Teach Social Behaviors
*As we continue to discuss behavior support strategies, sometimes we forget about actually TEACHING social skills. We can’t assume students know how to take turns, manage interpersonal conflict and act appropriately in social situations.
*Social behaviors need to be taught just like any other skill. Finding time in your school day to teach social skills will pay off. Please watch my YouTube video and read the image from High Leverage Performances.
Students with autism
Students with autism can lack social awareness. They may not be able to take the Point of View (POV) of their peer which can result in social behavior that is atypical at times. Students with autism still want friendship so teaching social skills will help with bridging some of the gaps in social behaviors skills.
Early childhood literature as social support
One of my favorite tools for addressing social behavior issues is to use early childhood literature to help support social learning. One practicum student in my class shared how she had students teasing one another. Her mentor teacher pulled a bin full of books about teasing into the classroom to read to hear students. As she read she asked questions, checked for comprehension and encouraged students to pair-share ideas for using kind and supportive language with one another. The book my student pulled to share with our class is called Just Kidding by Trudy Ludwig. Here is the link for the book online:
- Teachers should explicitly teach social behaviors
- Align the lessons with classroom and school wide expectations
- Before teaching the skill, determine the nature of the social skill challenge
- Continue to teach and reinforce the skill until mastery
- One great way to teach social skills is with role playing!
- Have fun with these lessons and know they pay off in the long term for your classroom climate and for students to learn social behaviors