Group Social Skills Instruction
Group social skills instruction can take place schoolwide and classwide (tier 1) or in targeted small groups (tier 2). There are many ways to embed group instruction into the everyday structure already in place in the school environment.
Schoolwide and Classwide Social Skills Instruction
Schoolwide and classwide social skills instruction provides the foundation for addressing basic skill deficits. It is extremely important (and often overlooked) that behavioral expectations at this level need to be clearly defined and taught. Many times educators will say, "Oh yes, we teach the rules. We have them posted in the school and the classroom."
Simply posting rules is not the same as teaching the expected skills, however. It is important to schedule time for teaching the expected behaviors to all students and practicing them regularly rather than simply hoping that it will just happen. When you walk into your classroom on the first day of school, assume that none of your students know how to behave appropriately in a school environment, and have a plan for embedding social skills instruction into your school day.1
Holding class meetings is an effective way to embed social skills instruction classwide and involve students in a democratic problem-solving process. Class meetings serve as a forum for students and teachers to discuss issues, set goals, and participate in peaceful conflict resolution. Class meetings should be held regularly (ideally at least once a week), and not only when problems arise. Teachers need to provide structure for class meetings, determining who can request one and when they will be scheduled. Some teachers allow class meetings to be called by anyone at any time and any place, and others have certain days and times they are regularly scheduled. It is important that the topic of the meeting is determined at the beginning and that the meeting stays on topic.2
Daily lessons should always have at least two main objectives—one academic and one social. For example, at the beginning of a math lesson on division, the teacher may describe to students how to appropriately get her attention by raising a hand before calling out, discuss why this is important, and practice this skill by doing a brief role play. During the lesson the teacher can give specific verbal feedback to students who are and are not exhibiting this skill, and at the end of the lesson she can provide reinforcement to those who have successfully exhibited this skill.
- Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Child Development Theories
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Social Cognitive Theory
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- GED Math Practice Test 1
- The Homework Debate
- Problems With Standardized Testing