Happy Thanksgiving!

Winter has come a bit early to the Pacific Northwest.  We actually had a snow day this week.  It was nice to have an extra day to do some holiday preparation.  It was not a very productive week at school.  We’ve had so many breaks this month it has been hard to get anything started program wise. I promised to keep you updated on our  pragmatic group this year, so here is the latest.

The ” Circle of Friends” now has a start day in December.  We have a group of about six 5th graders that the counselor is in the process of getting parent permission for to meet as a separate group.  The 5th grade class had already worked out a volunteer  buddy system to help out with 2 students who needed more directional help to follow classroom routines. It was fairly easy to expand this program.

We will begin as a lunch bunch on Fridays.   The peer group will meet weekly.  Our student with autism will be added in January  and will come monthly for the first couple of months. The selected students will get a lunch pass so they will be able to get in the lunch line first and bring their lunches to the speech room.  This allows for a 20 minute period to meet.   Our autism specialist and counselor will choose a short story to read that brings up the topic of differences in abilities and perspectives.  We will talk about how everyone has strengths and weaknesses.  We may discuss  autism and its characteristics.  I’m sure twenty minutes will go fast.

A new set of cards have been added to the sentence page.  These cards can be used to practice answering “how” questions. The cards also encourage perspective taking. They require a comparison of two items, and the use of “or” and “because” in the response.  I have a group of students who are really having difficulty figuring out the difference between how questions and why questions.  I hope they can be of some help to you as well.



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