Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lunch Bunch

"You teach something called 'Lunch Bunch'?! What kind of class is that?!" 

That's right..... I'll get to that answer. But first, let me explain:

This year, I'm looking forward to the fact that this is the *FIRST YEAR* (out of 5) that I will be able to roll into the SAME EXACT position. I will be teaching most of the same kids from my caseload last year, and my schedule will be very similar. My position requires me to focus the majority of my schedule on benefiting students with social/emotional skills, and to "push-in" (Co-Teach) students for main content areas, as needed. Therefore, I only pull students into my classroom (resource setting), for morning priming and Lunch Bunch, to teach social skills.

My program (split between myself and 3 parapros) have a group of lunch bunchers for each grade level first through fifth. Our program revolves around students who have an identified need for social skills instruction. We create groups that include both our students as well as a variety of same-aged peers. We have a rotation, so different kids come each week, but the same group will come twice per week (either on Monday & Wednesday, or Tuesday & Thursday).

Each week is geared around a particular social skill, so we work on role-playing and discussing the topic for a week or a few weeks, and we may build on the topic, depending on how complicated it is. We have an essential question, and short discussion, and then we often play a game. Here's what our bulletin board looked like last year:
1st-3rd: Working on Nonverbal Cues & Perspectives to Achieve our Bucket Filling Friendship Goals
4th & 5th: Working on Reacting Appropriately to Various Social Scenarios
Typically, the first and second grade plans are very similar - just differentiated for lack of experience (1st) or higher order thinking (2nd). I usually keep 3rd on the same track - but just add much more difficulty :) And for 4th and 5th, I usually plan for them to do a quick discussion on a social scenario, and then they get to chat about whatever they like (there's more teachable moments in listening to what they have to say, anyways!)

Some of the quick games that we play are:
    *Apples to Apples Jr.
    *Crazy Eights

I've used SO many awesome resources from other great bloggers, but I plan to make my own social scenario cards and games based on the needs of my students from difficult scenarios that they've experienced. So, STAY TUNED! :)

I love my job to death, and it's definitely a one-of-a-kind position. So hopefully people like you can read my blog and find ways to implement some of my teaching strategies into your part of the world. 

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