So as many of you know I am a teacher, if you are one of my new readers I am a Teacher in a program for students with mild to moderate cognitive delays and adaptive functioning. I seriously LOVE my job and I work for an amazing school district with Red Deer Public! And my kids are AMAZING!! But each year as I work to improve my teaching and programming for the students, so here are five things I will be bringing into my classroom this year!!
1) Zones of Regulation: Since my kids often struggle with regulating their emotions this program is a great way to help them learn self- regulation. I will talk more in another blog about what exactly the Zones of regulation are and how they work and how we are implementing them into our classroom.
2) Projects, Projects and more projects!!! Because the focus of our program is to develop life skills our focus isn't solely academic. It's important that our kids get numeracy and literacy skills that will help them in life outside of school but it's also important that they can function in society when they are on their own. So our projects will be a multitude that the kids can pick from based on interest or theme or the month. They will have multiple components literacy, numeracy and all will culminate in some kind of presentation. Some of the projects we are looking at implementing will be resume and job skill building projects, meal planning projects, getting around town projects, how to help a person with autism (or another type of disability), the importance of balanced diets. Really the options are endless and only limited by my imagination!!
3) Leadership and Acknowledgement. Because our kids are in a congregated program they don't always get involved with all the school activities and sometimes they are forgotten. This year it is my goal to get the kids out and involved and participating in the events in the school. We will help them identify how they can be leaders in the classroom and in the school, but also how they can be leaders in the community. The plan is to help them find a place where they are acknowledged for their contributions as well as celebrated for the effort they put in each year to improve their lives!
4) Jobs and responsibilities. We did a little of this last year and it's so interesting to see how the kids thrive when they are given responsibilities. How a kid that can sometimes be a bully can be so helpful and considerate when he views what he is doing as important and relevant. But it totally makes sense, why wouldn't the kids want to work hard if they think what they are doing will make a difference? It's why we work hard, because we feel like we are contributing to society right?
5) Pinterest Projects: So helping my students find their strengths and abilities will often come in strange places, but I do have some uber creative kids so I am going to tap into that. We have a period in the day that is a Flex period, where the kids can choose where they'd like to go to help build their interests. This year I am going to do Pinterest projects that the kids can do and keep or they can do and sell as a way to earn money for field trips and such. Making Fairy Lanterns out of Mason Jars, Bracelet making, Key chain making, all those little projects that if a student is really good at then they can see how it can be an entrepreneurial option for them in the future.
It's going to be a busy a year, but Ms. L and Mr. Willms (my team teacher) are ready for it!!