Social Emotional Learning for Special Needs with Puppets

Social Emotional Learning for Special Needs with Puppets #spedchat

Today Karen McCallum is a special ed elementary teacher in Alberta, Canada. She has specialized in special education and behavior support programming. Today she tells a heartwarming but powerful story about how two puppets are helping transform the social emotional learning of elementary special needs kids.

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In today's show, we'll discuss:

  • How she decided to use puppets to reach a nonverbal student
  • Modeling appropriate and inappropriate behaviors
  • How 15 minutes a day with the puppets can transform behavior
  • Calming special needs kids using puppets
  • Some funny and powerful stories of using Matts and Penny to help kids learn appropriate behaviors

I hope you enjoy this episode with Karen!

Want to listen to another show about social-emotional learning? Listen to teacher Michelle Cotrelle-Williams talk about how vulnerability can make your classroom a safer place.

Selected Links from this Episode


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Full Bio


Karen McCallum

I am a elementary vice principal and kindergarten teacher in Okotoks, Alberta. I am in my 33rd year of teaching. My entire career has been in the primary area. I have my Master's degree in Special Education and have spent half of my career working in special education and behavior support programming.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere