Social stories are something I use in my classroom on a daily basis in my classroom and since starting to use them they have really helped reduce certain behaviors in my classroom.
Social stories are short stories that explain a situation or behavior and why it is a good or sad choice. It also explains what a the better choice is and why it is more appropriate.
Many of my kiddos don't always know that what they are doing isn't a happy choice, but they also don't know what that happy choice is. So this is a great tool to show them why and what they should do in the classroom to stay safe and keep everyone else safe and also the better way to handle the situation.
We start reading social stories at the start of the school year before the behaviors occur. If we can prevent the behavior even before it starts then that is a plus (we usually read about how to use the playground, sit at circle time, not to run away). There are always behaviors that individual students do and if you see those you can read the social story after the behavior has occurred the first time and explain why it was a sad choice.Then, the next day if it is a behavior that is going to occur again then try to read the social story before it even occurs to prevent it. We sometimes do this at table time individually or with the small group. The biggest thing is to make sure the child is a calm enough that they are willing to look at the social story and are willing to listen because if they are all upset this may make them more upset.
For some of my kiddos I have created simple happy or sad choice charts. The story is too long for their attention span and they do not quite understand what it is asking. By having to look at pictures with the choices it is much more concrete for them because most times they want to make the happy choice.
Social stories are great for all students because it provides a visual way to show them what is the happy choice and why and how to handle a situation better.
Now for your freebie.
You can grab this I Do Not Touch Shirts Social Story.