Monday, January 2, 2012

back to it!

Wow...school is back in session tomorrow! Why is it Christmas break never seems quite long enough? I always have grand plans to get so much done over break, and I never accomplish as much as I intend to. But, I just have to tell myself - a break is a break. And I did get some things done!

The kiddos are, as always, going to have a tough transition back to school after two weeks off. We'll spend the first week getting back into the school routine. Behavior and physical therapy progress are usually the slowest to be retained after break, so we'll focus on those areas most intensively.

In my school, we use the Unique Learning System curriculum (ULS), which is created specifically for students with moderate to severe cognitive impairments. Our January unit is "Staying Healthy," which is a great topic for the cold and flu-ridden winter! Tomorrow I'm going to ease into the unit by reading How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon?. In our learning center time, we'll also do a body parts dice graphing activity I created (below):
(The clip art images used in this activity are Symbol Stix, copyrighted to ULS.)

I like using dice graphing activities to intro a unit. My kiddos are familiar with the graphing, since we graph our answers to the Question of the Day every morning in our group circle time. In a classroom where the kids have such different ability levels, dice graphing allows me to hit skills they're all working on, so each kid has at least one IEP or curriculum goal covered by the same activity. Skills addressed - all of which at least one of my kiddos has an individual goal for, include:
-grasp and release (holding and rolling dice)
-following directions
-taking turns
-visual discrimination
-vocabulary review
-counting
-numeral recognition
-concepts of more, less, and same

I do love catch-all activities like this :)

I hope everyone who is also returning to school tomorrow has a smooth transition back!

2 comments:

  1. Well, I just answered my own question... you DO use Unique Learning!... I had a feeling you did when I saw your March unit was Money. It is great to connect with another teacher of students with severe disabilites who uses this curriculum. I am curious to know where you buy your dice? I have one that's soft-sided. I can velcro pictures to the outside but it is too large for some of my students to grasp and it is very flimsy. Would love to know how you make your picture dice.

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    1. I make the dice by printing them off on cardstock and laminating. It's too flimsy for more than one use, though, since I have students with spastic CP who grip the dice really hard and crumple it - so we have uneven dice and some sides never get rolled after one or two rounds!

      I just saw on Pinterest the idea of putting dice inside a small Rubbermaid container and shaking it, instead of rolling...I think I'm going to try that next! Seems like it would work so much better and be much more durable.

      Kara
      Spedventures

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