Community Based Instruction Ideas?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by kalielise7, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. kalielise7

    kalielise7 Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2007

    I finished my first year teaching 5th and 6th grade learning support this year and decided to take on a brand new life skills program for next year. I will be teaching 5th-8th grade...a blended resource life skills and learning support program.

    These are for kids who need more help than an inclusive classroom can give them along with some social and community skills...but not kids who have severe or profound disabilities...

    I will have several students with moderate MR, autism, things like that.

    I am writing the curriculum for this and need ideas of key math ideas and reading ideas that I can carry over into the community. I would appreciate ANY help!!! :)
     
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  3. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Jul 11, 2007

    Hi! This is the EXACT type of group that I have in my classroom. We have all different kinds of names for my room but I like the way you describe your class. My kiddos are the same as you list yours - not severe to profound, but still have disabilities that are moderate to severe enough to keep them from being in an inclusion classroom. I have MR, ED, OHI (seizure disorder, ADHD, oppositional defiant), Autism, Down Syndrome, etc. They are a bit too high for life skills, but a bit too low for mainstream.

    A great community based instruction trip is the grocery store! You can do prep work (make grocery lists) and then bring calculators to add up your shopping cart (if that's applicable). I have worked with both very low and higher functioning kids. The grocery store is a perfect place for them to be exposed to. Whether they are living independently or in a group home setting when they are older, the grocery store is someplace they should be familiar with. You can also have the parents send in a few bucks and let them choose some things at the store and help them decide what they can get. With my lower functioning kiddos, we would just practice social skills and appropriate behavior in public. We would take things off the shelf (nicely) and put them in the basket. We would also practice waiting in line, asking for things (or pointing to PECS) from a store employee, etc. I have found that the grocery store trip has been a success in the past, and the kids love it! When I was in VA, we have this big grocery store (it's like a grocery mall) called Wegman's -- and it was the perfect place to take them because it is very stimulating, lots to look at- etc. We had several kids who really had never been in such a big place before, so this was great practice for them as well.
     
  4. SweetGaPeach

    SweetGaPeach Rookie

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    Jul 12, 2007

    Maybe you can try Target if you have one in the area. Our Target her accepts our ESP students and really work with them. They can help stock, dump hanger bins, bring in carts, clean, etc. Our CBI students also go to the local Goodwill, some hotels, and our local Exceptional Students Program office.
     
  5. kalielise7

    kalielise7 Rookie

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    Jul 12, 2007

    Thank you for your responses! Your class does sound a lot like mine!!

    I am teaching in a fairly small town...the most businesses we have our a few privately owned restaurants and a Giant Eagle. I need to talk to the GE manager about letting them come in, but I am having a hard time thinking of other things besides shopping and all the skills that go along with that...
     
  6. RJN

    RJN Rookie

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    Jul 12, 2007

    kalielise7,
    Where are you teaching in PA? I also teach Life SKills 7-9, in NW PA, in Meadville.

    I also use the grocery store a great deal. I also like to take them on a "scavenger hunt" in the mall, looking for signs, restrooms, types of stores, particular items, etc. I use Boardmaker to make the list of what we are looking for. My students also go out to observe jobs in the community and have to complete a simple worksheet about their interest in the jobs they see. In the fall we go out to do an inventory of what our community contains, to begin our community unit. (types of stores, restaurants, police/fire departments, flowers, street lamps, banks, etc.) You'd be surprised what they don't pay attention to. My students also volunteer at the soup kitchen and walk dogs at the local dog food company here.

    As far as math and reading go, most everything we do is functional, ie. newspaper, grocery ad, grocery lists, recipes, labels, environmental print, safety and survival words. It all carries over into the community.

    Good luck with your new class, hope I gave you an idea or two!
     
  7. gcspedtch

    gcspedtch Rookie

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    Jul 19, 2007

    I'm also in a similar type classroom. This is one of the things we've done, that has been fairly successful. We started a "personal errand running" business. We shop, go to the dry cleaners, post office, courthouse, Hallmark, wherever...for the teachers and other staff at our school. The kids produce flyers and "advertise" (personally talk with staff,) the business at the beginning of each year. We get in writing, spelling, art, clear speech, making eye contact, how to answer questions, and more, just in that part alone. The orders can be written, emailed, or called in...which again works on multiple skills. We then arrange our itinerary and off we go. I explain the process at an opening teacher's meeting, and let them know to expect mistakes and to call the kids on them. It teaches the kids to ask questions if they can't read something, to ask for more details etc. For example, I now have students who have caught on to asking someone if they have a brand preference, or if there is an alternative they would accept. I have teachers use checks and not sign them, give them $1 for a grocery list with obviously more than that amounts worth, etc. to use as teachable moments. I have had years when I had students not be able to go in the community for various reasons. Those students were responsible for looking for coupons, checking the different store ads for the best prices, collecting orders, calling to find out a particular business' hours,etc. It has gotten to the point where we have done some very interesting things....from having mower blades sharpened to paying a fine at the courthouse, to picking out movies at the library.....You can work in all kinds of academics, social skills, and it's all functional life oriented! Have fun! :D
     
  8. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Jul 19, 2007

    Do you guys take a bus to run the errands? How do you get on your trips? Sounds like a neat idea, but I don't know how you guys get around!
     
  9. gcspedtch

    gcspedtch Rookie

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    Jul 20, 2007

    We have a mid-bus that we use. It is used for athletic's and etc. after school, but during the day it's usually available. The only problem I have, is that it is not wheelchair accessible.
     
  10. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Jul 24, 2007

    I just interviewed for a position like those mentioned here. Thanks for all the good ideas
     

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