Learning and Sharing

Bright Ideas

on January 18, 2014


The social thinking concepts for this week were:

  • Thinking with your eyes
  • Keeping your brain in the group
  • Making smart guesses
  • Impulse control
  • Being resilient and changing negative self-talk to positive self-talk

I was able to use the same books and visuals , with minor adjustments, for different age groups.

I printed and laminated this visual to use as a dry erase board with different groups.  I just wrote the group plan in the thought bubble.


It is the work of Orlanda De Los Santos at  Visit the blog for more great ideas for visual supports.

I was thrilled when Abbie, a kindergarten student in Mrs. Lindstrom’s class asked me “What is the group plan today, Ms. McCallister?”.  We read Thinking with Your Eyes, a book which is part of the Incredible Flexible You curriculum.  For more information go to


Whatever someone is looking at is usually what they are thinking about.  Next we read Duck on a Bike.  What a great book to  extend the concept.Image

The animals in this story are thinking with their eyes, watching Duck ride a bike around the barn yard.  The animals say one thing but are thinking something else.  It was fun to think with our eyes and make smart guesses about what they are thinking.


Here we are in Book Chat, the co-taught 3rd grade reading comprehension class.  We are using the same book but in a slightly different way.  We are using what we already know or have experienced concerning the animals in the book to help us make smart guesses about what that animal is thinking about Duck riding a bike.  For example, we know that goats will eat anything.  So, a smart guess would be that Goat is thinking , “That bike looks tasty” or “I sure would like to eat that bike”.  One teacher is acting as the recorder of ideas and filling in the thought bubbles and speech bubbles, while one teacher is scaffolding the discussion.  Bright ideas flow in this class!


Oliver & Hope’s Amusing Adventure is now a lunch buddies favorite.  The characters in this book show the students how to focus on what you do have and not on what you don’t.  Oliver and Hope encourage each other when the going gets tough.  They use creative problem-solving that leads to big fun.  Oliver & Hope’s Amusing Adventure is available at

Enjoy the long weekend, everyone!  Autastic Avenues will have a super fun social skills workshop on Monday.  We will use movies and video clips to teach social thinking skills.  There will be games galore to help build executive function skills.  There will be popcorn and pizza, Oh My!!

My Best,


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