Life Skills ESY Class

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by teachersk, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

    Jun 1, 2007
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    Jun 13, 2007


    I am teaching a Life Skills summer school class. I have four kids ranging from 1st through 5th grade.

    I have one big fifth grader with severe autism who is VERY violent. He is very aggressive, and self abusive. He will bang his head against the wall if you ask him to do something he doesn't want to do, if he sees something he doesn't like, he will drop to the floor and flop his body against the ground.... He also bites and pulls hair.

    There is one other child with autism who is an absolute sweetheart and just repeats what you say, and always complies with requests, etc.

    There are two MR kids who do not have the fine motor skills to even hold a pencil. One of them is a little girl, six years old, who is constantly a target for my fifth grader.

    I was just wondering if anyone has any suggestions for activities to work on with them - because their academic skills are very limited. I usually read stories to my kids, but these guys have a tough time sitting still or paying attention. We have done some sensory activities, worked on writing our names... (hand over hand of course..), and I have been doing a "Letter a day" on construction paper, tracing the letter and then writing words next to it that start with it, and then letting them color on the paper.

    I am just looking for any suggestions for activities that might be able to keep their attention but that are age appropriate. I am trying to expose them to as many academic activities as possible, even if it requires hand over hand.

    I normally teach kids that are pretty low-functioning, but this is definitely a new thing for me - kids who are so low that even writing name/letters is a challenge (with severe behaviors).

    Thanks in advance for any ideas!
  3. bcblue

    bcblue Comrade

    Feb 27, 2005
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    Jun 13, 2007

    My class is elementary LS--right now we're 3rd-5th grade--very low cognitively, communication, etc. Not quite so much behaviors, but I can comment on a few activity ideas.

    Cooking is one of my favorites--you can address all different levels of academic and communication skill functioning. I break down the instructions step by step with boardmaker pictures, and for your readers you can put words there too. I give each student a turn to turn the page, see the picture, identify the instruction at whatever level they can (whether it be pointing to what they need to complete the instruction--spoon to stir kind of thing--reading it, saying it, just being told it and pointing to the picture, etc) and then do the indicated step. Higher skills include the measuring, etc.

    I like to do story boxes--I get a selection of object supports for my stories, and have the kids look at, feel, explore, pass around the objects related to the story as they come up. It helps hold their attention, and is good for kids with lower communication skills, too, to be able to participate and even to do listening comprehension exercises after. I do listening comp with the objects, with picture symbols, sometimes just verbally and I record their answers, sometimes I make up booklets and thye can use bingo markers to mark their answers to questions (ie where did they go in the story? 3 pictures, they mark the correct picture).

    This winter we did science experiments/adjectives--I used the boardmaker adjective pictures such as hot/cold, loud/quiet, heavy/light, hard/soft, moving/still. I would gather a whole box of things in one set of adjectives---one day it would be noise-makers in loud/soft. One student would activate the noise (like play an instrument) and we would all decide if it was loud or soft, then we would record our answer on answer sheets I made (again using bingo markers, i love those things). etc. Or we did heavy/light, where they would take turns lifting things then choosing heavy or light picture, recording it.

    You can do basic sorting stuff, categories with objects, gather stuff you have in the classroom--clothes vs. dishes, art supplies vs. toys, take a nature walk and collect items then do outside vs. inside.

    Patterning--with pegs, with simple objects, with bingo markers.

    If you want to do letters, you might want to do per week instead of per day. Add pictures to the words you write. Cut up magazines, make collages. Can the students understand the "starts with" concept? That's tricky stuff. . .

    For your children with motor challenges, gluing things and marking with bingo markers is a nice way to do work on paper. Those are my two favorite methods.

    Hope some of these help a bit!
  4. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

    May 22, 2006
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    Jun 19, 2007

    I would also do calendar activities and teach them survival signs.
    You could also do simple counting, time and making change.
  5. Deb06

    Deb06 Companion

    Aug 7, 2006
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    Jun 19, 2007

    Task Folders and File Folder games are always a good idea.

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