Active Response Beads (ARB) are used in place of traditional time-out (from a reinforcing setting). Using ARB is a way for students to use a calm-down strategy when they are upset. This is in comparison to traditional time-out (from a reinforcing setting) where students may not use a strategy to calm down and instead engage in disruptions and/or power struggles. The ARB should be used with non-compliant and defiant behaviors.
The materials for one ARB are:
- 10 beads with a hole drilled through the middle
- A 15-inch length of cord
To make the ARB, string the 10 beads on the cord and tie knots on each end.
Prior to use of ARB, the teacher should meet with the student(s) at least twice to teach them to use ARB as “a way to self-manage emotions and classroom behaviors to increase classroom success and reduce number of time-outs”. In each training session, the teacher and student should go over the procedures, as outlined below.
Procedure: 4 Steps to ARB, according to Intervention Central
- Students must be trained prior to use and demonstrate that they understand what to do with ARB.
- Teacher must follow through with providing prompts, feedback and praise, as provided above.
- If a student is not open to using the ARB, consider reasons why (i.e., could teacher intervene earlier?)
- Consider use of ARB with behavior plan so if the student demonstrates he/she can use it as an effective strategy, he/she will be rewarded.
- If student's developmental abilities make counting difficult, he or she could just move the beads along the string.
- For older students, could incorporate mindfulness practice (imagining a safe scenario while moving beads).
- If the teacher does not want the student to waste time retrieving the ARB, each student could have their own ARB at their desk.
- If the teacher finds the ARB to be too distracting, a “low-key” adaptation is known as Desk Dots. Desk Dots work in the same way but is a series of 10 dots numbered in descending order on a piece of paper than can be affixed to the student’s desk, such as this one: