Meaningful and Fun Social Groups for Students Grades K-12

Report
Meaningful and Fun Social
Groups for Students
Grades K-12
Julie Balderston and
Amanda Stenberg
[email protected]
[email protected]
SOCIAL INSTRUCTION:
PRINCIPLES
CRITICAL LIFELONG SKILLS







To tolerate people and value interactions.
To communicate intentionally and
effectively.
To organize information and learn
meanings/purposes.
To tolerate change and accept new
experiences.
To be independent of constant verbal
direction.
To self-monitor and manage stress/emotion.
To identify sensory triggers and selfregulate in in an appropriate manner.
Differentiating between
Behaviorism and Cognitive
Behaviorism
BEHAVIORISM
Focuses on the end
point of the behavior
performed or
exhibited.
•
COGNITIVEBEHAVIORISM
Focuses on the
thinking that
contributes to the
behavior, and then
describes how your
behavior should
change.
•
Social Cognition vs. Social Skills
Both are needed!
Cognitive Social
Communication Skills



Theory of Mind
Perspective taking
Tracking what others know/think
Self-monitoring
Understanding social situations
Behavioral Social
Communication Skills

Verbal (pragmatics)
Conversation, greetings
Social scripts
Narrative skills
Non-verbal
Interpreting & using
Central Coherence
facial expressions, eye contact
Processing information as a whole
body language, tone of voice
Relating pieces of info back to
Joint attention
larger patterns thought/behavior

 Other social behaviors
Executive Function
Expected/unexpected behavior
Flexible thinking
for different contexts
Social problem-solving
Manners
Creating organizational structures
Sharing, turn-taking
Prioritizing
Appropriate physical space
Emotional regulation
Four Steps of Communication
to Become a Social Thinker
1) Think about people and what they think
and feel.
2) Be aware of your physical presence as well
as the physical presence of others.
3) Use your eyes to think about others and
what they are thinking about.
4) Use your language to relate to others.
USE YOUR BRAIN, EYES, BODY AND
WORDS TO MAKE CONNECTIONS!
Thinking About You Thinking About Me, Michelle Garcia Winner
What do students with social
cognitive and self-regulation
deficits need?
1) Direct instruction to prevent social mishaps &
meltdowns.
2) Direct instruction and problem-solving to
learn from social mishaps & meltdowns after
they occur.
3) Opportunities to practice with typically
developing peers in different environments.
Coaching
 Reinforcement

4) Incorporation and use of social thinking and
self-regulation vocabulary across contexts.
SOCIAL INSTRUCTION:
ASSESSMENT
Assessing Baseline Skills and
Monitoring Progress
1) Checklists/rating scales
2) Observation in natural settings
 Just see what happens
 Can set-up a situation to probe for specific
skill
3) Observation in small, unstructured groups
 Can do this the first time the group meets
 Video record if possible
4) Teacher and/or parent interviews
5) Student interview
6) Student self-report
Other Resources for Assessment
Building Social Relationships by Scott
Bellini
 Thinking About You Thinking About Me by
Michelle Garcia Winner
 Jill Kuzma’s SLP Social & Emotional Skill
Sharing Site:
http://jillkuzma.wordpress.com/assessment
-of-pragmatics-and-social-language/
 Other social skills curricula have
assessment tools that align with lessons

SOCIAL INSTRUCTION: WHAT TO
TEACH AND WAYS TO TEACH IT
Methods for Social Instruction
The following methods can be utilized to create a personalized
social skills instruction program or to supplement commerciallyavailable social skills curricula.
1) TALKING/DISCUSSION
2) WORKSHEETS
3) CONCRETE/VISUAL SUPPORTS
 Social Behavior Maps
 5 Point Scale, Problem thermometer
 Friendship Peer-a-mid
 Conversation Tree
 Social Stories
 Graphic organizers, strategy lists
 Physical items that represent abstract
concepts
4) SPEECH AND THOUGHT BUBBLES
 Comic strip scenarios (drawings or photos)
 Over your head
 Picture books/magazines/flashcards/paused
video image
5) STORIES/BOOKS
 Picture books – fiction and non-fiction
 Chapter books – fiction and non-fiction
 Scenarios
6) VIDEO
 Commercially-made social skills videos
 You-tube
 Movie and cartoon clips
 Make your own
Role play
Record students for self-evaluation
Watch typical peers
7) TECHNOLOGY



