Social Skills 101
Goalbook makes it easy to develop specific, actionable, effective goals for your students with special needs. After you have created goals for your students, you can find resources and teaching strategies right within the Goalbook site. You can also share your information easily with other teachers and parents.
2 Warm Up
One of the building blocks of solid social skills is the ability to identify emotions in others. This app uses photos of real people of a variety of ages and cultural backgrounds to help students link emotional vocabulary to facial cues. Your students will receive audio feedback and visual encouragement as they touch the face that matches the feeling. Even for older students, this app is a great “warm up” activity for more intensive social skills lessons.
The games and animations in this app help students navigate social situations such as initiating conversations, turn-taking, and interpreting non-verbal cues. Each student can work on the skill area that best suits his or her goals. This app requires a high amount of direction from a teacher or para, which makes it great for the guided practice portion of your lesson/unit.
After practicing the target skill, your students can show what they learned by creating a social story of their own. Students can choose from a variety of settings for their story (in class, on the bus, etc.) and can use images and audio to create their story. The app is simple enough that kids can create their own stories independently, once they know how to navigate the picture choices. Your students can share their social stories with their classmates, and talk about how the story relates to their personal goals.
At the end of the unit, record your data in Goalbook. You can then conference with your students about their progress toward their goals, and make a plan for further instruction. Goalbook also makes it easy to share progress information with other teachers and parents. Developing social skills is an evolving task in special education, so return to Goalbook often to check in on progress and make plans for your students’ ongoing development.