Social Skills form a foundation for social interactions, especially if cooperative learning is used as an instructional strategy.
Once students feel comfortable getting in and out of groups, teachers can address communication skills by practicing activities, such as the T-Chart graphic organizer. Once students recognize things they say and do that may exhibit nonlistening skills, they are ready to create a T-Chart of Attentive Listening Characteristics. If teachers are going to assess social skills, they need to translate the skills to checklists that students can use to self-evaluate their own progress. Using visual thinking methodologies, Kidspiration provides a cross-curricular visual workspace for K-5 learners.
With Kidspiration, students use graphic organizers to express thoughts and explore ideas and relationships.
3,000+ symbols in Kidspiration's Symbol Library provide visual support for concepts taught in K-5 language arts, social studies and science. Kidspiration's SuperGrouper® supports students as they sort, group and classify objects and ideas. Integrated Picture and Writing Views connect students' visual thoughts with written expression in a single click. Visual continuity between Picture View and Writing View links images with written expression. Kidspiration Word Guide supports vocabulary and reading comprehension with easy access to nearly 13,000 words. Audio support includes longer recording time to encourage students to express and document their ideas. Ready-made reading and writing activities support phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, word recognition and comprehension as they build students' writing and literacy skills.
Kidspiration extends the proven principles of visual learning to mathematics with visual math tools. Kidspiration's five visual math tools focus on the core conceptual foundations of counting, place value, computation and geometric thinking.
Students use Kidspiration Color Tiles to count and compare, explore properties of number and operations, and develop computation strategies.
Color tiles are squares with no quantity limit, so students work with numbers large and small and visually grasp math concepts. Students use Kidspiration Pattern Blocks to investigate the properties and attributes of shapes through composition and decomposition. Pattern blocks are moveable, stackable geometric shapes with side lengths and angles that snap together automatically. With the Rotate tool, students experiment with rotating shapes and explore how different shapes stack and fit together.
Students use Kidspiration Base Ten Blocks to understand place value and strengthen number sense. The Place Value Mat provides a visual structure for students to compare, order and generate equivalent representations of numbers. Students use Kidspiration Fraction Tiles to compare and order fractions and to understand equivalent fractions. Tiles can snap together automatically to help students compare fraction values, build wholes and see the concept of equivalent fractions. Students use Kidspiration Fraction Boxes to represent fractions visually to build a strong conceptual foundation for future work with fractions. Kidspiration Fraction Boxes are a dynamic fraction building tool using denominators up to 36.
Students change denominators with a simple click to find equivalent fractions and identify common denominators. Students move tiles within the fraction box or to another box with a compatible denominator to show equivalency.
With the Subtraction tool, learners represent subtraction operations visually and logically.


