Monday, December 15, 2014

Social Smarts

This is a worksheet meant for younger students.  Using ideas from Michelle Garcia Winner, it explains what "social smarts" are and when we use them.

Click on picture for printable lesson

Whole Body Thinking

I am going to start teaching a Kindergartner some social thinking vocabulary.  She is a very visual learner.  I adapted some of Michelle Garcia Winner's information and picture to make up the following lesson to this student understand how she can listen with her whole body.

Click on picture for printable lesson

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Conversation Train

We have been working hard on conversation skills.  This is another lesson to practice conversation skills.  We discussed and brainstormed WHY conversation skills are important.  Some ideas the students came up with include:
- Making friends
- Getting ahead in a job
- Getting along with others

I'm really proud of the students for being able to generalize this information and put it into practice.  I made up a worksheet for them to practice this new knowledge.

Click on picture for printable worksheet.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The magic of UNO cards

I've been having a hard time lately with some of the older kids I see.  They don't see the point or the importance of what we are working on.  I have been very frustrated, and our sessions have been less than productive.  In desperation, I turned to Pinterest, and came across some UNO activities.

I figured - what could it hurt?  We aren't getting anything done anyway!  Well, it was no less than MAGICAL!!!

My most difficult student didn't want to come see me, but I asked him to give me just 10 min.  We played the game, and he was happy about it.  I started to pick up the cards, and he grabbed the UNO cards and starting dealing out the cards.  We ended working for 30 minutes with smiles all around.

Below is the activity I did today.

Click on the picture for activity details.

After the session, my mind was buzzing.  Although the student did well, and shared, he didn't really listen to my comments.  So I came up with this idea.  This student needs to work on writing, so I made a handout so that he has to write down the other participant's comments.  

Click on the picture for activity details.
I also performed the activity below with one of the students I see with Autism.  He has a really hard time with conversational back and forth.  The structure of this activity helped him listen and respond.

Click link for activity details.
Thank you Pinterest for such great ideas and breaking my therapy block with my older students.  I look forward to coming up with some more ideas.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Learning Differences

This was an idea from Michelle Garcia Winner.

Students may not realize that everyone - other students, teachers, other adults - are always learning and trying to improve on something.  This lesson is to try to get the students to realize they are naturally good at some tasks, but need help in others.

Click on the picture for printable lesson plan.

Conversation Skills

My latest social skills group lesson.  This is the first of many lessons on conversation skills.  

We use the metaphor of a train to help students visualize how a conversation works.  The main idea for this lesson came from Jill Kuzma's blog.  

She had a great visual describing the parts of a conversation.

Click on the picture for printable lesson.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

I've gotten a lot of ideas for social skills group sessions from Jill Kuzma.  Check out her blog.

One lesson that I put together was about "Social Filter."  This is a really important lesson for students with Autism or ADD.  They need to learn that the thoughts they think are ok, but what they say effects how others feel about them.  This is the whole concept of Social Thinking from Michelle Garcia Winner.

Check out my lesson plan for "Social Filter."

Click on picture for printable file.