Evelyn Wilson - Boys Town National Training
What is an Alternative Plan? An Alternative Plan is simply a procedure for students to use when you are otherwise engaged.
An Alternative Plan…
• clarifies your expectations
• is pre-taught
• is age appropriate for your classroom
An Alternative Plan is a proactive way to teach your students what to do inany situation. Something to keep in mind - you will need to proactively teach this procedure to your students. When the time comes for students to use the plan, you simply provide a brief reminder or prompt and they will know how to proceed.
You can create an Alternative Plan by doing a task analysis of exactly what you would have your students do when you are not available. Analyze your Alternative Plan by following these steps:
1. Give your plan a name
2. Keep the plan focused
3. Identify behaviors of the plan using specific steps
4. Use specific and observable terms
5. Put the steps in the appropriate order of performance
It is usually helpful to create both verbal and nonverbal prompts to give your students when you want them to use the Alternative Plan.
Students need to be taught how to use the procedure. Simply introducing the procedure to students will not ensure everyone will remember how to use it appropriately. When teaching the Alternative Plan you will want to include the following steps:
1. Introduce the Alternative Plan and explain the steps they should follow
2. Explain the importance of the plan
3. Have the entire class practice following the Alternative Plan
4. Let students know what the potential consequences will be for using the Plan (or choosing not to follow it)
Creating an Alternative Plan allows teacher to manage the classroom, even when the unexpected happens. Students will know what the expectations are in situations when you are not available. Some keys to creating and implementing a good Alternative Plan are:
• Be proactive!
• Create and teach the Alternative Plan as early in the school year as possible. Reteach as needed.
• Limit the number of steps in the Plan.
• Ensure students have everything they need to follow the plan.
• Praise students for following the Plan.
• If necessary, deliver consequences for noncompliance.