Are social skills important? You butterfly believe it!

IMG_0918-2Each month my classroom has a “Social Butterfly” lesson. It starts dramatically, with Social Butterfly flying out of hiding. Her mission? To teach specific social skills that our students need to be successful friends. Each lesson incorporates one or two of the various elements of social skills. These include conversation, cooperation, teamwork, encouragement, emotions, language, and play.

 

Social butterfly flies around the room as a reminder to my students to practice their new social skill. When Social Butterfly observes a student using her skill of the month, she is quick to award a celebratory “butterfly kiss”. In addition, we are quick to follow Social Butterfly’s lead by reinforcing with a butterfly token. When students earn all of their butterfly tokens on 123TokenMe Pro, their reward is choosing a friend to do a fun activity with. Thus, the social skills are reinforced.

 

Are social skills important? You butterfly believe it!

Articulation goals- an opportunity for shared fun

IMG_1916-300x300Last year some of my favorite speech sessions were with a group of kindergarten boys with articulation goals. Who would have guessed they would become big fans of 123TokenMe? As with most of us, they liked to see how long they were going to work and what they were working for: One token = one correct production. Twenty tokens = FUN.

 

A little bit of control in their very big world. Each boy had a different goal, and knew that after everybody in the group produced twenty correct targets they would all share something fun. A reward that I encouraged them to choose as a group. MarbleWorks? Mr. Potato Head? Star Wars? Very quickly they knew their routine: Check in by finding their name, choose their token type and background color, and decide together what they wanted to play on their break. 

 

There was lots of conversation making these choices, Hey guys, lets all get soccer balls this time. They knew the rule: EVERYONE had to get all their sounds and receive all their tokens before it was break time. What was surprising, though, was watching them coach and give feedback to each other. They LOVED IT, and I loved seeing them literally cheer each other on.

 

At the year end conference a mom asked me what app I was using in speech, because her son raved about it. I told her that the boys had so much fun with 123TokenMe, that they did not even recognize how focused they were on working. Speech = fun? Absolutely. 

Summer’s Rock Stars: A back to school tip for teachers

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To start the new year we begin teaching “ready to learn” behaviors. We talk about what it means to be ready, and encourage our kiddos to become Rock Stars! We show this picture as a visual reminder.

 

“Ready to learn” means bodies are calm. We sit criss-cross apple sauce with hands in our basket. Eyes are on the teacher, ears are listening, and lips are quiet. All of these behaviors need to be in place before any teaching happens. 

 

We encourage these behaviors by using 123TokenMe Pro. We award a token to each student when they demonstrate their target behavior- “Being a Rock Star!” We begin by using the star token for each student. As soon as they become a Rock Star, though, they choose their own preferred token type. A wonderful motivation. Now… rock on!

A new high school student?

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Who is that student? The one with the pink shirt hurrying to class? Actually it’s not a student… it’s Kathy. After over fifteen years of working as a SLP in early intervention, she is now working at the high school level.

 

Kathy is looking forward to an exciting year with lots of learning. A chance to shake things up at a different level. To make a positive impact with students in their transition from school to life. And a great opportunity to model safe behavior by properly using crosswalks.

Tapping and touching turns sweets into toys

Screen-Shot-2012-09-08-at-3.01.27-PM-300x300An unexpected result from using 123TokenMe Pro involved “Sage”, a pre-schooler on my caseload last year. Sage was one of my children severely impacted by autism. She would work for sweet edibles- candy and cookies- and nothing else. On her old fashioned token board her tokens were smiley faces- extremely non-meaningful to her.

 

Using 123TokenMe Pro, I let Sage choose the token that she wanted to work with- she chose cookies. As her reinforcers, she wanted strictly candy and cookies. Not surprising, right? What happened over the next week, however, was unexpected. I let Sage award herself a token each time that she displayed her target behavior.

 

She was extremely engaged with her taps turning chocolate chips into cookies. In fact, this touching seemed to gradually lead Sage into becoming satiated with sweets. Slowly, but surely she picked new token types. Even more exciting, she started to choose non-edible reinforcers as rewards- toys and activities.

 

Expanding the reinforcement choices that a child makes is very important. To expand it seamlessly at the same time that a behavior is being targeted and improved is a real bonus. Thank you Sage, for this unexpected insight.

No rest over Labor Day weekend

IMG_0812-300x300It’s Labor Day Weekend. Friends are in town. The day has just begun. Breakfast is still being eaten. But, guess what? 123TokenMe is already wide awake and showing what it can accomplish.

 

Yes, good friends get the 123TokenMe tour also. In this case, Kathy found that showing several old fashioned token boards helped to quickly bring everyone up to speed on how things used to be done.

 

They could see how having a tool to replace multiple old fashioned token boards made great sense in a classroom. They also commented how useful 123TokenMe could be for parents, like them, that had never even heard of a token board. Since it is highly intuitive to use, anyone can start using it immediately to improve behaviors.

 

Unfortunately, they joked, it was about twenty years too late to benefit their children. Do you hear that Apple? Why did you wait so long to invent the iPad?