This week we focused on the problem and reaction size triangles. We went through each part more in depth and talked about what makes up a little, medium and big triangle. The older kids learned more about how many people are involved, if there is danger or not, how long it could last and how it could be solved. Today we played a sorting game where we read the problem and decided which section of the snowman to put it in (the top, middle or bottom of the snowman body). They took notes in their social detective notebooks. The younger kids focused on the language of small, medium and big problems and how to react to those problems appropriately. We role played in all groups! I also added a photo section to our website where you can see some of the cool things we have done in 2015 so far! Have a great weekend!
The week began with us all playing the Should I or Shouldn't I game. The challenging part of playing in a group with this game is accepting that other people have different opinions. We had to work through that with the older kids. We also spent time talking about our change in recess buddies. This was disappointing for some, but we primed the kids with who their new buddy would be and how it's good to practice meeting new people, getting to know others, and practicing change and being flexible. The other part of the week we read the social story and talked about our pool trip. We went over all the logistics and reviewed expected and unexpected behaviors. We also talked about how important safety would be walking over, in the pool and while changing. We discussed privacy and the options kids had to be private depending on how much help they may need.
The trip itself was a TOTAL blast. Ann, the paras, and I had a wonderful time. We stopped at each stop sign and crossing area and practiced referencing and checking for cars, how to cross a street, and how to be safe while walking. Then once inside, the kids did a wonderful job transitioning to their changing areas. We were able to split up our kids and had 2 staffers with them at each changing time. Girls and boys were in separate changing areas. Then everyone willingly put on their life jackets and got in. Everyone obeyed the boundaries we prepped them about and we stationed someone in front of the door to the diving area and someone in front of the doors to leave for the changing area. Then we had 4 of us in the water swimming and playing and one in the wading/water toy area. It worked out wonderfully and the kids were great about getting out when the timer beeped. When we returned we had lunch together and watched a little bit of Happy Feet. The kids were SPENT! It was a good test to see how tired or well they'd do with a pool trip. We learned the half day was perfect. They were so mellow and exhausted! I am thankful you allowed us to take them. It was awesome to share in their joy and watch them play together. Everyone was able to socialize and interact with each other. As Ann said, "it did our hearts good" to watch them be free and happy! :) Thanks again!
February 6, I will be attending an anxiety conference in Troy. The PTA has granted my mini-grant to pay for half of the conference. I'd like to thank them for helping me pay to go and learn about strategies we can apply to the kids at Lakewood. I will have the kids color some thank you cards that I will sign from myself and the program. I think this will be a great opportunity. I'll pass along what I learn for sure!
This week we focused a lot about MLK and what he stood for. We talked about vocabulary words like fair, laws, skin color, and equality. The civil rights movement is actually very important to us in special education because Brown v. Board of Ed paved the way for equal rights of educating all. That law led to PL-94-142 gaining our kids rights to education that was specialized. Not that I shared that with the kids, but it's important to know. Much of the week was spent reading and coloring from an MLK coloring book and non-fiction books with real pictures.
Friday will be our Leadership Day, which will mean we get to showcase our great school, the fun things we do here, and the habits we practice. In group we will be having a game day. The kids will play my new Christmas game of Should I or Shouldn't I? This is where they have to read or listen to various scenarios and rate them on our 5 point scale. It poses the question of should I do that or shouldn't I do that. It should make for great conversations and higher level thinking with the 5 point scale. I will post some pictures after we play! Have a great weekend!
Happy 2015! I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing break! I forgot a few of our activities that occurred before break in the hustle of all that was going on. Mrs. Szalay practiced with the kids in group, how to accept a gift graciously even if we don't really like what it is. We practiced the right and wrong ways of receiving. Hope the kids carried this over during the holidays! We also made puzzle piece snowflakes to showcase for leadership day outside our classroom. This week we took pictures in 2015 sunglasses. I printed the pictures and the kids made party hats to go on top. We wrote about how we want to be super in 2015 to go with them. Those are featured in the hallway by the library. The first graders worked on learning the definition of expected and unexpected behavior from Social Detective. The second and third graders began to learn about MLK Day, equality and the civil rights movement. We will continue that unit for all grades next week. Almost all of my kids turned in their what did you do over break homework. Great job kids and parents! Reminder, this Friday is our leadership day, Monday there is no school (19th) and then next Friday is our pool day to sharpen our saws together. It will be fun to have all the grade levels interact and swim together. A few of you have shared tips or information to know about swimming with your child. All information is good information. Please feel free to share and give us any heads up you think is necessary. We will be walking over around 10:20 (maybe the kids should wear their suits under their clothes in the AM and then they can put clothes in the lockers). We'll swim for about an hour and then change, bundle up and walk back. Those who need to chill in sensory can do so. We will eat lunch together and it will be about time to go home. Should be a really great early release day!
Megan McQuillan is the lower elementary teacher in the ASD program