Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Teaching Social Skills

Many times teachers are expected to teach their students social skills. I am not saying it is fair or right but unfortunately we are put in the position to teach our students these skills. Sometimes I’m able to incorporate reading into the lesson and sometimes the students learn some history about social skills from earlier times which they find interesting.

Here are some skills that I have taught in my class.
 "Manners" & positive interaction with others
-approaching others in social acceptable ways
-how to asking for permission
-how to make friends and how to be a good friend
-sharing toys/materials
 Appropriate classroom behavior
-work habits/academic survival skills
-attending to task
-following directions
-seeking attention properly
-accepting the consequences of one's behavior
 Better ways to handle frustration/anger
-counting to 10 before reacting
-positive pep talks to yourself
-reflecting on your behavior and your feelings through writing
 Acceptable ways to resolve conflict with others
-using words instead of physical contact
-seeking the assistance of the teacher

These are some strategies I use to teach these skills.
 Put students in small groups. Small groups give students a chance to observe others, practice with peers, and receive feedback.
 Close the classroom door and turn off TV and radios to remove distractions.
 Explain the lesson and how it will benefit them (this may help them obtain and keep a job, result in less trouble with teachers/parents, impress their boyfriend's/girlfriend's parents when they meet them, be able to convince the police to let them go when stopped).
 Identify expectations of behaviors by all students
 Tell them what behavior is being taught or practiced in this lesson
 Show them by modeling this behavior with another student or adult.
 With the steps provided on a handout, have them:
-discuss when the behavior could be used
-role play showing the right and wrong way to handle the situation using the skill.
 Provide feedback (with lots of encouragement and specific praise)
 Practice, practice, practice through homework assignments, review sessions, assignment
to real life settings, and surprise "tests"
 Encourage parents and family members to help your students practice at home.

1 comment:

Sandra said...

I am shaking my head. So many expect teachers to teach social skills, and it's just not fair. School would be so much more effective if parents would send their kids with the requisite social skills.

Kudos for handling this additional duty with grace and determination.