The Cool Tool
Initiative Description: The social skill intervention involved 7 of 14 teachers in the school. The Cool Tool curriculum was adapted to teach behavioral expectations and skills. Components included: a) teaching appropriate skills and de-emphasizing inappropriate behaviors b) systematic teaching of social skills c) personalization of instruction to fit the classroom environment d) elimination of extensive teacher preparation. The lesson format consisted of a) a skill name to label and communicate specific behaviors and activities b) teaching examples and non-examples across a number of contexts in which a social skill should be applied c) implementing student activities d) implementing after the lesson activities to enhance acquisition, build fluency, and facilitate generalization and maintenance of skills. Behavioral expectations and social skills strategies were taught for 30 minutes 3 days/week for 6 weeks to both the teacher and students in classrooms by a trained research assistant in social skill instruction using the Cool Tool lesson format. During the first 4 weeks of the intervention, teachers observed the research assistant during implementation, but were responsible for implementing the last 2 weeks themselves.
Study Results: Student levels of on-task behaviors increased following the implementation of the program.
Reference: Utley, C. A., & Obiakor, F. E. (2015). Measuring the Cool Tool as a Targeted Intervention to Minimize Teacher Reprimands and Students’ On-Task Behaviors in an Urban Elementary School. Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal,13(1), 43-57.
Level of Evidence: Good