Teacher Toolbox
Classroom Management - Social Interactions


teens talkingTo be successful during social exchanges, children need to be able to understand the nonverbal cues and the social language or discourse that occur during interactions.  Often these are subtle, fleeting signals that require children to process and interpret rapidly presented information in order to formulate a response. 

Children with special needs may have difficulties with social interactions. Difficulties with social interactions may be influenced by difficulties with self-regulation, processing weaknesses, problems with analyzing spatial information, and weaknesses in cognitive flexibility.

Do2Learn offers a Social Skills Toolbox with tips and resources to understand and adapt to different social situations. An Emotions Color Wheel also provides a visual guide to understanding facial expressions in social situations.

Social Supports for Children in the Classroom
  • Provide frequent adult assistance and facilitation during social or unstructured class periods. This will allow time to instruct children how to interact successfully.
  • Structure class activity time by providing the choices students can make. This will establish a framework and give some direction to an unstructured activity.
  • Structure the classroom to enable the children to navigate within the classroom, for example, keep desks and student locations away from high traffic areas to prevent accidental bumping into other students and other incidental student exchanges.
  • Establish a classroom guidelinethat teasing and excluding classmates from classroom activities are not acceptable
  • Work with social stories in the classroom.

children need guidance to learn social skills in a safe and nurturing environment.  If a child needs redirection or correction, try to do it as privately as possible to allow the child to avoid embarrassment and possible teasing by other children.