Volume 23, Issue 2 (1994)
Structured Free-Play to Reduce Disruptive Activity in a Head Start Classroom
Stephanie A. Stollar, Patricia A. Dye Collins, David W. Barnett
An intervention was developed to decrease the number of inappropriate activity changes in a Head Start classroom. In addition, this enabled children the opportunity to play in previously unused areas during free-play. The intervention was an adaptation of “switching” and response cost systems involving multiple components that stressed rule-governed behavior. A timer was used to signal the end of a play interval and time to clean up. As long as students followed the rules in the previous interval, they had a chance to choose an activity from a special area for the next interval. If classroom rules were not followed, a less desirable alternative activity was chosen from among those typically available during the next interval. Measurement of the rate of activity changes was taken for 2 target children and comparison children. The intervention was able to reduce inappropriate activity changes by adding relatively unobtrusive classroom structure to activities.
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