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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

New Product :: Social Skills Rubrics

Social Skills Rubrics

These rubrics were designed to help counselors, teachers, social workers, or SLPs keep track of a student’s progress on school success, problem-solving, friendship, feelings, communication, and self-esteem goals. Each individual set includes 7 rubrics in both a teacher and student version (for a total of 14 rubrics + 2 blank ones to customize).

Rubrics are presented in PDF and editable Microsoft Powerpoint Format, so the wording can be customized to fit your students’ ability levels and needs. Also, you can use Powerpoint’s printing settings to print multiple rubrics per page. Great for when you have multiple students working on the same goal!

If you'd like to save a little money, you can download the Complete Social Skills Rubric Pack for a discount! It includes 42 rubrics in both a teacher and student version (for a total of 84 rubrics + 2 blank ones to customize). The following skills are included:

Enjoy :)

School Success Social Skills Rubrics

School Success Skills
- Following Directions
- Work Completion
- Remaining On-Task
- Asking Questions
- Being Prepared
- Attendance
- Following School Rules

Problem Solving Social Skills RubricsProblem-Solving Skills
- Debugging
- Tattling and Reporting
- Compromise
- Point of View
- Fact and Opinion
- Dealing with Disagreements
- Dealing with Gossip

Friendship Social Skills Rubrics

Friendship Skills
- Choosing Friends
- Feeling Left Out
- Being a Good Sport
- Apologizing
- Taking Turns
- Giving a Compliment
- Accepting a Compliment

Feelings Social Skills Rubrics

Feelings Skills
- Feelings Identification
- Reading Body Language
- Responding to Negative Emotions
- Feelings Demonstration
- Expressing Feelings
- Dealing with Anger or Frustration
- Dealing with Anxiety

Communication Social Skills Rubrics

Communication Skills
- Introducing
- Having a Conversation
- Talking on Topic
- Interrupting
- Conversation Body Language
- Personal Space
- Mental Filtering

Self-Esteem Social Skills Rubrics

Self-Esteem Skills - some skills offered as a freebie
- Positive Self-Talk
- Goal Setting
- Understanding Strengths
- Dealing with Peer Pressure
- Dealing with Mistakes
- Self-Reflection (Complete Pack only - not in freebie)
- Working in a Group (Complete Pack only - not in freebie)


Monday, March 24, 2014

Inspiration :: Thank Goodness for SLPs!

In our building, we are SUPER fortunate to have 3 amazing speech-language pathologists. While this may seem like a luxury to many districts who don't even have 1 whole SLP to themselves, our ladies still stay extremely busy! Our building is primary low-income, so a lot of our students need language interventions (wait, you mean they're not just "speech" teachers!?)

Most days, I don't know what I would do without our SLPs! Sometimes being a social worker in a school can make me feel like an outsider, but these ladies know exactly what it's like to balance caseloads, IEP meetings, and medicaid billing, on top of the "usual" school duties. The other day, one of them posted this article to her Facebook. I thought it hit the nail on the head in terms of what working with SLPs is like and thought I 'd share it with you all. Hopefully it'll bring a smile to your face!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pinterest Find :: Toys for Vestibular Development

Toys for Vestibular Development

The other day, I came across this awesome blog post from The Inspired Treehouse. Now, I'm most definitely not an Occupational Therapist, but I feel like sometimes teachers come to me thinking that I am! It's probably because our poor OT friends are often stretched so thin and across so many buildings that they aren't always around every time a teacher has a question. That being said, I try to at least have SOME idea of some strategies I can recommend for teachers to try until I can consult with our OT and make sure I'm not just making things up!

Which is why I was very excited when I found this post discussing the best toys for helping kids develop their Vestibular System! At our school, we have several students with Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, or other sensory difficulties. One of major areas they need extra support is with movement (usually needing more of it!). This post is actually written by OT's (which means they know significantly more than I can pretend to know!). It's one I bookmarked right away and will refer teachers to next time I have a question about a movement-seeking kiddo.

Check it out here!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

New Product :: Positive Thinking Cards

Positive Thinking Cards

I admit I've been a little slow rolling out new products recently. My husband and I are expecting our first child in a couple weeks, so time has been diverted to assembling furniture, washing miniature socks, finding miniature socks ones they get lost in the washer, etc!

However, I've been thinking about this product for awhile and have had a few people requesting it, so I really wanted to make sure to get it out before the baby gets here. So, here it is!

This deck was designed to help students learn how to change negative thoughts into positive ones. It’s helpful for students who struggle with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, or other mental health issues. Many times, the root of these issues is in a student's difficulty looking at a situation objectively or in a positive light - everything is bad or reflects poorly on them in some way. Most times, students don't even know they're doing it, so if we can focus their attention on their own thoughts, we can help them move past the negative feelings they experience.

The download includes 2 separate decks – a version for older students and a version for younger students – as well as an ink-friendly version of each deck! Blank cards are also included so you can customize your own. I've made something similar that I use with my students and what I like to do is to laminate the blank cards and have students come up with their own negative and positive thoughts. They're really good at it!

Positive Thinking Cards


Monday, March 10, 2014

Quote :: Being a Rebel

Steve Jobs Quote

I've written a post before about how to help kids who break the mold - who don't fit in and who fight the way that things are "supposed to be." Call them stubborn, headstrong, spirited, whatever you want. Regardless of the term, these kids have the potential to make working in a school exhausting! Yet these are the very kids who have the potential to take what we know as a human race and stretch the boundaries. These are the visionaries, the trail-blazers, the innovators.

As a kid, my parents would both tell you that I was a troublemaker. They recently gave me some letters I had written to Santa as a child and rather than give the traditional, "For Christmas I want..." list, I instead interrogated him as to how he could possibly make it to all the houses in one night, how millions of toys could fit into one sled, and whether or not Rudolph existed. Why couldn't I just accept that a jolly man in a red suit could deliver presents to all the good boys and girls like every adult had told me?

Yet despite the headaches I undoubtedly caused my parents as a child, many of those same characteristics have helped me to serve my students. Whether it's fighting for or against a special education placement for a student because I truly believed it to be in their best interest, or questioning why we have to treat a student "the same as we've always treated other students like them," working in schools can be messy. And what our kids need isn't a world of "yes ma'am," "go-with-the-flow" people. What they need are advocates, champions, and strong examples of confident adults.

It's a great reminder for us as we think about working with our more challenging students.
"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do."

- Steve Jobs

Monday, March 3, 2014

New Product :: Summer 1 Backgrounds & Alphabets

Summer 1 Backgrounds

If you've been looking for a way to spice up some of your TeachersPayTeachers or homemade classroom activities, check out my new Summer Digital Background Pack!  It includes 30 different 12" x 12" backgrounds in PNG format, so they can be scaled to fit any sized project. And because you're all awesome, loyal blog readers, you can get 2 of them for free!

Diagonal Stripes

Yellow Circles


Another thing I've been playing around with is designing clipart letters. I wanted some letters to match all the backgrounds for new products, but also that could be used for bulletin boards. So, here they are!

Summer 1 Alphabets

It contains 10 different patterned alphabets, for a total of 260 letters. Each letter is a 6" x 6" png. Here's one of the alphabets for free! Just click the "A" below to download the entire alphabet as a .zip file! After you're taken to Google Drive, just click "file" --> "download" and you're good to go! For the rest of the alphabets, click the image above!