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Abigail B. Calkin


Precision Teaching — A Practical Science of Education

Tribute to Ogden R. Lindsley His Life and Contributions (New release 2023)
Edited by Abigail B. Calkin

Ogden Lindsley is a well-known figure in the history and development of operant conditioning and behavior analysis. As an experimental psychologist, circa 1950 - 1965, he pioneered studies of human behavior in a controlled environment. His transition to general application of discoveries made in the lab resulted in development of the standard celeration chart in 1967. 

International use of the standard celeration chart in education and other fields means Lindsley remains an important voice in applied behavior analysis and in the study of human behavior.

The publication of this book comes in the centennial year of his birth.

Available for purchase through Sloan Publishing.

Precision Teaching — A Practical Science of Education

Precision Teaching — A Practical Science of Education (2019)
Edited by Norris G. Haring, Margaret (Peggy) S. Whiteand Malcolm Neely, is published by Sloan Publishing. Its focus is precision teaching, the highly effective technology that flows directly from the natural science of behavior.

From the Foreword, by Henry S. Pennypacker:

The audience for this book is as wide as the field of education itself. It includes teachers, those who would be teachers, those who teach teachers and, of course, parents. It also includes others such as coaches, counselors and therapists whose primary concern is also with the behavior of children. Its focus is Precision Teaching, the highly effective technology that flows directly from the natural science of behavior. The key feature of both the science and technology is direct measurement of behavior, and this is emphasized throughout. The contributions range from the abstract, theoretical and philosophical, to the highly practical. Included are learned discourses on the nature and function of education to the nitty gritty of measuring student progress in the classroom and using the resulting data to make optimally beneficial decisions....

The book contains discussions of some of the extensions of Precision Teaching such as fluency, agility, and adduction. There is also a chapter by Abigail Calkin on the use of the measurement system to record and chart private events such as urges, thoughts, feelings, and ideas....

Book Reviews
If you are new to Precision Teaching, Precision Teaching: A Practical Science of Education will provide the foundation you need to get started. If you are familiar with Precision Teaching you are guaranteed to encounter some new information and reacquaint yourself with information forgotten

Clay Starlin,
Department of Education,
Worcester State University

It is truly a wonderful, heartfelt effort. When I teach the Precision Teaching course again, I will order and use this book as a textbook, without any reservations whatsoever.

John W. Eshleman
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Available for purchase through Behavior Development Solutions or through Amazon.

The Soul of My Soldier; Reflections of a Military Wife

The Soul of My Soldier; Reflections of a Military Wife
This unique and timely memoir combines poetry and prose to reach deep into the recesses of war to pull out its raw truth, the heart of which civilians seldom fathom. It may not be battle wounds or PTSD that affect a deployed soldier, but they always return home changed. The book follows the story of the author’s military marriage. Its well-crafted self-reflections show the impact war has on families as its residue stretches far beyond the tours of duty and the struggles and triumphs these families often face.

Book Reviews
The Soul of My Soldier makes its perfect practice the art of informed, intellectual generosity.  Generosity between two partners, sure, and also between Calkin’s smart, interrogating mind and the rest of the world, which is found complex and damaged but not destroyed — never destroyed while people still pay attention and while we are still trying to fix our mistakes, make things better and more peaceful than they were. The final page of the book says, very simply, “Welcome Home.” I love that, in all its meanings. With The Soul of My Soldier, Calkin has welcomed Robert home in a more thoughtful variety of ways than most people get welcomed in their lifetimes. I hope he feels how genuinely he was worth it.”

Andria Williams, author of The Longest Night, and also the reviewer of Military Spouse Book Reviews

Available for purchase through Familius or through Amazon.

Behavioral Science: Tales of Inspiration, Discovery, and Service

Behavioral Science: Tales of Inspiration, Discovery, and Service
Behavioral Science: Tales of Inspiration, Discovery, and Service, edited by Rob Holdsambeck and Henry Pennypacker, is published by the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies. The book arose from an interesting set of question the editors asked 18 of us. How did we relinquish old ways of thinking and come to the world of behavior analysis? How are our solutions different from the ideas and practices of other more traditional professionals? To put it more colloquially, how did we get into this new line of work?

