Monday, March 28, 2016

Conversational Skills Superheroes

If it hasn't become obvious by now, I am really loving Michelle Garcia Winner's Social Thinking materials this year. My students love it too! 

I've recently started adding in some conversational skills activities into several of my groups. I wanted to tie Superflex into this so the students have a constant reminder to use their social toolbox. Even though we have really taken our time with the basics, I think it is always helpful to have a reminder when you are branching out. As you can see, the activity we ended up doing took a little bit of time and creativity on my part.

I made four posters featuring Aiden, We have an expected and unexpected poster for both conversational roles. The unexpected listener is frowning because he's really not sure what is going on. The unexpected speaker is so busy talking about HIS interests that he forgets all about his listener. The expected speaker and listener are both happy to be participating in the conversation.

I wrote down different expected and unexpected behaviors for my students to put on the posters. The hardest part was getting them to pay attention to the key words (listener/speaker).

The sort took us about 15 minutes to go through.

Next time, I need to make more cards for the listener. I really felt like I had more made until we finished the sort.

My follow up activities are pretty simple. We'll review the post-it posters and design our own mini posters on construction paper. I chose the red and green to contrast the expected vs. unexpected roles of each person. I drew Aiden on the bottom of my posters and my students will draw their own version on the bottom of their posters.

Once they have made their posters, I will have my students come up with their own expected vs. unexpected behavior sort using the green and "red" (pink) post-its. We'll sort these out on the big posters again.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Here's a Blast from the Past

Now that I am finally getting to start Superflex Takes on Rock Brain & the Unthinkables, I am also dusting off one of my favorite creations from the past, Conversation Junction. Why? I think it correlates pretty well with several of the Unthinkables and the continuation of expected vs. unexpected behaviors. I'm starting with what's expected and then we will work on more scenarios, videos, and role-plays of conversation skills. They will have their book to help them remember the expected behaviors through all of these activities. While this activity is more geared towards upper elementary, it can be modified for first and second grades if needed. 

In this booklet, students write about what a conversation is and the role of a speaker/listener. They learn the parts of being a good speaker and listener. They also learn about personal space as it relates to conversations. 

Grab your copy of Conversation Junction here.

P.S. I wish all of you the best during IEP overload season! Summer is coming, I promise, it is closer than you think.