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In last week’s post, we talked about a method of teaching behaviours known as chaining. Chaining is where we work out the sequence of actions that need to be taught to perform a behaviour (e.g. brushing teeth, making cookies & tying shoelaces).
In our last post we focused on Backward Chaining. In this post we’re going to focus on Backward Chaining with Leaps Ahead (BCLA) technique.
How does Backward Chaining with Leaps help children learn?
While it may conjure up images of frogs leaping, it’s actually an extension of the technique we looked at last week.
Like the name indicates, BCLA starts teaching the last step, but with the steps the child already knows or has mastered in previous learning. Given that the child already knows what to do for some of the behaviour, there is no need to reteach. Rather what we want to do is connect the dots for them in the context of the new behaviour.
Let’s look at the making cookies example. We’ve already worked out the steps needed to make cookies and broken them down into a teachable order:
- Mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients
- Stir to mix
- Shape into small balls
- Push down on the dough
Children with exposure to play-doh may already know how to shape dough into small balls. If they do then we may not need to do any direct teaching of this step as it’s the same behaviour (just with cookie dough).
In this example using BCLA, we would just prompt (e.g. physically show the child) this step as the child is able to do it independently. As soon as we can we will want to stop the prompting too as we focus on the step in the sequence where the child needs teaching.
Working out the best technique to teach and where to start can be tricky. The ABACAS team is able to help with advice about behaviour – both how to teach behaviours and how to manage the tricky ones. Please call 9274 7062 for further information.