Thursday, May 17, 2018

Video Tips from Students, Part 2

In my last post I discussed how sometimes a tip from a student about what might engage him or a group may lead to a great activity. Another example came from a student who offhandedly mentioned that he likes to watch EvanTube, which he said had fun "how-to" videos. I checked it out, and EvanTube is a "family-friendly" channel full of challenge videos, among other things. I discovered a number of them could be done with minimal or simple materials, and thought that the process of figuring out what is needed, the sequence and overall plan would be a good language, social and executive function activity. The two activities I did with my group turned out to be some of the most fun ones I had this year.

The 3 Marker Challenge turned out to align very well with our social goals as a group and Ward/Jacobsen's Get Ready/Do/Done (GRDD) model. We watched the video:

And interactively completed a GRDD graphic organizer that when complete would look like this (note that the numbers next to the do-steps are estimates of time in minutes, and we used a clock to map these out):

You can access this Google Drawings file here and if you like, make a copy for yourself (File>Make a Copy if signed into Google Drive) to use as a template. It was a very fun activity and we practiced a lot of different skills.

The following week, we tried another! First, we quickly did the Yanny/Laurel experiment (which, incidentally now has its own EvanTube vid), which is a good social activity that underscores that people have different perceptions and perspectives (but pssst. It's Laurel). Related to this is the channel's Backwards Word Challenge:

Great again for goals of executive function, social, and humor but also phonology and just listening! Similarly, we did a GRDD activity- I try not to gather materials for students but ask them to do it, and this included finding an app to do the task. You'll find a free one easily! The results were hilarious and all had a great time again practicing some important skills.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Video Tips from Students...Part 1

I use YouTube videos in social cognition groups for many purposes, and they often prompt clients to ask, "Can we watch...?" My rule is I have to watch it first so, "Not today, but maybe next time." Sometimes this leads to really engaging, fun contexts and lessons.

For example, I learned about Doge. Doge is a meme, basically, and series of silly animations often showing the inner monologue of a dog. My student asked about Call of Doge which was filled with explosions, so, uh, no. But then (showing flexibility in his response) he said, "Well OK...maybe watch Doge Adventure?" This turned out to be a silly music video BUT connected to the idea that different settings and events lead to different thoughts (narrative landscape of consciousness, anyone), so led to a good discussion and post activity drawing comics with thought balloons. It also paired well with the mindfulness-oriented picture book Puppy Mind, which my students probably wouldn't have bought my reading them without this video segue. I always like a balance of materials so I read the actual book. Another tip and lesson next time!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Tic Tac Toe with Echo Dot

Tic Tac Toe is a "skill" you can enable on the inexpensive Echo Dot just by asking Alexa to play it. Since we interact with Alexa only by speaking and listening, it will be important to make a visual sketch while playing the game. You and Alexa just pick positions (top left, top, top right, left, center, right) and so on, therefore providing a context to target: turn taking, concepts, listening skills, "thinking with the eyes," and self-regulation. As my group has been exploring a Star Wars theme, we sketched asteroids and stars instead of X's and O's. This game is also a good place for you to implement a gradual release of responsibility: I do it (I made the markers in the sketch), we do it (we'll all take turns making the markers).