The Incredible Years® Blog


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Magical Visit to Bergen Norway and Fjell Where Children, Teachers and Parents are Supported (Written by Carolyn Webster-Stratton)

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Children Singing at Incredible Years Conference

While visiting Norway for the European IY Networking Meeting, Bjorn Brunborg (IY parent mentor) and Marianne Gjerstad (IY Dina teacher and peer coach) took me on a field trip to Fjell to see two Kindergarten Schools. In Norway, kindergarten Schools are available for children ages 1 to 5 years.

Knappskog Barnehage School

Knappskog Barnehage School

This beautiful school opened 7 years ago and is nestled in the side of a mountain. It has an outdoor play area surrounded by rocky hillsides which the children are allowed to explore. The glass fence around the play area has pictures drawn on it by children as well as the Incredible Years logo! This logo originally was drawn by my daughter when she was 4 years old so it is exciting to see her art alongside some Norwegian children’s art. Looking out at the rocky mountain I can almost image trolls waiting to play with the children.

Principal Anette Kaland and Carolyn

Principal Anette Kaland and Carolyn

At this school there are 57 children and 28 of these are toddlers (ages 1 to 3 years). In the toddler classrooms there are 2 preschool teachers and 2 assistants for 14 children. The children start school as young as one year of age beginning in August and they stay there from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. The principal Anette Kaland had taken the IY Teacher Classroom Management Program many years earlier when her daughter attended this school. The school has a wonderful warm and calming atmosphere and I think that I would like to work here with these children, teachers and trolls.

Gardstunet Barnehage

Gardstunet Barnehage

The next school is located on a farm and is what I imagine Old McDonald’s farm to look like with a large, red barn, many animals and children playing happily. It is surrounded by a beautiful hillside and forests where the children can also explore. Even though the day is cold (freezing temperatures) the children are outside, dressed in their snow suits and playing happily. I see that Willy Problem Solver (managed by teacher Sonja Pedersen) is also dressed in heavy clothes and a warm hat and is playing with the other children. Willy and a group of 5-year-old girls grab me by the hand to take me on a guided tour. I discover that Willy and Molly (managed by teacher Heidi Valen) are constant companions of the school’s children, modeling and encouraging problem solving, communication and emotional regulation. This school has 4 age-groups of children – 10 toddlers (1-3 years of age), 15 children (mixed ages 1-4 years), 12 preschoolers (4-5 years) and 19 early school age children (4-6 years).

 Certified Preschool Teacher Kristina Bergsvlle and Heidi Iren Vatne, Manager

Certified Preschool Teacher Kristina Bergsvlle and Heidi Iren Vatne, Manager

In the first three younger age groups the teachers who were trained in the IY Teacher Training Program model verbal and nonverbal communication methods, guide children with emotional, social and pre-academic coaching, and provide constant positive attention for positive behaviors. The teachers in the older children’s group also deliver the Dinosaur Curriculum lessons twice a week. These teachers took the first Dinosaur teacher training delivered in Norway in 2007 and are accredited in delivery of the dinosaur program. They have incorporated Dinosaur concepts throughout the day for the children. Every month they focus on one of the Dinosaur program themes. In one classroom I notice how children earn small Wally Problem Solver picture coins for sharing, helping and taking turns. When they get 5 of these coins they can trade them in for a Dinosaur foot. When the class earns 19 dinosaur feet they get to choose a class reward – this class has chosen an ice cream party. Another class has selected a slumber party in the hay for their classroom reward. I also want to work at this school and be a child again! I meet with one of the accredited preschool teachers, Kristina Bergsvile and the administration manager, Heidi Iren Vatne, who show me a video of how the children are teaching Molly to feed the horses hay and later how to jump in the hay and participate in their cooperative play. They tell me all new teachers get IY training and that they participate in teacher booster sessions yearly to keep their motivation high. It is a magical place. (Stay tuned for a new IY YouTube video of this event)

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I end the tour at the Town Hall and meet a group of accredited IY teacher peer coaches for the IY parent, teacher and child programs.

Fjel Parent, Teacher and Child Peer Coaches

Fjell Parent, Teacher and Child Peer Coaches

I am greeted by Steinar Nesse who is the Chief Executive and has energetically supported the roll out of these training programs for at least 13 kindergartens.

They train 3 new kindergarten schools each year and will start another 3 in August. Over 400 kindergarten teachers have been trained in IY teacher and child programs. The peer coaches provide intensive support in the first year of IY training and start the first 2 months delivering the Dina program together with them. Gradually they decrease their time in the classroom letting the teachers deliver the Dina lessons more independently. In the 2nd year they meet with the teachers twice a semester to provide support.

In this community, all the teachers first receive the 6 monthly IY classroom management training workshops. Peer coaching is provided throughout the year and teachers have booster workshops once a year where they share stories of their experiences and how they have incorporated IY concepts in their daily work.

