Monday, February 18, 2013

Social Skills Cards and Behavior Management

My Social Skills Reminder Cards are flying off the shelves! Well if TPT had shelves that is! I was thinking about making a second set of reminder cards. There are currently 30 cards in the set and I'd like to create about 30 more. What skills/topics would you like to see? Is there something I left out of my first set that you'd really like added to your collection? I'd love to hear any suggestions you may have! You can also email me at teacherlisasclass@gmail.com

Behavior Management is a tricky thing in the classroom. What works for some kids, does not work for all of them. This is especially true in special education! I have tested, used, and experimented more strategies than I can count! I thought I'd put together a quick list for you. I honestly pick and choose from each system and use all my favorite parts of each one.
Resource Room Rules
I was reading a post on Jacqui's blog, Resource Room Rules,  and it got me thinking. Behavior is something that needs to be approached from many angles. Special education has taught me that every behavior a child exhibits has a purpose. Resolve the problem by giving the students a better way to react to problems.

Start with one consistent behavior system with rewards and consequences. I use a colored chart with velcro, many teachers have similar systems with clips. This is a school-wide system that I did not create, although I did some serious tweaking to make it work for my little guys! I teach at a K-12 school, so what makes sense for a high school system doesn't always work for the little guys.
Small version for consistency at home

Class Chart

I also use a point sheet. Every kid gets a point sheet every day. The kids get up to 6 points for each section of the chart: following directions, personal space, appropriate words/noises, respecting school community, staying on task, and stay in assigned area. I connect this to the color chart. All the points in a section = stay on blue or move up. Each point lost is a drop down on the level chart (with allowance for minor infractions). Then there are instant level drops to red for things like hitting.
At the bottom of the chart are personal goals for each kid. These allow kids to become aware of specific things they struggle with, but I don't punish them. For example, one kid had "think with your eyes" as a goal because the student has autism and wouldn't look toward people during conversations.

This helps with a lot of behaviors in the classroom, but not all of them. Then it's time to get down to business of how and why we need to behave a certain way. Links for many of these topics can be found in the tab labeled "Resource for Parents & Teachers" at the top of my blog. There are also more detailed descriptions of the resources.


Social Thinking- Michelle Garcia Winner is AMAZING! It helps kids identify different ways they may act in situations using SuperFlex and the Unthinkables.


Nurtured Heart- I prefer to call this "kill them with kindness." Make the classroom fun and full of praise and complements so kids want to stay part of the group. even when a kid is making a bad choice you praise something (anything) that they are doing right. Then guide them to a positive choice. So a kid is off task but has their name on their paper? Say "Wow! I love how you're sitting quietly and already have your name on your paper. I can't wait to see how well you do on your assignment!" So you're secretly telling them to get to work, but not in a way they feel like they're being told what to do.


Zones of Regulation- This helps kids name their feelings and find acceptable ways of releasing emotional tension and calm down. My kids earn "tool cards" for using a tool to calm down appropriately. My kids use this so well that they are able to identify what zone a peer is in, then decide if it's a good time to try to talk to them. I also use the zones when the kids are starting to drive me crazy. I'll tell them they are "putting me in the yellow zone because their interruptions are making me feel frustrated when I can't finish my sentence." I'll also fake it and use a tool like belly breathing to "calm myself down."


Lastly, Kari the speech teacher and I came up with our opposite of Michelle Garcia Winner's Unthinkables. We wanted a positive behavior to aim for. We came up with Focused Fred and Independent Iggy for the kids who are easily distracted and the kids who ask for help they don't need. These are both freebies in my TPT store if you want the charts.
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