, because he did NOT want red on his paper."

"This is of course, after establishing the
13 Fundamentals.. being available for support and assistance, remaining firm and positive, while negotiating with each student to find out what motivates them to make green choices. The 'red' naturally fades when an alternative or appropriate and desired response if offered consistently - when the adult is a trusted person - known for being consistent, precise and supportive."

The 2008-09 school year...
After spending time with her newborn since the spring, Irene is now working in a new district as a part-time fifth-grade resource room instructor for language arts, and joining her students during inclusionary math. Her first day of employment was Monday, November 3.

Before the students arrived, Irene began reorganizing the physical structure of the classroom. This may be overlooked, but the flow of the classroom and setting specific areas for specific tasks is very important to Irene. She knew what she needed; a 1:1 one teacher table, a small group table, the computer area for a reading program, and a large group desk area.

Irene was sure to implement the fundamentals of the program on the first day the students entered the classroom. Exact expectations and procedures were explained as they occurred.

As soon as the students entered the room the very first day, Irene explained that upon entrance there will be a phonics paper ready and on everyone's desk. To ensure a smooth transition, and for students to refocus attention; a quiet independent activity is established for about 10 minutes. This assists students in realizing the new environmental expectations, and lessens chaotic situations and stress on students. Students enter a quiet and calm environment.

Then, as the timer was used for academic rotations Irene explained where students were to go and what was to occur.

Throughout the first week, Irene explained to the group that she wasn't sure which words they could read and to try their best. She further explained that once she could see what was completed independently, the work would change.

On the first day of class...
Every time a behavioral situation occurred, Irene asked everyone to stop what they were doing, and look at her. Irene was providing an explanation and expectation. A student told another that he did not want to catch her germs and so on. The students were kindly asked to stop, then the entire group's attention was gained. Irene stood before the class and explained this very important and ONLY classroom expectation: POSITIVE COMMENTS.

Irene stood before all of the students and aide and explained what she had heard, and wrote POSITIVE COMMENTS on the whiteboard. A time later, another student started arguing with another in the computer area. The class was again asked to stop working and look at Irene. She was again stood before the class and pointed to the POSITIVE COMMENTS words on the board.

The third day of class...
a student diagnosed with a behavioral disorder and on the verge of attending a behavioral school facility was having difficulty reading and made a negative comment about his work. He said it was a "dumb story".

No matter the severity of the negative comment or action, it must be immediately addressed. Irene explained to him that he always has two choices: positive comments and negative comments. He may instead; say, these words are taking a long time to read, or, may I please have a different paper.

The next rotation, this explanation and expectation was provided to the entire class. Irene let everyone know that she heard a student say "dumb story" and explained the POSITIVE COMMENTS expectation again.

Irene held the student after class to further provide 1:1 behavioral strategies to the student. They wrote the exact instance and talked about it when the student was calm. Irene then walked him to physical education, since he was late. A phone call was made to mom [voice message] to sign the explanation/expectation note.

The next day, this particular student was provided with a "daily sheet home". It may be viewed by clicking this.. with a name change.  His mother was called on the next evening to explain the program. She was thrilled her son was receiving behavioral intervention to prevent him receiving schooling at the behavioral school. Mom was asked to review the daily sheet home, and that indeed there would be one everyday. Irene explained the importance of her positive and proud reactions, and reading the sheet with him everyday.

His daily sheet home was filled with green checks and a one to three word description of the behavior. This is to reinforce the green/positive behavior before introducing any red marks. He has no red marks the first week, only "explanations and expectations" written on the daily sheet.  The green/positive choices were true, but Irene obviously would not put that many in everyday. Irene exaggerated the number to intentionally over express her reaction to the student's performance. The student was reinforced for simple/routine actions. The student was studying Irene's reactions and probably thinking... this person is easy to please... I should do more positive just to see it. Irene is sure this student was studying her behavior, as much as she was studying his.

View photos of the sheets sent home the first week of school...
[available soon]
Thurs. 11/6 and Friday 11/7

It is imperative Irene develop a positive relationship with the students, and ensure student needs are met. Irene feels this student needed to know how serious she was about helping him.

The student may be thinking...


Was her positive and trusting attitude  just a "show" the first two days, or will this teacher actually help me to perform at my best?


Will this new teacher overreact to my negative comments and attitude, or will she face me head-on?


Will new teacher set rules, expectations, and structure the environment... or keep changing her mind and confuse me? I dislike confusing and changing adults. I need structure and predictability.


Will this new teacher ignore my negative behavior... or show her strong side?
[A student probably needs a strong person to help them change. The student will need to see the strong positive side, but probably wants you to show weakness and negativity. By the adult reacting negatively, it shows that the "positive" rule is just a fake show, and not real and not really meant to be followed. If any action the student displays annoys you, it may just reinforce the negative behavior. The adult implementing the 'behavioral trust' relationship must always stay positive and supportive to the student, but set specific behavioral expectations.]

More updates to come...


Integrating portions of PBS (Positive Behavior Support), ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis), FBA (Functional Behavioral Analysis) and my own behavioral theories and principles through the application of such programs based on individual students’ ages and ability levels to attain appropriate and desired behavioral responses to environmental stimulus

Red and Green Choices interventions address the implementation of setting high, reasonable, and achievable behavioral or academic standards, then expecting students to choose acceptable and tolerable green solutions to situations through the application of common behavioral principles, positive behavior supports and intervention
s and Red and Green Choices principles.

This strategy sets specific adult characteristics and expectations including positive phrasing, remaining calm, consistent and firm during child perceived chaotic situations. Red and Green Choices necessitates its thirteen fundamentals for successful and effective implementation. The program could be implemented on an individual student basis, a classroom level, a core school-wide plan or as a district-wide strategy to ensure preventive proactive behavioral & academic strategies and supports for students, staff and parents.

Attendees will be able to;
     -Integrate Red and Green Choices’ Thirteen Fundamentals for successful and effective program operations,
     -Complete a Red and Green Choices Behavioral Stand; A 10 Part Plan to Developing A Specific Individual Approach”,
Design a Red and Green Choices intervention program for successful implementation of positive behavior supports and interventions 
          for individual students, classroom-wide, school-wide or district-wide strategies

Green (2003) © "Red and Green Choices" TM www.redandgreenchoices.com

The Material Presented from "Red and Green Choices", Is Based Upon Irene's Own Behavioral Intervention Strategies, and What Types of Behavioral
and Academic Assistance Has Promoted Positive Outcomes With Her and Her Students When Applying Red and Green Choices Behavioral Principles

Home About R/G Choices 13 Fundamentals Purchase Books/Posters Articles Teacher Talk: I Use R/G Daily Sheets Home IEP Documentation Specific Situations Small Group Samples R/G IEP Goals Attentive Concerns To The Bus! You/Deciding Factor Consequences/Needs? Flopping/Hallway The Fire "Yell" Sample Visuals More Visuals High School Materials Forms Poster Details Cindy T Niki Behavioral Links Author Bio Contact Irene

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