Behavior As a Form of Communication 101

Class Details

  • Class Type: Online
  • Date: 6/4/2018 - 7/1/2018
  • Adams State Credit: 1
  • Nonmember Price: $145
  • CEA Member Price: $45
  • Graduate credit for this class is optional and costs an additional $55.

  • Currently Enrolled: 24 of 25
  • Class Type: Online
  • Date: 10/8/2018 - 11/4/2018
  • Adams State Credit: 1
  • Nonmember Price: $145
  • CEA Member Price: $45
  • Graduate credit for this class is optional and costs an additional $55.

  • Currently Enrolled: 9 of 30
  • Class Type: Online
  • Date: 3/4/2019 - 4/7/2019
  • Adams State Credit: 1
  • Nonmember Price: $145
  • CEA Member Price: $45
  • Graduate credit for this class is optional and costs an additional $55 per credit.

  • Currently Enrolled: 19 of 20

About the Course

This course describes how behavior is a form of communication among students (and adults as well). Participants will learn to focus on form vs. function of behavior, and then address the varieties of functions of behavior and how a teacher can implement consequences (positive and negative) to help shape the behavior in a successful way. 

Case studies and strategies to match the function of behavior will be reviewed during this course. Participants will find references to additional materials and scientific journals that will supplement their existing knowledge. Students will appreciate ideas/strategies that they can take away and immediately implement in all educational settings. Collaboration with other educators around the state will validate the focus of behavior interventions.

Having opportunities to collaborate with other educators from all over will provide valuable “outside of the box” thinking that will enable educators to create positive behavior plans to assist students in the class setting.


  • Explain the difference between form of a behavior and function of a behavior
  • Demonstrate an ability to make a hypothesis regarding the function of a behavior for an individual student.
  • Compare and contrast different functions of behavior that a form of behavior can communicate
  • Reflect on classroom management strategies, tier 1, 2, and 3 level responses to the observed form of behavior.
  • Grade(s): Pre-K Kindergarten 1st Grade 2nd Grade 3rd Grade 4th Grade 5th Grade 6th Grade 7th Grade 8th Grade 9th Grade 10th Grade 11th Grade 12th Grade Elementary K-5 Secondary 6-12
  • Subject(s): Education Support Professionals Professional Development


Jennifer Shoen

Tell us why you chose "Something Else"

Behavior strategies, interventions, Autism strategies, interventions

Who are you?

I teach the elementary (K-5) SIED program for Littleton Public Schools (center-based program for students with severe emotional and behavioral disabilities).

What led you to education?

First of all, I love having summer off AND.......I wanted to be a counselor, but I felt 1 hour was effective enough so I chose this type of classroom to maximize the time I can work with students with severe behavior challenges.

What do you have a knack for? How did you find that out?

I have a knack for finding effective strategies to help students with behavioral challenges.  I discovered this when I was managing swimming pools and would help the "pool rats" who had trouble with all the lifeguards have fun at the pool.

What are you passionate about personally? What do you really enjoy? What can’t you stop talking about?

I am passionate about advocating for what a child needs in all settings (school, home, youth athletics).  I have a few soap boxes that I get on, but I want to make sure a child feels safe and successful in all areas!

Where can we find you when you’re not working? What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend or a Sunday afternoon?

When I am not working, I am usually either outside enjoying the sun, probably while watching my boys in their athletic events.  They play football, basketball and baseball and currently I am coaching varsity volleyball so I'm either on a field our court this time of year!

What would be impossible for you to give up?

It would be impossible for me to give up playing volleyball myself.  I currently play 1 night a week with a fun group of ladies!


Michelle Keenan-Harte
This course was fascinating, and made me rethink my management style. I found the assignment useful, but their sequencing was very frustrating. The class started a week late, and some assignments were rescheduled,but some were not. Be sure to check all assignment due dates. Jenny was very understanding and flexible, and I would recommend this course.
Lisa Carter
This course was self-paced and helped me put a name to many things I see in the classroom. I now have a larger set of tools to help me better understand my students and their behavior and actions.

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