Cherry Hill

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Mrs. Tortorello

Social Worker - Cherry Hill

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Welcome to Mrs. Kristin Tortorello's page!

I am very excited to be the social worker at Cherry Hill School for the 2021-2022 school year.  This is my fifth year at Cherry Hill.  I'm looking forward to seeing some familiar faces from last year, and meeting new students this year!  It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhoods at Cherry Hill School!

Email:  ktortorello@nlsd122.org

Phone: (815) 462-7831



I will be using the Teach Town program to teach and review social skills in the Early Childhood classrooms.

TeachTown: Social Skills is a program to use with young children to help improve their social skills.  The themes throughout the program are building confidence, making good decisions, and being successful students.  The program uses animations with teacher-driven lessons and activities to teach social skills to young children.

 "The curriculum was developed by an experienced team of clinicians and artists using developmental norms, research-based teaching techniques, and input from educators. It is aimed at providing teachers with the ability to focus on academic instruction in their classrooms while minimizing inappropriate student behaviors.  By learning and using meaningful social skills, young children function more effectively in school, at home, and in the community."  - TeachTown: Social Skills

Behavioral Domain 1 - Following Rules

  • Ask before interrupting play
  • Listen when the teacher talks
  • Raise your hand before speaking out
  • Sit when the teacher says
  • Be still and quiet in line
  • Use a quiet voice inside
  • Wait to speak until called upon
  • Follow fire drill instructions
  • Play by the rules
  • Use lunchtime manners

Behavioral Domain 2 - Interpersonal Skills

  • Ask before you hug
  • Respect personal space
  • Be a good listener
  • Respond when you are greeted
  • Sometimes things break by accident
  • Take turns with toys
  • Look when saying good-bye
  • It's more fun to share
  • Say why you're mad
  • How to join friends during playtime

Behavioral Domain 3 - Self Regulation and Coping


  • Take deep breaths to stay calm
  • Know when to take a break
  • Say why you're sad
  • How to cheer yourself up
  • Speak up for yourself
  • Sometimes friends don't want to play
  • Ask an adult for help
  • Be nice when you lose
  • Try again when you make a mistake
  • Stay calm when the schedule changes

Behavioral Domain 4 - Good Communication


  • Make a request
  • Change topics politely
  • Ask about others' interests
  • Wait to enter a conversation
  • Initiating a conversation
  • How to say no
  • Apologize when you make a mistake
  • Tell the truth
  • Continuing a conversation
  • How to end a conversation

Behavioral Domain 5 - Friendship

  • Stay positive
  • Help solve a problem
  • Ask a friend for help
  • Including others
  • Helping others
  • Comfort sad friends
  • Compliment others
  • Respect others
  • Making up after a disagreement
  • Thinking about others

Information from TeachTown: Social Skills, 2014 Teach Town, Inc.


We Thinkers! Social Exploring

The Social Thinking program may be utilized to teach and review social skills in a small group setting.

We Thinkers! 

A Social Thinking Curriculum for the Preschool and Early Elementary Years

We Thinker!s curriculum is designed to help young learners develop the skills they need to be flexible social thinkers and problem solvers.  "Students will learn about the social mind, social expectations, their own thinking and that of others, to help them make better decisions when in the midst of social play and interaction."  The lessons are taught using story books about four friends, Evan, Ellie, Jesse, and Molly. - We Thinkers!

Volume 1:  Social Explorers Curriculum

A Social Thinking Curriculum for the Preschool and Early Elementary Years

  • Unit 1:  Thinking Thoughts and Feeling Feelings
  • Unit 2:  The Group Plan
  • Unit 3:  Thinking With Your Eyes
  • Unit 4:  Body in the Group
  • Unit 5:  Whole Body Listening

Volume 2:  Social Explorers Curriculum

  • Unit 6:  The Hidden Rules and Expected and Unexpected Behaviors
  • Unit 7:  Smart Guess
  • Unit 8:  Flexible and Stuck Thinking
  • Unit 9:  Size of the Problem
  • Unit 10:  Sharing an Imagination

We Thinkers! 2013. 2016 Social Thinking Publishing, Santa Clara, CA


Second Step

The Second Step Early Learning Program will be utilized in the Project Begin classrooms to teach and review social skills in a large group setting.

Second Step Early Learning Program

Unit 1: Skills for Learning

  • Listening
  • Focusing attention
  • Using self-talk
  • Being assertive

2. Unit 2 Empathy

  • Identifying one's own and other's feelings
  • Taking others' perspectives
  • Showing care and concern for others

3.  Emotion Management

  • Understanding strong feelings
  • Identifying one's own strong feelings
  • Calming down strong feelings

4. Friendship Skills and Problem Solving

  • Making and keeping friends
  • Calming down and using problem-solving steps

5. Transitioning to Kindergarten

  • Reviewing program skills and concepts
  • Thinking about how program skills will help in kindergarten
Parent/Guardian Tips

Tips for Parents/Guardians as we Return-To-Learn this school year: