"If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn." ~Ignacio Estrada. This is the exact challenge my students face each day. They learn differently than most students and it is my duty as a teacher to go outside the box and find the ways that they learn best. I teach Pre-K students with severe and profound intellectual disabilities. They are nonverbal and some have vision impairments.
My students may have difficulty walking, seeing, hearing, and/or talking, but despite their disabilities, they challenge me every day to take them to the next level and prove to others that they are far more capable than anyone could ever imagine.
Our entire day revolves around the individual needs of each one of my students. The skills my students work on daily will impact their lives forever. I cannot begin to express how amazing it would be to use items from our projects to assist my students in meeting their goals and learning new skills that they will carry with them throughout life. Every day, we look past the disability and instead at their abilities and with this in mind, the possibilities are endless!
One of the most important things educators can do, beyond keeping their students healthy and safe, is to read with them. It turns out that reading aloud, is actually a wonderful way of helping children to reach their full potential. Just by looking at books with a student, I can be a great storyteller and a good model for using language and books. These interactive books will take our literacy time above and beyond. My students have severe special needs. They all have a severe delay in their language skills and are not yet talking or communicating. I also have one student with a severe vision impairment. These books will allow my students to interact during story time by feeling the characters on the pages, hearing sounds along with the stories, and counting along with the pop-a-dot books by feeling and popping the dots.
Reading aloud and sharing stories with children is a great way to spend time together.
Reading and storytelling also helps promote language, literacy and brain development. My students enjoy books songs and stories that have good rhyme, rhythm and repetition. In fact, one of the ways that children learn is through repetition and rhyme. Telling stories, singing songs and hearing rhymes together are also great activities incorporated in these books that support early literacy skills. Pluse my students will have a lot of fun at the same time.
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