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Assessing odd behaviour in children as a teacher

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You are a teacher in a 4-year-old classroom and begin each day with your daily health and wellness check. You notice that a child who is dropped off looks very tired and is uncommonly quiet as she walks into the classroom. She was dropped off by bus so you have no additional information.

Given the above scenario, choose one of the following possible causes for the change in the child. Please indicate the cause you selected in the subject line of your discussion post.

Sickness/Illness
Trauma
Abuse
Oral Health Issue: Tooth ache, poor oral health
Nutritional Concern: Inadequate nutritional intake, food allergy, food intolerance
Hearing Concern: Ear Infection, ear ache
Vision Concern: Eye infection
Social-Emotional Issue

Examples of some of these common situations are described further in Chapter 7. After you select one of these as a possible cause for the child's change in demeanour, use your imagination to develop it further discussing what you may see when you conduct your observation of the child. Be mindful to detail what you might look for and how you will document your observations. Based on your fictitious observation, create a plan of action for how to proceed. This plan should include both immediate and long-term actions that you will take.

Address the following points in your discussion:
- Fictitious elaboration of what you observe in the child including the possible cause. Include enough so that you can make a plan of action.
- Short-term plan of action detailing the procedure of how you will address the issue immediately or by the end of the day
- Long-term plan of action detailing the procedure of how you will follow-up your short-term plan of action
- Specific discussion regarding how you will support the child during this time

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Case Study: Behavior Management in the Classroom

Case Study: Mary

Mary is a 10-year-old fifth grader. She is participating in a behavior management school-based group on a referral by her teacher. Mary's teacher described her as very bright, but very disruptive. According to Mary's teacher, Mary often provoked other students in the classroom by calling names, touching and pushing, and trying to distract.

In the group, Mary was very quiet for the first two sessions, but has now begun using some of the same diversionary tactics she shows in class. She talks to other members of the group out of turn, pokes the members sitting closest to her, and laughs out loud at inappropriate times.

When you talk to Mary individually after the session, she shows remorse for her behavior and claims she is "just nervous" and "doesn't really know what to say" during the session. She agrees to focus more during group time and expresses a desire to stay in the group. During the next session, however, Mary soon starts fidgeting and whispering to other members.

Discuss the interventions that you might use if you were the group leader in the case study.

Discuss the rationale for your interventions.

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