Learning and Sharing

My Take-Away from the Social Thinking® Conference

on May 15, 2016


The topic of Socially Based Executive Functions was discussed early on during the conference. These functions help us to accomplish specific social goals such as:

  • Make a friend
  • Keep a friend
  • Work well in a group
  • Express your point of view in a manner so that other’s can consider it

In a face-to-face interaction we use these skills to socially attend to the situation in order to create a social plan and then adapting our language and behavior to encourage others to interpret our intentions in the manner we had hoped.

Food for thought!

Michelle Garcia Winner talked a great deal about the Social Academic Connection:

The social mind helps us to actively listen, infer, get the gist, engage in deeper critical thinking, initiate communication, produce narrative language, and engage in personal problem solving. Without social knowledge, learning is trapped in rote based learning and responses. The ability to comprehend and explain information, spoken or written, rests on our social knowledge.

Ms. Winner has a knack for saying what some of us are thinking!!  We know the big buzz is “growth mindset vs. fixed mindset”.  She said that there are teachers trying to teach kids about having a growth mindset who DO NOT have a growth mindset themselves.  I have observed that quite a bit.

New Products:

Superflex My Hero Inside with CDI wish that I had had this CD during the Flexible First Graders group!  Music/songs help learning stick and these are charming.  All the way back to Richmond I brainstormed how I would use this next school year and with the Builders & Gamers at Autastic Avenues.

The 13 songs that support social emotional learning as taught through the Super Flex curriculum. Each song is an upbeat combination of music and lyrics that can help kids learn more about the sneaky Unthinkables that may be invading their brain and causing them to do or say things that make others uncomfortable. By calling on our Super Flex hero inside and using our super flexible thinking powers, we can learn to better problem solve and self-monitor our social skills to help keep others (and ourselves) feeling comfortable being together. Music and lyrics are based on the original Super Flex curriculum book created by Stephanie Madrigal and Michelle Garcia Winner.


The printable lyrics are available on the website.




I bought this a couple of weeks ago and I appreciated the references to the Guidebook and Thinksheets during the conference.  As with all of the Social Thinking® products, this is a tool.  We can make it work for us and our clients and students.
Social Thinking and Me uses language that is understandable to both kids and adults, and breaks down complex topics in a way that is clear and manageable to both new and familiar learners of Social Thinking. Its voice is guiding, kid friendly, and sometimes humorous in nature, helping kids let down their guard and feel open to learning concepts that challenge them.
It provides a deep focus on helping individuals understand their emotions and how their actions affect the emotions of others. The books mindfully work to help kids develop their own “feelings” vocabulary (beyond happy, sad, mad), guide them to begin thinking about their own feelings, and then discuss the feelings of others – such as how certain situations might make others feel, how our actions can impact how others feel and vice versa, and the body language or nonverbal communication associated with different emotions.

Social Thinking concepts covered include:
What is Social Thinking
Social Thinking = Flexible Thinking
We All Have Feelings
Thinking With Your Eyes
Thinking About the Hidden Rules and Expected Behavior
Keeping my Body, Eyes, Ears, and Brain in the Group
Thinking of Others vs Just Me
How Big is My Problem?
Thinking About My Reaction Size
Doing An Activity or Just Hanging Out

At the end of each chapter is a “pointer” that sends the reader over to the Thinksheets book, where they work through thinksheets to help them explore and practice these new social concepts in true-to-life scenarios and situations.

I achieve a better understanding of Social Thinking with each conference.




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