A Visit from Heather at Teaching Through Turbulence!

Hello!  I am very excited and honored to be guest blogging today for Brenda!  I blog at Teaching Through Turbulence. Did you fly over there last week to see Brenda's guest blog post for me? It was great!!

As I am preparing for the new school year, I have been thinking about procedures that I always have to teach.  Of course, there are all the classroom procedures, but we cannot forget the Social Skills that need to be taught also.  Many kids these days are not getting out and playing with others.  Social experiences outside of school are very limited.   I have found with my primary students that I have had to teach how to take turns properly many times.  I am a Special Education teacher, so I see this often with the lack of Social Skills, but I know that when I was a general education kindergarten teacher that it was very difficult for some of my students to work in small groups and center times productively.

Here are a few easy ways to help kids with turn taking in your room:

There are many good books for Turn Taking.  I was going to make a list for you, but I found this list to be a great one at Children's Books Guide. What are your favorite books for sharing and turn taking?

I love using Apps to help with Turn Taking.  One of my favorites is Your's Turn Free (Okay.. so I don't like the weird name - shouldn't it just be Your Turn... but it is a good app). 

With this app, you can put in the specific names for each person and set a time limit for each person.  The time limits can be different for each child.  I like this because you can differentiate for kids that need to be challenged and for those that do need more time.

Under settings, you will find different options.
  • You can enable rotating or not on the device.  
  • You can pick your end sound.  
  • You can set an intermission between turns.  I think this is very important because it allows time for the sharing aspect of it to make sure that one person ends and the other has time to start without the 2nd person's time running low.  You get to set the amount of time you want for the intermission.  
  • You can also add in a first bell which is just a warning that the time is almost up.

Once you start it, it will show the following green screen and then the color will move down the screen and slowly change to yellow and red as time runs out.  During intermission, it will count down and tell who is next.  

I will sometimes just use a Visual Timer when I just need a child to wait their turn and not really take turns with me.  I use the following 2 most:
VisTimerFree

 Timer+Touch HD


And when I don't have an IPAD or electronics available, I use Turn Taking Cards, which I have a set for free for you!  You will put the cards together with the green on one side and a red on the other.  There is a couple ways to do this, so I have provided different red ones for you.  You can get your free set by clicking on the picture.


My favorite way to do it is to put My Turn on one said and Wait on the other.  I give each child their own card to control.  When it is the child's turn, he/she turns the card Green Side Up.  When he/she is finished with the turn, he/she turns "Wait" up to remind themselves to wait and to cue the next person to go.  

You could just use one card with My Turn/Your Turn and have the child that has difficulty with taking turns to be in charge of flipping it to say whose turn it is.

Those are some of my favorite ways for turn taking.  I would love to hear some of your favorite ways to help with turn taking also!  Thank you Brenda for having me here to guest blog!

You are welcome to come over and see me on my blog sometime also!  I would love to have you.

Teaching Through Turbulence