Book Reviews
“The history of behavior analysis begins with its contributors. Assembled in this volume are the stories of several of the many who have contributed to the shaping of our science. The result makes for enjoyable and enlightened reading. Even more importantly, it provides a valuable resource for anyone seeking a better understanding of the many different applications of behavior analysis and how those facets have come together to form a contemporary science of behavior.”

Andy Lattal, Ph.D.
Centennial Professor, Psychology
West Virginia University

“This engaging book provides the lifeblood stories behind many critical events and topics in behavior analysis. It is filled with interesting historical information about the emergence of the science of behavior. More importantly, these chapters incorporate the human element integral to the range of activity described by many distinguished behaviorists. These tales of behavior science and its applicability are a must read for anyone interested in behavior change, both big and small.”

Janet S. Twyman, Ph.D., BCBA, NYSLBA
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, UMass Medical School/Shriver Center

Available for purchase through Pyramid Educational Consultants or through Sloan Publishing.

Behavioral Science: Tales of Inspiration, Discovery, and ServiceBehavioral Science: Tales of Inspiration, Discovery, and Service

Poetry Repairs
The April 2015 issue of Poetry Repairs, at, is a special issue of 32 of my poems. These poems are from my forthcoming book, The Soul of My Soldier: Reflections of a Military Wife. They reflect some of my experiences and thoughts about being married to a soldier. The book, due out from Familius on August 11, 2015, is a collection of prose and poetry.

The Night Orion Fell

The Night Orion Fell
When Captain Larry Hills attempted to rescue his deckhand, he too was tragically caught in the lines that whipped and wrapped the two men against the net reel of the trawler like captured fish. In the moment before the deckhand’s death he was the only one who heard Larry’s cold realization: “We’re dead.” Thus began the gripping 40-hour torture as Larry waited for rescue or death.  In February 1982, the Coast Guard worked this North Pacific search and rescue, which still remains unforgettable in Coast Guard annals. This is the story of a man’s continued courage to fight his way through the lonely and painful hours of survival and disability rehabilitation to reinvent himself as a resourceful and contributing member of society.

Book Reviews
“If ever we needed a story on the triumph of the human spirit and one man's ability to reinvent himself, this is it. The Night Orion Fell will never leave me, and for good reason. It's a great story, carefully researched, and compellingly told. Bravo Abigail Calkin.”

Kim Heacox,
The Only Kayak
and Visions of a Wild America

“From someone who has lived the life Calkin writes about, this is a well written book. I have faced the possibility of something going terribly wrong every time I stepped foot on the deck of a boat. She has described what went on in a way fishermen know and those who have never commercial fished will understand. This old salt enjoyed it greatly!”

Larry Ryser,
Deadliest Catch, FV Incentive
deck boss;
Kodiak Queen

“Calkin has written a fascinating book about an intriguing search and rescue case that took place off the coast in the Pacific Northwest. Although written decades after the fact, the particulars of this case remain very vivid in my mind. I distinctly recall debriefing the helicopter pilots and crew and observing their excitement in locating and finally rescuing the skipper of the F/V Fargo. While the book is from the fisherman’s point of view, she did an excellent job of detailing the Coast Guard’s perspective of the case. Filled with poignant moments and good detail, it is an outstanding read and one that I highly recommend.”

Rear Admiral Dave Kunkel
U. S. Coast Guard (ret.)

The Night Orion Fell tells a hard story in careful detail, full of Oregon, of courageous people and Larry Hills, one stubborn, lucky sonofabitch.  You won’t walk the docks past a trawler next time without wincing.”

