It’s oh-so-easy for students to immediately forget what they worked so hard to learn. Students practice, but as football coach Vince Lombardi once said, “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.”
Precision Teaching offers a “more perfect practice” to gain behavioral fluency—and thus to retain knowledge longer.
Today’s article and webinar shows you 1) the benefits of behavior fluency, and 2) how to set up a program for behavior fluency.
When college students correctly practice SAFMEDs (Say All Fast Minute Each Day) and achieve high fluency, they also reap 1) great exam scores, 2) retention for at least 6 months, and 3) the ability to extend knowledge into other contexts.
When preschoolers practice letter sounds, building speed and accuracy, they may read at a younger age, read “hard” books enthusiastically, and — Dr. Kubina will attest of his daughter — even be the most advanced readers in kindergarten.
And when elementary students practice math facts, using a frequency building program, students with “processing disorders” or ‘learning disabilities” are able to perform just as well as their typical peers.
In short, behavioral fluency helps students of any age or ability achieve…
- Immediate, accurate, fast, functional use of a behavior
- Endurance or persistence of the behavior (reducing fatigue and frustration behaviors)
- Long-term retention of the behavior (studies show retention for at least 6 months)
- Application of the behavior, contributing toward compound behavior
To attain behavioral fluency, students undergo a process called frequency building—which you can think of as a “more perfect practice.” Unlike typical practice routines, frequency building always includes goals and feedback, and it is timed.
The four simple steps for success are…
- Select a behavior (pinpoint) that’s beyond the acquisition stage of learning.
Students must first learn (acquire) the skill and display 90-100% accuracy. Then you can work on speed or frequency to lead toward maintenance, generalization, and adaption. It’s important to select a component skill, like grasps pencil, that can be applied to compound skills, like handwriting. (Learn more about component-composite in this webinar.)
- Set up a frequency building routine.
This involves gathering/creating materials, scheduling a time, creating a session (including placing materials, offering feedback, and collecting data), and executing multiple timed trials per session. The frequency building routine ends once the learner reaches a performance standard.
Performance standards may be researched-based (get the list here) or based off peer performance.
- Implement frequency building routine, offering corrective performance feedback.
Focus on feedback that helps students correct their errors. And don’t forget to count up the number correct and incorrect within the timed period, and chart the data!
- Monitor data on the Standard Celeration Chart and deploy decision making.
Viewing data on a standard chart gives you valuable information about the frequency building intervention. Is the data going the direction it should — up for acceleration targets? Is the student achieving more targets (e.g., writes word, lifts pencil, says answer)? Or are errors increasing? What is the projected completion data? These data help you confidently decide whether to change, continue, or complete the intervention.
Frequency building can be used for any skill. We’ve used it for…
- Life skills (cleaning, toothbrushing, etc.)
- Writing & reading,
- Math on any level,
- Business and medical training (OBM),
- and much more!
Want to learn more about frequency building? Curious about how behavior fluency works in your field or on your projects? Let us know in the comments!
Already watched the webinar video? Take BACB Type 2 CEU quiz here. Worth 1 credit.
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