This past week we have narrowed down our social skill books and will vote on the final four for our bracket challenge.
For two weeks we have been working on the Superflex character Rock Brain. Rock Brain is one of the Unthinkables (characters that prevent positive social behaviors) that gets us stuck in our own thoughts and behaviors. Rock Brain tells you to be rigid, perseverate, and can get us into trouble with friends, teachers, and parents. We even made our own rock brains as we reviewed what being flexible and rigid was all about. We continued our book reading and book bracket voting as well. The Feelings Book and Interrupting Chicken were this weeks winners. We also went to see Basketball Jones, a motivational speaker who encouraged positive self-talk, believing in ourselves and others, perseverance, and hard work, which leads to positive outcomes. It was one of the best speakers I have ever experienced as a teacher and student. The kids were engaged and had fun. I will post some pictures next week in our photos tab. Our second graders were chosen as volunteers and that was totally cool!! We also focused on the Hidden Curriculum with personal space. The video shows the importance of leaving an arms length for comfort. We explored our own comfort levels with personal space with Mrs. Szalay. Next week, brackets continue! Have a great weekend!
This week we continued our reading and we voted for 2 books in our March brackets. As we go along I will take a picture of how the brackets look and show who is moving forward. We read the books, "The Way I Feel", "Moody Cow Meditates", and "Bear Feels Scared". Those books are read in group and then we vote on two (the reading started last week with "When Sophie Gets Angry..."). For each book I have been stopping on almost every page and using it as a way to retell the story, ask WH questions, and make connections to our own lives. Last week I introduced the concept of the Hidden Curriculum. Ann took this idea and made a new tab on our site under resources. The two videos we have watched about nose picking and farting are posted. Yes, we talked about both of those things at length. We laughed, we were unexpected and expected and role played different scenarios. The unwritten rules about both are that they can occur, but need to occur in private. Tuesday I was able to present to some general education teachers in the district about autism and strategies to use in the classroom. Friday I had a guest teacher as I went to the Michigan Council for Exceptional Children state conference in Grand Rapids. For those of you who remember Chris Rans, our former autism consultant, we presented alongside our MHS teacher for autism, Sabra Evans, about programming for students with autism at the various school levels. The keynote speaker was Temple Grandin, so we were pretty excited to have the opportunity to go. The kids had a great week and so did I!
Megan McQuillan is the lower elementary teacher in the ASD program