Welcome back friends! Thanks for stopping in! I can't wait to talk to you about one of my favorite classroom management techniques...Classroom Social Stories! My students LOVE, LOVE, LOVE classroom social stories! They cannot get enough of them, which is a win, win for me, because I get their full attention while I am teaching them all about the ins and outs of classroom behavior, manners, safety, and community!
What are Social Stories anyway?For those of you who are new to social stories, let me bring you up to speed. Social Stories were originally developed in order to support individuals with autism. The idea was to provide a more personalized and tailored behavioral intervention to help them better cope with social situations.
Social stories are used to help teach students routines, expectations, and behavioral standards in an alternative way. Social stories present information in a story format with visual examples of behavior expectations to reinforce correct behavior and to help involve students in the learning process.
Who can benefit from Social Stories?So, who can benefit from the use of social stories? Well, often times, social stories are only used in Special Education classrooms or with Special Education students because this is the population they were originally geared toward. But the more I thought about the students who could benefit from this type of presentation of information, I thought, couldn't these social stories benefit EVERY child. Seriously...think about it...Social stories are PERFECT for...
- students on the autism spectrum
- students with ADHD/ADD
- students with anxiety disorders
- students with sensory issues
- students who lack social skills
- students who take longer to grasp things like routines and expectations
So, that is when I decided...EUREKA! this could be the secret ingredient I was looking for, to make all my classroom management wishes come true! I have created Classroom Social Stories to go along with the day-to-day situations and events that we face in our regular classroom. The best part is...they can't come back later and say, "I didn't know that rule." or "You never told me that." or "I never heard that before." AH HAH!!!! We know for sure you heard it before, because it is right here in this book! (That we have read as a class 600 times!- but I will get to that part!) Holding students accountable has never been easier!
Ok, so let me tell you how we go about using our Classroom Social Stories in a way that helps everyone succeed. When I first introduce each story, I do it as a whole class read aloud. As we read we stop and discuss what is going on in the story and the pictures. (I am still old school, and prefer to hold the book to do the read aloud, but my social stories can also be projected onto the whiteboard or SmartBoard to be read as well.) After our first initial reading, we do many, many repeated readings of the book! The repeated readings are key here, because that is what helps the students A-understand the importance of the topic and B-retain what they have heard.
I also print out extra copies of pages that are of particular importance to the concept being taught in the story so that we can use them as "behavioral focus cards" for individual students or even as an entire class.
Above is an example of focus cards that I needed to pull out for my class this past year from the classroom social story Do I Really Need To Go To The Nurse? I had several students who were "frequent flyers" to the Nurse's office so I kept these focus cards out on the board to be discussed during morning meeting and as the individual needs arose.(i.e."Are you sure you need to go to the nurse? Do you have something that is hurting or bothering you like this boy in the picture?")
If, after repeated readings as a whole class, a student or group of students is still struggling with the behavioral concept being taught, I provide those students with individual copies of the story (either full sized or reduced size), and encourage them to reread and review the story when a refresher of that particular social skill is needed. The rereading and review can be done any number of ways- independently, in a reading "skills" group, with an Aide, with a peer, with the Principal (Uh-Oh!), and even at home with the parents.
*As a side note here, my Principal has an entire basket full of my social stories in her office so that she can use them to read to little ones when they are sent in with social skill issues.We keep all our classroom social stories in baskets in our library so that the students can reread them at their leisure...AND DO THEY EVER! These are the most used baskets in my library!
Once you have covered the skill being taught in the social story, you can even use the pages in a bulletin board display to refer back to as needed.
Now is the fun part! Let me tell you about the Classroom Social Stories we have in our classroom, and all the different situations they can cover!
Back To School Classroom Social Stories:
The students cannot wait to try to replicate the good behaviors they see the students in the books doing. Below are some example pages from a few of the social stories in the Back To School Classroom Social Story Bundle.
Another great use for social stories in the classroom is to explain safety procedures in and around the classroom. Social stories are fantastic for explaining safety procedures! These are the safety procedures covered with our School Safety Classroom Social Stories:
Safety drills can often be overwhelming and scary for little ones, but by teaching about the procedures through social stories, the students feel much more at ease and prepared. Especially because they are able to see the children in the stories going through the procedures first, so they are able to broaden their mindset about the upcoming situations. Below are some example pages from a few of the social stories in the School Safety Classroom Social Story Bundle.
I have found social stories to be a great way to prepare students for special events! We all know that just the hint of a special event in the future can cause chaos in even the best behaved classrooms. So getting your students fully prepared for said events is an absolute must! These are the special events covered with our Special Event Classroom Social Stories:
I don't know about you, but I want to give my students every opportunity to get these situations right...especially since many of them take place in front of other people...NO THANK YOU with the complete and total LUNATIC BEHAVIORS in public! Below are some example pages from a few of the social stories in the Special Event Classroom Social Story Bundle.
Social stories are also great for teaching students about making good choices! These are the classroom situations covered in our Good Choices Classroom Social Stories:
There are so many situations our students encounter every day that come down to either making a good choice or making a bad choice...shouting out in class, getting up 1,000 times to get a tissue, getting frustrated with work instead of asking for help... Many times they make the bad choice because they don't know what the good choice options are. These social stories provide students with examples of ways to make good choices instead of bad. Below are some example pages from a few of the social stories in the Good Choices Classroom Social Story Bundle.
excellent for explaining to students about cooperation! These are the classroom situations covered in our Cooperation Classroom Social Stories:
Many students coming to school today lack the social skills necessary to deal with much of the day to day business that takes place in the classroom. It is unfortunate, but it is true. Because of that, it is up to us as teachers to provide them with the tools they need to get along in social situations. Below are some example pages from a few of the social stories in the Cooperation Classroom Social Story Bundle.
Social stories can be a concrete way to teach students about getting along! So many times kids will say, "no one will play with me," and they have no idea what they are doing to in fact hinder the interaction with others. These are the classroom situations covered in our Getting Along Classroom Social Stories:
Below are some example pages from a few of the social stories in the Getting Along Classroom Social Story Bundle.
I love using social stories in my classroom to motivate students to do better academically! Social stories are a great way to motivate students to use their best academic abilities! These are the classroom situations covered in our Academic Ability Classroom Social Stories:
When the students see kids in the story going through the same situations they are...it is like a light bulb goes off in their heads! Suddenly they have the strength and the will to try to do better. Below are some example pages from a few of the social stories in the Academic Ability Classroom Social Story Bundle.
This last group of social stories is a must for making kids with slight differences feel comfortable, safe, and included in the classroom. Social stories are excellent for explaining to students about differences! Over the years I have been blessed to have a diverse population of learners. Each group is unique, and I make it my purpose to make each group feel like they are the perfect group for me! Along with diversity comes a responsibility to foster understanding and acceptance of differences. These are the classroom situations covered in our Differences Classroom Social Stories:
Below are some example pages from a few of the social stories in the Differences Classroom Social Story Bundle.
Now, you can get any of these social stories individually in my TPT store, or if you are like me, and have to have EVERY SINGLE ONE... you can get them ALL in THE MEGA Classroom Social Story Bundle! This bundle is a 20% off value and it is a GROWING bundle...so if you buy now...as more stories are added, you will get those stories too...FOR FREE!!!
Do you think you are ready to try Classroom Social Stories?
I am giving away A BUNDLE OF YOUR CHOICE to 3 lucky readers!
*(The Mega Bundle is excluded from this offer.)*
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