Friday, April 5, 2013

Adaptive Classroom

In a perfect world, we would teach students that are emotionally stable, cope with many challenges in a socially acceptable way, have control over their words and bodies, cognitively equal in all subjects, and essentially boring.  However, we do not teach in a perfect world, surprise (*sarcasm implied, heavily).  Our classrooms are becoming more and more diverse and it is up to us to keep up with all of the changes.  I could totally get up on a stack of soap boxes right now about diet, technology, chemicals, early identification, more education among the professionals, and so on.  But instead of proving my side of a very complex argument with as many sides as there are opinions, I will show you how I am meeting the needs of students. 

The following cards were made for a child with high functioning autism, asperger's syndrome.  This child struggles with high levels of anxiety.  Please know that the social stories were not made for a first grader, but could easily be adapted for one of my kiddos.  I have learned that more often than not, anxiety plays a huge part in the thought processes of our students.  Social stories and The Incredible 5 Point Scale check in are methods for reducing anxiety and stating expectations in a given situation. I laminated and put them on a key chain for this child.  

This one actually has the black squares attached under the black and white squares.  (Sorry I don't have the finished product pictured)  With each breath, the child places the removable square on to the black square.  By the time the last (white) square is place, the pending meltdown should be reduced significantly.  Counting, deep breaths, and the physical movement of the squares helps to take the child's mind off of the trigger to the meltdown.

I am very intrigued by the adaptive classroom and I am wondering where God will take this desire of mine professionally.  I really enjoyed creating these and I would love to hear if you have had experience teaching children with autism. 

Long Lost Blogger

Wow, I have been gone for a very long time.  So much has happened in my life, both personally and professionally.  Exciting news-I graduated with my master's degree!  Whoo-hooo!!!  Unfortunately, there were many sad things that have happened which I will keep private, but I will share some pictures of the fun things that we have been up to in my classroom. 

One my my favorite things is to "look" into other teacher's classrooms via pictures to help inspire my own lessons.  So turn about is fair play.  I must brag a little, my Firsties are all reading at bench level (except 2 already identified).  This is the highest class of readers that I have ever had!  They are hard little workers.  :) 

Compound Words 

Dr. Seuss Day
(The First Grade Team knows how to have fun and be silly!)
 wAcKy Dress Day & Green Eggs n' Ham

Writing with a rubric

Thanks for checking in.  I am eager to get back to blogging!  I've really missed this and you all.