Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Social Butterflies

So I just had to return to work this week after being on maternity leave with my precious little girl...wahhh :*( and I figured I should probably share a little something about my work life. I am an elementary Special Education teacher that teaches reading and math to struggling students in grades K-5. Their learning disabilities are sometimes accompanied with "social awkwardness." To encourage positive social interactions among them, I created this tool to go along with the Bug Theme in my classroom. It's pretty simple to recreate, and the concept is very easy.




After plenty of modeling and practicing what positive social interactions may look/sound like, the students get their picture taken and laminated on tag board paper or card stock (you could also use their names instead, but I liked the idea of pictures). I blurred their faces out to protect their privacy, but you get the idea.


Each student starts at the bottom, below the "egg" (I used Velcro to attach everything). When I witness a positive social interaction (sharing, complimenting, helping etc.), they get to move their picture up one level in the butterfly life cycle. (Killing two birds with one stone...science life cycles AND social skills!!!) Once a student has passed every level, he/she gets to visit the Treasure Box!
Sometimes teachers are so quick to use negative reinforcers (time out, turn your card to red, no recess, etc.) but a lot of time, negative behaviors can be eliminated (well at least decreased) when students are working so hard toward the positive reinforcement.  It all depends on the type of students you have I guess. But, if you are a teacher who is struggling with behavior problems or social awkwardness, give it a whirl! What do ya have to lose? 

This chart was created with things from the dollar store believe it or not!



The butterfly was a steal at the dollar store...if you can't find one there, look for old Halloween costumes at K-Mart or Walmart.




The chrysalis is just a crumpled up lunch bag.




The caterpillar was one of those fluffy dish/car washing things with 4 pom pom balls (2 medium white, 2 small black) for eyes.




The egg is a large pom pom ball.


Like I mentioned earlier, I used Velcro for the bottom starting line and arrow. The whole thing is on two foam display boards (the thick poster boards kids use for projects) covered in paper. You can also recreate something like this on a smaller scale and use it at home with your children, especially if siblings are having a hard time getting along with each other. Maybe instead of treasure box, you could use a reward like a trip to the park. Good luck! 

And as always...Happy Kraftin!

11 comments:

  1. You did a great job on that! I love the idea and I bet your kids will love to watch their picture move up the ladder to the butterfly. Hope your first week back was good :-)

    Take care,
    jen

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  2. Hi! I'm your newest follower and co-host of this month's blog hop. Thanks so much for joining in on the fun :) I'm looking forward to getting you know you better!

    I love the butterfly chart. I hope that you week went well!

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  3. LOVE this idea! Your students are so lucky to have such a creative teacher!

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  4. This is FANTASTIC! I may borrow this idea for our church classroom...I think the kids would really enjoy seeing it and of course, I love the positive reinforcement, rather than negative. I'm going to be your newest follower...can't wait to see what other great projects you do! :)

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    1. Thanks and let me know how it turns out! :-)

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  5. What a fantastic idea! Love the 2 birds with one stone and I LOVE the reward not the penalty.:)

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  6. As a mom to three children who all have a range of academic and special needs I just have to say I love this idea!! I also love "Social Butterflies" ! I'ts so true too, our oldest is dyslexic, and in fact though never fit the criteria for a spectrum diagnosis shared some of the same behaviors. We were lucky to find some great teachers, such as yourself. Today he is a wonderful 13 year old with no traces of the awkwardness that can accompany such issues. So great to find your site on voiceBoks! Congratulations on the birth of your daughter! I look forward to reading more!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and the compliments! When you love what you do, and the passion is there, it comes easily! :-)

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  7. What great craft ideas following from the 99% hop http://mommaof3-littlebits.blogspot.com/

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  8. I love teachers that focus on rewarding their students rather than punishing them. Keep up the good work!

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