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Social Skills

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by elgileu2, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. Anyone got any ideas on how to teach social skills to a group of 4 boys in year 4?
    Any advice or ideas appreciated
  2. It depends what particular social skills you are trying to teach. Have all four children got the same needs?
    All TAs in our school have been given training to provide social skills sessions and we generally start by looking at teaching only one skill at a time. For instance Listening, co-operating, managing emotions, empathy, turn taking etc. Most of our activities are simple games or short fun activities, nothing to formal.
    For instance when teaching improved cooperation we might play some board games or set up challenges - Building a group lego model but giving each child a set of pieces and having them take turns. We have also played games like Musical Chairs,Snakes and Ladders etc or gone outside and worked together to build a den. We are very fortunate to have a complete set of Social Skills books. The one we use most is
    101 Games for Social Skills
    by Jenny Mosley, Helen Sonnet and Rebecca Barnes
    Your school may have some books on Circle Time activities to be used in PSHE lessons and we will often use some of those games in Social Skills sessions.
    I would ask your teacher to be very specific about what skills they wish to teach your group and then work through them one at a time. At your initial session ask the children to decide on some rules to make the sessions run well. If you have any behavioural issues you can then remind the children of their rules.
    We have as a TA team built up a Social Skills folder into which we put all our planning and any games or activities. Do any of your colleagues have some ideas that they have used successfully. We were advised to think about what we are trying to teach and to be creative about the activities. There isn't a hard and fast rule about the activity so long as you focus on your objective.You could also talk to your SENCO for further ideas.
    We always teach social skills in a group of no more than six children and we were advised to have within that group at least one or two children to act as good role models for the behaviour you are trying to teach. If you try to teach a group of children all with similar difficulties they will not be able to observe the good behaviour that they are trying to learn.So if you are teaching good listening add some children into the group who are good listeners. At the beginning of the session make your objectives clear 'Today we are going to be learning how to listen well'. At the end of the session talk about whether the children feel that they met these objectives.
    Sorry if I haven't given specific activities. If I knew what your focus was I could offer some ideas.
    Social skills sessions should provide fun activities to assist the children's social development. The children in our school love social skills sessions as they think that they are playing.
    Finally lots of praise for any positive behaviours that you observe.
  3. Thanks this advice is brilliant. Sorry i can't be more specific but it was only mentioned briefly last week so i need to sit down with my teacher and discuss in more detail.
    Like the idea of building up a social skills folder. Even if i keep it just for me!
    Thanks again - i'm very grateful

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