(This post can also be found on my website, on the "small groups" page.)
Update: February 2013
I have modified this curriculum for Kinder and first grade students, and it has gone well! One thing that we have added is the use of motions that correlate with the buttons of the remote control. It has allowed students to apply the concepts even when they are not in the classroom to see the remote control visual. It also seems to help students to practice "in the moment."
Here are the motions we've created:
pause: press one finger to the back of the hand
slow motion: slowly drag one finger from the wrist to the shoulder (and take deep breaths)
rewind: spin both index fingers backward toward the chest (we added the diddly-doo sound like the Wayne's World sound effect!)
fast forward: point flat hands together to make wall, then move forward
coach: tipping the cap motion
zapper: snap of the fingers
way to go: thumbs up
channel changer: pressing buttons of remote with thumb
We made paper remotes and have been coloring the button that we focus on that week. However, I have seen blogs that have made ones out of foam sheets, and we may give that a try for the 2nd grade group (check out the entirely elementary blog for this and other great ideas)!
With younger students- and with only 30 minutes of meeting time- we have simplified the activities significantly. Generally, we start by reviewing our group's rules and the buttons we have already learned. We then introduce the next button, color the button on our paper remotes, and practice the corresponding motion. We then have time for one activity that helps to reinforce that day's button/ concept. Here are a few sample activities we have done:
pause: The book's suggestion to play Simon Says while using the pause button on their hand is fun but also effective.
slow motion: Play Jenga and have students play quickly and then slowly; discuss why going slowly and gently helps. You can then refer to playing Jenga when students are attempting to problem solve with others and feeling frustrated.
rewind: Use finger puppets to act out scenarios with mistakes then rewind and try again. It was fun to match scenarios to the individual's specific challenging behaviors (i.e., if a student struggles to keep hands and body to self, the scenario acted out relates to reacting to an accidental shove).
Throughout the week, I try to check in on students in the group to allow them to practice the concepts in the moment. I recommend creating a larger sized remote control visual to hang in the classrooms of students in the group, and letting teachers know about the lessons so they can reinforce the concepts. I wrote a letter for parents and guardians so they can support our work at home, as well. I will attach the letter below. Again, I highly recommend this book for students in grades K-3 (with some modifications for their developmental levels)!