The community and their teachers have made a real and genuine commitment to helping enhance children’s social and emotional development. How lucky these children are!

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New Research on Incredible Years® at Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)

New Randomized Control Group Study Presented Using the Incredible Years® (IY) Teacher Classroom Management (TCM) Program for Training Primary Grade Teachers at the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (March 2014)

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Initial Findings of Randomized Control Group Trial Evaluating the Incredible Years® Teacher Classroom Management (TCM) Program for Training Primary Grade Teachers

Wendy Reinke and Keith Herman, along with their team at the University of Missouri, recently presented a paper evaluating the effectiveness of the TCM Training Program for improving primary grade teachers’ (K-3) classroom management practices and improving student social, emotional and academic outcomes.

SREE Conference Presentation (click the link to view the conference presentation!)

Study design was a blocked cluster randomized wait-list control trial where over a 3 year period 105 teachers were randomized within schools (52 intervention and 53 control teachers and 1818 students) to an intervention teacher training condition (IY TCM) or wait-list control condition.

The IY TCM Program was delivered to intervention condition teachers grades K-3 in 6 full day training workshops spread throughout the year. Plus teachers got on-site coaching between workshop sessions. Coaches spent time with teachers providing modeling, performance feedback, individual behavior plan action planning and goal setting.

Results showed that according to independent observations intervention teachers used more proactive management strategies and students had fewer problems with emotional regulation and increased prosocial skills. Students with the poorest academic competence at baseline demonstrated significant improvement in academic competence compared with students in the control classrooms.

Further Analyses
In a more recent presentation (May 2014) Wendy and Keith presented data on the amount of coaching support teachers (K-3 grade only) received between workshop sessions and its relation to teacher use of proactive strategies and student outcomes for an at-risk subsample.

Results indicated that IY TCM plus coaching is a flexible approach to tailoring training and support according to individual classroom and teacher needs.

Reinke, W.M., Herman, K.C., & Dong, N. (March, 2014). A group randomized evaluation of the Incredible Years Teacher Training program.Paper presented as part of symposium entitled, What can we learn through replication? The role of individual-level risk factors and implementation supports in the impact of social-emotional learning programs on student outcomes, at the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness, Washington, DC.

Reinke, W., Stormant, M., Herman, K., Wang, Z., Newcomer, L., King, K. 2014. Use of Coaching and Behavior Support Planning for Students With Disruptive Behavior Within a Universal Classroom Management Program. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 22(2) 74-82.

See our web site for some of their first papers about IY fidelity program delivery and the importance of teacher coaching and support in combination with workshop trainings.

See below a video of Wendy and Keith discussing managing classroom behavior.

 


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Helping Teachers Develop Successful Classroom Management Strategies

As many of you know, teachers find themselves spending increasing amounts of time attending to students’ aggressive, hyperactive and non-compliant behaviors in the classroom. Not only does this cause stress and put pressure on teachers, it can create a negative environment for students and eventually lead to serious problems in school, as well as antisocial behavior. We believe it is vitally important to equip teachers with the necessary tools and resources so they feel empowered and supported to work in the school setting and manage difficult behaviors.

The Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management Program aims to provide early preschool and kindergarten teachers with the skills to effectively manage their classroom and promote children’s social, emotional, and academic competence. This particular program is led by a group leader who provides 6 full day workshops to teachers, providing them with information and tools to practice in the classroom. During these  workshop days, teachers learn about the following:

  • Building positive relationships with students
  • Providing attention, coaching, encouragement and praise
  • Motivating students through incentives
  • Decreasing inappropriate behavior
  • Emotional regulation, social skills and problem-solving training

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Group leaders offer a collaborative and experiential approach, focusing on teacher goals and tailoring the groups for special needs and situations.

The Incredible Years is hosting a Group Leader training for those interested in leading these teacher groups, April 2-4, in Seattle, WA. This accredited training will be led by an experienced Incredible Years Certified Trainer and will provide group leaders with the understanding and skills to begin to implement the Teacher Classroom Management Program. School Counselors and Psychologists, Teachers, and other School Coordinators may be interested in attending this training in order to learn how to lead these teacher workshops.

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We would love to have you attend this training! For more information, click this link to view our workshop schedule or e-mail/call the Incredible Years (incredibleyears@incredibleyears.com or 888-506-3562). You can also view more information by clicking here.

We look forward to hearing from you!

For those interested in learning more about this program, we would recommend you take a look at some of our informational videos available online. These videos show teacher, group leader, and trainer perspectives regarding the Teacher Classroom Management program. View the videos by clicking on this link. You may also be interested in reading this article regarding Teacher Program Content, Methods and Process, here!

We hope you will share this information with teachers and other colleagues who may be interested. Our goal is to provide as much support and assistance as possible to all of the wonderful teachers out there!