Monday, February 16, 2015

Adventures from the Book of Virtues

I have a student in my class who lies. She comes up with the most amazing stories. I am not sure if they are memories from her past, things she has seen on tv or stories she has heard about from someone else. 

We have been working on this for over a year and we have had some major improvements. Her currency, music. Our deal is, she doesn't lie all day, and she gets to pick a song we will listen to after lunch. This is a BIG deal to her and about 3 - 4 days a week this works. I still almost daily have to remind her, when I see the wheels spinning in her head, to think before she speaks so she won't lose her song. Her reply usually "I will talk to you later", lol. 

I was telling the story to my kids the other day about The Boy who Cried Wolf after an incident with our sweet girl. I went online to see if I could find maybe a reading of it in Youtube and that is where I stumbled on this amazing little video. I watched it during my lunch to make sure it was appropriate for them and then again with the kids when they returned to class. I did stop the video a few times to see if they were keeping up with what was happening and also to explain integrity a bit. The kids were glued to the screen and we had a great discussion afterwards. It's not just the story "The Boy who Cried Wolf" it is about a boy who lies at school about his project and gets caught up in his lie. It then goes to the "wolf" story then back to the original kids. I noticed many more similar videos posted from Jay & Jay friends that I thought the kids might enjoy as well. 

This weekend I have spent a bit of time watching a few of the other videos I saw, and I am excited to fit them into my curriculum. Cartoons that teach social skills, what a win win in my book! There are so MANY to choose from! Click on this LINK to find the list of video's they offer. 

Here are a couple:


  1. Hello Karen! I just stumbled on your blog and I love what I am reading. I am currently getting my masters (along with my initial cert - I have never been a teacher) in special education and I love your teaching style and find your strategies so helpful! I had a question about the lying - Did you begin by teaching the difference between reality and not-reality? I've been sitting here thinking about it and I am beginning to confuse myself! I am just wondering how you began to feel out the lying and start the conversation. Sorry if you have another post about it I just haven't gotten there yet. Thank you!

    1. Hi Kelly, Actually when she first started lying we thought it was truth. It took a couple weeks having conversations with where she was living and her other program she attends to really understand what we were dealing with here. So we did start by teaching the difference between reality and not-reality a lot, but I felt a lot of her lying was to get attention especially from me. So now, I don't deal with the lying directly at her. We have gone from lying multiple times a day to maybe one to 2 times in a week. Now when she lies I will simply say to her "now you know that's not the truth so we're not going to get to hear our song today, but tomorrow we are going to work harder so you can hear your song". Sometimes she pleads (once), but I usually just repeat how I know she can do and I can't wait to hear her song tomorrow. She is good with that and I don't have behaviors when it's taken from her. I still do teach the whole class when things arise because lessons like this are good for everyone. I think one of my best things I have going with her is that she respects me and wants to please me. She knows when she lies to me that I am disappointed in her and she doesn't like that. I think a lot of this really depends on why the child is lying too. Some techniques work for some kids and not on others you just have to keep trying to find what works for them. Does this help?

    2. Basically I don't tip toe around them. I have no problem stating to a student that I know what they have said is not the truth and then have a good conversation about what can happen when you lie, how it makes others feel, how it will make people not want to be your friend or trust you etc. This would be done in private.(it really bothers me when teachers call out a problem with a kid in front of the whole class). Then I will teach it as a whole class since obviously that students needs it and the others could use is too. I have a kid who smells bad, so I talk to him in private about it then teach it as a class regularly as if it's part of my everyday curriculum. Another who is rude to others and no one wants to be his friend, same thing. Feel free to email me too if you have any other questions

    3. Sorry, I had found more to say, lol