Liam demonstrates the good thoughts (water) that go through the social filter and come out into our speech bubbles and the thoughts that should stay in our thought bubble (pom poms).
This week, we spent a lot of time talking about our social filter. A social filter (modeled here by the coffee filter) lets some thoughts through and makes some thoughts get "stuck". The thoughts that get stuck should stay in our thought bubbles, either because they are unkind or unnecessary or because it's not the right time or place to share them. Other thoughts can go through our social filters and can come out as things that we say to others. These things should be kind, true, and important. (See the poster below). We read a story called My Mouth is a Volcano. The students have heard this story before, but it was a great review about keeping our words in our thought bubbles until it is in appropriate time to share. We gave examples about things that might be okay to say or sing, but places or people with whom it might not be appropriate (like singing songs from a TV show in church or talking about how you didn't like a party in front of the host). This is a really tough concept (even for grown ups) but we'll continue to reinforce these concepts using this terminology. We also had some time to play games (and use our social filter when we lost). Next week, we will do a bit more work on Social Filter and create a display for the hallway. I can't wait to see their great ideas!
We've had another busy week with wonky scheduling! On Monday, students watched another one of the Growth Mindset videos about the power of their brains. This short video talks about HOW the brain grows and about how you can make connections between your neurons when you learn new things. It's lofty for some kids, but I think it's great for them to have the time and space to think about it. The video is posted below for you to watch and discuss at home.
Tuesday found Ms. McQuillan and I at Heritage Elementary all day for some professional development meetings. I don't see social skills groups on Wednesday, so it wasn't until Thursday that we all met back together (for social skills). Some of the kids had a game day with Mrs. Szalay and my 4th and 5th grade group played some games with me. I'm working at expanding their game experiences to games that they may play with their peers as they get older. We played Spot It and Left, Right Center this week. It might not seem like a big deal, but they will have a better chance of engaging their peers (in middle school and beyond) if they have experiences with games like this over just Candy Land and Pizza Party (not that there's anything wrong with the classics!) :)
On Friday, some of my groups caught up on assessments and academic work while others worked on front loading what we know about our Social Filters. This will be our next topic of study, so buckle up!
Our joke this week was: "How do fish call their friends?
On their shell phones!"
Hilarious! Have a super weekend! Don't forget that next FRIDAY is the last day to order Autism Awareness shirts for April's Blue Out!
We had another busy week, but our snow day did not interfere with social skills--Wednesday is the day we don't meet for social skills! On Monday, we watched 2 videos about Growth Mindset--specifically The Power of Yet. The power of yet is when you acknowledge that you can't do something...yet. It encourages children to add the word "yet" to the end of their "I can't" statements to help them view learning as a process and that they have the ability to improve with practice. The videos are posted below my blog. Please watch them with your child and try out this really important language!
On Tuesday, the children enjoyed a game day with Mrs. Szalay. They worked on game skills like losing, taking turns and cooperating. On Thursday and Friday, my groups worked on an "I can't.....yet" project, where they identified what they couldn't do and drew themselves and learners who could progress in this skill. We also did some catch-up academic work and assessments, as the snow day through some of our assessment schedules off.
The joke for the past two weeks has been: "Why can't you give Elsa a balloon? She'll "let it Go!"
We did not have an emotional vocabulary word this week.
REMINDER: Autism Awareness T-Shirt orders are due FRIDAY, MARCH 18. They are the same shirts as last year, so if your child's still fits, you're all set. If you are interested in ordering, the order form is available to download on our home page of our website. Our annual blue out is FRIDAY, APRIL 15! Even if you choose not to purchase a shirt, please dress your child in blue on April 15!
Ann Reece is the upper elementary teacher in the ASD program.