Interactive software
iPad applications
Power Point presentations, Smart Boards
8) ROLE PLAY/SIMULATION
(with or without scripts)
9) GROUP ACTIVITIES/TASKS
 Cooperative or competitive
 Theater games
10) NATURALISTIC OPPORTUNTIES FOR PRACTICE
 Play with toys
 Games
 Conversation
 Party or snack
 Incidental planning or problem-solving
 “Field trip” or practice in a natural environment
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
Key Concepts to Teach and
Reinforce
Ready/not ready
People have different kinds of smarts
How to be part of a group
Eyes are important – yours and others’
Expected behavior leads to good/green
thoughts. Unexpected behavior leads to
uncomfortable/red thoughts.
6) Our bodies and faces send messages
(non-verbal communication)
7) Social thinking is flexible thinking
8) Problems and feelings come in different
sizes
9) People store and recall information about
each other (social files)
10) Conversation is made up of questions
and thoughts
11) There are different levels of relationship
between people
12) Make a plan:
•
Solving problems
•
Self-regulation (emotions and alertness)
•
Completing tasks
•
Making schedules, managing time
•
Self –advocacy, asking for help
•
Organizing environment
•
Being social
STARTING POINT:
SELF-REGULATION
KEY CONCEPTS:
• Ready/not ready
• Problems and feelings come in different sizes
• Make a plan
Self-Regulation
Three critical neurological
components need to be integrated:
1) Executive Functioning: conscious
control of thoughts and actions
(attention shifting, working
memory, internalizing
speech, flexible thinking,
planning actions
and inhibition)
2) Sensory Processing: how you make
sense of the information around you and
how you organize and integrate that info
to act on it.
3) Controlling Emotions: monitoring,
evaluating and modifying the
intensity and timing of your
emotional response
(determining the size of the problem,
motivation,
and perspectivetaking)
Self-Regulation Strategies
and Lessons
1) “READY OR NOT READY?”
The purpose in asking this is to determine
whether the student is regulated and ready to
make a plan. This need to be paired with a
motoric activity.
Example: “I know you’re ready when . . . (your
hands are in your lap, you sit in the chair,
etc.)
Ready/Not Ready script video:
http://www.projectlearnet.org/tutorial_videos/sr-ef_readynotready.html
2)“BIG DEAL, LITTLE DEAL?”
Big/Little Deal script video:
http://www.projectlearnet.org/tutorial_videos/sr-ef_bigdeal.html
3) “HARD OR EASY?”
If it’s hard, they need to be taught how to
get help.
Hard/Easy script video:
http://www.projectlearnet.org/tutorial_videos/sref_hard-easy.html
4) “LET’S MAKE A PLAN”
The purpose is for the student to identify
and verbally and/or visually rehearse the
steps of what they are supposed to do (try
to keep it to 3 steps)
Executive Function: Types of
Plans to Teach
Plans to transition
Plans to complete work
Plans to ask for help
Plans for routines, multi-step tasks
Plans to calm down when you are
worried, scared or angry
 Plans to regulate level of alertness
 Plans to solve problems
 Plans to interact with others
 Plans for achieving a goal





Goal: something
you think about
Action Plan:
sequence of
steps you
physically
have to do
Other Ways to Incorporate
Executive Function Practice and
Instruction
Model plan-making by posting or discussing
agenda
 Model problem-solving by thinking out loud
when problems occur
 Assign a group project or task with multiple
steps
 Plan an event/party together

Students have social notebooks where
they keep their visuals, worksheets
and other materials for group
 Have students bring their school
notebooks to group and discuss their
organizational systems
 Break down and prioritize real &
hypothetical goals
Academic tasks
Social/life goals
 Discuss traits of good, average and
poor students

