Sunday, October 31, 2010


Once the students in my social group were really learning to carry on conversations without much input or instruction from me, I decided to try something new. It was football season in the U.S. so I borrowed one of the aspects of football for the social group, or as one student called it, our 'conversation workshop'. They were told they could talk about anything they wanted to as long as it was appropriate for school. They were to follow all the rules of conversation. If one of them broke a rule of polite conversation, I the referee, would throw a flag (a handkerchief) on the play. When the penalty flag was thrown into the center of the table they had to stop talking and figure out who caused the penalty and what the penalty was. Of course there was no real punishment or penalty involved. This was just a visual strategy to help them be aware of what they were doing. It worked really well. They had fun and learned to monitor their own behavior a little.          

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