Well that was a weird week! Our PD day was spent on school improvement data and digging deeper into the Common Core Essential Element standards. So, for our one day of learning I read the story, "The Big Bad Badgers" from our 7 Habits of Happy Kids book. We talked about working as a team and how synergize means together is better. We were going to make a group art project and have to work together, take all ideas into consideration and create together. We will do this next week. I will be finishing up some testing by updating reading levels on the DRA. The kindergartners have already taken a hearing and recording sounds assessment, which is writing the sounds they hear in a sentence. Hope you enjoyed the bonus day!
This week was a little hectic, but the kids did great! I was at a meeting all Monday morning and went to Heritage Elementary all day on Thursday. Along with some other teachers in the building I was able to see Heritage present their leadership day, which Lakewood is looking into ourselves. As a Lighthouse team member I gained a lot of cool ideas, learned more about how Heritage does a leadership day (to invite other teachers and community members in to showcase Leader In Me), and was able to talk to kids and staff about how they teach and learn the habits. In our social skills groups we continued our work being social detectives. We now can name what social smarts are and how we can keep our eyes, brains and bodies in a group. We read more of the book and looked at the cartoon characters doing the right "expected" things. With our sub Thursday the kids sorted, counted and tallied conversation hearts. Enjoy your long weekend and I will see everyone on Thursday!
We have begun our journey into being a social detective. Two main concepts we have been working on are:
1. Using our "Social Smarts" - This means we think about other people
2. We need to keep our "Brain in the group" - This refers to having our thoughts match the topic of the speaker. I have used examples like being on the carpet in class, looking at the Smartboard, looking and listening to our classroom teacher, thinking about the topic in group. I drew pictures on the white board to show have our thoughts match the topic vs. having daydreams or random thoughts and not listening or thinking about the lesson/words of our teachers.
Michelle Garcia Winner has a line of social tools called Social Thinking. She has a newsletter and loads of books and materials. In the coming weeks my plan is to continue learning how to be a Social Detective and start the Superflex program. This is a cartoon based program that teaches various concepts with characters and great visuals. The possibilities are endless with these programs. I'm so excited!
Stay tuned for more concepts and try using/reviewing the terms at home!
Megan McQuillan is the lower elementary teacher in the ASD program