Great TAGteach ideas for the classroom from Italy!

TAGteach, tag point, teaching, positive reinforcementTAGteach goes international

Around the world people are using TAGteach to help children and adults learn new skills.

This article comes from Luca Canever, an educator and Level 3 TAGteacher from Verona, Italy. He shares his knowledge, dedication and love of positive reinforcement techniques at his website, TAGteach Italia.

Luca tells how he came up with great reinforcement ideas for his entire class (group reinforcement!), and how he used TAGteach to help students with specific problem areas. Here is his story.

TAGteach at school: Reinforcing the group

Managing the reinforcement for a group of people is one of the major difficulties that we may encounter. Especially if the people in question are 20 kids, 11 years old, with interests and personalities different from each other.

For the last two months I’ve been working in a school as a teacher. For the first time, I have the chance to use the marker with a large group — a group with no particular desire to be at school! How can we reinforce them? Some of the kids enjoy candies, some others like beads or extra time for recess. There are (they exist!) students who find study itself reinforcing, but, they are very, very, very rare.

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TAGteach Tale: Turning reading stress into reading success with TAGteach!

autism help, tagteach, direct instruction, reading A friend sent me this uplifting story about one of her students who is learning to read.  She introduced TAGteach in a recent session and her student’s performance soared.

A tired student

“I have been working with a young girl with intellectual disabilities and speech challenges. She is learning to read with the well-known Direct Instruction Corrective Reading Decoding program. Dani (not her real name) came in this week looking tired and dispirited, and struggled with the first few words in the Word Attack practice section.

Using TAGteach for reading practice

This time, instead of cajoling her, I pulled out a tagger and started reinforcing correct and timely responses. For example, we worked on the word “each.” She had to say the sound of the underlined letter combination “ch,” then read the entire word, “each.” After asking her the first question, “what sound?” I sat back and waited for her response. She did not respond so I turned my head slightly away and gazed at a wall. After a pause, I heard a soft “ch” sound. This earned Dani a prompt tag. I asked “what word” and she responded fairly rapidly with “each.”

Direct Instruction So it continued. She earned tags for prompt responses (within 5 seconds of the request), and after working through two or three rows of words, she was responding on cue. I glanced at her and noticed that she was also responding with a stronger tone of voice AND had a smile on her face! We ended up having a terrific reading session. She completed Word Attack in record time with no errors. Her oral reading fluency for the text passage shot up by 23 words per minute from the previous session.


Lots of tags = high rate of reinforcement … and joy!

She earned 124 tags in 50 minutes.  This translates into 2.5 experiences of positive reinforcement per minute! In real time, she was being reinforced about every 25 seconds, so that is a very high rate of reinforcement. With her 124 tags she earned 12 tokens (10 tags per token) which she happily exchanged for prizes from our Reward Bin. Way to go, TAGteach!”

TAGteach: Good for academic skills as well as functional behaviors

This remarkable story shows how tagging Dani’s responses transformed this reading session into a successful, joyful learning experience.  Many people are aware that TAGteach is a proven way to increase functional behaviors. It is also a marvelous way to increase academic behaviors.

What is TAGteach?

TAGteach stands for Teaching with Acoustical Guidance. TAGteach is a teaching and communication method based on the scientific principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).

TAGteach enables extremely precise positive reinforcement of behavior by using an acoustical signal to “mark” the behavior – at the precise moment the child performs the behavior! The acoustical signal is a short, sharp sound made by a handheld device (the “tagger”). When the child performs the correct action, the parent/instructor immediately presses the button on the tagger and hands over a treat (candy, treat, token, praise, social recognition, or money) as a reinforcer.

With TAGteach, it is easy to reinforce behaviors precisely and quickly. The immediate, accurate feedback and positive reinforcement result in the child performing the correct action more often, and for longer periods of time. With immediate feedback and learning tasks broken down into small steps, children can learn many new skills with TAGteach — at their own pace.

box clickers (1)Check out the TAGteach International website.

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TAGteach Tale: Tink rocked her blood tests!

autism, tagteach, ABA, applied behavior analysis

Preparing the child

Medical procedures can be tough on kids with special needs, especially anything involving a needle. Advance preparation can help. Here’s how one dad in the UK used TAGteach to prepare his daughter Tink for some necessary but unwelcome blood tests.


How TAGteach helped the Dad

Dad Seany Pogson says, “TAGteach gave me confidence so I didn’t panic. I had been worried about it for about two weeks. TAGteach gave me a coping strategy by being able to build up my daughter’s experience to be ready for it. The nurses helped a lot too when I explained the situation to them. The nurses are there because they care. They don’t mean to cause any upset to anyone. If they had just taken her arm without her offering it, they wouldn’t have been able to do it.”

How Dad used TAGteach to prepare his daughter

“First of all, I built up touch on the arm as a cue so she was offering her arm for touch. Then I slowly increased it so she did it with other people. Next, I built it up from a touch on the arm to holding her wrist, and then offering her wrist to other people — again until she was comfortable with letting other people do the same.

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