Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Want To Start A Social Skills Group?

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are included for your convenience.

There are several resources on Michelle Garcia Winner's website, so click here to be taken there. I am following bits and pieces of her programs, along with tailoring the group to the needs of these particular students. 

This year, I decided to hold a lunchtime social skills group (sometimes called a "lunch bunch") for a couple of my 5th graders who need some social skill training. While I haven't done this before (for various reasons), I thought I would get my feet wet this year and see how it goes. Benefits are two-fold: the students get to work on social skills and they don't miss academic time because it's during lunch.

First, I touched base with the parents to let them know a little bit about the group and what it would entail. 

Second, I went to let the students know what day they would be joining be for lunch. They were excited, which was great.

Third, I decided to start with Michelle Garcia Winner's You Are A Social Detective. These particular students have pretty good language skills, but sometimes struggle with the social aspect of the classroom. I printed a simple outline of a brain and we wrote down what kinds of "smarts" we have. I didn't spend too much on this concept, as they seemed to catch on quickly.  

We then talked about the "think vs. say" concept. They could provide examples of times when we should think things vs. times when we can say things. We spent a whole session on this concept. I provided the topic, like "birthday party" and we made a list of things you should think and things you should say. 

It depends on your group, but we then moved onto the Superflex book because they picked up on concepts quickly. They LOVE the superhero aspect of Superflex. I'm picking and choosing some lessons from this book based on what I feel they need to work on. The big themes for this group are: think vs. say, understanding body language, and discussing a non-preferred topic. 

These tools are great way to start up a social skills group! Try it out!

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