By Tricia Blumenfeld and Sarenne Sutton, Upper School Language Therapists
Last summer, we collaborated to brainstorm and create lessons, mini-lessons, and graphic organizers to be used as supports during advisory time in the upper school. Our finished product includes activities that can easily be tailored to meet the needs of each individual advisory. Our goal was to provide advisors with easy to implement techniques and lessons to help improve executive functioning skills and Social Thinking understanding for each student.
Executive functioning supports: we developed a questionnaire to help advisors and teachers assess each student’s degree of understanding of what it means to study. We wrote a step by step guide to creating a study plan and worksheet to instruct how to stick to the plan, a graphic organizer for organizing time and assignments in study hall, a lesson on how to formulate possible test questions with a practice activity, and a graphic organizer for long term assignment planning.
Social Thinking: we organized the Social Thinking materials into specific lessons, activities, and resources targeting body language use and interpretation, staying on topic, and a modified version of a game, “Should I or Shouldn’t I?”, which focuses on increasing awareness of behavior and perception of others. All lessons are differentiated in terms of the levels of support given. Maximal support in terms of vocabulary review and step-by-step instructions for students and advisors is provided; however, advisors are free to modify as needed.
This is an ongoing project and we expect to create more lessons based on specific feedback we receive from advisors throughout the school year. We can’t thank the PA enough for providing us with the opportunity to complete this project. We are excited to implement our work and greatly appreciate working at a school where the PA supports the growth, thought, and ideas of the teachers.