Starting over in elementary life/essential skills

Discussion in 'Special Education Archives' started by Ghost, Jul 30, 2006.

  1. Ghost

    Ghost Habitué

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    Jul 30, 2006

    Hi, I've taught for the past 7 years in a self contained, academic room. This year I'm switching to a 2nd grade essential skills classroom, which I gather is like life skills. Anyway, it's all new to me. I've been told that some of the kids are doing basic acadmics, and I've no doubt that I can deal with that group very well. It's the 3, one in a wheelchair, who are nonverbal and need their hands covered so they don't bite or hit themselves that concerns me. I gather that those 3 are nonverbal. It sounds stupid, but what do I do with these 3 children? I have kids myself, so I'm thinking of the preschool sensory activities that I did when they were little. Is that anywhere near on track? I will see their IEPs tomorrow, but I just wanted someone experienced to give me some feedback. Anything would be helpful! Thanks!:love: Trinda
     
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  3. dixiedeb

    dixiedeb Rookie

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    Jul 30, 2006

    Hi Trinda, I know where you're coming from. You may want to start off by making picture schedules and/or object schedules, communication boards etc. Secondly, I have found the TEEACH method to be appropriate for many kids...not just the ones with autism. Have you some work stations and workbox activities ready for them and you should be fine. I hope this helps a little.
    Debbie
     
  4. Ghost

    Ghost Habitué

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    I don't know TEEACH, but I've always done the picture schedules for my non readers. What are workboxes? Thanks!
     
  5. bcblue

    bcblue Comrade

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    Aug 1, 2006

    Talk to your speech/language pathologist ASAP to get an idea of how these students are currently communicating. Your job is then to help them to increase these forms of communication. My class is basically all non-verbal. We work hard on one skill at a time--such as greetings: how do you greet someone? (make eye contact when you are addressed, smile, wave to them, hand shake) If your children are able to use a picture vocabulary with something like Boardmaker, there are many options. Some students use communication booklets, where they can turn the pages and show people what they want to communicate. Others need fewer pictures at a time and use topic boards--a paper (laminate if you want to use it often) that shows pictures of the various words they may want for the activity at hand--the basic objects being used, a few descriptors, and some comments like more, all done, like, don't like. My students use pictures in a very basic sense--they aren't ready for topic boards or books--we use them to make individual choices. Such as what do you want to use for choice time and I give them 3-4 pictures to choose from. Or where do you want to take our morning walk--again a few picture choices. Depending where your students are, they may communicate with eye gaze (if they are more motorically limited). Can any of them use any signs?

    As far as what to do with the students overall, modify what you do with the other students. Make the basic or pre-academics accessible to them. Do they need more work on basic motor and communication skills? You can embed that into almost any kind of activity--literacy, art, cooking. Try task analysis--breaking down the activity into it's smallest pieces. Cooking is my favorite b/c it addresses so many levels of skills. If you have instructions, they can follow them. You make the instructions with pictures, they are working on picture vocabulary. Communication about the project. Motor skills. Measuring for your more advanced students. Counting. Summarize the activity, by writing, or choosing and gluing pictures, or filling in blanks. . .

    Just a few ideas, hope they are helpful in some way. . .
    Bethany
     
  6. Ghost

    Ghost Habitué

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    Aug 1, 2006

    I was able to get into the school today and look at IEPs. Three of the girls are working on alphabet recognition, shapes, colors, etc. basic academics, which I don't think will be a problem. One child is non-verbal and wheelchair bound with restraints on her legs and hands to keep her from hitting herself. Her goals are more to tolerate a spoon, hand over hand feeding, and so on. The last two are moderate to severe autistic with academic goals, but are very prone to full out, body-slamming tantrums. That too, I think I can deal with--or I hope so.

    I've checked with technology and they don't have Boardmaker or PEC books. This is a brand new unit so there is nothing in the room except a globe and a sand table minus the sand. I think I can work on the sand. I have to find out if there is a budget for supplies. Crayons and the like, I can provide. But what other sorts of materials would be appropriate? Puzzles, Legos, and computer games come to mind (some of which I have from when my own kids were little). Any ideas would be appreciated!
     
  7. bcblue

    bcblue Comrade

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    Aug 1, 2006

    Plastic counters--like bears, or dinosaurs, or the like--good for sorting by color/size, counting, patterns. Pegs and pegboards--for patterning and fine motor practice. Magnetic alphabet letters. Shape/pattern blocks. Puzzle cards--they make sets that sequence, categorize, match halves, match like objects, etc. A memory game. Go Fish is great for basic communication skills. See if you can find a set of action cards, the photograph kind is great. And if you can lay your hands on a set of photograph cards, they have all KINDS of uses (my set has categories with real photographs of the items, ie tools, clothes, food, transportation, shapes, school supplies; but I inherited them from a co-worker so I don't know where you buy them!)--sorting, identification, categories, etc. Playdough and other tactile/fidgety things can be soothing. Musical instruments? Find a few good CDs and a CD player, you'll want music, both for background and possibly for activities. Just thinking about what's on my shelves. . . Have fun setting up!!
     
  8. ellen_a

    ellen_a Groupie

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    Aug 2, 2006

    I LOVE photograph cards! Most people inherit them like you did, but you can buy new sets, usually through speech therapy providers (I know SuperDuper has a variety of options) since SLPs are often the primary users. Photograph cards are so versatile for IEP goals/activities, older sets can be turned into tasks, promote generalization of language skills (i.e. identification), assessment for evaluations like the ABLLS etc. I used to also use Polaroid photos (because they held up better than a laminated digital picture under the superhuman strength of my students) when I wanted a photograph card for an activity, but wanted a SPECIFIC (i.e. that student's lunch box) photograph card.
     
  9. Ghost

    Ghost Habitué

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    Aug 3, 2006

    Thanks for all the ideas! I spoke to the principal and she said to make a wish list up to $10,000 and we'll get as much as possible. It helps to know what works in other rooms!
     

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