Sensory Self-Regulation
Resource: How Does Your
Engine Run?, Therapy Works
Resource: Take 5! Staying Alert at
Home and School, Therapy Works
Emotional Self-Regulation and
Problem-Solving
Resource: Kimochis
http://kimochiseducation.tumblr.com/curriculum


For younger children,
teach that the size of
their reaction must
match the size of the
problem.
As youth get older,
teach that
sometimes they
must compress their
feelings until they
are in private or with
family/close friends.
Resource:
Numbered Scales http://www.5pointscale.com/
5 Point Scale as self-regulation planning tool
Resource: Strategy lists
http://www.freeprintablebehaviorcharts.com/
anger_management_charts.htm
What I think
What I do
How I feel
CONTROLLING MY THOUGHTS
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
Distract my brain
Absorbing Activities
Coping/Positive Self-Talk
Thought Stopping
Turn Volume Down on negative thoughts
Throw Away / Lock Up negative thoughts
CONTROLLING MY BODY & FEELINGS
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
Physical Relaxation
Physical Exercise
Controlled Breathing
Calming Pictures / Visualization
Relaxing Activity
CONTROLLING MY BEHAVIOR
1)
2)
3)
STOP
PLAN
GO
Resource: Think
Good-Feel Good by
Paul Stallard
Suggested Resources for
Self-Regulation
EXECUTIVE FUNCTION:
 Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents (Peg
Dawson & Richard Guare)
 Planning to Learn (Keely Harper-Hill & Stephanie Lord)
SENSORY:
 The Alert Program: How Does Your Engine Run? and
Take 5! (Mary Sue Williams & Sherry Shellenberger)
 Arnie and his School Tools (Jennifer Veenenhall)
EMOTIONAL CONTROL:
 The Incredible 5 Point Scale and A 5 Could Make Me
Lose Control (Kari Dunn Buron)
 A 5 Could Make Me Lose Control (Kari Du
 The Zones of Regulation (Leah M. Kuypers)
 Think Good – Feel Good (Paul Stallard)
SOCIAL INSTRUCTION:
OTHER STRATEGIES,
ACTIVITIES AND RESOURCES
RESOURCE: Think Social
by Michelle Garcia Winner
CONCEPT: People have
different kinds of “smarts”
 Some
“smarts” are smarter than
other ones. Everyone has strengths
and weaknesses, but we can get
better at what is hard for us if we
work at it!
 In social group, we are going to work
on improving our “social smarts.”
RESOURCE:
You Are a Social
Detective by
Michelle Garcia
Winner
Resource:
Questionnaire
http://ramirezclass.webstarts.com/uploads/Multiple_Intelligence_Questionnaire.pdf
CONCEPT: How to be part
of a group
Post a list of group expectations. Refer to
list often and reinforce expected group
behavior when you see it, even when
teaching other skills.
©Michelle Garcia Winner, Social Thinking®
RESOURCE: You are a Social Detective by
Michelle G. Winner
RESOURCE: Whole Body Listening Larry at School
by Elizabeth Sautter
How to Join a Group
Don’t “pounce.” Use the “slow approach”
1) Move your body into the group.
2) Look at people in the group.
Do their faces and bodies welcome you?
3) Listen to what they are talking about.
4) Add thoughts and questions that relate
to what someone else is saying.
Adapted from Social Thinking Worksheets for Tween and Teens
by Michelle Garcia Winner.
Group Games and Activities
Songs and games that require imitation
Circle time songs
Simon Says
 Board and card games
 Games/activities that involve cooperation or
a shared group goal
Resources:
Social Skills Games for Children and
Anger Management Games for Children
(Deborah M. Plummer)

CONCEPT: Eyes are importantyours and other people’s
People think about what they look at.
 People do not necessarily see what you see
(different perspective).
 If you think with your eyes, you can make
smart guesses about:
1) Thoughts/feelings of others
2) What someone might do next
(figuring out their plan)
3) How to behave in a situation