Kidspiration Math SuperGrouper® helps students count, sort and show operations visually. The Step Workspace shows progression of work with a sequential work area to document steps while problem-solving. The Cross-Out Stamp gives students a visual indicator to use when they mark, take away or remove items.
Kidspiration includes curriculum content, teacher tools and standards-aligned lesson plans in language arts, math, science and social studies developed specifically for grades K-5, along with 150+ activity templates. The templates give teachers classroom-ready resources and provide a launching pad to customize and create lessons for individual learners, small groups and the whole class.
Tutorials provide a fast, effective way to introduce teachers to visual learning with Kidspiration so they're successful from the start.
Sophisticated technology makes Kidspiration's capabilities easy and barrier-free for K-5 learners.
Visual Toolbars are colorful and intuitive for easy navigation so students experience success right from the start. A Talking Interface supports each toolbar function with clear audio, so students who are emerging readers can navigate easily and fluidly. Pop-up menus for symbol libraries, fonts and text sizes are easily accessed making the selection of the perfect image and font a fast and easy task. When creating or modifying templates, teachers have options to keep student learning on task. Lock items in places so students won’t accidentally move or delete necessary symbols or SuperGrouper shapes in a design activity.
Add instructions that only appear in Picture View allowing students to work in Writing View without the transfer of nonessential instructions.
For ELL and ESL learners in grades K-5, vocabulary building is critical for reading and writing proficiency, the core of academic success. Even though teachers can select any skill to teach based on the needs of their students, many prefer to start with basic interactions such as making eye contact, using names, and sharing materials. Teachers can work with their classes to create a T-Chart of the negative behavior (Figure 2) to help students identify the attributes of the negative behavior.
By writing what the skill looks like and sounds like, the abstract skill of "listening" becomes more concrete and measurable. Teachers can justify class time to teach and monitor the skills because students need to know the parameters and the expectations of acceptable classroom behavior early in the school year.
Students combine pictures, text, numbers and spoken words to develop vocabulary, word recognition, reading for comprehension, writing and critical thinking skills.
As students make visual connections, they build fundamental skills in reading, writing, math, science and social studies. They create graphic organizers including webs, concept maps and Venn diagrams to clarify thoughts, organize information, apply new knowledge and build critical thinking skills. Students use familiar paint tools to create and personalize their own symbols to use in their graphic organizers. A favorite for students and teachers alike, SuperGrouper containers are used to synthesize and analyze ideas. They develop stories and descriptions using engaging visual tools and explore new ideas with thought webs and maps.
When students click from Picture View to Writing View, they see symbols from their graphic organizers, reinforcing the connection between words and their meaning. Emerging readers and early learners use Kidspiration symbols and graphic organizers to communicate stories they've heard and ideas they develop. It includes sight vocabulary from the Dolch and Fry word lists and aligns with TESL vocabulary to support ELL and ESL students. Combining the hands-on learning power of manipulatives with all the added benefits of computer interactivity, Kidspiration's math tools help K-5 learners grasp essential and sometimes challenging math concepts.
With Kidspiration Color Tiles, students learn to solve area and perimeter problems and model number patterns and the four basic operations.


They produce patterns and tessellations, explore similarity and congruence, experiment with symmetry and represent fractions. With Kidspiration Base Ten Blocks, they count, compare, group, partition and create equivalent representations of whole numbers and decimals. They find common denominators, translate between improper fractions and mixed numbers, and model basic operations with fractions. Teachers and students label Math SuperGroupers as a conceptual building block for word problems. The Math Text Box supports writing fractions, division problems and vertical math notations.
Kidspiration's visual workspace invites students to explore, think and create naturally, intuitively and independently.
Kidspiration uses proven visual learning strategies to build students' vocabulary and English comprehension with the integrated Picture and Writing Views, the Word Guide, longer audio recording capacity and expanded symbol search and libraries.
Unfortunately, many students enter classrooms without communication, team-building, and conflict resolution skills that are essential for getting along with their peers and adults. Also, most states include standards related to interpersonal skills in their state requirements. Kidspiration offers activities in all curriculum areas, so students use visual learning naturally and confidently. Symbol Search helps students search and find just the right symbols to express their thoughts and ideas. Using Kidspiration, students combine pictures, text and audio to develop comprehension, organize ideas and create stories. Older students use symbols to explain more complex ideas, show relationships and demonstrate understanding. Each entry includes definitions, recorded speech for pronunciation, synonyms and antonyms, parts of speech and sample sentences. For ESL and ELL learners, teachers can record instructions in native languages to enhance student understanding.
With Kidspiration Pattern Blocks, students build a foundation for spatial reasoning as they focus on concepts rather than the details of re-sizing or alignment.
Kidspiration Base Ten Blocks also introduce students to procedures for operations on multi-digit numbers.
They use Kidspiration Fraction Boxes to model basic operations with like and unlike denominators.
ELL and ESL students will also benefit from Kidspiration's emphasis on developing and using independent strategies such as pictorial representation of thoughts and concepts, and sight vocabulary lists in Word Guide which align with Fry's Instant Word List, Dolch Word List and TESL vocabulary. Teachers sometimes feel that social skills are not part of their curriculum and won't help students meet the standards or pass the state tests. Teachers need to take time early in the school year as well as whenever needed to teach, monitor, reteach, and assess students' knowledge and use of the skills necessary for their success in school and life.
As they visualize, plan and organize, students build essential skills and confidence in reading and writing.
With the Listen tool, students can hear any text read aloud, strengthening word recognition and comprehension. Kidspiration Fraction Boxes also introduce students to improper fractions, mixed numbers and representing word problems. Yet, effective teachers know that they need to take time to teach, monitor, and assess social skills to foster the climate conducive for learning.



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