Friday, April 26, 2013

We Love Spring!

We are so excited that spring is finally here! Our Physical and Occupational Therapists took the group outside today to collect objects for a reverse scavenger hunt. The students were asked to pick out 5 different  objects from the school yard. They found sticks, rocks, grass, bark, moss, pine cones & needles and even a little dog poo. (Yes, you read that correctly) When we returned to the classroom, they needed to spread out their items and create the scavenger hunt list of objects. This activity integrated their PT & OT needs as well as the classroom theme.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Pleasantly Surprised!

Today we gave the assessment for the core knowledge module we piloted. I was very nervous about the language and instructional style of the modules but the kids did great! It took them a few days to get used to the extended time being still and listening, but the number of opportunities for discussion throughout the lessons was enough to keep them engaged. Some students did thrive more than others, but based on the assessments they were all taking the information in. The students learned and were able to use words like nutrients, germinate and photosynthesis. More than any plant unit that I have taught in the past, I feel like the students really learned the parts of a plant, the plant life cycle and better understand the vocabulary involved.

We had spring break during the module so we did several review activities and read a couple additional texts related to the topic: The Secret Life of Trees by Chiara Chevallier and How Does It Grow: From Seed to Sunflower by Ian Smith. I also created a SMART Response activity to review the plant parts and evergreen vs deciduous trees.

I am still concerned about how this new instructional program will be effective over time in a multi-age special education classroom but I do feel better about jumping into the listening and learning modules in the fall.