Project Momentum: Looking Forward and Planning for 2019-20 School Year

As the 2018-19 school year wraps up, it’s time to start planning summer vacations, continuing education and how to make things EVEN better next year!

The Speech Banana’s

Project Momentum

Supporting Endless Potential for Incredible Children

 Project Goals:

  • Increase on-task behavior, positive communicative acts and participation within the classroom setting.

Through the use of strategies such as visual clarity, visual organization, visual structure, physical structure, schedules, independent work systems, structured tasks, visual communication systems, data collection, verbal behavior training, discrete trial training, task analysis, chaining, shaping, incidental teaching, generalization to the natural environment, and other strategies associated with behavioral intervention, teachers will benefit from improved behavior, increased communication and participation.

Creating specific, individualized behavioral programs based on the functional analysis of behavior, and comprehensive data collection, parents and educators can determine if the strategies being implemented are accomplishing what they were designed to do.  There is nothing more frustrating than to see a strategy inappropriately used, or the continued use of a strategy even if the student is unresponsive (no positive benefit).

Provide classroom teachers with a resource folder/notebook outlining the school positive behavioral support plan and general outlines or strategies outlining positive behavioral supports.

In every job
  • Increase functional communication, social-emotional development and academic achievement of “nonverbal” students.

Build evidence-based classroom environments to support students.  ABA/TEACCH classroom models for both SPED PreK and ELC.

  • Support specific behavioral needs of all students through the development of a multidimensional Momentum classroom.  This classroom would serve the needs of both the exceptional learning and general education student populations.  The classroom would house specially designed sensory integration supports (initially low-tech and plan to participate in start-up programs, seek funding via grants/corporate donations for future high-tech needs) to be utilized with students that need a “sensory diet” during the academic day.
  • The Momentum classroom would also be utilized for social-emotional and behavioral supports.  Interventions would include facilitation of a peer-mediated buddy system, lunch bunch, and specialized enrichment groups.

Promote & Implement Specialized Enrichment Programs within the Momentum Classroom.

BOOST!  Social Skills Enrichment Program

This social-emotional enrichment program is designed as a 6-9 week intervention with a new social skill introduced, weekly.  As children move through early developmental stages, friendship dynamics become more complex, more central and crucial in their lives. Friendship basics and navigation of the social world are taught through interactive games, social thinking characters, play, pretend, and the use of technology (iPad, camera, computer, robots).  Topics covered include: the characteristics of good friendship; how to prevent conflicts; how to handle expected and unexpected events; ways to cultivate new friendships; the importance of celebrating differences and ways to support a healthy self-esteem.


Systematic, developmentally-based lessons, materials, and instructions are provided to facilitate self-control, social competence, positive peer relations, and interpersonal problem-solving skills. 

(I conducted extensive research on this while completing graduate & postgraduate research.)

 BRAIN BOOST! Executive Functions Enrichment Program

This enrichment program combines sensory-motor, cognitive and speech/language activities to improve right-brain connectivity. Executive functions (EFs) include three core abilities: working memory, inhibitory control of attention and action, and cognitive flexibility. This enrichment program, designed specifically for K-2nd, was built as a 6-9 week course.  The program supports enhanced memory, attention, flexibility, language and problem-solving skills through a series of interactive games/activities and utilizing specialized Speech Banana programs designed for boosting executive functioning.  

  • Support carryover of positive behavioral practices and academic achievement through parent participation portal.

Parent involvement portal includes opportunities to download supports from the  Momentum blog/website (a component of the Speech Banana), schedule monthly classroom observations, participate in monthly, introductory workshop series on broad topics in ABA, specialized interventions, supporting carryover of skill sets at home, and addressing specific parental concerns related to the student’s behavioral, social-emotional and academic achievement.  Host students’ siblings, grandparents and extended family members to participate in special events throughout the year with activities that are designed to promote positive and successful interactions would be explored (Parent involvement committee).

Design (1)
  • Increase collaboration of related service providers, optimizing service delivery (expertise), to overcome classroom teacher frustrations and inclusion concerns of special education students.
  • Provide staff workshops, think-tanks and hands-on training (monthly) in areas deemed most beneficial by teacher polling and administrative input.

   Example Workshops

Introduction to Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports

This workshop provides teachers and staff with practical examples of successful behavior supports and procedures that reduce misbehavior while increasing student motivation and responsibility.  Participants learn the ABCs of behavior, discuss functions of behavior, and devise intervention/maintenance plans to decrease negative behavior.

Thinking With a Social Bubble

Teachers and staff learn to promote positive behavior utilizing social-emotional, evidence-based practices.  This workshop outlines social-emotional and language development as it relates to challenging behavior.  Educators are introduced to unique behavioral support systems, programs such Social Thinking , and NEW innovative techniques to support inclusion.

Prevention, Intervention and Research-Based Practices for Decreasing Challenging Behavior

Teachers and staff learn to identify antecedents and setting events of challenging behavior.  This workshop provides an in-depth look into challenging behaviors.  Participants will learn how to apply research to practice, understand environmental and biological factors that can drive negative behavior, investigate the role of executive functioning and redefine classroom expectations as related to developmental norms.

Incentives, Motivation and Praise – A Time-out for ancient practices!

Explore alternatives to common punishment procedures.  Utilize behavioral momentum, praise and incentives to unlock intrinsic motivation to exhibit positive behavior.  Teachers and staff will understand how to utilize reinforcement schedules, natural environmental consequences, overcorrection procedures, and effective positive behavioral supports to promote success within the classroom.

Design (2)

Revive and support cohesiveness of school-wide PBS. 

Facilitate implementation of Kounin’s techniques for class management. 

  • Be aware of what is happening in all areas of the classroom.
  • Anticipate and intervene early before the behavior escalates.
  • Learn to deal with competing demands at the same time.
  • Utilize routines, concise explanations, and smooth transitions to keep students on-task.
  • Keep students involved through active supervision and accountability.
  • Reduce satiation or boredom by using challenges, extending tasks, informing students of progress, and adding variety to lessons.

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