Thursday, September 12, 2013

Think Social Curriculum

(picture by Amazon)
This year, I have quite a few social skills students on my roster.  In the past, I have been more of a support person or coach for the special education teachers in implementing social skills lessons.  I continue to partner with the special education teachers, general education teachers, and para-educators (para-educators are your best friend when taking data and generalizing skills taught during sessions) in working on social skills, but now I have more of an active role in actually implementing social skills lesson.  At the beginning of the year I reviewed several social curriculums and thought that the Think Social curriculum by Michelle Garcia would be a good fit for all my students.  It seemed very well-rounded, as well as easily adaptable for different students.  Not to mention it is perfect if you are working in a school setting since it is easily tied in with IEP goals and educational standards.
The first lesson I implemented discussed "unexpected" and "expected" behaviors.  The vocabulary of "unexpected" and "expected" is not new to me, but the way it is taught in this curriculum is.  I started out the lesson by demonstrating unexpected behaviors myself, such as facing away from them while talking, getting up and jumping around, tapping my pencil loudly on the desk, talking too quiet/too loud, and being a little "silly" in general.  After I demonstrated these behaviors, I asked my small group about what they thought about they way I was acting.  This jump started our conversation into unexpected and expected behaviors.  The students responded very well and had some great ideas.  A few of them were familiar with these terms and were great models for my less experienced students.  I made sure to use their wording when writing ideas down.  The students would get very excited when the expected list was longer or "winning" in their words.  Following this lesson, I made quick stops in their classroom to share information about unexpected and expected behaviors so that this vocabulary could be used consistently throughout their school day.

Disclaimer:  I have horrible hand writing and it is even worse on the white board.
I look forward to continue sharing how this curriculum is working for my students. 
What social curriculum do you use?
Happy Speeching!


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