The school year is in full swing. I had a bit of a shaky start and that is why it seemed like I disappeared. We have a lot of new staff to include a new principal, new psychologist, and Learning Resource Teacher. The new Learning Resource Teacher just started a week ago and a substitute teachers took her place until then. As if that weren’t enough, rooms had changed over the summer and the resource room was a newly emptied room. That doesn’t work very well for a substitute teacher and many of you may relate to when chairs, tables and desks are not in rooms they are up for grabs. I was left with the duty of getting things found and organized so a teacher could use the room with students. In the spirit of “Good Thing” and “Bad Thing”; new procedures can be put into place because there is no one left to remember the old ways except me, but I am also the only one that is familiar with the history of the special education files and students. I felt like I had to wear many hats. We also have a new program to complete our special education paperwork. This is really challenging my ability to be flexible and learn something new . It is making me go through the procedures we tell the students to do; deep breaths, count to ten. It is not OK to scream.
This school year. I have pretty much the same population as last year; 2 Life skills classrooms, general education K-5th, and a charter school K-6th. I am doing push in for two Kindergarten classes and the 2 Life skills classrooms. The need for social pragmatics groups continues to grow. I am team teaching 3 social pragmatic groups with the help of the school counselor. We are implementing material from 2nd Steps, Michelle Winner’s materials, and other things we find.
So getting on to the topic, We have been completing spider related activities. Many of you may be familiar with the Spider Web Activity where students form a circle and toss a ball of yarn across while continuing to hang on to the yarn with one hand. This creates a spider web in the center of the circle. I have used it in the past for concepts such as across, left hand, right hand, over, and under. It also works for teaching the social pragmatic groups the importance of working with a group. If a student doesn’t keep their mind and eyes with the group, they drop the yarn and the web becomes messed up. We have been talking about how you need to keep your eyes, your ears, your brain, your body, and your heart with the group so everyone can learn and work together.
I came across this spider and decided it would make a good bulletin board project. http://momitforward.com/craft-toilet-paper-spider . It met my requirements for materials that are easy to find and cheap. I found the eyes at the dollar store and already had the paper rolls and pipe cleaners. I bought a can of black spray paint from Wal-Mart for a total cost of $3.
I made a spider web out of yarn. and just stapled it to the bulletin board. It is looking like this. I added my pom pom spider from last year.
The students will make spiders that look like this and add them to the web. I added the crumpled paper on the back for some color.
I like my bulletin board activities to cover as many therapy objectives as possible. I use the free app Story Kit to make pictured directions that my older students can record. The younger students will practice following directions and understanding the sequence. The spiders also provide opportunity for problem solving and telling directions. It is easy to see how they are made by just looking at them because the parts are all visible. The Story Kit directions are in the process of being made so the audio is not all available yet. Story Kit formulates a storyboard that can be shared. http://iphone.childrenslibrary.org/cgi-bin/view.py?b=rpdpipex66oskuofy2ua The app formulates a book with pages on your device.