Rubrics. When I went to ASHA this year, I went to more than one session that touted the benefit of rubrics, especially for social language. They are a great way to target certain behaviors and make students more aware of what they are working on.
I have a group of first graders. In my group of four first graders, I have three that have a really hard time playing games. I knew this about most of them as individuals, but boy, the first time we tried a game together? By halfway through the session, one student was under the table, one was yelling in the corner, and one was chatting away like nothing unusual was happening. The remaining student was looking around the classroom, absolutely dumbstruck. Which is probably how I was looking at that particular moment, to be honest!
So I needed a new game plan. Luckily for me, I had just come back from ASHA, which meant that I had the idea of rubrics fresh in my head.
You probably know how to make a rubric, but here's my method. First, I identify behaviors that my kids needed to work on. Since one student started getting upset when he didn't go first, and another when he realized he had to go last, I decided turn order was going to be important. Other issues from that fateful day included arguing with me about the rules (seriously folks, this was Chutes & Ladders), saying nice things about whoever was winning, and being a good winner/loser.
Thus, a rubric was born. Because I have some literal thinkers and finaglers in my group, I wrote out examples of the behaviors for each value. The student earns one point if they don't participate (because remember, we were hiding under the table or in the corner when we started), up to four points for demonstrating the target behavior.
Now, I am all about data collection, and this is ripe for data collection. I am always jealous when the Special Education teacher can whip out some nicely made graphs of benchmarks to talk about how well Johnny is doing in reading fluency. So I decided that I am going to have my own charts to show parents when meetings come around. So I set up a Google Doc, and I keep a seperate page for each student. The result? When Johnny fills in his rubric, I take a copy of it and plug my numbers in. Google Docs automatically charts it for me, which means that I am ready to go.
This has been great to print out for parents, and an easy thing to carryover into the classroom. I have a few paraprofessionals that know to use the rubric when they do classroom games. It gives me great feedback as to what to target in groups, and which skills are emerging for each student.
If you have students who have similar difficulties, you can find my Game Play Rubric (and directions to download your own Google Docs data sheets) here.