It is a Social Emotional push in service twice a week. The SLP and I team teach to teach and facilitate activities/lessons. We provide direct explicit lessons , facilitated guided practice and if possible slowly release this to allow for independent group practice. This also allows real time observational data on progress. There are many topics we cover some are : problem solving, peer relationships, thinking about others, expected/unexpected behaviors,flexibility, feelings and emotional awareness, positive kind acts, turn taking and waiting, effort, body awareness, communication and vocabulary skills, listening and responding. These topics and vocabulary are practiced & integrated through out the day. When real situations occur ( and they do) we can all share common understanding, language and concepts to problem solve , expand or reteach what was appropriate.
Why Is Pirate Club a Push In Model?
This model minimizes the transitions which gives us more time to team teach and practice. It allows for all the children to learn and practice for longer periods of time. The class then has a common vocabulary and skills I can expand on through out the day. It eliminates the pull out teaching where only 1-2 children participate for 30 minutes maybe one time a week. This makes it difficult for the children to generalize or practice with guidance and support newly learned concepts and skills into the classroom. This push in model allows the classroom strategies, environment and community to be integrated into activity and lessons. As their teacher, I can work closely with service providers ( SLP, OT, APE etc. ) where we can learn from each other, communicate, collaborate and lesson plan based on what is being observed in class. The children can practice on the playground and when a problem arises we can use the vocabulary, strategies and skills taught during pirate club to help facilitate and solve problems. The real world of recess provides numerous opportunities for practice , reflection and learning.
Research has clearly shown that effective SEL programs provided repeated opportunities to practice new skills and in a variety of situations and settings. (Durlak et al., 2011; Durlak, Weissberg, & Pachan, 2010; Hawkins et al., 2004). See more at http://www.casel.org.