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Huey Ooey Gooey

Tammi Jordan's picture

All schools funtion as a collective brain.  Each classroom is a box and the students as well as the teacher are boxes within the box.  In order for the brain/school to function we must somehow make all of the instruments play the same song. The trick is to get it to the point where you can play it again tomorrow. 


The brain is a complex organism.  We will explore it this year in order to better understand ourselves.

What makes us unique is our I-Function which is our emotions.  Reading emotions and responding to them appropriately may help to manage individual behavior. 

The following links are activities that test you on identifying emotions. 

Cross your arms across your chest.  Notice how one arm goes over the other with it's hand tucked under it's biceps (upper arm).  At the same time, the hand of the lower arm has it's hand resting on top of the biceps of the other limb.  OK, now switch the position of the arms so that the one that was on the bottom is now on the top (and vice versa).  All right.  It took you awhile, but you were able to do it.  Feel a bit uncomfortable and odd?  Now, uncross the arms and fold them again in the new way.  Again.   And again.  In fact, for the rest of your life, do it this new way.  Don't ever make a mistake or revert to the old way.

    Think that'll be difficult? Yep.  Now imagine what we are asking our socially unskilled kids to do.  We're expecting them to immediately change a behavior that is indelibly etched into their brains, feels "comfortable", and has been "assigned" to them by others who have labeled them as the type of person who "does that thing".  Kids who display the wrong behaviors as they interact with others will have a long and arduous path to travel as they work to change to a "better way".  Thank goodness they have a patient and supportive teacher like you.



Tammi Jordan's picture

Social Skills

What Exactly Is Social Skills Training?
    If our kids don't have 'em, we've got to teach 'em.  "Social skills training" is a general term for instruction conducted in (behavioral) areas that promotes more productive/positive interaction with others.  We teach social skills to students who are (at present) socially unskilled in order to promote acceptance by teachers (and other adults) and peers.  A social skills training program might include (among other things):

1. "Manners" & positive interaction with others
   -approaching others in social acceptable ways
    -how to asking for permission rather than acting impulsively
    -how to make and keep friends
    -sharing toys/materials

2. Appropriate classroom behavior
     -work habits/academic survival skills
        -attending to task
        -following directions
        -seeking attention properly
        -accepting the consequences of one's behavior

3. Better ways to handle frustration/anger
        -counting to 10 before reacting
        -distracting oneself to a pleasurable task
        -learning an internal dialog to cool oneself down and reflect upon the best course of action
4. Acceptable ways to resolve conflict with others
        -using words instead of physical contact
        -seeking the assistance of the teacher or conflict resolution team

Examples of Social Skills for Pre-Schoolers

1. Skills that will help in later instruction (example: listening skills)

2. Skills that enhance success in school/daycare settings (example: asking a question)

3. How to make and keep friends (examples: asking for something, asking others to play)

4. Feelings:
    -awareness of own and other's feelings (Called "Theory of mind"...being able to predict how
                others might feel in a situation, understanding that others might not feel as you do)
    -coping with negative feelings

5. Positive, non-aggressive choices when faced with conflict

6. Dealing with stress:
   -what to do when you make mistakes
    -handling teasing and taunting