Learning and Sharing

Book Chat and Snow White

on September 7, 2013


I was proud of the new 3rd graders and their participation in Book Chat.  They adjusted very nicely to the new experience.

Book Chat is the co-taught reading comprehension class for our students with ASD.  The goal is to teach social thinking through literature in order to improve reading comprehension.  This is what our very first class looked like:

First, the expected behaviors for Book Chat were presented.  We used the white board and  Token Towers®  to provide visual structure to our group.  The students can refer to the board for a visual reminder of what they need to do and refer to their token tower to see how they are doing.


Then, we reviewed Social Thinking ® vocabulary-


The students learn this same vocabulary during Lunch Buddies, so for the most part the activity was a review.  We did add a couple of new terms though.  Smart guesses vs Wacky guesses and Good thoughts vs Uncomfortable thoughts were new to the group.  We use our experiences and knowledge to make smart guesses.  Smart guesses make sense.  A Wacky guess is just a random guess that does not help us gather and use important information.

Next, we read this wonderful book-


Louis likes to think of himself as a “space expert”.  When he gets an invitation to go to “Personal Space Camp” he thinks that he will learn even more about space.

As we read the book we practiced the following strategies:

  • Allowing time for processing and engagement.  There is no rush and nothing wrong with a little silence.  I love this idea from I Get It!  by Audra Jensen.  She says “present a thought and let the students chew on it”!  An unnatural, long pause can also cause a daydreaming student to snap back to reality.
  • Think-alouds.  As I read through the book I stopped often to share my thoughts about what was going on.  I used the words “I wonder…” and as Miss Heather listened she used the words “I’m confused…” and then we modeled how we would figure it out.
  • Emotional thermometers.  We identified how Louis was feeling and used color to show the intensity of his excitement.


We decided that Louis was in the “yellow zone” which means that he was feeling excited.  The visual cue helped the students “see” the intensity of the feeling.  We matched that with the look on Louis’ face.

Our touchstone for Book Chat is the incredible book-


And now Snow White-

I was one proud therapist when the first grade “girl group” came in for Lunch Buddies!!  They remembered the expected behaviors for social group and the returning girls did a great job of modeling for our new group member.  These girls identify with Disney Princesses so I used Princess Social Skills created by and available at


The concept for the session was “thinking about others”.  We reviewed the social story describing how a princess thinks about others.  They received the power card to take with them back to class/home to assist in generalizing the concept.  Snow White is such a lovely model for thinking about others!

While we ate our lunch the group enjoyed Social Skill Builder® interactive videos for expected and unexpected behaviors with friends on the playground.  One must think about others to make and keep friends on the playground.


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Enjoy the weekend everyone!



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