This is the fourth part of our six-part Inclusion Series with Katie Adams, speech-language pathologist at McNeil High School in Round Rock ISD. We have already learned about three great methods for addressing social skills, language comprehension and choice-making. Check out the previous three FUNctional lessons:
Let’s take a look at Feelings, the fourth component of this hour-long, inclusive class lesson:
Here, Katie outlines the details of this lesson:
What’s the Goal? The purpose of Feelings is to recognize, interpret, and model facial expressions to increase social skills.
Are visuals used? Real pictures of students, teachers and staff members are used. This is not only motivating, but it also makes this activity more functional, engaging and applicable. Pictures of high-public figures is also extremely motivating for students.
Do they get a chance to practice? Students practice facial expressions with their paraprofessionals and peers. Peer interaction is essential for learning communication and social skills’ generalization. Katie creates a built-in opportunity to have peer interaction in this lesson.
Why Does Katie Use Sign Language? Sign Language is shown to students as a visual cue to express emotions.
Is this functional? Absolutely! Understanding personal feelings, how feelings are conveyed and personal accountability for social scenarios is vital for navigating social interchanges.
How long is the prep time, really?! The PowerPoint is saved, and 1 to 2 new pictures are added each month. This takes a total of 10 minutes.
Katie is addressing an important and relevant skill. More importantly, she is giving the students an opportunity to practice with one another. The students are learning, and they are keeping one another accountable. Through this simple lesson, the SLP is creating a community for the students. What can Katie do for students who have already mastered Emotion Identification? Teaching students how to manage and self-regulate emotions is a functional skill, as well. Kari Dunn Buron’s Incredible 5 Point Scale is a great tool to teach students emotional regulation. The following chart, created by Dunn & Curtis, is an example of how to implement a point scale:
Remember, our goal is to have our students become self-advocating, communicative, productive and happy members of society. And, it is a privilege to have the opportunity to make such an impact in our students’ lives. Bravo McNeil High School and Miss Katie Adams!