This week we had a game day on Monday. The kindergarteners worked on different ways to represent numbers. This was an area all of them had a hard time with so we used white boards to practice in isolation. We tried tally marks, creating dice and writing numbers. On Tuesday each group went on a social detective hunt around the building. We used our eyes, ears and brains to connect what we were referencing. Our eyes and ears give our brains information that we can use to infer, just like when we read. The kids did a nice job with this and it was fun to go around the building and watch what other classes and staffers were up to. The rest of the week we took a break from Social Detective to focus on hygiene. As it gets warmer out (any day now, mother nature) the kids will really be sweating and having fun, we are learning how we can take care of our bodies so others do not have uncomfortable thoughts about us. There are plenty of obstacles our kids face and keeping a clean appearance is one within our control. Please continue to encourage good hygiene habits. This promotes independence and good health! Next week, we will talk about bathing and noticing our clean health. Don't forget to wear blue next Wednesday!!
Becoming Social Detectives continues! We continued our comparison of expected and unexpected behaviors in the book and learned about how being unexpected makes others feel frustrated. Having actions and words that are unexpected can make people uncomfortable and have frustrated hearts and thoughts. We demonstrated and modeled what it would feel like to have others say different phrases that show their frustration with us and the kids didn't like it. That's good! That means they care about how others view them. We talked about how our eyes, ears, and brains give us information about other people. All of the kids finished up some report card assessments and work they needed to complete from their classrooms. It was a busy, but very productive week! Finally, for some St. Patrick's day fun we colored a rainbow that asked about ourselves and practiced asking other people about their responses.
As we have been learning about how to be expected, we also learned how that makes others feel (and think) about us. The Social Detective book continued to teach us what that looks, sounds, and feels like. When we act expected our bodies are calm, our voices are calm and kind and our faces appear happy and calm. The cartoons showed how acting that way for one character made the other characters have good, positive thoughts about her. After reading that section I inserted each child's name and we talked about how great that would feel to have classmates and friends have those same thoughts about them. It made each child smile to imagine other kids saying those kind thoughts about them.
As we prepare for report cards I also assessed some of the line items. One of the days we had a game day as I pulled kids to work with. The kids from Mrs. Gerber's class came over again and played. Next week, we will continue our work as Social Detectives!
This week we started off with a game day. The first and second graders played with some peers from Mrs. Gerber's class and worked on social communication skills along with turn taking, winning and losing, and keeping our brains in the group. Kindergarteners worked on the same skills among themselves in group with staff support. Then we did an expected/unexpected sort sort of like the picture to the left. We glued behaviors into the correct piles and talked about what they may look like in school. The kids did a great job and really showed that they "got" the concept. Friday, we ended the week with some literacy and technology activities on our Tap-It (which is our giant portable Smartboard we have in the room). We watched some books on Youtube.. First we watched Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and colored and created a tree with letter stickers. We also watched No, David! and Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. It was a fun
This week we finished up our work on synergizing. We talked about working alone vs. working as a team and remembered that synergize means "together is better". I tied in how synergizing with others is like using our social smarts. We reviewed what that means: thinking about other people. The first and second graders took notes in their social detective notebooks about having our bodies and eyes in the group. That has to do with looking at the speaker and staying in proximity to the group and speaker. We talked and modeled both good and bad ways of these skills. Mrs. Szalay joined in and we modeled and role played giving each other personal space while still being in the group. We stood on construction paper and had to decide how close was just right. The kids were able to move their papers near and far to decide for themselves what felt just right. The kindergarten kids worked on expected and unexpected behaviors. We listed expected behaviors in the classroom and with peers. We talked about how being expected makes others have happy or good thoughts about you and unexpected behaviors tend to make others have unhappy or bad thoughts about you. That was a tricky concept, but this will be continued all year. Prompting and cueing not only what is expected/unexpected, but also using a wh quesion or how to make them think about how their actions impact others. Whew! That is hard stuff. Once kids have a good grasp on emotions and themselves (which is all being learned in the early years) they can move out of themselves and into thinking of other people---social smarts. If you have used the language or incorporated it at home or in the community, please share with us! In both groups we continued to read from the Social Detective book.
Megan McQuillan is the lower elementary teacher in the ASD program