Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Rotation Description: Social Skills curriculum map

Since I posted yesterday about social skills, I thought I would share my social skills rotation today.

I teach social skills separately because I believe, besides communication, that these are the most important skills my students need. That's great if a student can read, write, and do math, but if they are hurting others, masturbating in public, are invading other people's personal space, or telling people they are fat, etc  (among many other skills that I have had to work on with my students), then they can't maintain friendships, get a job, or be in public without embarrassment for them or for people they are with. Direct instruction and lots and lots of practice, is the way to go.

In May/June, I don't have anything original planned.  We are sometimes behind in our schedule due to absences, drills, etc, so we are sill working on the same skills. Or I decided to take longer on a particular skill because it was needed. Or something new came up that took priority to focus on. Also, we end up having a lot of changes in our schedules the last month or so due to end of year activities, kids moving up to high school, etc. In addition, I have found that we need to go back and practice some of the skills we learned early on.

I have divided my students into 2 groups. My first group are those students that are low verbal/verbal and can read and write to some extent. The curriculum map as it is written is geared towards them. I use a variety of resources for each week. The rotation is about 15 minutes. I do social stories, social scripts, videos, modeling, and hands on practice, although not all in the same class, just whatever fits well for the topic we are discussing. On my PINTEREST SITE, I have collected a bunch of videos for many different skill areas. I have also collected a bunch of other resources on Pinterest, which you can find HERE, and HERE, and HERE.

My second group are mostly non verbal/low verbal and use communication devices or PECS to communicate. Their skills are at a basic level. I use a lot more social stories and practice for this group and we might skip a lesson that the other group is working on and concentrate more deeply on one topic, or take more time to practice. We will use the communication devices more when working on friendship or communication. But we cover the same monthly topic as the other group.

Having a curriculum map laid out like this makes lesson planning a breeze. I have my monthly and weekly topics so prepping the material and videos ahead of time is a snap.


  1. This curriculum plan is really helpful in pacing my own planning, thank you! I'm wondering how you cover greetings and goodbyes earlier in the year since you go in depth with them in March. Have you had success integrating those skills earlier in the year?

    1. We work on simple greetings in the fall, as part of expected and unexpected behavior. When we do this in March, we are working on all the ways people greet each other in the context of friendship (hi, how are you doing, fist bumps, handshakes, high fives,what did you do this weekend?, etc). We role play and practice with all kinds of folks.

  2. Love this!! I don't enjoy teaching social skills because I feel like there is no "guide" to follow so I end up going a little everywhere. I love how you honed in on certain skills/month. Thank you : )