'What's the Buzz?'
A unique social skills Training Day
On my first day at school a girl asked me to be her best friend. We were five.
We both wore brightly coloured knitted jumpers and had bows on top of our heads like cockatoos.
"What do I have to do?" I asked fearfully.
Too much was already happening that day. I was being very cautious.
"I don't know!" she admitted. "But, it's meant to be good to have friends."
And wasn't she right?
Immediately I called one of our hens after her, as a sign that we were friends and it was a good thing to be."
Maeve Binchy, renowned author
A whole day presentation - can be adapted
To have Mark present to your school or organisation email or phone
Click here to download the PowerPoint presentation.
'What's the Buzz?' is taking Australian and UK schools by storm!
www.whatsthebuzz.net.au is a social skills enrichment programme designed to teach primary aged children how to think and relate socially. It is for ALL children -and, especially those who struggle to build friendships, problem-solve and fit-in socially. It targets everyday themes; how to greet, make and keep friends, fit in, read one's own emotions, read the feelings of others, deal with competition and cope with worry, frustration and disappointment more constructively.
The engaging direct method of instruction is built on extensive research believed to stimulate social thinking and accomplish powerful outcomes. 'What's the Buzz?' is (SAFE);
Sequenced - it follows a logical break down of each skill
Active - it uses role-plays and rehearsal with feedback
Focused - it dedicates time solely on teaching a specific skill
Explicit - it teaches a specific skill each session
The programme has wide appeal to all kinds of educators and volunteers in schools. It can be tailored to target small specific groups of children, but also has a broader multi-purpose scope with larger mainstream classes.
The aim of this highly interactive workshop is to build the interest and capacity of staff members to deliver this social enrichment programme to students. Be pleasantly surprised; you see a lot of the day will be fun as you'll be immersed you in role-plays and social games that students in the program usually experience. So, dress comfortably and come ready to play, learn and enjoy! It is not necessary, but will be to your advantage to have your own copy of a 'What's the buzz?' book on the day.
Excerpt from Lesson 1: meeting people & exiting
Explanation; name tags
Explanation; group rules
Explanation; feedback cards
Lesson 4: being friendly (sample lesson)
The program's evolution
What is, 'What's the Buzz?' and who is it for?
Why teach social thinking or social skills?
Prerequisites for the program to succeed
Will skills taught transfer into a child's life?
Why and how is the program structured?
After the Buzz, social thinking ideas for parents
Exploration of the website and online resources;
registration and non-registration (what's the deal?)
online training and forum
social skills articles
activities and puzzles
pre and post surveys - data tracking facility
Who makes an ideal facilitator?
Dealing with challenging behaviours - oppositional behaviours
Lesson 8: feelings and thinking positively (sample lesson)
Group exchange/ debrief - Questions and answers
Goodbye, 'with compliments' from Lesson 16
The book is complimented by www.whatsthebuzz.net.au
The website offers online TRAINING MODULES, online accreditation, options to access and personalise all of the images, games, role-play cards, certificates, worksheets and a specialised facility to track the data by employing pre and post surveys.
What's the Buzz? seeks to measure student progress; it is evidenced based in its approach.
"I'm excited about where we will head with this program. The benefit it will provide to our students is
easy to see. Thanks for a great day!"
Yvette, Special Education Coordinator
"Thank you, thank you! The Training Day was exceptional. I cannot wait to get it up and running in my
Mandy, Class teacher
"I was expecting a run through of the entire programme. Mark's approach blew me away. It was so much
better, and so real. A brilliant day!
Helen, Department of Families and Communities
"Fantastic. I loved the Training Day. What made it so good was actually doing two of the lessons! That
made everything real for me. I'm ready to go back to school and start".
"What's the Buzz? is vibrant and enjoyable! It provides a reference point for ALL children to learn
how to be friendly and get along with one another. We like its language and benefit to the children."
Gennaro, Assistant Principal
"Amazing - so clear, so well researched and so many practical activities. Thank you for making it
so affordable to parents and schools . We started with small groups and are now looking at using it
as a total school program next year."
Michael, Wellbeing Coordinator
"We use What's the Buzz? at our school. Students attend with a delightful sense of expectation.
They know they will have fun and learn new relational skills in a friendly environment. The explicit
structure of the programme with discussions, role-play scenarios and games ensures positive outcomes.
Students return to class reinvigorated, with lots to share and big smiles."
Sue, Coordinator of Literacy and Extended Curriculum
"I trialled and liked the program. I liked its consistency, its commitment to collecting evidence
and explicit teaching of the skill followed by practice activities. The variety of social games and
activities were fantastic and I now use many of these across other therapy settings".
Donna, clinical psychologist