I love this. Paper fortune teller is a great tool for conversation starters. Templates
available on the site: http://autismteachingstrategies.com/uncategorized/paper-fortune-tellers-social-skills-games-for-children-with-asds-and-other-children-too/.
What a great tool for kids to learn how to continue conversations. Kids love these little paper
On November 7th new classes are beginning. I've done the skit "Grinch" before for Acting Craze but not Reader's Theater. But the kids LOVE it! It's always so hilarious. So anyone who wants to introduce their child to reader's theater, this is the class to do it. To register go to Fayette County Parks and Recreation.
For Acting Craze we are doing "Goldilocks and the Christmas Elves". She wakes up a very vain and sleepy Sleeping Beauty and the catch the Polar Express. There's a lot of dun characters and the kids can really improvise with this skit. This is offered for ages 8-14. You can take the class on Thursdays at 5 at the Kedron through Peachtree City Recreation or on Friday's through Fayette County Parks and Recreation.
Tell your friends. It should be a lot of fun. And as always I am also doing my Friendship Craze class. What's great about my classes through the school year, is if there is an issue your child is having you can let me know so I can incorporate games, role playing etc. to address the issue. Contact me with any questions and hope to see on November 7th or 8th.
The Case for Recess
A friend of mine mentioned that her daughter's class wasn't going out to recess and when she has asked her teacher about it, the teacher made a lot of excuses. We moved from Utah about 10 years ago. My 2 oldest children were in 7th and 9th grade when we moved. In Utah they had 2 or 3 recess's a day. Here in Georgia my youngest child had one right after lunch if there was time and here and there if the teacher felt like it.
More and more the trend has been to get rid of recess. With "No Child Left Behind" there is so much emphasis on learning to pass the test that many teachers and administrators feel there isn't time for recess. Or recess becomes a motivator..a reward for good behavior or something to take away when you misbehave. Sadly the children who probably need recess the most are the ones getting it the least.
Most research clearly shows that recess helps kids academically. Our brains can only handle so much information and then we need a break. Also recess helps kids learn social skills. Another big factor is kids are getting obese! With more and more media choices, and less neighborhood 'kick the can' games, our kids are not getting exercise. Recess is a time to just run around and play..no structure-just having fun.
We freak out that kids are getting more obese...but we take away their recess.
My son has ADHD. In kindergarten he had a hard time finishing his work even though he caused no disruptions in the classroom. The teacher wouldn't let him go out for recess because he hadn't finished his work. At the time I thought he was learning to follow through but years later I regret that I let that teacher get away with that. My son had a learning disability that he was punished for. Out of all kids he probably needed that recess most.
I just read that in some Chicago schools it has been 3 years since the kids had recess but they are reintroducing it. But the kids don't know how to play, so they have instructors. Goodness. We want our kids to work hard but in a society that is obese and stressed maybe one easy solution is recess. The research shows it efinately doesn't hurt.
Learning to Lead and Follow
An important social skill for kids to learn is both learning how to be a leader and a follower. When I have taught lessons on this I will ask the kids "what makes a good leader?'
They will say someone who takes charge. "What makes a good follower?" "Someone who does whatever the leader says."
Kids are shocked when I suggest that a good follower sometimes lets the leader know their opinions and ideas. That it is okay to think differently than the follower. A good leader listens to other people's ideas, and then makes a decision. A good leader serves those who follows him/her. A good follower offers suggestions but once a leader makes a decision follows them unless the follower feels it is ethically against their views.
What are some good ideas to help children learn leadership and following skills?
1. Discuss what makes a good leader or follower.
2. MOTHER MAY I. Fantastic game!
How to play: One player is designated as the mother (boys can be the father). The mother/father stands at one end of the room, and the remaining players line up at the opposite end. Players take turns asking "Mother/Father, may I (movement suggestion)?" The mother/father answers either "Yes, you may" or "No, but you may (another movement suggestion)." Even if the mother/father makes an unfavorable suggestion, such as return to the starting point, the player must perform it.
The rules: Some suggestions of what the players may ask the mother/father include: take (number of) steps/baby steps/giant steps/frog leaps forward.
How to win: Be the first person to reach the mother or father. That person becomes the next mother or father if another round is played.
What else you need to know: The mother/father can reduce the number of steps being asked to take or change the type of steps they make or even tell the player to take that number of steps backward instead.
This is a great game in teaching how to ask our leaders for something, how to negotiate what we want and how to follow. It also helps teh mother/father how to lead. You can change the mother/father to a story leader such as "Dumbledore May I" (from Harry Potter) or "Chiron May I" (from Percy Jackson.)
3. Play Hot/Cold.
Step 1: Choose a Hunter
Choose one player to be the Hunter, and have them leave the room or move away from the group.
I am a mother of 3. I have a passion for helping kids feel comfortable in their 'own skin'.