By now I am sure you have heard of Social Thinking and all of their amazing and ground breaking products, books, and activities. Today I am super excited to share the latest installment to their collection, We Thinkers! Volume 2 Social Problem Solvers. Something I should mention, We Thinkers! Volume 1 is actually the Incredible Flexible You collection, just renamed. Apparently with the use of the word flexible appearing so frequently in their products, things were getting a but confusing. However, today we are talking volume 2, which is brand new and filled with engaging activities along with some impressive new elements.
First let’s look at the materials. In this set you get the Social Problem Solvers Curriculum, GPS book, and 5 story books covering the main elements the curriculum focuses on. The program is geared towards kids in preschool to early elementary, so that is usually up to 2nd grade, but with illustrations and topics covered I think you could use it up to 3rd grade easily.
The Curriculum book has a great, easy to follow layout, breaking each topic down into it’s own teachable unit. It gives you guidelines for introducing the topics and guidelines for leading expansion discussions and activities. Now for us data loving folks, they have also included rubrics for you to keep track of progress. These are great for parents to see in meetings or to help you develop future goals. The curriculum is easy to follow and provides explanation why you are doing what you are doing which I appreciated, no one wants to follow a lesson blindly.
Next up, the GPS. No, not the fancy navigation system in your car ( but aren’t we all thankful those are there! ). GPS stands for Group Collaboration, Play and Problem Solving. The goal of this book is something I am very excited about. It is provides a framework to help develop interactive play skills outside of the therapy room! It is meant to help you, help the student GENERALIZE the positive social skills you are focusing on in therapy and apply them in the classroom, at home, at the grocery store with mom, etc. Hello carryover! I was very impressed with how thorough all the information and lessons were.
It breaks things down nicely but I do recommend re-reading the section you are planning on instructing before you do it. This is a new system for me so I wanted to make sure I had everything down pat. It uses a 5 Level Play Scale ( which is new ) to help you guide students through the different elements of play so they can grow their understanding of the necessary behaviors. It gives great tips for adults on how to help kids facilitate play by providing interactive play activities. They really have done all the planning for you with this set!
Finally there are the story books. You get a set of 5 story books covering: Expected and Unexpected, Smart Guesses, Flexible and Stuck Thinking, Size of the Problem, and Sharing and Imagination. The illustrations are expressive and go well to support the story. I really liked how the stories had marked points for you to know when to stop and review or discuss the events. Plus all the topics covered by the books are behaviors I see in my kids within this age range.
Also, the books also come with a USB that initially you might mistake for a credit card. It has materials from the curriculum and GPS books on it. Great for those who travel to multiple sites and don’t have room for more books in their already bulging bags. Oh and as a bonus, is all comes a nice bag to keep things together!
So what should you take away from all of this?
- New program for Pre-School to 2nd/3rd Grade.
- Well laid out curriculum leaves little to no planning for you, just follow the progression of the book.
- Appropriate topics covered through a variety of materials
- New GPS books helps to guide you through generalization and carry over of skills.
- Included rubrics help to track specific progress of program elements and aid in future goal development.
- Included USB means convenient printing and prep.
So if you have covered the basics of Social Thinking with your kids and are looking for the next step this would be a wise investment. You can learn more about We Thinkers! Volume 2 from the Social Thinking website.
I was provided with a copy of this program in order to complete this review. The thoughts and ideas of this curriculum are my own.