Social Detective Intermediate App Review

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Social Detective AppToday I am sharing a new app called Social Detective Intermediate.  It is a collaborative app of Social Thinking and Social Skill Builder, Inc.   Thank you to Cheryl of Social Skill Builder, Inc. for providing the promo code for me to use in order to complete my review.

This app was created to follow the Social Detective Beginner app.  It was created for children seven years and older and focuses on helping them decode the thoughts and emotions of those they come in contact with.

 

Upon opening the app, new players are asked to create an avatar.  There are several to choose from.

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Once completed, you are directed to touch the detective equipment to get started.  After clicking the Social Detective Notebook, a pretest is given. The player is asked to drag the correct thought over the head of someone in the picture.  Once the correct thought is identified, the player is asked to identify how the person in the scenario is feeling.  Finally, the player chooses the “smart guess” the character should make.  A smart guess is defined in the app as “when we use all of our tools (remembering, seeing, hearing, knowing and feeling) to figure things out and then make a guess based on what we know about the world.”  These are all important social skills students need to know and be able to display.

Next, there is a 42 question test which includes 14 video clips and again the player is asked to identify what one of the characters is thinking, feeling and his or her smart guess.  Throughout the test, positive reinforcement is given to encourage players showing how much progress has been made.

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After completing the entire test, the player is then given access to the flashlight.  Another pretest is given to earn the flashlight.  The player is then given another round of  video test questions.  This round includes identifying the character’s thought, smart guess and plan after making the smart guess.  Halfway through this test, the player gets to make his or her own smart guesses and identify the tools used to make the guess.

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My review of this app came just at the time a student was referred to me to address these very same areas covered throughout the game.  I really like that the app is interactive and that it gives immediate feedback and encouragement.  I like that it reads aloud to the player to assist those students needing reading support.  Finally, I really like that it builds elementary students’ vocabulary using words like considerate and annoyed.

You can check out a quick YouTube preview of the Social Detective Intermediate App below!

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Teaching Social Skills

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Social SuccessI recently acquired a wonderful new resource from Youthlight, Inc. that’s already a “go to” for my school counseling program.  It’s called First Steps to Social Success by Diane Senn and is for grades K-6.  Whenever new school counselors ask me what resources I recommend, I always suggest resources by Diane Senn.  I believe I have at least 90% of the resources she has produced.  This latest book does not disappoint!  We’ve just completed our fourth week of school, and I am already excited about using this book in my program.

I often hear from my administration and staff about students needing improvement with social skills.  There are so many different skills that fall under the “Social Skills” umbrella.  Counseling sessions and groups really need to be tailored to meet the specific needs of the student(s).  First Steps to Social Success is a great way to determine exactly what the student needs.

I am already using it with a couple of my individual sessions this year.  It comes with a CD which includes printable handouts and interactive review lessons.  I can’t tell you how excited I was when I previewed the interactive lessons.  I already have and use both volumes of Smart Guidance Multi-Topic Lessons, which are interactive Smart Board lessons, and the children really enjoy them.  The interactive lessons on this First Steps to Social Success CD are excellent ways to reinforce each topic and are sure to make your lessons fun, creative and grab the attention of your students.  This resource may be used with individuals, groups or classes.

First Steps to Social Success includes a Pre/Post Social Skills Assessment which addresses each of the topics included in the book.  The same assessment may be used for school personnel, parents or as a self-assessment for your older students.  The person completing the assessment ranks each skill as either a mastered skill, an emerging skill or a deficit skill.  As with any good pre-assessment, it helps you determine exactly how to approach each individual case.  If you find that several students are emerging or deficit in similar areas, a small group may be formed.

The following topics are included in this resource:

Section 1:  Knowing Myself First – This section is said to be a prerequisite of social skills that reviews skills that are necessary to master before interaction with others.  In these six lessons, students focus on appreciating and valuing themselves, understanding they have control over their thinking and actions and respecting and appreciating the differences in others.

Knowing Myself First - First Steps to Social Success by Diane Senn (Youthlight, Inc.)

Section 2:  Initiating With Friends – The five lessons in this section help students learn to successfully initiate and connect with others to build new relationships.  Lessons focus on body language and facial expressions, finding common interests, starting conversations and personal space.

Initiating With Others - First Steps to Social Success by Diane Senn (Youthlight, Inc.)

Section 3:  Learning Conversation Skills – This section has seven lessons that help students learn to maintain a conversation.  They learn that conversations should be shared, practice “listening” body signals and words, learn friendly voice tone and how to stay on topic.

Learning Conversation Skills - First Steps to Social Success by Diane Senn (Youthlight, Inc.)

Section 4:  Reading Social Cues – The last seven lessons center around reading others’ social cues.  Therefore, the lessons focus on feelings, correctly identifying feelings, observing and processing others’ body language and responding to other people and their feelings.

Reading Social Cues - First Steps to Social Success by Diane Senn (Youthlight, Inc.)

The written and hands-on activities throughout the book are both relevant and well thought through.  Along with the interactive review lessons on the CD are graphic cue cards.  There are 25 social skills lessons in all.  There is also a student assignment form and parent/teacher reinforcement form that can be used to help students continue to practice the skills outside of the individual sessions or groups.

I truly believe I am just scratching the surface with what I can do with this resource.  If you can’t get this resource now, I encourage you to put it on your school counselor wish list.

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