My students are a vibrant bunch of boys who just want to be able to learn just like everyone else. Their intellectual disabilities often prevent that from happening. They all have different backgrounds. My students are a mixture of nationalities, languages, and disabilities. This is part of what makes them special. What they have in common is trauma, poverty, and a desire to learn despite their disabilities.
I have entered a new chapter this year by teaching lower functioning students than I have had in the past 10 years.
In the past, most of my children have been fully functional in the school, and fairly independent. This year I have 3 functionally nonverbal students, and 2 that need full assistance in the bathroom. I greet every student with a hug each morning, and have seen amazing growth in the short time we have been in school. One student tells me each morning how he missed me, which melts my heart...and I have to hold on to that later in the day when he is upset.
My classroom does a lot of project based learning. Previous DonorsChoose.org projects have given us the opportunity to start a wonderful cooking program, where students learn to make simple recipes so that they can be more independent. Many items from the past need to be replenished so that we can continue learning, and we are in need of some new items to expand on what we have been able to do in the past!
I strive to help my students become productive members of society.
We do this through many tasks throughout the day and the entire school year. We cook...a lot. We are fortunate enough to have a microwave and slow cooker in class to make simple recipes that my students can make independently or with little supervision. We discuss how to prepare the cooking area, safety using kitchen tools, and cleaning up afterwards. We also talk about how to keep ourselves clean and healthy through the food we eat and the hygiene practices we have.
Clorox wipes will help us prepare our cooking area. Food items are versatile and will be used in many different recipes through the remainder of the year, such as baking bread in the slow cooker, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, toast, popcorn, etc. Plates, cups, bows, and forks will be used to help us eat the food we make, and paper towels and sandwich bags will help us clean up after we eat. Toothbrushes and toothpaste will help develop consistent good hygiene habits to keep our bodies healthy.
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