RESOURCE: You are a Social Detective by Michelle G. Winner
Other Strategies




Have children practice identifying what you
are looking at and what you are thinking
about.
When reading books, watching videos, or
using scenario/facial expression flashcards,
emphasize characters’ eyes and what they
are looking at/thinking about.
For young children, use a puppet, doll, or
special interest toy to help them attend to
the eyes and follow its’ line of sight.
Don’t call on students or say their names.
Tell them you will look at them when it is
their turn to talk.
CONCEPT: Our bodies and
faces send messages
If we look at people’s face and bodies, and
we listen not only to the words they say,
but how they say it, then we can make a
smart guess about what they are thinking
and feeling, and what they might
do next.
 People look at our faces and bodies to
make smart guesses about us too.

Using pictures (books, flashcards, etc.) or paused
video, students identify what someone is thinking or
feeling by reading body language.
CONCEPT: People have thoughts
about Expected and Unexpected
Behavior



Every environment has a set of rules that
people expect to be followed. When we follow
the rules, we are being expected. When we do
not follow the rules, we are being unexpected.
When you are expected, people have good
thoughts about you (green thoughts). When
you are unexpected, people have
uncomfortable thoughts about you (red
thoughts).
If someone has a red thought about you, you
can change their thought by changing your
behavior.
Provide visual/concrete feedback to let
individual students or the whole group know
what kind of thoughts you are having about
them based on their behavior:
Red/green popsicle sticks
Red/green points
Paperclips (that form a chain of expected behavior)
©Michelle Garcia Winner, Social Thinking®
RESOURCE: Jill Kuzma’s SLP Social and
Emotional Skill Sharing Site
http://jillkuzma.wordpress.com/
RESOURCE: Social Skills Picture Book by
Jed Baker
Right Way
(Expected)
Wrong Way
(Unexpected)
RESOURCE: Social Skills Picture Book for
High School and Beyond by Jed Baker
Right Way
(Expected)
Wrong Way
(Unexpected)
Comic Strips/Cartooning
Comic Strip Conversations use the
graphics of stick figures, talking bubbles,
and thinking bubbles to interpret social
situations/interactions and take the
perspective of others.
 Can be used to pre-teach concepts or
analyze a social mishap after it has
occurred.

Teach hidden rules
Resource: The Hidden
Curriculum by Brenda Smith Myles
Resource:
Jill Kuzma’s
WebsiteSocial
Secrets
RESOURCE:
A 5 is Against the
Law by Kari Dunn
Buron
RESOURCE: Video Modeling DVDs
Model Me Kids
http://www.modelmekids.com/

Fitting in and Having Fun
http://www.tdsocialskills.com/

CONCEPT: Social thinking is
flexible thinking
That means:
 Doing something you don’t want to
 Stopping something you want to keep
doing
 Accepting change
 Trying something new, doing something a
different way
 Listening to other people’s thoughts and
trying their ideas
 THINKING ABOUT OTHERS
STRATEGIES
Cooperative games/tasks that require
group members to try others’ ideas.
 Role play flexible and inflexible thinking
scenarios (can make a video).
 Demonstrate flexible thoughts when
cartooning or making comic strips.
 Point out and reinforce flexible thinking
when you see it.

Resource: Superflex curriculum, Michelle Garcia Winner
CONCEPT: Social files
(a.k.a. “people” or “friend” files)
We keep information we learn about
people in a “social file” in our brains,
which helps us:
1) Have a conversation about
something they like.
2) Do something they like.
3) Show interest in them.
4) Make decisions based on how we
think they will react.
5) Help us interpret motives and
intentions of people.
Games

“Get to know you” activities
http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/ice-breaker-games
http://www.icebreakers.ws/get-to-know-you

