The TAGteach methodology has been used many times with kids, (as you can see in this video), but this was the first time an entire TAGteach Seminar was dedicated to parents and educators of children aged 3 to 10 years. The seminar was presented by TAGteach co-founder Theresa McKeon. Theresa introduced us to TAGteach tools and the laws of behavior and how they can be used to communicate with our children in a positive, caring, and empathetic manner.
We were also able to discuss and watch videos demonstrating how to change an emotion by changing physical behaviors as seen in this video. Here the child’s attitude towards swimming was changed by reinforcing the desired physical behavior.
During the afternoon session we worked together on three different projects to identify behaviors that can be identified, highlighted, and reinforced in everyday situations.
EATING VEGETABLES: One group chose to use successive approximations to introduce vegetables to their children. They could reinforce looking at vegetables, then smelling, touching and finally taking small bites, observing the child's body language to establish when they are ready for the next step. Theresa also suggested that parents initially play tag game together “ignoring” the child. The parents could start with the same approximations (looking, smelling, touching, tasting) that are to be ultimately be performed by the child. In this way the child is gradually introduced to the practice in a playful manner and with a low emotional impact.
RAISE YOUR HAND (Before speaking in the classroom): In this scenario a single, specific behavior was requested by a teacher. A focus funnel was used to provide context for the tag point.
The instructions are: Raise your hand before speaking
The tag point is: Raise your hand
Theresa suggested initially giving the taggers to the students and having them ‘tag the teacher’ each time the teacher performs the tag point, ‘Raise hand before speaking’. This process could help the children participate in the learning process and pay more attention to the teacher. The students could have tagulators hanging from their desks and pull a bead each time the teacher raises her hand. After a few repetitions, the teacher would collect the taggers and begin tagging the student’s behavior of ‘Raise hand before speaking’. When all the beads have been pulled, the students could choose a favorite activity as an added reinforcer.
HUDDLE ROUND: The purpose of this project was to discover a positive way to gather children back together as quickly as possible after being separated by activities within the classroom. The process had to be compatible with a class of children ages 3 to 6 years.
The process started with the teacher taking the hand of one child and proclaiming “Tag!” That child grabs another student’s hand and calls “Tag!” and so on and so until everyone is holding hands in a circle. They end with everyone raising their clasped hands in the air and proclaiming “Tag!” In this way the children are part of the process of gathering together physically and mentally with the benefit of having the children part of the process.
A special thank you to all the participants who have chosen to accept the challenge of finding new and positive ways to interact with their children.
To Theresa McKeon who has accepted this new challenge ... thank you is not enough!
Two days later I've got some news. One of the teachers has already began to experiment the marker in her classroom and one of the dads has already taught his son to tie his shoes!