How to Use This Guide
In using this social skills curriculum, the teacher will note that the lesson design for early childhood social skills is based on the philosophy of the SSD ECSE program. To the extent possible, activities should occur within their natural context. Teachers should capitalize on naturally occurring routines (such as snack, outdoor play, etc.) and events in the class to teach developmentally appropriate skills. The following factors should be considered when facilitating the social skills training with young children:
The ECSE teacher will find this manual provides general teaching strategies which can be used as a basis for collaborative planning. For additional information refer to the ECSE section of this guide.
The description of the instructional model for teaching social skills is included for teachers to have the opportunity to continue to refer to and reflect upon the critical teaching behaviors inherent to effective instruction. Each instructional step is described, and a list of key elements of critical teaching behaviors has been provided.
An index was developed to provide staff with a comprehensive list of skills included in this guide. The index is divided into six domains: Initial Social Skills, Skills for Expressing Feelings, Social Relationship Skills, Classroom Skills, Decision-Making and Problem Solving Skills and Conflict Management Skills.
One complete sample lesson for each level (Primary, Intermediate and Secondary) is provided as an example.
A list of suggested age-appropriate activities and roleplay ideas are provided for each social skill.
During roleplay the Roleplay Sheet is used to assist the teacher and students in providing feedback to the student performing the skill (main actor). The teacher completes a sheet and instructs non-acting students to note their observation of process steps completed by the main actor. The Roleplay Sheet facilitates the active participation of all students during roleplay practice.
The domain and specific skill is noted at the top. Main actor names are written across the top as they take turns during roleplay. A suggested key is written at the bottom for teacher convenience, but may be adapted to meet individual needs. Spaces are made large enough to allow students to write within them, or for younger students to draw pictures or rebus symbols to indicate process steps.
Three homework sheet blackline masters are included; one each for Primary, Intermediate, and Secondary levels. They are adapted from the Skillstreaming forms developed by Dr. Arnold Goldstein. Their intended use is to provide the student with practice as they begin to generalize use of the skills and to provide a link to parents.
Once a skill has been taught, students are instructed to fill in the top half of the homework sheet during class. The student identifies the skill and its process steps, and where, when and with whom he/she intends to practice with. After the student applies the skill, he/she completes the form. The student brings the homework sheet to the next social skills class for discussion and feedback.
As an integral part of using the homework sheet, the teacher should instruct students to reflect and self-evaluate their performance.
In order to determine a student's "social skill level", or to determine whether the student has improved his/her social abilities, surveys may be used. A number of survey forms are included. The Comprehensive Student Evaluation form is one way to gain initial information. Student, parent and teacher survey forms can be used to gather more in depth information.
Survey information can be used:
The intent of the Progress Report is to provide a permanent record of social skills taught to a student throughout his/her school years. It is also a method of recording the student's progress in the curriculum. As a part of the student's school/teacher file, a receiving teacher would have information about the student's present level of social functioning and past intervention strategies.
The progress reports are coordinated with the six domains described under the Skills Index section. All skills in each domain are addressed. It is not necessary to fill out all six progress reports for each student. It is left to the teacher's discretion as to which domain would be the most appropriate for his/her class.
The progress report forms provide boxes to indicate at which level the student is functioning for each skill. Three levels are included; the child is able to "imitate" the skill with a model, the child is able to "simulate" the skill independently in a structured environment, the child is able to "apply" the skill in an unstructured environment independently. Record the year the skill is taught in the upper half of the appropriate box. After the skill is taught or at the end of the school year, record the progress made in the lower half of the box, using the key provided. Some skills may need to be taught or reviewed annually.
This curriculum has been cross referenced with the Drug-Free Schools Curriculum to allow teachers to integrate instruction and supplement activities.
Resources and references that are provided include: professional resources and materials, supplemental instructional materials, technological resources and materials, parent resources and materials, and community resources. A brief description and informational data is provided for many of the listed resources.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
How to Use this Guide