Topic Twister , our newest Unthinkable, has swarmed into room 15! This unthinkable's super power is to get a person to twist the topic around to what s/he wants to talk about or go on and on and on about preferred topics & not listening to others. It is hard for the person to know or notice his listeners are bored, not interested or that they even walked away!
They can twist the topic away by interrupting too!
The key to defeating Topic Twister is mindfully listening, creating a people file AND perspective taking skills. Of course Topic Twister has several BFF unthinkables to add to his power.....
Mindfully listening is an important part of our day and practice. We start each day with the morning greeting listening to each other. Room 15 also practices twice each day mindfully listening to our bell followed by our sharing about what we noticed. The children's noting skills are improving rapidly.
Mindfully listening is a skill that NEEDs practice to improve at before we hope to defeat Topic Twister! For more on our Mindful Listening see here, here , here and here.
Basically we start every morning with a mindful listening community building activity where a bean bag is tossed in a specific way ( Look, say name, pause for eye contact then toss). The child who catches the bean bag starts by sharing something they are grateful for ( or something that gave them a 'green' thought) while everyone listens. Then we toss around the bean bag again to check in and share how we are feeling at the moment using a feeling chart.
We also practice listening to our bell daily and sharing what we notice as we sit in our mountain bodies.
So We ARE Ready for Topic Twister! Bring it on!
Welcome to my Classroom!
I am passionate, a little bit quirky ( some may say a little bit more) and dedicated to serving children with Autism. These young people have touched me deeply and have made me a better teacher & hopefully person. I want to share what I have learned that allows these beautiful children to grow & sometimes thrive in my class.
I begin my 26th year of teaching this year! I teach in the Bay Area and live in the beautiful redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains. My sanctuary, place of reflection and daily sitting practice.
My hope is that this website/blog will help others understand and see children with Autism as talented unique thinkers who can and will contribute to our world and anyone who knows them in positive ways.