Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Big Problems, Little Glitches---customized books you can make

I feel this blog is a sequential set of chapters---often one post builds on another, and then a third post comes along.  To really appreciate this post you have to review a bit:

Chapter 1:   Problem Meter  Check this post out to get an explanation and illustration of a visual problem meter based on concepts from Michelle Garcia Winner's Social Thinking book.

Chapter 2:  Download a feelings book template you can customize for your kids.
                 Check out this post.  Your students can help create a time they feel 'happy' page, 'sad', 'frustrated', and so on.  I've put a template for this in Google templates, along with sample completed pages for you all to look at.

Chapter 3:  Paying it forward----My offer to some of you.

Chapter 4:  Several of you have responded to the 'Paying it Forward' offer!!! I chose this project from the responses and it involves building on what I already know.  A reader wanted a variety of tools to use with middle schoolers who need to learn concepts from Michelle Garcia Winner's curriculum.  Although the reader mentioned about six social thinking concepts, I decided to focus on one----the big problem, little problem concept.  If you read Chapter 1 above, you will know what this is referring to.  The tricky part is to gear the materials for older students---less Boardmaker, and no child-like cartoons.

      My reader wrote: "I am getting a bit discouraged. I purchase materials that are posted as being appropriate for middle school students (from TPT). Then I look @ them and they are really geared toward a  WAY lower group of abilities."

title page
  My offer to my reader is to suggest that the students help make a customized problem meter book, complete with photos of them showing different degrees of emotions, and with their own written examples of which of their real life problems match the numbers on the problem meter scale.  It's a bit labor intensive, but the end result is a book they can refer back to, read to their parents and teachers, and build on.
      If the students can write, they can write in their own examples,  If they can draw, they can illustrate.  If they need to, they can dictate.  SLPs or teachers can help find images for the student examples to illustrate, if drawing is not an option.  This can be done in a small classroom with the kids, or one-on-one.  You may need to have a digital camera and know how to insert pictures into Google docs.  Let me know if you need a tutorial.

My example---you and your student customize the template

My example---you and your student customize the template

For social thinking materials, I find that more personalized, and more interactive for kids works best (even if it does take more time).  There is nothing wrong with taking a month to work on this (my opinion).

I am on vacation right now, but will try this out on my kids in January.

Click here to download the sample book to view---but download the template below to really customize

Click here to get the Problem Meter Book template to create your own!!!

Now it's time to dance in the streets. A new year is coming soon!  Check this out!


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