Yesterday our theme in Team Time was: Flexibility & Stuck Thinking!
- Hello: To say hello this week, we practiced asking questions to our friends after they shared a story with the group. For example, when a friend shares a story, it’s expected to ask a social wondering question (e.g., “Who did you go on vacation with?” or “What did you eat for your special dinner?). Children tossed bean bags to the story-teller after they each asked one question, as a visual representation to keep track of the conversation and ensure active participation.
- Flexible v. Stuck Thinking Book: We talked about flexible versus stuck thinking while we read a book from the Social Thinking Curriculum. This book discusses various instances where Molly, Jesse, Evan, and Ellie try to work in an ice cream shop and need to use flexible thinking in order to prevent themselves from getting stuck. For example, when everyone wants to go first or when everyone wants to drive the ice cream truck, the children waste time using stuck thinking and their ice cream melts. Katie and I are impressed each week as our group members continue to use whole body listening while we read books. To reinforce the concepts discussed in the story, we used pipe cleaners and craft sticks to give the children a visual representation of what it looks like to be flexible and to be stuck. We used the example of planning to get ice cream after group, but mom forgot her wallet. We discussed that the pipe cleaner (like our flexible brain) bends and twists when the plan changes (“I can have a different snack at home” or “We can get ice cream tomorrow”) while the craft stick is stiff and can even break (having a big reaction – crying, yelling “I’ll never get to eat ice cream ever again!”
- Treasures in Putty: To discuss flexible brains further, we gave each child stretchy, flexible putty. It was easy to find hidden treasures in the putty because it was so soft and easy to bend. We challenged the children to use flexible thinking to share/trade different colored putty with their friends.
- Treasures in Ice: In contrast, the children then tried to rescue treasures from ice blocks but the ice was so stuck! It was frustrating and difficult to try to play with the hard, inflexible ice. The children worked as a team in order to chip away and melt the ice using different materials (e.g. hot water in a pipette, hammer). Everyone did a great job!