We recognize that our student population not only has academic challenges, but social and emotional challenges as well. In order to best teach each student we have integrated remediation of social deficits into the structure of each day. The social and emotional component of our program has two parts: individualized and explicit Social Skills instruction and the creation of individualized Learner Profiles.
At The Cloverleaf School we value the importance of teaching students to navigate their world with confidence, courtesy and capability. We recognize that many of our students have social challenges that greatly impact their daily lives. We understand that our students need direct instruction, structured practice and daily reinforcement to master the skills of interacting with others and their environment in a courteous and positive way. Therefore, our schedule includes one hour of explicit social skills instruction and practice each day. This is broken down into three twenty minute classes: Morning Meeting, Social Skills, and Buddy Time.
- Each day begins with Morning Meeting. During our meeting students greet each other, share, and play a cooperative game. Meetings end with a Morning Message written by the teacher. During Morning Meeting, multiple social skills are taught and practiced such as eye contact, asking questions, sharing ideas, taking turns, listening, responding and reading body language.
- During the day we also have a thirty minute Social Skills class, where direct social skills instruction occurs in a small group setting. The skills taught are determined by each student’s individualized social goals. In this cooperative group, students have the opportunity to model the skills they have mastered as well as learn from their peers the skills they are working on. In this way, students receive direct social skill instruction in many areas. After a skill is specifically taught, the students practice it in a variety of settings and situations. Throughout the day specific social skills are reinforced and data collected on student social goals.
- The last class of each day is Buddy Time. This inquiry-based learning workshop provides another structured opportunity to practice social skills. During Buddy Time students work together to follow each other’s ideas and create a project based upon their area of interest. Students work on skills such as following a peer’s idea, problem solving, verbalizing and categorizing ideas, taking turns, and cooperation.
To equip our students with the knowledge and strategies to be self-confident, self- reliant and self-advocating, teachers collaborate with students to create an individualized Learner Profile. This is a process which allows students to identify their strengths and challenges, learning styles and learning strategies. Parents also give their input on the strengths and needs of their child. Lastly, teachers compile assessments and documents that reflect how the individual student learns best.
This Learner Profile moves with each student as he or she makes life transitions. This powerful tool not only serves as a wealth of knowledge on how the student learns, but equips him or her with the knowledge he or she needs to self-advocate on their journey, thus giving each student optimal opportunity for success in their world.