I first was introduced to the idea of interactive notebooks when my youngest son was in middle school. I thought it was a creative way to work on science units and make the information meaningful for him as a resource. But it didn’t cross my mind until recently that this same format could work for social skills too. The past year has been busy for me as I have been developing social skill trainings for SLPs and teachers of student with ASD. I started looking for resources to share with them and found lots of great TPT resources and social language blogs. However, I did not find a social skills interactive notebook working on social thinking concepts that matched what I wanted, so decided to make my own! Necessity is the mother of invention, right?
I first outlined what concepts to include because social language is pretty broad. I narrowed it down to concepts for my elementary students (or students functioning cognitively at this level) that could span several months of the school year and be used over and over. These included personal information (family, pets, foods, interests), emotional regulation, rules and PBIS, thinking about others (personal space, think vs. say) and templates for comparing solutions (good, better, best), comic strips, problem/solutions and more. Visual support is so crucial to success with social skills and the ability to break down the steps to problem solving, emotional regulation and figuring out stated and hidden rules is a hard but necessary skill. Creating an individual notebook allows me to refer my students back to topics we have talked about and work towards having them use these tools independently as needed.
One of my teachers mentioned that she had observed one of her students using their interactive notebook to introduce themselves to a new classmate, as well as sharing some of the important class rules they needed to know “to stay out of trouble”. It would be great, as an end of the year class project for your current students, to create a “What you need to know about your grade/ your teacher” interactive notebook for next year’s students to have. Your students could also make additional interactive notebook social skills units for different areas around the school (media center, cafeteria) or for special events like field trips or school presentations.
You can find my Interactive Notebook for Social Skills (elementary) with more than 80 template pages (black and white, ink friendly) included, in my TPT store HERE .
Have you used interactive notebooks in speech or the classroom? Share your thoughts here!