What is it?
Preferred items or high interest items can be used in several different ways to promote engagement and to support positive behaviours. Preferred items can include objects associated with special interests, such as football, trains, dinosaurs, history, geography – potential areas of interest are endless.
How do I use it?
Steps involved in using preferred/high interest items include:
- Determine which items or activities are preferred or high interest to the student. The following techniques can assist in this process:
- interviewing the student/guardian
- likes/dislikes checklists
- observation and discussion.
- Decide where incorporating high interest items may be useful. Options can include:
- including preferred/high interest items in the curriculum content e.g. counting dinosaurs in a maths lesson; allowing students to present an English assignment as an animation or PowerPoint presentation
- using preferred/high interest items or activities as reinforcers or motivators for the completion of tasks e.g. time on the computer after maths work
- using preferred/high interest items as reinforcers for positive behaviour e.g. train stickers as reinforcers for sharing materials well.
- Incorporate the high interest items in the activities. This does not need to include every activity in the day; choose which sessions and which activities you can incorporate the items into.
- Use high interest items and apply reinforcement strategies consistently as needed.
All ages with modifications according to age and ability.