He recorded each child’s preferences in a notebook and planned to incorporate these into his group contingency.Developing a Group Contingency SystemOnce teachers have completed child observations, they are ready to develop the intervention. This entails choosing a type of group contingency, composing a contingency statement, designing a contingency system, and developing a child training.Type of Group ContingencyThe first step is choosing the type of contingency: independent or interdependent. This decision is based on a few factors, including group size, teacher availability for data tracking and reinforcement, and teacher preference. In small groups of children, it is possible for teachers to track each child’s behavior individually and reinforce each based on his or her performance (an independent group contingency), but this can be difficult with a whole class. In this case, an interdependent contingency might be more feasible. Similarly, teachers can think of the behavior and how important it is that eachchild perform it or if the focus instead is on children accomplishing a goal as a group. For some children, behavior might improve if they learn their behavior impacts their peers (Popkin & Skinner, 2003).Contingency StatementNext, teachers will develop a group contingency statement that describes each of the five essential components of the contingency: the target behavior, the desired level of behavior, children requiring intervention, context, and postsession reinforcement. This statement will drive the intervention. For example, the following statement includes each required component: “If every student puts away his or her pencil at the end of math instruction, the class will earn a preferred group activity.”Contingency SystemOnce the type of contingency is selected, the contingency system is developed. Because the system is based on the components in the contingency statement, it will be unique to each intervention. During this step, teachers will develop a visual tracking system, select reinforcers, and choose a data collection system.First, teachers will develop a visual tracking system that displays child progress toward earning the postsession reinforcement and provides immediate reinforcement for engaging in target behavior. Although group contingencies can be conducted without one, children are more successful with a visual tracking system in place (Maggin et al., 2012; Pokorski et al., 2017). Ideally, this system will be easy for teachers to use and visually appealing to children. For instance, in an independent group contingency, a token board with children’s pictures or symbols might be used (such as in Figure 2). In Figure 2, the light yellow circles are token placeholders (which attach with Velcro, Figure 2. Independent group contingency
TEACHING EXCEPTIONALCHILDREN| MAY/JUNE2019 345as pictured by white dots in center), and the gold circles are earned tokens.