My previous post explained how we ascertain a baseline interaction level at Woolley Wood using the engagement profile that was introduced to the Intensive Interaction community of practice by Mark Barber and Graham Firth. Once we have completed the baseline we can then use the engagement profile to record the interactions that are taking place and, if we are interested in progress, we can then compare this with the baseline level.
To make this work in the classroom I eventually settled on a wall chart format. More detailed methods of recording were failing because staff, assailed with many other things to record, were not managing to find the time to complete the records and the blank sheets were therefore remaining in the folders. So I developed this wall chart with the aim of capturing as much information as possible in the most efficient and accessible way.
There are two PDF’s to download. On the first I have have completed an example line on the record so you can see how it works. The second download is completely blank with no example filled in.
The wall chart allows for the recording of an ‘average level of interaction’ and a ‘best moment’. These are self explanatory… the average level is the level that the child seemed to be at for most of the time while the best moment is the highest level episode of interaction that happened. I felt that the distinction was necessary because when I began exploring the engagement profile many years ago I found it difficult to assign one level to an interaction – a child may have spent 5 minutes showing no social awareness and then suddenly shown consistent attention to the social encounter for 30 seconds. Does this mean that they are around the level of Attention and Response? I found that with an average level and best moment we could say that such a child would be at the average level of encounter with a best moment of Attention and Response. This to me seems more accurate.
Using the Interaction Record
The most accurate way to record an interaction is to film it. Watch the film and use the engagement profile questions to ascertain the level and best moment. Then enter the date on the Interaction record and use the top row (more coloured) to mark the best moment and the lower row (faded) to mark the average level. If you have not filmed the interaction then you need to make an educated guess as to the levels. Add your initials in the space provided and then use the last space to note anything that worked well or didn’t work so well.
Recording Intensive Interaction in this way has a number of benefits:
- All members of the staff team can keep up to date on break throughs or things that are working or not working.
- The record can be used to support video footage to compare with the baseline and discuss how effective the approach is.
- As the staff team engage with the method they will share a more accurate understanding of the engagement profile, supporting the development of a community of practice.
- The method will help the staff team will share an understanding of what level a child is at and how the team can work together to support the child’s communication development.
All of the above things are very important but perhaps even more crucial to me is that this it works and is being used successfully in each classroom.
Any questions please just get in touch.