(younger children)
Commercially-available party games
Other Strategies
•
•
•
•
Students interview each other.
Each group member makes a collage of
images that represent facts about
themselves.
Create Venn diagrams or other graphic
organizers to notice differences and find
commonalities.
Make concrete social files on each other
using actual file folders. Stick post-its
with facts about the person in the file.
CONCEPT: Conversation is
made up of questions and
thoughts
Conversation Tree
http://speechladyliz.blogspot.com/2012/03/conversation-tree.html
Concept from Thinking About You Thinking About Me,
Michelle G. Winner
CONCEPT: There are different
levels of relationships between
people
STRANGERS/COMMUNITY HELPERS
SCHOOL/COMMUNITY HELPERS
ACQUAINTANCES
FRIENDS
FAMILY
SELF
Concept adapted from Michelle Garcia Winner, Social Thinking®
RESOURCES:

Fictional stories

Non-fiction (friendship guides)
STRATEGY/ACTIVITY: Use movie
and TV clips as a platform for
discussing relationships, non-verbal
communication, the nuances of social
situations, and other topics.
EXAMPLES:
Big Bang Theory
http://www.youtube.com
/watch?v=k0xgjUhEG3U
Napoleon Dynamite
SOCIAL INSTRUCTION:
LOGISTICS
Considerations When
Forming Groups
Age, maturity level
 Shared areas of interest
 Relationships between members

(friends, negative influences on each other, enemies,
bully/target)
Same teacher, similar schedules, other
scheduling concerns
 Shared social goals and objectives
 Perspective-taking and social thinking
ability

When to Teach One-on-One
Student needs more intensive or more
individualized instruction
 You have attempted to include the student in a
group, but he/she took too much time and
energy to manage
 Student is resistant to being part of a group and
impedes group learning
 The ultimate goal is to work them back into a
group
 If schedule does not allow for one-on-one, pair
two resistant social communicators together
 REMEMBER: A “group” can consist of one adult
and one student. The student is still required to
think about another person and be social.

Using Typical Peers
Typical peers can be utilized in instructional social groups or
other programs such as Circle of Friends, Lunch Bunch, etc.
Typical peers can be other students in special education (who
do not have behavior problems and a higher level of skill in
social communication)
Typical peers are helpful for:
 Modeling expected behavior and explaining concepts
 Grounding and calming the group
 Helping with generalization outside of group
 Sharing successes (observations of student outside of
group)
 Encouraging resistant communicators to participate and
understand how their negative behavior affects others
NOTE: The dynamic between typical peers and social group
members can change as they get older
Curriculum and Lesson Planning
Beneficial for teacher and students to have
a clear intent for the social group.
Based on information from assessments
and students’ IEPs, teacher must
determine:
 broad goals for the group
 skills that need to be taught
 how to teach those skills (lessons and
activities)
 general sequence of lessons, short-term
and/or long-term
Structure of a 30-minute lesson
1) Review schedule and Check-in
 Students identify how they are feeling
(5 Point Scale)
 Discuss personal problems/solutions
(or plan to follow-up later, if needed)
2) Review of last time, accountability for
“homework”
3) Lesson/Activity
4) Reinforcement/Fun (5 minutes)
Building in Reinforcement
1) Use last 5 minutes for snack, special
interest activity, etc.
 Could be earned contingent on group or
individual behavior
OR
 Regular part of schedule; if the group is offtask, they cut into their fun time (natural
consequence)
2) Group earns points, stars, “green sticks,”
etc., that build up to a future party or fun
activity (to do during social group time)
Ways to Promote Generalization








Communicate with parents, teachers and
other school staff about concepts taught
Coaching/prompting in other school contexts
Adults
Typical peers from social group
Co-teach
Teach social lessons to an entire class
Set weekly social goals, challenges, or
“homework” for students, with accountability
and reinforcement for completion
Problem-solve and role-play situations from
students’ real lives
Video-record student in other contexts and
have them self-evaluate
Create opportunities for practice in other
contexts
Components of Meaningful
Social Groups








Both social cognition and social skills are
addressed
Behavioral expectations are explicit and
taught
Opportunities to practice
A variety of teaching modalities are utilized
Concrete/visual supports are used to help
students latch onto abstract concepts
Students feel safe, trust one another
Instructor is creative and flexible
Fun and laughter!

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