What's So Special About a Pill Box?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014
This may look like an ordinary pill box to you, but to me (and my students!) it's pretty special!
When I was working in the school system, I tried very hard to stick with one reward system  so that I could be fair to all my students. However, being a private therapist now, I realized that I do not have to stick with one behavior management system for all of my students. Each kiddo has their own motivators and I can really use that to my advantage in one on one sessions. Some kids love ClassDoJo, some love stickers, and some simply need some positive verbal reinforcement. Every few months I search Pinterest and other blogs for ideas for behavior management systems. I have occasionally come across a pill box visual schedule/reinforcement system but never gave it much thought until I saw a co-worker putting it to use!
Image courtesy of Sarianna Lang
 The image above is the pill box system she uses with a 3rd grade student. She put 3 clock images and an "All Done" image on the box. If the student can remain focused for each part of the session, she receives the reward in the pill box. This is also a great way to work on telling time!
There is another great example of how to use a pill box at The Inclusive Church blog. Check it out here.
This is the box that I use. My mother-in-law happened to have an extra one and was a bit confused as to why I was so excited about it! (It's an SLP thing!) Since I have younger students, my system is a bit simpler. Depending on the student's attention span abilities, I set a timer on my phone (ranging between 5-15minutes) If the timer goes off and he/she is focused on their activity, they receive what is in the box! I try to increase the time as we go on. The goal is to have the timer go off after 15 minutes of work. I know that candy as a reward is not the best option for every kid- although they only receive a few pieces throughout the session. Other options are crackers, erasers, or even little notes or pictures (most kids just love surprises!)
Have you used a pill box system in your therapy sessions or classroom?

2 comments

  1. Love this idea! I use a lot of duration maps with my students-but I have a couple who would probably respond better to the pill box technique. Thanks for sharing!

    Kelly
    Speech2u.blogspot.com

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  2. The concept is great, but I have concerns about kids seeing pillboxes as treat (especially candy) holders....maybe there are other containers that would work as well. How about craft supply boxes, old-time film containers, small Tupperware containers on a tray, etc. Small, simple rewards for short duration "focus time" works well, and having the reward right in the container makes it even better! Thanks.

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