I serve children who are developing the foundational skills of learning at school--communication, participation, and literacy. The students I work with all have a diagnosis of autism and span the spectrum. In our classroom, we focus on verbal and social interaction skills that students need to access academics and to be able to participate successfully in their communities.
We spend time developing skills for communicating, learning and understanding others.
One of the pillars of our day is eating together--breakfast, lunch or snack. Food is a common language that all of us speak, and we use time at the table to introduce and reinforce the key skills of communication--looking, listening, asking and answering questions and making conversation. Eating together also provides opportunities to develop social skills such as sharing, waiting, helping, making decisions and noticing how we are alike and how we may differ in our preferences.
We apply these social and communication skills to academic tasks when we work on literacy and math skills. We meet our students where they are and work with them to get them to where they can go next--more independence, more participation, stronger reading skills, more number and math understanding they can apply and generalize.
Life Skills--that's what we all need to meet our basic needs, including making delicious food for ourselves and our friends.
In our classroom we learn by doing--we want to make a recipe come off the page and onto our table where we will share the fruits of our efforts.
We will read, listen, measure, write, pour, mix, balance portions and practice that really important life skill of delayed gratification--waiting for our ingredients to cook and cool before we eat the final product!
We will practice making observations, sharing our opinions, taking turns, sharing responsibilities and applying feedback for subsequent efforts.
If you donated to this project, you can sign in to leave a comment for Mrs. Zirnheld.
DonorsChoose is the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.
As a teacher-founded nonprofit, we're trusted by thousands of teachers and supporters across the country. This classroom request for funding was created by Mrs. Zirnheld and reviewed by the DonorsChoose team.
DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America create classroom project requests, and you can give any amount to the project that inspires you.