Monday, October 5, 2015

Social Skills Problem Solving

"Mrs. G, can I ask you a question? I tried standing up for a friend when she told me that someone was being mean to her. I asked that person to stop talking about my friend, but now that person is mad at me. I just wanted to defend my friend! What do I do?"

As a 6th grade teacher, I have heard this question (and many just like it) time and time again. My heart aches for my preteen kiddos who are navigating these tricky social situations. I'm fortunate enough to have both male and female teachers on my team, so we'll sometimes split up our girls and boys and have family chats with them about appropriate social behavior. 

During one of these talks, my girls posed a couple of hypothetical situations, just like the one above, and asked how to handle them. It was then that I realized that I needed to give my students time to reflect on difficult situations before they occur so that they can talk it out and problem solve, removed from the emotions they feel in the moment.

The next time we met, I gave my kiddos these problem solving task cards. They pose hypothetical situations and ask students how they would feel in that situation and what they would do. 

Of course it didn't solve all petty arguing and gossip in my class, but it opened up the conversation to let students practice these crucial skills in a safe environment. 

Click the photos above to download the cards and try this out for yourself!

XO Emily

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