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Jungle Fun!

So, yesterday I arrived home ready to explain my new Kindergarten social skills group I started, yet much to my surprise our AT&T Uverse modem decided to stop working. So, the good news is without cable or internet I got a ridiculous amount of homework done last night and the bad news being I couldn’t share with you the first session of my new group.

So here is how it all went:

After discussing student concerns with the Kindergarten teachers, we decided it would be best if I split all the Kindergarteners up into 6 small groups of 4 to do small group social skills lessons. The great part about these groups is not only do I get to see Kinders every day of the week, but these groups can also be used for my thesis.

To get off topic for just a minute, the main purpose of my thesis is to see if a social skills intervention based on child-directed play will help prepare students to learn in the classroom. The whole idea is to teach a mini social skills lesson (approximately 5 minutes long) and then practice that skill while playing in the playroom. The hope is to have these new social skills translate back into the classroom.

So, after some research, I found a great first lesson featured on this blog. As I do with everything I took that wonderful counselor’s idea and tweaked it to fit my needs and make it my own.

Kindergarten Social Skills Lesson 1:

The lesson focused on taking turns as players, but also taking turns with our mouths. The game was originally (in the parent blog) used as a “get to know you” type game, which I liked, but I wanted to target more social skills than just getting to know each other (as a mentioned before these boys have know each other for 3 years already). So, that’s when I decided to focus on taking turns, sitting still, and making eye contact.

The mini lesson talked about sitting up straight in our chairs, looking at the speaker, and waiting until the speaker finishes before starting to speak, ask questions, or make a comment. The mini lesson literally took less than 5 minutes. Plus in a room FILLED with toys that’s about the maximum amount of time I can keep their attention.

Next, we moved to the game, “Jungle Fun”.

Below are the direction page, the “All About Me” cards, and the “All About You” cards.

Directions for Jungle Fun Game      All About Me Cards     All About You Cards

Once group was over, I passed out a charm to each boy.

I talked about the importance of the charm. I mainly do this to give them a little something since they are missing their “free play” time in the classroom. And although I thought that these charms would end up in the trash can, I was so happy to see 2, yes 2, of my Kinders wearing their charm on a piece of yarn as they exited the car this morning.

Note: Before starting the intervention, I did take (and am still taking) some baseline data, not only because it is part of my research paper, but also for accountability purposes. I will talk all about this documentation later.

So far I have seen 3 of the 6 groups and I realized how much I enjoy doing this. There for a while it was questionable, yet every day this week has been super reassuring.

Plus, when you start you day with this pouty face how can it not be a great day?

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2 thoughts on “Jungle Fun!

  1. Marissa, You are wonderful! I have adapted many of your ideas into some of my activities. As a counselor just starting out (I’m the very first one at the school), it is so helpful to see all of your ideas and helpful hints. Thank you a billion!

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