Jon Broderick
Setnetter, Fisherpoet

“Writing with necessary precision and extraordinary imaginative power, Abigail B. Calkin tells the compelling, true story of a freak accident on a North Pacific trawler.  One man,  died, one survived.  The machinery of a trawler is the stuff of nightmares, but Calkin tells the story with such empathy and careful attention to detail that the result is not merely horrifying but a most moving and humane account, both of the accident itself and of its long-term consequences.  I am grateful for an in-depth portrait of an astonishingly brave man, and also of a tight-knit community, the fishermen, Coast Guard and their families along the Oregon coast.  At a time when public life is so mired in greed and dishonesty, this book presents the sort of unassuming courage, endurance, and cooperation that can still make one feel proud of the human species.”

David M. Black,
Why Things Matter

Click here to purchase

The Carolyne Letters

The Carolyne Letters
Amelia: young, naive, in love. Geoff: charming, narcissistic, intelligent. In a decidedly European affair, a young couple consummates a courtship destined for differences. The resultant pregnancy provides a haunting yet charming backdrop for the challenges of love and its often unwanted decisions. 1994 Benjamin Franklin Award Finalist Abigail B. Calkin has created such a rich and picturesque setting that The Carolyne Letters literally breathes life--life in all its splendor, simplicity and complexity.

Book Reviews
“Abigail Calkin has a unique way of dealing with the dilemma. Not only does this evolve into an intriguing story, but it is also a sensitive look at the options that many unmarried pregnant women must face.”

Bonnie Elsensohn,
Capital City Weekly Alaska

“What is that choice? I will not reveal the end here. In the end, ‘Choice has disappeared,’ but a touching novel has been born.”

W. Joseph Wyatt,
Behavior Analysis Digest,
Vol. 7, #4, Winter 1995

Click here to purchase

Selected Stories from Scroll in Space: 2003-2013

Selected Stories from Scroll in Space: 2003-2013, (Dee Horne, editor)
Some of these twenty-six stories are humorous and others are tragic, yet all convey the challenges of being human and attest to the resilience of the human spirit. There is a wide range of genres: fictionalized reportage, memoir, dramatic monologue, science fiction, fantasy, travel narrative and horror. From a story of the beauty of aurora borealis [Calkin] to the terror of a fisherman trapped in his net [Calkin] to speculation of entangled particles being used to create a man with dual awareness, characters celebrate life and confront death. These well-crafted stories are poignant because the writers draw readers into their respective worlds to reveal deeper truths.

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Nikolin, one of three short-listed from 900 submissions for a Benjamin Franklin Award, is the story of a man who lived a thousand years ago, at the beginning of the Russian Orthodox Church.

He presses his hand against the cold stone walls of the Pecherskaya Lavra (Monastery of the Caves) in Kiev. His soul whispers, "Lord have mercy." and reverberates across a millennium. Nikolin—here is the story: his dramatic life, his fevered loves for both the aristocratic and the lowest of prostitutes, and his faith for which he gave his life. The novel takes us from the husbandry of Nezhin, where he was a husband and father, to Kiev and the Pecherskaya Lavra where he entombed himself forever—all for the love of God.

Book Reviews
Nikolin captures the russkaya dusha of the Russian people, with its extremes, sinfulness, holiness, endurance, faithfulness, sacrifice and, alas, masochism.”

Vladimir Donskoi, Ph.D.,
University of Irkutsk, Siberia

“In a tragic struggle of love and devotion, Nikolin is an unforgettable epic of one man’s search for God.”

Cynthia Akagi,
The Pen Woman

Click here to purchase

Toilet Training: Help for the Delayed Learner

Toilet Training: Help for the Delayed Learner
Often difficult to toilet train the child with disabilities, this short book details a researched program to help the delayed learner use the toilet.

Click here to purchase

Pebbles, Mops, and Thimigs

Pebbles, Mops, and Thimigs 
Instead of buying toys, this book describes how to use things already in the home to make toys.  From recorders to pots and pans, from yarn, small bits of material, and old socks to ends of wood any parent cam make toys for preschool children. The book contains examples and simple directions for over 50 toys that cost no money.

Click here to purchase

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