I went to the Social Thinking® conference presented by Michelle Garcia Winner, Pamela Crooke & Stephanie Madrigal in Portland. Now I am energized to try new strategies with some of my social pragmatic challenged students. I attended the first 2 days which focused on Lessons and Strategies to Help in the Classroom and Beyond. We were the first conference in the tour and it had to be one of the largest conferences I’ve ever attended with about 500 people. It was so good to see the mix has expanded to counselors, administrators, and general education teachers. Because it was the first session, it was a trial to see how much material could actually be covered. Parts had to be skipped because of time limits but we still covered a wealth of information. I especially appreciated the video clips of sessions from Michelle’s clinic. I also enjoyed seeing the progression of students who were on video clips 5 years back. This conference mentions the Superflex series and a new book in that series but does not dwell on them.
I attended a presentation by Michelle about 5 years ago and it is amazing how her program has expanded since then. Her program has become even relevant for our caseloads today. She presented how our goals and objectives can tie in with the state core standards. The handouts are especially helpful when talking to parents and teams. I found it gave me a whole new reference point when determining strategies and actually used it directly the next day when talking to students and teachers.
Upon my return, I found myself reshuffling my schedule to make groups for instruction in Social Thinking®. Our school counselor started to use Superflex for whole class instruction but I realized I had a number of students that were not getting what they needed in our large class sizes. I feel this type of instruction will have the most impact for students as they mature. I recommend you go to the conference if you have the chance.